Sunday, September 18, 2011

A new Era !

I love writing this blog is because it’s so therapeutic even though I have hardly any readers and the ones who follow are mostly threatened into doing so by me. I deal with my all unresolved emotions through writing and somehow seek my closure. It’s the cheapest therapy I have ever known. Well, a lot has been up since I last wrote an entry here. I completed my MBA in between despite all odds and those times when I thought I would quit right away. It was a proud moment being at my convocation seeing the result of my two years of hard work. Even though I had a rocky start, I did settle in eventually and above all, it was a tremendous learning experience. I think I have always been very dreamy about life and always seen life through these rose tinted glasses, which always kept me from connecting with a certain kind of people and MBA kind of took those rosy glasses off for me. It was reality in its stark nakedness. You suddenly realise the cause and effect relationship in life and as cheesy as it may sound, the whole experience provided me armour to deal with life and all that it stands for. Whether it works remains to be seen since I’m just starting out but I’m very excited about turning a new leaf in my life.

(The beach at Mont Choisy)

(The breathtaking sunset)

Oh and how can I forget? In between I took a vacation to Mauritius and Dubai which was my graduation present. It was long overdue, after much planning and many cancellations; I zeroed in on Mauritius (easy visa process) and trust me, it was one of the best places I have been to. I loved it absolutely. I have never been this relaxed on any of my vacations. My resort was near to this beautiful beach called Mont Choisy (Pronounced as Mon Qwasy). I would go out and watch sunsets every single day (no matter how tired I was after my activities of the day). The water was so beautiful and warm and to top that, it would change colours as the sun would go down.
I happened to visit Ille Aux Cerf as well which a beautiful island on the east coast of Mauritius. Despite its beautiful beach, I think I would remember it for the fact that I happened to catch a star fish a few minutes into the water which I obviously left back into the sea (since I’m a Vegan). I loved Port Louis as well (their capital) which is small, clean, well equipped and very beautiful. If you are very keen on sailing (something I absolutely adore), this is the place to be. Sometimes I think ten years down the line, if I’m not living on a boat, then I would have made some seriously tragic choices in life. In between I also made time to visit the famed Chamarel (a private property) which boasts of seven coloured sands but what won me over were these three very beautiful tortoises which were raised on a farm nearby.

(The star fish I caught,I'm in love with its beautiful coral color)

(Yours truly in Port Louis at Watefront)

(The seven colored earth at Chamarel)

(Two very beautiful creatures I met while at Chamarel)

From Mauritius I was headed to Dubai, which was a little let down after what I experienced in Mauritius. Well I think it was a case of bad timing because they were having their summers then with temperatures soaring like anything and they were also celebrating Ramadan during that period so a lot of eating places were closed during the day and one is not allowed to eat and drink publicly (tourists included) until they break their fast in the evening. What really surprised me was that most of their tourist attractions were manmade except for the desert but since I had already seen them in some or other part of the world, I was not thrilled. Most of the time we preferred to stay indoors. Shopping was good (because of Ramadan discounts) but nothing that I had not seen before. Yes, one thing I missed was climbing on top of Burj Al Khaleefa and see the view from top which I was quite keen to do but somehow I couldn’t. The rest was all ok but I was really surprised by the presence of Indian population on both these places. They were like everywhere. It was funny because a part of me felt like I was vacationing in some part of India only (so much so for exoticness).

(Me in The Arabian Desert, Since I didn't have a Magic flying carpet, I tried flying myself)

(The Burj Al Khaleefa, reminded me so much of The Empire state Building In N.Y)

(Me in one of the malls, uploaded this picture because I simply love the feel of it)

So that was all from me for now. Hoping to come here again and update you soon on my next adventure. Please do comment and express your views of what you thought i.e. if anyone is sincerely reading this somewhere, the chances of which are very slim but anyway, take care, have fun and I love you all.

Sagar Raha

Saturday, June 25, 2011

5 Gospels of Travelling !

While people all over travel to India to find themselves, I decided to travel the world instead. I’m not really sure how much of I found myself while trying to achieve my lonely planet fantasy but I’m sure I have reached a place where I can help amateur travellers in ways which no other guide book or travel journal can. So, here are top 5 Gospels for any new traveller on block. Some may agree or disagree with them but the point is to go out and explore them and make your own rules and have lots of fun while doing so.

