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Trip to Palampur: Not as Good as I had hoped

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In the month of January, 2009, I visited Palampur in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. I had heard and read a lot about Palampur and was keen to explore this romantic sounding place. It was a nice trip, though not as good as promised by travelers and writers on the net. On my last day in Kangra Valley, I decided to visit Dharamshala and surrounding areas. I found it a disastrous experience. I think there is way too much construction going on there, like everywhere else in Himachal.




The Charm of Mussoorie

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I travel to mountains every other month and can't get enough of them. However, It seems Mussoorie is where I want to be all the time! I know there are people who simply dismiss Mussoorie as a hill station with over 250 hotels and crowded Mall. Then, they don't know about real Mussoorie. Just move away from the usual 'hotspots' and you can see what Mussoorie is.





God is a Painter!

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On my recent trip to mountains I visited Himachal Pradesh. It was my first trip to Himachal in almost 4 years. Since it was raining, I was able to capture mountains in their various hues. What I saw was enough to mesmerize me. It was as if God was showing me his Painting mastery. Here are few of his “paintings”.



For more pictures, follow the link: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/chaturvediajay68/GodSPaintings

The life of the writer as a life of reading

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Indian writer Pankaj Mishra is not someone who likes to give interviews. So, it was a surprise for me when I came across this interview of him in the literary magazine The Believer. This interview provides an insight into Pankaj’s rise as a writer and his writings. THE BELIEVER: When you were twenty-three, you went to live in the Himalayan mountains to read and write in the hope of someday becoming a writer. Did you have a clear idea about what you were doing? PANKAJ MISHRA: Well, I had a basic idea that I would go to the mountains, where it would be cheap to live and there would be lots of silence, lots of solitude. In retrospect, this was a completely romantic idea. I wasn’t making a living at that point—only a few hundred rupees from writing reviews and articles for different magazines and newspapers in India—but this was in 1992 and the economy in rural India was on a different scale altogether. It only cost me two thousand rupees a month to live, with my rent included—that’s forty…

The Solitude of Latin America

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Today, while browsing the official website of The Nobel Prize in Literature I got fascinated by the acceptance lectures given by the winners of this most prestigious award in the world literature. I found Gabriel García Márquez's, winner of the The Prize in 1982, account of Latin American dictators very interesting. Here is the link for those who would want to read what he said some 26 years ago. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1982/marquez-lecture-e.html

Exit Wounds: The legacy of Indian partition

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Here is an essay by Pankaj Mishra published in that great magazine New Yorker where he talks about India's partition. It's a really well researched write up by Pankaj, as always! A must read for lovers of good writing!
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2007/08/13/070813crbo_books_mishra?currentPage=all

The Writing Life

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Pico Iyer is one writer whom I admire for writing about the places which are not the kind of touristy locations one reads about in newspapers and magazines. And the kind of observations he makes are his trademark. One of his books which I like most is Falling off the Map. I recently read his article in the Washington Post Book World where he talks about him moving to Japan and it influenced his writing. I think it's worth reading by those who aspire to write.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/07/AR2008020702856.html