Two faces of social networking

Twitter saved lives in the tragic moments after the Mumbai blasts last month and Facebook gave a platform to the Egypt-Libya uprisings. Blackberry Messengers seems to have dimmed the spotlight on the capacity and reach of social networking when it was used to induce violence and mindless looting in the Britain riots over the past…

Sarhul Festival

Sarhul is one of the grand festivals of tribals in Jharkhand. This annual festival is celebrated during the spring season when trees and other elements of nature are worshiped. Sarhul literally means ‘Worship of Sal’. Sarhul festival is dedicated to Dharti mata — Mother Earth.

Faraya Mzaar-Kfardebian | The largest ski resort in the Middle East

Today was our last day of meetings. After completing the closing session, we rushed to the mountain. Faraya is the name of the village just below the actual slopes in Ouyoune El-Simane; however the whole area is located in Kfardebian village which includes the best equipped and most popular resort of Lebanon, the Mzaar Ski…

Met Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

While returning today from Ranchi to Baghdad, I just walked across the great Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan at the Indira Gandhi International airport, Delhi. He is a renowned Indian classical musician. He has been giving his performances internationally for 50 years! He has been awarded the second highest civilian honour – Padma Vibhushan…

Harissa | Our Lady of Lebanon and Lebanese Cedar

Harissa is an important Lebanese pilgrimage site high above Jounieh, located at 650 meters (2130 feet) altitude from the coast and 20 km distance from Beirut the capital city of Lebanon. We went up the hill by aerial lift — "Téléférique". There's a lovely view of Jounieh Bay as we go up the gondola. OUR LADY OF…

Jeita Grotto | The longest cave system in the Middle East

Jeita is an extraordinary site which could be one of the wonders of the world but remains an intimate experience. The Jeita caves are solutional karst caves which have formed over millions of years due to the dissolution of limestone. The grotto has strategically positioned coloured lights that showcase the stalactites and stalagmites in all their crystalline glory.

Pondicherry | A French corner in India

Pondicherry is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry since 2006. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture, virgin beaches and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied city. Pondicherry was designed on the French grid pattern and features…

Auroville | The City of Dawn

Auroville — an ashram named after Sri Aurobindo — is situated in Tamil Nadu just near to Pondicherry. Auroville also has its origins in the French language, "aurore" meaning dawn and "ville" meaning city. It was founded as a project of Sri Aurobindo Society on Wednesday 28 February 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, "The Mother", a disciple of Sri…

Tarangampadi | The Land of singing waves

We visited Tarangampadi, a port city on the Coramandal coast, about 135 km from Pondicherry. Its original name was Sadanganpadi. Tarangampadi (or Tranquebar) is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Its name means "land of the singing waves". This picturesque coastal town…