Distant Lands

The world through my Eyes


I was born and brought up in various small towns in Odisha. I spent most of my formative years in Cuttack.  Growing up in small towns of India has its own pros and cons. On the one hand we were very close to the nature. We were  familiar with most of the plants, flowers, bushes and trees ; a familiarity that is not possible anymore in modern day metro life. We had the experience of running out to the garden on a stormy night and picking up mangoes falling on the ground in the strong wind; climbing trees and reading books sitting up on a branch; mistaking tadpoles for fish and catching them from the pond and getting drenched in the rain. We had strong roots and identified with the place and culture; knew the extended family very well; spent large part of our childhood days with cousins, knowing and celebrating community festivals . On the other hand, we did not have much exposure to any other culture, mostly surrounded by adults with very orthodox outlook. There were strict social norms and most of them were regressive, especially towards girls.

I never went out of Odisha till I completed 12th Standard and got into Engineering. It opened up the world to me. It gave me an opportunity to build my own life and to be financially independent. My hostel days away from home taught me to be self-sufficient, confident and to build an identity of my own. It also gave me opportunity to go around the world. My first opportunity to travel out of India came as a business trip when I had to fly to London for 5 months. It was also my first experience of flying!

In the subsequent 20 years I travelled to many countries across the world, sometimes for work and sometimes on vacation with family. Every country I visited had something unique to offer. I have always learned and felt enriched through these visits. Now-a-days due to internet, all the information about a place is available. However through these pages I wanted you to know about these places through my eyes. Hope you enjoy them!

The land of bedouins – Dubai

Sitting in India, we keep hearing a lot about Dubai. Dubai is often mentioned in the Hindi movies, Indian newspapers and TV channels. I had also heard a lot about it from friends and relatives who visited the place.

The land of whirling dervish – Turkey

After our four night visit in Dubai, we headed towards Turkey. It is a 3 hour long flight from Dubai to Istanbul. On reaching Istanbul international airport, there was a long wait in the immigration queues.

In an Antique Land – Egypt

Egypt is a unique country in many ways. The history of the land goes back to 5000 years. It is very heartening to see the common man valuing and preserving the heritage so sincerely. Today it is a Muslim majority…

The Rainbow Nation – South Africa

When the time came to move to South Africa in June 2011, I had mixed feelings in my mind. I was going to leave behind my ailing mother who was at the end of her journey of life. I had to risk my career of 23 year…

Mosi-oa-Tunya – The smoke that Thunders

We visited the Victoria Falls in October 2011, a few months after moving to South Africa. I like the African name ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ much better. This is the best place I have seen so far in Africa, the waterfall on…

Thailand 1994

Around seven to eight months after marriage I had to travel to Thailand on a project assignment, in early 1994. This was my second trip abroad after London. The experience was very enriching, both professionally…