1.)Getting lost is not such a bad thing
Call it my poor sense of direction or my inability to read maps, but I have been lost in every major city of the world. So much so that it’s a way of life for me and let me tell you, it’s not always that bad. And if I don’t count the racist attack in Kuala Lumpur, then it always have turned out to be pleasant. I never would have discovered the spoils of Oxford Street in London had I not been lost and had I reached the intended destination which was Harrods. And for those who claim that no tourist can ever get lost in London, someone should make them hear the song “Lost in London” by kid British.

2.)Don’t flash to avoid any clash
As someone who has been to more third world countries than first world countries, (Blame the currency exchange rates), let me tell you that being there is a great ego massage but don’t flash too much of skin, cash or your arm candy because you never know which one of those you would end up losing. Now I was fortunate enough to never face any such things but there is always someone who knows someone who has gone through this and you don’t really want to be that someone. So try eating a humble pie and be subtle and save those fantasies of being a Master for your bedroom.

3.)Keep that stranger away
I know when you are on a vacation; you have all these thoughts of rescuing a distraught little Meg Ryan lost in an alien land just like the movie French kiss. First that never happens: Meg Ryan has other high profile suitors of her own and second, if we are really taking inspiration from movies, did you forget “Hostel”? Trust me, that hot chick may not be that naive and who knows if she is a chick entirely? (Now you know why they call it amusing/amazing Thailand). Be really sure before you make your move and always inform someone back home about your whereabouts. And shady old men don’t invite you on their boat just to play chess. Playing chess doesn’t require a yacht that too in the middle of shark infested waters.

4.)Travel agents are just Ignorant unless they are clones of Ian Wright
Travel agents are just glorified clerks who have never been out of the city of their birth leave aside going out of the country. So if you happen to have a lousy travel agent like mine, just take control and guide him in tailoring your itinerary as per your needs. Research and talk to other travellers before you plan yours. Itineraries are just like your tailored suits, if you don’t have them customised to your measurements, they prove to be waste of money.

5.)Tip, tip and tip your way out of almost anything
Nope, I’m not referring to the song made famous by Raveena Tandon in a wet yellow sari back in the 90’s. I’m talking about being a little generous and sharing in with those serving you. After all you are on a vacation and any seasoned travelled out there would actually tell you that tipping is a great service differentiator. And moreover, isn’t it a gentleman code to tip? And in some countries like Egypt and Italy, they take serious offence if you don’t tip. So next time, make sure you “barsao lots of tips” to that bell boy and door man.

Love, love and love !!
Sagar Raha

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Stolen Moments

I have always nurtured an alter ego of a photographer inside of me and throughout my travels around the world I have happened to click thousands and thousands of photographs but never dared to share them on a public platform given the fear of judgement. Last week my friend Pierre was helping me upload all of my files on to internet (Oh! Iam also technologically challenged by the way) for safekeeping given the fact that my laptop is about to crash, and I came across some beautiful pictures apparently clicked by me (Even though I still cant believe I clicked them). I wanted to share my top five (Out of many) and also because I haven't updated anything in a LONG TIME !! Apologies for taking this long to come here but in my defense I was busy.... Busy clicking the world away, writing, living, travelling, falling in and out of love, winning silly contests, singing and yeah most important of all completing my education, Anyway, so here are my top five :

This photograph was taken in Luxor,(Egypt)from a moving car and what's really fascinating is the light in this picture. It was getting dark and the focal point of this picture is this horse cart but if you focus closely you will see the path full of sphinx statues leading to the temple of Luxor and the irony here is that had it been clicked during normal daylight, the view from behind would have completely overshadowed the horse cart. It was a case of perfect timing. My next favorite picture is this.

Isn't it serene? I swear I can stare at this view for a lifetime. It was clicked in this tiny little fishing village near Colombo called Negombo in Sri Lanka. I clicked it during a morning run on the beach and I was so spellbound by its beauty that I happened to drop my digital camera in a puddle of sea water which ultimately ruined it and which also lead to me being banned from borrowing my dad's gadgets. I wish to go there again sometime, run on it soft sand , go fishing and sailing, all this without my camera. The third on the list is this beauty.

This was clicked right off the coast of Pattaya on a fishing trip quite early in the morning. Turns out that if you pay a little extra to the local fishermen, not only do they take you to the unexplored heavenly islands, they also entertain you with songs from Eric Clapton (With their nasal twang) and yeah you can also learn fishing while soaking in the sights and listening to their (Annoying mostly) music (At times the fishing part is mandatory if you pay them less or promise to assist in lieu of the ride like in my case). Moving on to the next one.....

