Wanderlusting: Udaipur

It’s usually during these times, when I’m cozily cooped up in my studio on quiet, lazy evenings that wanderlust strikes hardest. I sincerely do not believe in that cliched adage, “Money can’t buy you happiness.” Other than a warm cup of coffee with a dash of cinnamon sprinkled on it, happiness for me comes in the form of plane tickets and a travel itinerary for that next big trip that could go on for weeks or what ever span of time I feel is necessary for me to temporarily escape the mundane daily grind. Not that my day to day activities are boring; it actually gets pretty spontaneous and exciting most of the time. It’s just that travel has always been number one on my priority list, and it is during these trips, when I lose myself in strange and exotic new places that I feel that I am most alive.

But since I have sworn a vow of poverty in preparation for a trip on September, I content myself by musing and browsing through photos of past travels. As I type this, I am trying my hardest to stop myself from packing my bag and disappearing for the the rest of the week into the rustic town of Vigan. Yes, despite the rainy weather.

Udaipur in Rajasthan, India is currently that one place I fondly recount memories of when I’m wanderlusting – the sights, the sounds, the food. The romantic White City isn’t called “Venice of the East” and “City of Lakes” for nothing. This vast expanse of scenic beauty is home to temples and Rajput era palaces of utmost elegance, and four picturesque man made lakes – Fateh Sagar, Pichola, Udai Sagar, and Swaroop Sagar.

When I feel alive
I try to imagine a careless life
A scenic world where the sunsets are all
Breathtaking

Scenic World (Beirut)

While it is a must that one should experience travelling from one city to another via Indian Railways, I and my friend took a quick flight from Jaipur to Udaipur due to time constraints. We had limited time to explore the Rajasthan area as we had to be in Punjab at a certain date for a good friend’s wedding.

A piece of advice when taking train rides: It’s best if you book at least a day prior to your trip so that you can get to pick the best available sleeper coaches. But if you don’t mind squeezing in at the fan-cooled general coaches, then by all means, book on the same day. Don’t forget to be friendly with the chai wallahs walking through train cars. Especially for long overnight rides when you experience difficulty sleeping, you’ll find that fresh cup of masala tea they would readily serve you with a smile most soothing. Continue reading

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Mask Art on Skin

My back piece officially turned a year old last August 13. And yes, it is my first tattoo.

I have always wanted to get one since college, but I was never able to make up my mind on what design I want to have permanently inked on me back then. A couple of options I have considered were a bunch of art nouveau roses and irises on my upper arm, and a huge dragonfly with its intricate wings spread across my back.

Then one February morning in 2011, I woke up knowing exactly what design I wanted – a Venetian mask with a peacock for an ornament, entrenched with roses, peonies, and paisley prints with two dragonflies hovering over one side. Basically, it is a hodgepodge of some of my favorite things, organized into one cohesive piece. I immediately started drawing the design on a 1/4 illustration board, then contacted Ram Marual of Psyko Studio Tattoos Cavite to schedule an appointment.

On the 5th of March 2011, I finally got my first tattoo. My first session took a total of 9 hours straight with a 15-minute dinner break, Led Zeppelin blasting from the speakers the entire day.

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