Indeed, isn't a place nothing but its people? If so, I would say, Jerusalem has a multiple personality disorder!
While in Tel Aviv, I perceived a frenzied energy that served as a the steam outlet of all that pent up tension, here life was rather unremarkably normal on the surface. Despite the looming presence of the Western Wall and all its emotions, that even as an utter outsider with no ties, I was overwhelmed by! One of the defining moments of my trip to the country was at the Western Wall.
As I walked to the wall, at one point, I felt overtaken by a dense wave of energy - an incredibly sad one. And, I found myself uncontrollably crying, tears streaming down my cheeks without control, even as my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening. Read More
Just over a year ago, I decided I needed a hiatus. A change. A chance. Something new. Utterly different. Something to slap me in the face and wake me up. A few months ago, an opportunity landed on my lap; it sounded too good to be true. And, it was! Too Good and Too True! :)
The long and short of it, is that I spent 9 months living outside US, for the most part based in Italy, traveling Europe, Asia and collecting information about cultures, peoples' values, real life experiences, what food means to people in different spaces in life and the world,.... and, yet how similar we all are. Read More
Indeed, it isn't about the food or the place. Truly, Florence is the one place I have felt so close to beauty and never felt overwhelmed by it. Rather, it has always sent my spirit soaring, filling me with hope and bringing smiles on my face. Rome may have the power of mind and the history of greatness but Florence has the grace that captures hearts and holds them true for lifetimes. I'll take the gutters of the Florentine streets to the ravishing Trevi fountain because even these smell of metaphorical roses.
Oh Firenze ti amo!! Grazie per il tuo spirito bello. Read More
The majestic red mountains. I had just summited them. I did not tame them, nay, I had simply monkeyed up and perched on top.
I had neither conquered nor had been conquered.
As I sat atop the ‘dune’ in bliss, from the physical effort of getting there, I felt the breeze caressing my face, my mind emptying and a strange stirring within, the beginning of a release. I cycled back downhill. Wings took shape. Where once they had been tied down by circumstances, they hesitantly spread out and I learnt to fly, once again.
The mountains speak to you, you’ll see, they said. The desert is a fountain of life, they said. Take a trip alone, they said. You will find yourself and come back with new understanding, they said. Read More
The pulse buzzes. The adrenalin rushes. Beauty abounds. The senses are in superlative. It is sexy. It is stylish. It is downright fascinating.
As my first exposure to Israel, Tel Aviv set the pace and tone for the time spent in the country. After spending a week in different parts of the country, I can easily say this is one place that beckons me back with the promise of more. Ostensibly, I was there to sample the cuisine and the food. But, what is food without culture and people?! Set against the interesting collage that makes the culture of Israel, food in Tel Aviv stands as an extroversion of its outlook and history.
It is without any hesitation an invigorating and entirely intriguing city. Not only does it offer the best landscape to study the congruence of diverse ethnicities, it does so with a remarkably calm composure. Given the geo-dynamics of the region, calm is hardly an adjective you would expect to connect with this experience. Yet, on the surface of this city, in the faces and lives of the people who live here, you only see a sheen of unruffled normalcy. Read More