This amazingly beautiful picture was clicked in Orchard Gardens in Singapore and its one of the amazing sights the place have to offer. I love how commercial this picture is and how it appeals to people of all sensibilities. People are in awe of it from the moment they see it. Many think its a perfect backdrop for clicking either a couple or something else but I like its emptiness. I didn't want anyone to hide under its beauty. It seems eternal and never ending and yes, a lot of couples do get married here. I would like to think that doors of heaven would look something like this. And last but not the least, here is a very special picture of moi, quite literally !!

Yeah, your guess is as good as anyone else's, It's yours truly. Well, my faithful readers and followers (All three of them) were quite keen to see the real me, so I decided to make a guest appearance on my own blog. It was again clicked back in Egypt during a visit to the stupendous Temple of Philae. It is dedicated to the Goddess of Magic, Isis and there was certainly some magic in the air because Iam not very photogenic normally and this photograph is too much improvement over my previous pictures and needless to mention the amazing things it has done for my self confidence and my almost unvisited profiles on various social networking and dating websites. I swear when I get old, I would show this picture of my youth to my grandkids bragging about how good their grandpa used to look back in the day. So these were my top Favorite pictures clicked (Somehow strangely, they were all clicked in third world countries).
I would love to hear what you guys have to say about my blog. I would really like my follower count to increase from mere three and it would be wonderful if i don't have to bribe or threaten anyone along the way. Waiting to hear from you guys.

Love & Light
Sagar Raha

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Date With Cairo......

Today is the day one of my very first trip to Egypt, the land of pyramids. I’m yet to see the pyramids since they happen to be a part of my itenary for tomorrow. Its very ironic, I always wanted to see them since I was a child and now that I can see teeny weenie bit of them from my hotel window, it doesn’t excite me for some reason. Perhaps it’s because the view is camouflaged by old, hideous, dusty and rickety buildings which have Islamic scribbling all over them. When I rented this room, I was told it offered paranomic views of the pyramids but I wish it mentioned the word partial as well. All I could see out of the window is a civilization in its utmost glory with people everywhere of all color and sizes and tips of the great pyramids way back in the background as if trying to suggest that before you get to it , you would have to cross this gigantic sea of concrete and human beings. I had a long and tiring day today and the fact that I have a nonexistent palate for Middle Eastern food is making me cranky and restless. I have to centre my emotions and focus on more positive things of this trip. I can’t even sleep perhaps because of the time difference. I have been dying to say that I’m jet lagged all my life but somehow it doesn’t quite feel right.
My window also offers the view of the modest swimming pool the hotel has to offer. A small band is playing near by it. There is a bit of movement around the pool consisting mainly of guests and the staff. Suddenly I hear the band singing happy birthday for someone. I think they are singing it for me because I feel weird and new in this strange country. It’s like coming home after a long long time and so much has changed around, you feel nostalgic for no reason. I feel as if I walked this earth before way back in time. The people here are the nicest people around. They took a quick liking to me despite the fact I wasn’t in my best of moods and how I couldn’t stop acting like a phirang and throwing these fake tantrums. Right at the dinner table, I threw a fit that I would only like Indian meal and how I wanted it customized. The chef came out for me to take the order and the hostess was another sweetheart who made sure everything was taken care of.
As I’m writing this, the song down there has changed to New York ….. New York, I want to wake up at the sea. I should know a thing or two since day after tomorrow I will be transferred to a cruise on Nile and in all probability, I would be waking up on it. I feel this great urge to get up, go down and dance to all these numbers but I’m comfortable and im liking this conversation I’m having with myself. I really hope the people and this country don’t disappoint me in the coming week. They say if you drink from the Nile once, you are rest assured coming back. I know its somewhere nearby but I’m going to take that call towards the end of my vacation. It’s a celebration out here…. Everyone is so happy out here. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Im still looking down like this creepy stalker, I want to go down and dance but somehow my soul is already there feeling the rhythm of this amazing city.
The moment I thought I would stop writing they started singing one of my favorite songs of all times….. pretty woman!!!! Flirting with me and suggesting that I should stay on a bit longer. Wowww…. I have never flirted with a whole city before and I can’t stop writing…..even though I was suffering from a writer’s block a few weeks ago and look at me now …..
The moment I thought that the song changed to mambo no. 5 suggesting that I need little things to get it all together. Wowww… Am I having a telepathic conversation with this city??? The air out here can feel my thoughts. I feel like dancing again but my soul flew long back to be there. I want me to stop and the moment this thought comes to my mind, they start playing this romantic number from shall we dance. Its like the perfect finale to my grand evening. I think they know me from before and I was underestimating my tour guide when he told me earlier in the day that everyone is related in this city and how no one can be sad and lonely here. This city knows how to romance and I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth will I ever I forget this magical warm February night when these strangers managed to make a softie out of a heartless monster like me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eternal Sunshine

