Stories about travelling

A houseplant I named Hope

I woke one morning and decided to name one of my houseplants Amal, the Arabic word meaning ‘hope’. This plant (a variety of yucca if I am not mistaken) had been nameless since the day I bought it from a moving sale more than six years ago. But today, I realised how much she deserved this designation. For most of the last six years, Amal has seemed to be on her last legs. Her leaves would consistently wilt at the tips to a dry crisp or sometimes turn entirely yellow, even if I wasn’t over-watering it. Unable to re-generate, one leaf would die ...

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Top 4 most annoying passengers on an airplane

Travelling by air means running into some very interesting people. Here are some regulars I have come across: 1.The little angel Every economy class plane is bound to have its adorable cherub. This little angel is wrapped in plush blankets, has the pinkest cheeks and starts the journey peacefully. That is until he/she lets out a banshee shriek that has every passenger’s ears ringing. The angel suddenly transforms into a demon spawn with a terribly loud siren for a larynx. As mama tries to calm lil’ sweetie, baby remains resolutely stubborn to give headaches to one and all. 2.The seat-stealer When you checked-in online, ...

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10 travel tips for the desi explorer

There are two ways to travel – like an invited guest, you can ring the doorbell, enter through the front door and have your host guide you to the prized room of the house while they serve you in their finest china, make small talk and control your experience of the place – or, you can enter through the back door, through the kitchen, see what’s cooking on the stove, set the table, make tea and find your own comfort zone to enjoy the experience at will. The former is a tourist, the latter an explorer and mastering the ...

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The Rahat fiasco: Sacrificing freedom to safeguard what?

After singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s recent India fiasco, our interior ministry came up with an order binding artistes to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for travelling to foreign countries. The order does not seem to achieve any objectives and only slaps severe restrictions on the artiste fraternity. Local artistes, showcase their talent in foreign countries and help promote the culture of Pakistan this become a means of raising awareness about the values and traditions of our society the world over. In Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s case, India proceeded to take action against him under its law simply because he ...

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A pack of chips

I was travelling via air in the US in March this year and it skipped my mind that in local flights passengers have to pay for their meals. Very confidently, I asked the flight attendant for a pack of chips. “Well, you have to pay,” she said. As I was about to give her money, she informed me very kindly, “We take credit cards only and not cash.” The poor traveller in me was hungry but boldly let go of the pack of chips. Only for it to be returned with a smile by the flight attendant who said, “I often ...

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