Sagrada Familia –a symbol of Barcelona

This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of Valley India Times. Barcelona, the enchanting sea side city of Spain, has a lot to offer to people of all ages and interests – museums, parks, beaches, night life, and historical buildings and monuments. Everything about this city is simply magical that charms you and make you want for more. However, the key reason why I included Barcelona in our itinerary during our Europe trip this April was its amazing architecture. To me, among other things, what sets Barcelona apart from any other city of Spain are its extraordinary architectural … Continue reading

Gateway Arch – An Engineering Marvel

This article was first published in the August 214 issue of Valley India Times. This article was first published in the August 214 issue of  Valley India Times. Last month, when we visited our relatives in Bloomington, a small town 130 miles from Chicago, the intent was not travel or sightseeing but only to hang out with them, get a break from the triple digit temperatures of Phoenix, and relax in cool weather. We never expected that besides Chicago (that we have already been to), there will be tourist destinations near this small town of Bloomington. We were taken by … Continue reading

Key West- Hemingway’s Town

First published in the March, 2013 issue of  Valley India Times . A majority of people would refer to Key West as the southernmost town of the US or a town known for exciting water sports and activities, and rightly so. I, however, would remember it as home to one of the greatest writers of all times,  a Nobel Prize winner, Earnest Hemingway, because this is exactly for what we drove 233 miles from West Palm Beach to Key West in February last year.  The drive was picturesque with palm trees lined up on both sides of the road and … Continue reading

A Spritual Tour at “Vivekananda Retreat”

First Published in the September, 2012 issue of  Valley India Times. “Work unto death-I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you.”  These words of Swami Vivekananda bear testimony to the tremendous influence his extraordinary personality and teachings had on people all over the world during his life- time and 110 years later. While I and my husband were planning a vacation to New York last month, the first thing that crossed my mind was to Google information about the place where Swami Vivekananda , the first person who brought the message of Vedanta … Continue reading

Paradise on Earth

This article  was first  published in the September , 2011 issue of “Valley India Times” . Jawaharlal Nehru had rightly said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Driving up the Mount Rainier and being there was the most uplifting, thrilling, eclectic and unforgettable experience of my life. That morning I was feeling low and depressed due to previous day’s rigorous travel and was skeptical as to how I will cope with the strain … Continue reading

Jane Austen’s World

First published in ‘Valley India Times’ ,  October 2011 Ever since I did my Masters in English long back in 1975 and submitted my thesis titled ‘Social Realism in Jane Austen’s novels,’ I had cherished a secret desire to make a trip to England and visit those locations where great works of art by Jane Austen, the distinguished woman writer of her times, were composed. However, this dream lay buried under the deepest layers of my subconscious for almost three decades and was on the brink of being realized when we finally made a trip to England in 2006. However, … Continue reading

“All is Well….” said Shakespeare

This article was first published in the December , 2011 issue of Valley India Times, Most of us frequently use the phrase ‘All is Well that ends well’ to express our gratification when things finally work out well after a series of setbacks and hurdles. The chart buster song in the movie Three Idiots ‘All is Well’ has further popularized its usage. However, few are aware that this well known and almost over- used expression was first used by the greatest writer in English literature, William Shakespeare for the title and theme of one of his comedies ‘All is Well … Continue reading

A Literay Pilgrimage

This article was first published in the January , 2012 issue of Valley India Times. “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries”, believed French philosopher Rene Descartes, more than three hundred years back. We can take this conversation further and make it more intimate by visiting these great artist’s homes where they lived and composed their masterpieces. This summer, I and my husband decided to turn our England/Ireland trip primarily into a literary pilgrimage by including some literary spots in our itinerary: Jane Austen’s House Museum, Shakespeare’s New Globe Theater, … Continue reading

Labor of Love

This article was first published in the April,  2012 issue of Valley India Times. For centuries Taj Mahal has been looked upon as an epitome of eternal love. a lover’s tribute to his beloved. It is common knowledge that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built this in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, and it took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct this magnificent monument. Like everyone else, I, too, believed it to be the one and only evidence of a lover’s ultimate expression of love until I visited Florida two weeks back. While browsing through … Continue reading

Dublin’s Unique Flavor

This article was first published in Valley India Times in July, 2012. “Welcome to Dublin,” the cheerful voice of the immigration officer came as a pleasant surprise as we approached the immigration window. “Is it your first visit to Ireland,” he asked, carrying on with the conversation. “Yes, it is,” my husband replied with a smile, still surprised at the unusual pleasantries. “How long you are going to stay here?” picking up the second passport, he tossed his next question our way. “We will leave the day after”, I responded. “Dublin is a small city you can cover in one … Continue reading