Yes I know , I haven’t been updating regularly but I have been so busy with everything in my life that I simply don’t have the time ….. Busy being happy (pretty ironic)…. I wouldn’t have imagined that for me a few months back …. But then you should never underestimate the ability of life to surprise you. I really don’t know what changed or what’s working for me but I’m happy and I know it because I can’t wait to wake up and start another day. There is so much beauty around me, it overwhelms at me times …… I’m so happy that I can just die.
I couldn’t help but wonder what changed??? Me, my luck or God?? Whatever it was, I’m grateful to it for making me realize the beauty of imperfection. I remember at one point wanting so much out of life in one go and not having the resources to get those desires. I was desperate, feeling this void in my soul which I thought, could be filled with every possible thing in the world. As a matter of this fact someone asked what would I remember this year for??? I would say realization!!! Realization of what we are supposed to do here. I knew it all along but I forgot to apply it. This god sent angel helped me realize it. How ironic is it that I would run into her and she would teach me the greatest lessons of my life.
The lesson to appreciate life and love every moment of it while we are alive. It doesn’t matter if you don’t make it in life; it doesn’t matter if you are not perfect, if you don’t look the way you should be, what matters is you ….. And only you!!! Your imperfection is your beauty. We are told to be this person that everyone wants us to be ….. But what and who for??? We slog our asses (sorry for that word) to become one tenth of that image that is being pasted in our minds only to disappoint ourselves n everyone and lose our soul on the way…..
It would be foolish to say I know it all but I wish people could stop just for one day….. Just one day n appreciate what they have and not aim for the sky but the earth they are walking on. Who knows? I can be living in a fool’s paradise but then I’m HAPPY!!! (How many of u can say that???).
As lenka sings, “Enjoy the show ……”
Some food for thought until I blog next time … I hope someone reads it this time and gives some feedback …. Anyone???

Friday, December 4, 2009

Aiming for Perfection!!!!

Heyy there whosoever is reading this ….. Hii, Hola, Bonjour and Namaste!!! …. Iam sagar raha and I have decided to write about my life, dreams and aspirations and trust me (between you and me) it’s complicated …. Living all this and still aspiring to be who I want to be ….. Err!!! Here is the thing … iam a bit confused on what I want to be ….its not that iam not trying, its way too difficult to be pick something to do it for the rest of your life. That brings to the topic of routine which is pretty nonexistent in my life and which is something I can never come close to loving …. As a matter of fact routines, rules, commitment and monotony make me sick to my core and I repulse them like anything. I like variety ……. Adventure, fun, adreline pumping action, art and LIFE which simply can’t just stop amusing me…. Iam still amazed how Iam never able to predict its ways with me. Everything is a surprise!!! (Most of them were bad but then what life is).
By the way, iam a management student and I shamelessly admit that I have lost complete track of why Iam here. But then iam here for better or worse. When iam not slaving in my management classes, iam a dreamy eyed, adventure seeking, art appreciating writer who is looking for new experiences. I think I have seen the best and worst in life or so I think …. But whatever it is, it took a lot of me and gave me a lot. I have changed beyond recognition and I can’t recall my former self…. But that’s all behind me… iam a new me and this time its different …. (I can feel it my bones) so WORLD!!!! Watch out … Here I come ….
Iam going to post every adventure iam going to take and help many people along the way who just want that extra push to get their life back… My first challenge ….. My approaching birthday on 12th of December (the day of year I simply dread) …. Now iam a person who simply hates birthdays and finds them really depressing…. I don’t know wether its my childhood memories of really mind numbing birthday parties or the fact I have a problem with ageing (you see in my head im still 18) … whatever it is , I fail to understand what the big fuss about this day is … you wait endlessly for this day and suddenly the people who are supposed to love you remind of your added responsibility or try to have fun at your cost (quite literally) and if you happen to find anything joyous about this, it only lasts for a day and then it’s back to square one and did I mention the ageing part ??? (I think I did).
So the plan is, on this birthday of mine im going to simply take off alone on a secluded path to discover myself and treat myself to a great birthday …. I promise fun, adventure and lots of happiness to myself… this birthday is going to be different and trust me it’s going to be the best one so far….
So wish me luck!!! and I will keep you updated on my plans …. And don’t forget to write in your comments i.e. if someone is actually reading this. Anyone????