Where I Was Reading: New Year’s Eve Edition

I brought in the new year at a little-known beach in southern Maharashtra.

I mostly bummed on the sand and read (few visitors meant that it began to feel like a private beach), but I also managed to fit in walks through quiet village lanes, scuba diving to visit the fishes underwater, a visit to a sea fort, a sprained ankle (someone yelled “Look, dolphins!” and I did; nobody yelled “Look, stairs!” so I didn’t), a bonfire on the beach and dancing to stolen music.

Malvan 099Kolamb Beach in the wee hours of the morning where I followed dogs, hunted sunrises, sang entirely wrong lyrics in the water, played badminton very badly, helped build an epic sandcastle and read, read, read.

Malvan 131What the locals call Tsunami Island off the coast of Deobagh Beach. While the family we were with went off to do a series of water sports, I walked around the circumference of this miniature island (it took me a grand total of ten minutes), before settling down to read. This piece of land only came to exist 10 years ago as a result of the 2004 tsunami.

Malvan 206Sindhudurg Fort is the first fortress I’ve visited that wasn’t set atop a hill. As the neighbour at my homestay explained, when the name has the word durg in it, it means it’s a sea fort, while the suffix of gad signifies a hill fort.

What I was reading

Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal

land of the seven rivers

In an interesting turn of events, on the last day of my holiday, I discovered that my mother was convinced that our room in the homestay was haunted. So there’s that.

Where I’m Reading: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

image Mother was slightly concerned when she discovered that, in Mahabalipuram, we would be staying in a hotel facing the beach. She likes the water just fine, but her major worry was I would spend our three days here just bumming on the beach and reading. image She is not wrong to be concerned. What I’m reading: Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater

Where I’m Reading: The Bungalow on the Beach, Tranquebar (aka Tharangambadi)

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When asked how does one get to Tranquebar, people will stare at you blankly. After hurried Googling, you discover that Tranquebar is Tharangambadi. To get to Tharangambadi from Kumbakonam, you have to change buses at Mayiladuthurai. How long does it take to learn the names and then be able to say them? Much too long, and people will still giggle at your pronunciations.

We’re in Tranquebar on a day trip but after seeing the charming hotel, The Bungalow on the Beach, I’m already questioning my judgement of not having booked a room here. We haven’t explored the place yet since our stomachs were rumbling in protest but I love what I’ve seen so far.

What I’m reading: The Age for Love by Paul Bourget

The hotel has a few books left behind by travellers but they’re all in French or German. I tried to struggle through a beautiful edition of The Arabian Nights but I already seem to have forgotten all my French lessons from school.

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