Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Travel: Khajuraho, all sexed up

  All `saxed’ up A woman tourist goes unescorted to Khajuraho and gets a whole new perspective on the place THE guide’s voice is leer-laden, hissy. “Want to see a sax,” he asks me, insistently. I stare at him and contemplate replying, “No thanks, I’ve been rocked enough.” That would have been the god-given truth,…

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Travel: Bhimbetka Caves, Madhya Pradesh

        Rock stars Sheila Kumar and her intrepid aunt Uma  take off to view the Bhimbetka rock shelters near Bhopal    “Why not Khajuraho? Or the Orchcha temples? The stupa at Sanchi? We could have chilled out at Panchmarhi, or gone tiger-spotting in Bandavgarh.”   The person shooting off these questions is me….

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Travel: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Orange jalebis in the winter air   Bhopal. Of course, the point is: can one get past the unseen but very-much-felt Carbide shroud, that heinous, diaphanous, brown-stained winding sheet? Then again, it’s not as if Indra Sinha’s Animal confronts the visitor at every turn in the road; it’s not as if the city has forgotten…

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Travel: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Buddha’s Delight Sheila Kumar emerges almost as peaceful as the Enlightened One after a quiet day at Sanchi.     Buddhism has always appealed to me since I’m a sort of middle-of-the-roader myself. Not one to glut on excesses in deprivation or indulgences, I go my way trying to live like a decent human being…

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Travel: Bhojeshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh

Jai, Jai Shivshankar Even as the ASI begins work on the landmark Bhojeshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh, Sheila Kumar pays tribute to an unfinished dream     When I read about the ASI starting renovation work on the Bhojeshwar Shiva temple  in Madhya Pradesh, I couldn’t help but recall a visit to the magnificent shrine some…

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Travel: Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

In search of Sher Khan Kanha National Park is where you can come face-to-face with a tiger, if you have the patience.   In search of a tiger We are bowling over a horrendous road when I decide to put on record my indemnity bond. “Er,” I say, “I hope you girls know that not…

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Travel: Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

Once a Gond kingdom, there’s more to Jabalpur than the world-famous Marble Rocks. One of Jabalpur’s claims to fame is that it dates back to the upper Jurassic period. The other famous aspect of this town in Madhya Pradesh is the Marble Rocks, located at Bedaghat, about 23 km away. At Beraghat, the deep green…

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Humour: Mona in Khajuraho

Note: Mona was a flaky character I created in the pre-digital age and she  used to appear in a lot of my DH Middles. Discovery of India  Sometimes you can travel to places and return, without really having seen anything. My friend Mona had just returned from a trip to the fabled temples of Khajuraho….

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Travel: Chausat Yogini temple in Jabalpur

It was the stuff of adventure: stumbling on a small, mysterious but beautiful temple,  the Chausat Yogini mandir, tucked into a fold of a hill up above the Narmada river. When you are far down in the swirling gorge of the mighty Narmada river you catch your first glimpse of it. More than a hundred…

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Humour: Jungle Tales

Jungle Tales What people call a forest resort, SHEILA KUMAR calls home. And it’s not always roseate dawns and birdsong, she reports wryly. Okay, let me play fair. I started out mentioning roseate dawns and birdsong…I get both, in plenty. The twilight zones here are something Van Gogh and Gaugin would have loved: dramatic washes…

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