So what keeps you awake?

Is it the radiant light that drips through the corners of your naked window or is it the buzz of traffic drifting across the road?

Is it the bird that mourns to validate her existence or is it your neighbor who stands a risk of being persecuted every single night?

Is it the Air Con that ebbs your room temperature below that of Himalayas? or is it it your cat that cuffs your doors with her puffy claws to announce love?

Is it the fact that you’re thousand’s of miles away from home? or is it thought of comprehending why you’re so distant at the first place?

Is it the thought of your fellow country men that haven’t eaten an inch of bread in days or is it the idea of you not doing anything about it?

Is it the thought of love that was always yours and you blew it up? or is it the thought of love that wishes to ingress your heart this very moment?

Is it the thought of your next travel that sparks excitement? or is it the memories of the past that enchant you with their very occurrence?

Is it the choice you’re going to make today or is it the decision you made yesterday?

Is it a nightmare that wakes you up in the middle of your sleep? or is it a dream that does not let you sleep?

Yet another Valentines Day

It’s 11:19 PM; I just concluded a con call with our Global Connectivity Team
Not that I dread these night calls, I don’t savor them either
I need that shot of Jack, few rocks; refute this heart to take a breather
He’s going to pulp again; soon stirring up
to an evil scheme.

He’s getting old, pardon him – impatient he may be
Only once could he celebrate this auspicious day with an awe-inspiring glow
but since that April – astray the charm, altered his flow
Now he encores once in a blue, either in the streets of Bu Vien
or Clarke Quay

Countless times have I not tried to distract him from this philein
Countless times have I not asked him to take a leap of faith
But wait!
“…it’s the right thing to do”, once said
the One Tree Hill Quinn

Not that his piece of literature will alter the course of the day,
Nor will it make him feel he’s not alone
They say only the heart knows the unknown
and rest will remain unaltered on the
streets of Bombay

This is yet another piece tray, Yet another Friday night blue
Yet another Valentines Day, Yet another one
Without You!

Korea: You held me spellbound – The Green Light Girl

South Korea (henceforth referred as Unified, Korea – This is not a propaganda story or is it?)

Korea sure does know how to keep a traveler spellbound.

To a tourist Korea is just like any other developed country with skyscrapers, shopping orchards, induced alcohol hangouts and dazzling street lights; To a traveler, Korea is more than that. The people, culture, history, traditions, mindsets, stereotypes will enchant a travel’s soul to every threshold.

Since I’m back, I have started giving monologues that have even lasted hours simply praising the enchanted land(s) of Korea. I have even dispensed them as  mono’chats’ to my Tinder matches. Yes, Korea is that ‘awe-inspiring’. It would be only apt if I share these memories, moments as stories or travel logs.

I shall dispense my first story now: The Green Light Girl

Clubbing scene in Korea is underrated, people there sure know how to party. Whether it be the classy streets of Itaewon or the ‘young’ back allies of Hongdae, they are killer cool everywhere. A group of few, all backpackers, seated at the common room of a hostel (Kimchee Sinchon 1) were relishing the warmth of an antic heater which had a visual portrait of burning logs. None of us realized it was the 1st Friday of the year until someone quizzed, “What’s the day today, my flights on Sunday?”, I think it was the French American guy (I forget his name) who was traveling to Japan next.

Suddenly, a storm of conversations erupted and within seconds we realized, “We gotta club tonight”. As a backpacker, you don’t really feel the need to dress up for any occasion but Korea is different, you need to look sharp, we needed to be sharp. It took us almost an hour and we were ready to drag ourselves to a Korean Club called ‘Mama’.

Now let’s not judge the book by it’s cover, though the contents were quite illustrious, let me finish narrating this unique experience.

There’s a lot that happened within minutes of us being at the club but let’s focus on this girl with a green light. It only took me a few shots of Soju and a couple of beers to start pole dancing, specially at Club Mama where it’s a desired skill.(Read as “Assumed desired skill”) plus with my bollywood skills, it didn’t take me long to have ‘followers’.

Dancing is a funny art, you just know you want to dance with someone when you see them doing a step that you almost were about to do and then either they follow you or you follow them. You dance with a unified rhythm. It wasn’t any different in our case, we started dancing together, in symmetry and suddenly we made our moves viral to an entire crowd standing near the elevated pole dance area.

After almost an hour of showing off our moves, we took a break from floor and reached out to our drinks. I had to follow her, I had to know her name before I never saw her again.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

She said something in Korean which I obviously didn’t really understand, after a minute of her looking around for something, she took out this green light from her pocket, it was one of those clubbing accessories you wear on your fingers while you rave. She displayed it like jewel and said, “Green…Green”, pointed at herself and then at the light, “Green”. I still do not precisely know what she meant by that but I assume either her name was green or her name meant something closely related to green.

