Hopping in Hampi

•April|2|14 • 2 Comments

1.2013-02-17 07.44.16

As I limped along attempting to make my way up the mountain just in time to catch the sun set over Hampi, her little hand clutched on to mine.

She looked up at me and smiled. Without a word she pulled me along, and I followed to the beat of her jingling anklets. Through every nook and peak, she waited patiently as I slowly twisted and swivelled my injured limbs around.

One hand on her pot of chai, one hand in mine. One eye ahead, one eye behind.


This one is for you.

The sweet little nine year old who stopped on her way up the mountains in Hampi — where she sells garam masala chai everyday to support her family — to help me, a complete stranger, find the strength to go on.

To Rashmi, who stole my heart while Hopping in Hampi.


Found a little buddy on the way up.

Found a little buddy on the way up. 

Come one come all.

Come one come all.

Starting her sales pitch.

Only 5 rupees a cup bhaiya

One cup of sweet garam masala chai please.

One cup of sweet garam masala chai please.

1.2013-02-17 18.25.35

Here come the balloons

Didi, mere photo please.

Didi, mere photo please.

Rashmi, a customer over here!

One more customer over here!

Ah, this is what dreams are made of.

Last call for chai.

Day is done, gone the sun.

Day is done, gone the sun.

goodbye Hampi

…from the hills

Left my heart in Hampi.

…from the lake

Safely rest

from the sky….

all is well.

Sailing through Kerala

•January|3|14 • 2 Comments
Stop off at the beach en route to Kochi.

Stop off at the beach en route to Kochi.

Casual stroll on the sand.

Casual stroll.

Ice cream centre at your convenience.

Cool down treats at your convenience.

Roasted corn right off the coal while walking around the dam premises in Thekkady.

Roasted corn right off the coal in Munar.

Flying through Fire in Thekkady.

Flying through Fire in Thekkady.

Poking through the bushes to catch the tea pickers in the fields.

Poking through the bushes to catch the tea pickers.

Came across a fury friend in the plantations.

Came across a fury friend in the plantations.

View from the top of the tea plantations.

View from the top of the tea plantations.

Setting out early morning on to the backwaters in Allepy.

Setting out early morning on to the backwaters in Alleppey.

Boat traffic.

Boat traffic.

Enjoying the sights sounds and smells of the backwaters.

Taking in all the sights sounds and smells.

Greeted by greenery

Greeted by greenery

Friendly locals passing by.

Friendly locals passing by.



Enjoying a cup of South Indian Tea while sailing through Kerala.

Winding down with a cup of South Indian Tea.

A Thousand tastes of Thailand

•October|6|13 • 2 Comments
Little monk in training strolling an alley in Chiang Mai.

Little monk in training on his way back to the Monastery in Chiang Mai.

Eve downpour in Bangkok's China town.

Eve downpour in Bangkok’s China town.

Fried Water Bugs and Silk worms at the Sunday Market.

Fried giant water bugs and Silk worms at the Sunday Market.

What happens in Cowboy 2... certainly doesn't stay in Cowboy 2.

What happens in Soi Cowboy … certainly doesn’t stay in Soi Cowboy.

Bananas for sale, 2 baht a piece.

The Best Bananas money can buy you at the floating market in Bangkok

Relaxing amidst a potential storm in Southern Thailand.

Relaxing on the beach amidst a brewing storm.

When it rains.. it pours and business carries on in China Town in Bangkok.

Engaged in black bean dumpling dessert and conversation

The hustle bustle and bright lights of Khao San Roads night life.

Bright lights all night on Khao San Road

Exploring the Islands...

Exploring Koh Phangan

Taking a stroll in Northern Thailands Hippy Town Pai.

Taking a stroll up North in Hippy Town, Pai.

Sales aren't floating grandmas boat.

Business isn’t floating Grandma’s boat today..

Winding down after a day of diving in Koh Tao.

