• Scottish Highlands, from the corner table, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #2

    In times of the pandemic, the Scottish Highlands have been in the limelight for… well, locals testing positive. And a while ago, there were news reports about an increasingly large number of people opting to live closer to Edinburgh rather than commute daily from far-flung corners of the Highlands. A rather obvious decision, isn’t it? And back in the day (circa 2017), there had been discussions about real estate prices in the Isle of Skye skyrocketing, hotels/homestays claiming six-month long waiting periods and even some mumblings about a tourist tax. Whatever the case may be, nothing and no one can deny the charm of the ruggedly handsome Scottish Highland. As…

  • Neist Point, fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Winding through the Isle of Skye #1

    It had been a cold winter in Ahmedabad, the winter of 2018, the minimum temperature hovering between 10°C-16°C. Huddled at my desk, feet tucked in thick socks, I shivered and bemoaned the ruthless cold over a telephone conversation with my best friend. Imagine my indignation when she burst into laughter rather than express sympathy over my frozen toes! “Rapti, if you are shivering in this excuse for a winter, how on earth did you survive the Scottish Highlands,” she questioned. Good point. But you see, at the Isle of Skye in Scotland, while my teeth chattered in the bone-chilling cold, my face was frozen into a big grin and my…

  • Buchanan Street in Glasgow, #fromthecornertable
    Travel

    Grit+Glamour+Culture = Glasgow

    On March 6, 1989, a 44 year old and his colleagues boarded a British Railway train at the Edinburgh Waverley railway station. The group of six men – all town planners from developing cities of India – was headed to Glasgow as part of a government initiative facilitating knowledge exchange. Among them was my father who returned thrilled with the exposure to planning and technological advancement he saw in Glasgow. But it was the efforts to preserve the industrial heritage of Glasgow whilst creating sync with the cultural fabric that impressed my father the most. “Observe the buildings as you walk through the city. The urban landscape would have changed…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter2

    Around the time I had been reading about Scotland, especially Edinburgh, I remember stumbling upon the statement “But Edinburgh is a mad god’s dream.” Now I don’t know about mad gods and goddesses but I do know that it is a city of Good Samaritans. Do you remember where we left off in the last post? That bit about me having a near meltdown in the gift store of the Edinburgh Castle? (Read Crushing on Edinburgh Chapter 1) Well, while I do remember that nerve-racking anxiety, I also have a clear memory of a gentleman walking up to me. It seems he saw the visibly distressed me and want to…

  • Travel

    Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter1

    I confess. I have a crush on Edinburgh. I have been in love with Amsterdam from when I first set foot on that gorgeous slice of heaven on earth. But now Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets, mix of old-new structures and a skyline that gives off a broody Gothic vibe on a cloudy day, has found its way into my heart. Having experienced the colourful energy that takes over the city towards the end of the Edinburgh Festival, I want to return to Scotland’s capital – once to devote time (and money!) to the cluster of festivals that light up the ‘Festival City’ and again to walk through the city…

  • #fromthecornertable #scotland
    Travel

    Scotland: Why, When, How

    Looking back, the year 2017 was like the craziest roller coaster ride in an amusement park leaving me, the rider, nervous, exhilarated and other things unfamiliar. But the Gods of Travel were undoubtedly kind to me. How else does one get lucky enough to have checked two places from their travel wish list in a year! Yes! Yours truly went on a three-day trip to Athens (with the elder sister and her husband) and a week-long solo trip to Scotland; the first in May and the second in August. Athens was a special treat because of the… hold on. I’ll come to that later. How about I regale you (I…

  • fromthecornertable, from the corner table, travel, travel journal, travel diary
    Travel

    Gift yourself a travel diary

    A week ago, I did a few interesting things. I (finally!) started work on a ‘history journal’ project that had been gifted to me three months ago. I was supposed to have given it a long time back but then life happened, priorities changed and the project got delayed. That’s the first interesting thing there, finishing that long-pending project. The second exciting bit was attending a “solo female travellers meet” – here I met a bunch of interesting people, learned some lessons from more experienced solo travellers and answered questions of some planning to take the plunge. It was during the discussions here that someone raised the point of “clicking photographs to…

  • fromthecornertable, traveltuckintalk, howtoread, howtoreadfast, readinbusyday, readdaily
    Talk

    Ways to fit reading into your busy schedule

    Reading – that one activity that everyone loves to do, everyone recommends for all age groups. Some of us are good at it, finding time to settle with a book and slip into a new world. Some of us struggle to fit in time to read, despite our best intentions and a burning desire. I love reading – I get it from my family, my parents love to read as does my sister. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t surrounded by books. I grew up listening to abridged versions of English literary classics that my sister read out to me – reading practice for her. I remember spending…

  • Tuck-In

    Mishti Doi | Bengali Sweet Yoghurt

    Mention that you are a Bengali and conversations are bound to lead to Rabindra Sangeet, Kolkata and food. There are assumptions galore that with Bengali genes you are a walking encyclopedia of all things mentioned above. It’s rather amusing – for me at least – when I say I’m not very knowledgeable about either of these. Having been brought up outside Bengal, my exposure to culture has been varied – I’ve learned a few things Bengali from my parents, I’ve learned several things Gujarati having grown up in Rajkot-Baroda-Ahmedabad (cities in Gujarat) and I’ve learned loads of things pan-Indian owing to my friends who’ve been from different parts of the…

  • Tidbits

    Memory String 2018 Unravelled #2

    Beat this now! I’m getting better at planning! I actually managed to time the second part of my ‘best of 2018’ and am publishing it on the last day of the year! I could go on and on about how amazing it feels but let’s keep it short and sweet today. It is a Monday, several of us are battling the Monday blues with the added shot of sad coz who wants to work on a Monday when you know you are going to party the night into the New Year! Depressing much? I’m going to ring in 2019 with my friends-more-than-family. It’ll be a night of music, dance and…