Pretty as a Picture

On my recent visit to Hong Kong I picked up a Qing Dynasty doll which caught my in the lobby of the hotel I was staying. Apart from being very pretty I thought the doll would make a great companion to the Geisha doll I picked up when I went to Japan last year. I…

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle: Geisha Doll

This week’s photo challenge theme was just perfect. When I came back from Japan, one of the souvenirs that I picked up for home was a spectacular Geisha doll. Unfortunately my limited financial constraints meant that I could only pick up a doll that was made in China but I still love her because she…

Remembering Hiroshima

Tomorrow is the 6th of August. 70 years ago the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan. The explosion and its aftereffects caused the deaths of more than a hundred thousand people. Looking at the cityscape of Hiroshima today, you would be hard pressed to believe that Hiroshima suffered such…

Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Being in Japan in spring during the height of the cherry blossom season was something of a dream come true for me. The rows and rows of pinks and whites that enveloped entire cities made Japan even more a spectacular place than it ordinarily must be. One must feel truly blessed living in a country…

Turkish Evil Eye Beads

What do you think of when you think of Turkey? Istanbul? Turkish Rugs? Whirling Dervishes? Evil Eye beads? They are quite iconic aren’t they? I learnt recently that Turkish Eye beads have their origins in the myth of Medusa. Anybody who looked at Medusa directly in her eyes was turned to stone. So it is…

‘Kimono’ed in Kyoto

Kyoto- the very mention of the city evokes exotic images of a world away from the world- a world of geisha, of narrow tree lined streets ending in quiet temples, of peace, tranquility and zen. A walk around the Gion district in Kyoto and it is almost like you stepped back in time. One of…

Bayon: Not Just a Pretty Face

A little while ago I had written about the most prominent feature of Bayon Temple near Siem Reap in Cambodia- the intriguing faces carved on every side of the temple towers.  However this is hardly the only interesting feature about the temple. I was also quite fascinated by the large panels of bas-relief carvings on…

Window Art- East & West

Glass has always been a spectacular medium for artistic expression.  Much was made in the days of old – before artificial lighting about how art on these windows could be  observed inside during the day with the sunlight pouring in or at night outside with the light of the candles illuminating the figures to passers…

I for IRCTC

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation The mere mention of the website of IRCTC is bound to make any seasoned railway traveler start quaking. This is not out of any disrespect to Indian Railways. After all it is one of the largest railway networks in the world (and according to Wikipedia the 9th largest commercial…