The Light Rising


i call this –

a salt-stained, Midas-rimmed

kiss. it fingers the horizon,

caresses the waves. disappears

with nothing but a facsimile

of hope in its ash-ringed


*waves nervously* I’m back!

I was away the past week, travelling, mostly: not many birds to show for it, or photographs – still, enjoyable (though a trip sans those two seems hard to believe).

This is a photograph I took only three weeks back. Not in Singapore, unfortunately; if one found the space for the sea to begin with, obtaining a sun not dulled by the haze would be quite an achievement. It’s in the Maldives, where I was reminded why I love the ocean. There were no dolphins, still more unfortunately, but fish aplenty, in colors scarcely imaginable; sharks swam by our villa with insouciance. (The underwater nature of it all made my camera regrettably redundant.)

The sea is – is so many things to me. It is a starter, for once; it is an other-world, a place to breathe, a place to be – and when highlighted gold by what you understand more clearly than ever to be a ball of flaming gas, why then, it is best of all.

Sunrise from Mount Tai


Confucius, seeing the sunrise from Mount Tai, famously pronounced, “The world is small.” There’s really no more to say about it, except that he was right – and I was freezing.

(Like, literally freezing. My breath froze on my scarf and camera – though thankfully only the outside of the latter.)

Journal Journeys: The Balloon Ride – Beginning

Arguably one of my most memorable experiences of my Mara trip: the balloon ride. Hot air balloon rides across the Masai Mara are said to be the second best in the world. This did not disappoint. However, due to the length of this particular journal entry, I’ll be staggering this post across a couple of days. This, quite literally, is just the beginning.

Monday, 21st of July, 2014

The sudden bursts of flame above us that light up the garishly colored balloon are surprising, not to mention more than pleasantly warm – but even more uncomfortable is my position.


I’m sitting on a bench at a 90º angle, my camera wedged precariously between my feet, my hands tightly gripping rope-holds above me. My entire body weight is on my back, which is resting on the closest thing that can be called a ground presently, even if it is woven and a few feet above the actual surface – shelved below me are four people similarly contorted.

The noise is deafening. There are at least four other balloons also being inflated and therefore four fans blowing gas at desperate rates, periodically interspersed with sudden wooshes of fire. But if I crane my head just so, and peer past the Japanese tourists clicking at a million miles per minute, I can see one teardrop-shaped balloon rising slowly and steadily into the just-beginning sunrise, and it is all worth it.