Entries from 'South and South East Asia'

Lost in Time

Hilly, sparsely populated and severely lacking in infrastructure the villages on the banks of the Lemro river ,Chin province , Myanmar could well be stuck in their own time warp. These villages are only reachable by boat , which takes a few hours from Mrauk U, once one of the richest cities in Asia . But that…

read more →

Floating Villages

Nestled between two mountain ranges  Inle Lake in Myanmar  features a unique ecosystem & rich traditions that have changed little from generation to generation. This vast body of water ( 22km x 11km) is home to 17 villages, all on stilts. There are no main streets or cars as the lake does not actually have a continuous shoreline;  and as a…

read more →

Dear Myanmar

A letter from South Africa … Dear Myanmar You stand where we stood, 21 years ago. You hold ‘free and fair’ elections on 8 November 2015. Results dribble in. Often, by foot! Even from far mountain and dense jungle townships. Election workers carry sealed boxes. And on 23 November your Day arrives. “The Lady”, your…

read more →

India – the How, the What and the Where

Three things FULLY absorb our days. How we will ride? What we will eat? Where we will sleep? Three things we barely think about at home! Three questions that now bamboozle us all day long! We fixate about a cornetto ice cream. We haven’t seen a cold storage truck for weeks! We ride around for…

read more →

The Legacy of Opium

The British Industrial revolution in the 1700’s radically changed international consumption and trade patterns. Sometimes for the worst.. Cheap manufactured goods (first cloth, then weapons other mass produced goods) became staple exports from Britain while raw materials, foods and luxury items were imported from her colonies and China. As a result,two important ‘triangles’ of trade…

read more →

The Head Hunters of Nagaland

Right on the edge of India and Myanmar lies Nagaland, often refered to as the wild west of India where until recently 16 odd headhunting tribes valiantly fought off any intruders.             Long feared for their ferocity in war and fierce independence , Naga tribes considered head hunting a sign…

read more →

a Missing Tribe, a Shrinking Island, a Forgotten State

‘A Missing Tribe on a Shrinking Island in a Forgotten State.’ A Puzzle of A Title. A little like the ‘Smile without the Cat’ in Alice in Wonderland. Isn’t it lovely? Isn’t the Smile almost lovelier without the Cat? Let’s break the puzzle into its pieces! The Forgotten State; A tribe called Missing and a…

read more →

The Goddess Ganga – presides at Varanasi too

Our Goddess Ganga presides at Varanasi too. It’s one of the oldest, continually inhabited cities of the world. At Varanasi long stretches of steps, called ‘ghats’, slip down her banks. Here people of India wash clothes, do yoga, offer blessings, sell flowers, get massages, play cricket, fly kites, wash buffaloes, take ‘holy dips’ and cremate…

read more →

The Goddess Ganga – presides at Allahabad

The Ganga, the river Ganges! It collects its water from the Himalayas. It flows for 2500 km across India. A formidable water resource! The holiest of rivers! Hindus sanctify the river as a goddess; the Goddess Ganga, the Mother Ganga. She is a beautiful woman and devotes Lord Krishna. This infuriates Radha, the lover of…

read more →

‘Incredible’ Heady Heights

Hinduism captivates us, kicking and screaming! Its heady heights are incredible. We read it’s a polytheistic religion (poly=many, theos=gods). But, behind these many gods there stands a single extreme power (Brahman). So the many gods we see are simply physical expressions of this formless spirit. Dare, we draw a parallel with saints or gurus or…

read more →