Before I could ask anything else, she said “No English” with crossing her hands like a multiplication cross over her chest. “No English…No English”, and then she walked away with a polite smile which could mean almost anything in the world. At first I wasn’t really sure what had just happened, had I offended the girl or had I scared her, it was only after my conversation with my Brazilian backpacker that enlightened me that Korean girls who want to meet foreigners but cannot speak English are really shy and are embarrassed of themselves.

I took another 5000 WON beer from the bar and started enjoying the music again. You know sometimes, we need to stop thinking, to start living.

It was almost 4:00AM and we were almost set to go back to our hostel, suddenly a hand came across my shoulder, it was her, Green; without any words in any language and without any surprise looks we both submersed ourselves to the music.

It is the most predictable story hence forth, we danced till the gang was set to leave, she gave me the green light as a partying gift and I received it with bowing my head down indicating a big thank you. We hadn’t spoken a single word in our second interaction, she walked with me towards the lookers; where she hugged me a goodbye hug and asked where I was from, I said, “India”.

She crossed her hand again, with a multiplication sign on her chest, “No English…” after a pause, she surprised me with a “Namaste” in a very very Korean accent and it sounded like “Namasteooo”

The “Namasteoooo” might just have been the alcohol but the Green was very real.

It’s with me right now and it will always be.
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First Post of 2015 – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

So let me blame it on work and my travel schedule; I haven’t had time to blog since 2015 dawned on us.

Whether it be the smash of a raw bourbon or the glitter of your white
Whether it be the 50 shades of grey or that of Singapore

To the best of Pep & Rash, To the best of  Leo Tolstoy
I stand corrected on my art of literature, it’s incomplete without him for sure.

His Aura is not personified by it’s quality but by his quantity
Some would argue and some would debate

There are 3,30,235 types of alcohol in the world,
But then, sometimes all you need is one.

Thank you all for an amazing 2014.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Most Common Urban Story

It is one of the most common stories in the urban world, you travel; explore continents, countries, trails, country roads, deltas, quays, woods, borders and downtowns only to realize how different you are from others. Some of us are left with cultural signatures on our identity and the rest are simply happy to complete yet another destination on their list while they cherish their return home.

To some of us these journeys are the ‘Roads less travelled’ but with travel becoming more ‘touristic’, only some realize the true meaning of the ‘Road less Travelled’ and I might be simply over complicating the subject but till a year ago, the road less travelled to me was simply visiting a touristic city or backpack across the country or live/work in a foreign land or go to an exotic destination which most people won’t visit, but as 2015 dawns on me, my definition is changing.

And I don’t think I would really know the ‘Road less Travelled’ till I actually experience one. Not that all my 38 travels to 26 counties have not been unique, each of them were a rare experience and I will cherish them for life but I still don’t think I have my ‘Road less Travelled’ yet.

I hope you find your Road less travelled really soon.

I gotta feeling, i’ll find it soon.

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Dhoom Machale 2015 – Transcendence

This is not a random bollywood-inspired thought nor this is a stupid attempt to promote Abhishek Bachchan. Think of a framework that fosters non-stop motivation for the year ahead; beyond resolutions, beyond themes but a BHAG that breaks any critical or tipping points of any socio-economic expectations.

The innocent thought of doing the impossible; the idea of an idiotic heart taking the front seat while steering your choices to the extreme level of awesomeness – Dhoom.

As I prepare myself to endure the unpredictability and Everest like challenges of 2015, I am committing myself to a new Ninja way; endurance and fortitude were always there, and they will still be the very essence of my existence but this 2015 will require a transcendental action or a set of actions – Machale 

What are these actions?

I have my 30 before 30 ready – Essentially 30 things I want to do before I’m 30 | 2015 will be an amazing launchpad to the 2nd quarter of this quaint life.

But I wish that it won’t be just a checklist, I really hope it’s the everyday Dhoom that will make a difference.It’s an attempt to attain transcendence.

It’s 9:01PM in Singapore and 9:31PM in South Korea, that means you (and I) have less than 3 hours to plan your (our) Dhoom year. So what will it be? 

For now, take that shot of your favorite poison, raise your hands up in the year, hold the girl/boy on your right and forget everything else that matters to you in this world only to remember, It’s time for you to inspire yourself.

Steal every moment from now to 00:01 – 01.01.2015. 

Aaj tu sab kuchh bula ke jhoom
Dhoom Macha le…

PS: Now that I think of it, this is a bollywood inspired blog post. Bollywood is awesome!