Year end Greetings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 7, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

As the first white flakes of snow landed on the New York area yesterday… thoughts of distant lands have entered my mind. As people rush to shop for holiday gifts, I take stock of happenings throughout the year – reminiscing & taking note of accomplishments, where I was in Jan & where I am now. I re-read my blog & realized that for me like anything else, its quality & not quantity. I make time to blog, to read blogs & to enjoy them. Its not a daily thing for me. After all, Internet can become consuming – glued to the screen. I don’t start my mornings with the internet – for me its hearing the news on the radio – a simpler pace of life, watching the sunrise or enjoying a misty foggy day.

I’ve enjoyed receiving your comments & the wonderful letters / emails from the Vietnamese community & how inspired you were to travel back to Vietnam upon seeing my photos. I tried to capture the essence of the country & for me thats what travel is all about. I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season as we end 2009 & venture onto 2010.

Kecak dancers of Bali, Indonesia

Posted in Celebrations, Dance, Festival with tags , , on November 21, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Holiday Season is fast approaching & what else to illuminate the mood than festivals & dance. While travelling in Bali, Indonesia – not to be missed is the Kecak Dance. The stage is the Uluwattu Temple area on  Jimbaran Bay – overlooking the Ocean & surrounded by cliffs.

Enter the Kecak performers, male singers  in Black & white checkered regalia to perform the Hindu Religious tale of Ramayana with their voices…Enter the 2 dancers to tell the story / dance the story of Ramayana – Sita & Ram…

In unison, Kecak, kecak,  the words repeated over & over, fast & slow, high & low, alto & baritone, kecak , kecak is all you hear in rhythmic unison…their clothing Black & White check to represent good & evil. This cloth is seen draped over religious statues throughout  Bali.

Surrounded by dancers, flames, movement…the viewer is enveloped in the ecstasy, the colors being a feast for the eye & the lack of instruments is not even missed…human voice is the only instrument…kecak ,kecak, kecak…

Surrounded by Natural wonders & the simple things in life, day to day dance events to celebrate life…what more could a traveller ask for as a blessing for a journey thats inexpensive & uplifting both spritually & emotionally. An enjoyable upcoming Holiday Season to all.

Autumnal Lanterns

Posted in Hoi An, Shopping, Vietnam Travel with tags , , on November 2, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

The arrival of Autumn not only brings a bounty of seasonal shades of pumpkin, squash, chestnuts to our palate but Halloween & Jacko lanterns add to the festive lore.  While travelling in Hoi An, Vietnam, these handmade silk lanterns in Autumnal colors caught my eye…

lanterns

The lantern maker starts off with a bamboo frame like this

bamboo lanterns 

Patterned silk is then cut & sewn to fit onto the bamboo frames in a Handmade shop

hanmade shop

A tassel added on the bottom as a decorative touch & voila…purchase as is or custom create your lantern

   lantern shop

 in a Shop cum Home where everything is HandMade. In todays  mass market world, I wonder if anyone studies what they purchase or wonder how things are made.  So, the next time you purchase a shade…study it carefully…& maybe just maybe you’ll transport yourself to the Country of Origin where it was made by reminiscing about this post on Lanternmaking Handmade style. With that a festive Autumnal Season to you.

Reading for Charity

Posted in Charity with tags on October 11, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Darlings,  As you know this Blog is a WordPress blog & were it not for the aces at Customer Support (what with my bad computer skills) – Travel Postcards wouldn’t even be in existence !  Well now, turns out the Word Press aces have signed up with charitable causes for Bloggers to make charitable contributions just by reading ! Imagine that…!

On the right hand side there is a ” Charity Water” cause  that I have signed up for, where readers…thats you…just have to click on the image & points are generated to go towards digging wells for cleaner water in Countries where people have to drink from polluted sources. So, lets see, my blogs stats quote is 1548 people read this Blog…well, maybe they just looked at the pictures when they had nothing to do…I don’t know…BUT, if 1548 people clicked on the Charity Water, then$1548 would have been donated towards this cause. SO…please when looking at my photos or if you happen to be reading, please click on the Charity Water icon…its as simple as that & presto…you did a good deed for the day.

Merci Beaucoup…merci

Summer Travel memorabilia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 3, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Darlings,  Reality hit this weekend as Autumnal leaves were found trailing on the ground & early morning mist & fog shrouded the area in a filmy mask. It was time to change the decor & put aside those Summery items picked up on distant voyages. The colorful painted basket containing  shells & beach glass

prayer baskets

straw bags

Reed bags…one can never have too many for those summer occasions. And of course

moroccan baskets

Large Straw  market bags for all those impromptu visits to the farmers markets…keeping 1 outside  for the grocery store

And lastly, my eternal Summer wardrobe of sarongs & wraps…used as clothing purposes in addition to impromptu picnic blankets

summer sarongs

Seasonal changes are such the thing to look forward to & ofcourse Autmn brings its own colorful treats but more on that later. Until then…au revoir

Travellers Hiatus

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Darlings, I started my blogging odyssey in late Winter which was all well given the weather & no choice but to be housebound & dwell on my travels but  Summer really had me stumped…I was found outdoors enjoying the endless span of blue sky, sunsets, reading , gardening & taking pleasure in the slow pace of life. Gone was the lap top & bonding with nature surpassed technology. Now that the evenings & nights are getting longer & cooler, having that tea outdoors & bundled up by a flickering pierced Moroccan lantern doesn’t seem as appealing. I returned to Travelpostcards &  can inform you with delight that normal business sharing my journals will resume this weekend.

22_23

Hoping you too had a wonderful & memorable Summer.

Meandering along Majestic & Mysterious Halong Bay

Posted in Hanoi City, Vietnam Travel with tags , on June 15, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Darlings, You know the main reason for visiting  Northern Vietnam was to follow in the footsteps of the vision seen in the Movie, “Indochine ” – the streets, the countryside, the temples, the mountains, the ocean.  Ofcourse, that romanticized version  of French Colonial Vietnam no longer exists but the essence of that period remains. What definitely has not changed is this view that was seen in the movie

halong bay

Halong Bay

In the movie, Catherine Daneuve’s adopted daughter & boyfriend are on a boat in Halong Bay…lost & rumor had it that anyone who dared to venture into Halong Bay would go mad…never to return…

mountain ghosts

A maze of mountains / rock formations  rising out of the South China Sea for miles on end. Mysterious & Magestic, they stand silently like ghosts ready to envelope stray sailors without a compass. These days  this destination is a 4 hr car / bus  ride outside Hanoi, where you arrive to Halong City.

halong city

From there, Vietnamese junks with compasses, ready to have you meander around the Bay as the wind whips around you, flecks of salty water land on your face, meals cooked & served aboard

 your junk

your junk as you contemplate…the rock formations

 rock formation

and the caves that lie within

path to cave

…Dau Go cave, Cat Ba cave…Stalagtite & Stalgmite hanging in all shapes & forms…and lo & behold

sitting lion

Sitting Lion, (with its mouth wide open)  at the entrace of a recently discovered cave.  Water, Ships,  caves & what else but Pirates go hand in hand!  Who knows what secret messages were left behind…pirates booty waiting to be discovered…

Well, some things were left to remain silent I suppose. There again the keeper of this hut might know a thing or two.

 house

We can ponder all that as we sail away leaving Halong Bay to vanish into the horizon like a mirage.

 the horizon

 So, until the next set of postcards…au revoir darlings…

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