Single Jingle: Only Not Lonely


Travel we all. Except that some enjoy it alone. The strange thing about going solo is that one is never really quite alone. You are single, by yourself; not alone. As for fears of getting lonely, don’t even think of it. There is no such thing.

Wandering off on your own allows freedom ‘to be’ – completely & honestly yourself. Nobody knows you. Nobody judges you. Which is to say that, you are not carrying any extra ‘baggage’. Meet people at will or shun them. Talk if you must. Walk the streets or join a local tour. The choice is yours. There is no one to be humoured, pandered to or make compromises with. You are the master.

All I ever need is a room with a view, a journal to scribble upon & a book, related to the place – no matter how remotely. Preferably, a work of fiction.

After months of research, sifting through facts & details & sorting out travel nitty-gritty it is well to loosen up & relax. Therefore fiction. A book of your choice. Always the perfect companion.

My trip to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia would not have been the same without Tan Twan Eng & ‘The Garden of Evening Mists.’ Tan turned out the perfect soulmate & that greatly enhanced the experience.



Take F Fitzgerald Scott & ‘Tender is the Night.’ A light, frivolous companion to anyone traversing the playgrounds of the rich & famous – the French Riviera. It was amusing to hear two characters argue the merits & demerits of Paris vs Rome. Which was more crime infested? The story plays out in the first decades of the last century & here am I  – France 2015 – robbed & taken to the cleaners over a 100 years later.  Clearly some things never change.

At another, more sober level is Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’. A novel set in French Indo-China. A different matter altogether that modern day Vietnam (2016) cares two hoots about wars past & forgotten. Zen like. Talk of living in the present!

Closer home, if visiting Kerala, I would suggest taking along Arundhati Roy, if you can stomach her or Salman Rushdie. ‘God of small things’ & ‘The Moor’s last sigh’ are both excellent reads & will give that extra zing & flavour.

As Amitav Ghosh did to Gangasagar – Sunderbans – 2013.

His ‘The Hungry Tide:’  Boy O Buoy, did it shore up EQ! (emotion quotient)

Where to next? You may ask. And, with whom?

Italy this Fall. With Buzzati.

Dino Buzzati & his “strange & haunting novel” ‘The Tartar Steppe’ that has been described as “an eccentric classic”.

Eccentric?  I’ll read it first, then decide.

Note: Russia is in the pipeline for 2018. There is a Russian tale about a man who collects water from the major rivers of the world & stores them in tiny bottles, kept in a row. Book, author, story writer – unfortunately unknown. ( But he could well be Pavstovsky who has woven tales around the Limpopo river)

It is what I will take along to read cruising down the Volga river.

Help! Anyone? Would be ever so grateful.


# Russia 2018. And it will be ‘Mission to Volga’


Gay Pari s

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On the face of it

let’s admit

Paris is



stand offish

Oui Monsieur

young & old hesitate

step back afraid

of a handshake.

You smile madame?

“Sorry, no English,

je ne parle pas l’anglais”

Ah yes,

I quite forgot

your problem is


Never mind the

linguistically challenged

traveler aboard

Menton – Nice super fast

waiting to disembark

as stations whistle past.

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The Romanian


along the sidewalk

Algerian – Tunisian


a hare

grateful for sanctuary

Euro to spare.

Make no mistake



clean air

drinking water

everything in perfect order

until the

Unions suddenly

strike, but why

why are there

cigarette butts


the sky?

Youth & beauty

go hand in hand

along the Seine

lip locked


sworn unto ……….

prised open


Café de Flore’s


‘lil doggies

neutered clones

streaked, powdered,

groomed, to match


walking alone,

obediently in line


each other

without a sigh

no bark nor cry

inside out



salon, café, bar

as vexed as

mademoiselle’s brow,

with never a boo

boogie woogie do

for gawd’s sake

at least

clean up the poo.

The French nation has

a strange

fixation –

all things feline


black cat Noir

prowls the night

alleys, – alone

sneak previews

Moulin Rouge.

Cat burglars


the streets

picking pockets

by the hour

shutting down

Eiffle Tower

You may well ask

the cause

for such fuss


harking on


honey you’ll agree

it is unexpected

quite unprecedented

a revelation indeed

for a first time

third world traveler

like me.


let’s just say

there never was

never will be

a city


gay Pari


one simply cannot

leave it at that.

I’d rather have

London instead


 London it shall be

3 cheers!


give me London

any day.

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