Winding down after a day of diving in Ko Tao

Photography Portfolio

•September|8|13 • Leave a Comment

Travel Photography

(For purchase on iStock – check out my profile here: s_batavia)

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Food Photography

(sneak peaks from a soon to come food blog – TBC)

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Riding through Romantic Rajasthan

•June|29|13 • 2 Comments



                         ONCE UPON A TIME                                                     an unmarried 20 something year old girl ventured off to Jaipur for a weekend of literary bliss with some girlfriends. After spending three days sipping too many sweet masala chai’s and being entrenched in controversial discussions by the likes of Pico Iyer, Shabana and so on, the girl trailed off on her own to go Riding through Romantic Rajasthan for 10 days solo…. 

Welcome to the Palace of dreams and romance

Welcome to the Palace of dreams and romance

Watching from the veranda

Watching from the veranda early morning

fetching water

fetching water for the days chores

The famous Amer Fort

visiting the princess’ quarters

Hanging out the Udaipur villages with the locals

Singing with the locals

local rajasthani dancer before her performance

before the big performance

dance dance dance

dance dance dance

taking a mid day break with dadi

taking a mid day break with dadi

hand woven scarves

dada working away

the locals acting out a drama

trouble strewing in the villages..

...always beautiful

…getting lost in the sunset

encounters with strangers

…encounters with strangers in the night

Meet me in Mumbai

•May|18|13 • 8 Comments
A street car named Mumbai

A street car named Mumbai

Timid lovers by the sea.

Timid lovers by the sea.

Feeding time.

Feeding time.

Morning stroll by the sea

Morning stroll

The hustle and bustle

The hustle and bustle

The boy and monkey, trying to make ends meet

The boy and monkey, trying to make ends meet

The starving artist

The starving artist



all the glitters and glows

all that glitters and glows

Sweet love by the sea

Sweet lovers by the sea

The calm of the sea and city

The calm of the sea and city

Inspire me

•May|13|13 • Leave a Comment

Great love. 

“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about things going badly. Let the lover be.” (The Book of Love, Rumi)

“The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. The willingness to invest in a relationship where you don’t know it’ll work out. The willingness to say I love you first.” (Brené Brown)

“If you want to be more alive, love is the truest health.” (The Book of Love, Rumi)

“Friend, our closeness is this: anywhere you put your foot, feel me in the firmness under you.” (The Book of Love, Rumi)

Life lessons.

“When someone sees the same people everyday…they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)

“We owe it to ourselves to take the risk to hurt and to be hurt, to leap before we look, to be the fool, because by holding back we lose nothing but the opportunity to find the greatness we seek.” (sovia philosophy)

“If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. Throw yourself into these emotions, allow yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, experience them fully and completely so you know what pain is, what love is, what grief is. And only then you can say, ‘I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’”  (Tuesdays with Morrie; Mitch Albom)

“…when each day is the same as the next, its because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday that the sun rises.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)

“Life is an experiment. A never ending series of trial and error. Have the courage to forgive yourself when things go wrong.” (sovia philosophy)

“Perhaps its true, that when it rains it pours. But its also often true, that when it shines…it beams.” (sovia philosophy)


“The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)

“Be at peace with the reality that at the end of the day something or someone may not rescue you, but rather that you will rescue yourself from your own suffering.” (sovia philosophy)

“Have the courage to be imperfect.” (Brené Brown)

“Go to the wilderness…we could all stand to unplug and get inside our heads a little more often.” (Susan Cain)


“Be at peace with your past so you can focus on the present and enjoy your future.” (sovia philosophy)

“Be willing to let go of who you think you should be to be who you are…what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” (Brené Brown)

“…I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man…life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)

“…My life had gone to bits and I was so unrecognizable to myself…and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty, and also your entitlement as a human being to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” (Eat,Pray,Love; Elizabeth Gilbert)

“Always always, choose passion over fear” (sovia philosophy)

Good business.

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” (Ken Robinson)

“He gave the I have a dream speech, not the I have a plan speech…you need to know why you do what you do.” (Simon Sinek)

“The key to maximizing our talents is for all of us to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.” (Susan Cain)


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