Searching Temples, Finding the Country

Eighteen Kilometres… Let your feet tell you the way. Such a landscape deserves your thirst. Desert tinted temples, boulders and rocks, a semi desolate aura comes knocking at your eye sight… First impressions, always an eye feeder. Today I scrap the surface, trot the scenery and finding a little bit of the farming and luscious green covered fields. The simplicity of a smile at each corner, the big eyes of curiosity and the equal and respectful wave. In Hampi, if you look for the temples, you end up capturing a fragment of this frank and straightforward reality. I was missing the country already…














Eerie Hampi: Living the Surreal…

Hampi, Karnataka State. One of the strangest, ghostly towns I’ve ever visited. The town is located on an a World Heritage ruins, with temples and a devotional aura surrounding it. Massive boulders all around complete the scenery, giving it a sense of an ancient, kind of desolate soul. Eerie might be the right word, a total maze of rocks and temples where orientation can be a bit hard. In the centre of the sacred bazaar, people have been occupying the ruins, a situation that was put to an end with demolitions. Despite this, there’s still life, there’s still the busy toiling and every day hard work. How interesting it is, how people live in such an ancient place, in such a devotional one. What I bring you today is the profane, the everyday life of such a place. Framed by amazing natural beauty and holy temples…













The Scenery Speaks for Itself: Life on an Indian Train

I woke up to an increasingly flooding Goan morning. Too sleepy, got to the train station being no more than a faint projection of myself… Plan: sleep the whole 8 hours into Hospet, Karnataka. That was a good plan. What I wasn’t counting on… The beautiful landscape that jumped into the train windows, invading my horizons… Impossible to ignore. Green covered ridges, as far as the eye can see, misty peaks and a dense jungle that sharps the spears of your imagination. At the same time, this was one of the liveliest train rides I’ve ever had. From the passengers, to the creative cries of the food salesman, to the random people that came into the train curious to see what was going on… All of them looked especially touched by the world flashing by… Such great vibes…

Suddenly, the landscape totally changes, gets drier, flooded with yellow tones and looks like Monty Python’s 16 ton has landed on it. A different kind of beauty, with the sky stealing the scene a little bit.

Take the journey, open your eyes… you can sleep when you’re dead, right?











Goa Miscellaneous Snaps: My Way to Say Goodbye…

Here’s a retrospective of my few last days in Goa… Choppy sea, gray skies, portuguese heritage and lovely people that crossed my paths. I’m sitting at a cafe, eating my chicken Xacuti writing these lines… How different is Goa from what I’ve seen in India so far… That shows how diverse this country really is.. like no other. Heading South once again, facing monsoon and living this special time for all Indian people… Not really afraid to get wet…











Panaji Takes Over the Streets: A different Sunday

I always wrote here how I love Sundays. And how I love tasting them in a different way. Either a Macau market, or a Melbourne park, Sunday is just a different day. How different? Well, today I woke up with the street noise at 9am. Normally the honks would’ve accomplished in making me open my right eye, but today what startled me was the absence of honking and car noise. What woke me up was the excitement in people’s voices, someone drumming in the distance and a girl singing right underneath my window. I look outside and what I see is not the same bustling road of yesterday. A colorful moving pattern floods it… People everywhere, of all ages claiming the street to themselves. It’s Sunday, no one works, so… why not? “Hey Mrs. let that little girl within come out and play! Hey Grandpa, put on your colorful shirt, yes the crazy hawaiian or Aztec one and grab your racket!” And that’s how I spent my Sunday morning, playing football with the kids, observing a lively cricket match and watching a street theatre play…












A Short Story of Everyday Life: Panaji Children Back from School

Today I woke up wanting to walk aimlessly… It was just one of these days… I’ve been in Goa for a bit, trains out of here are short and in my not very intrepid explorations, I’ve seen quite a fair bit. I wanted to witness something ephemeral, something that made me wonder and tick… Basically be exposed once again to that fateful condition of a traveller: the witness of the temporary. The stranger in normality, the passerby. I was walking around, gazing at the familiarity of this place (never ceases to amaze me when I see my name on a street), when I see a group of children chatting and laughing among each other. I instantly remembered those moments. In Lisbon, walking home with my friends, most of the times joyfully, some others more pensive, depending on the day I had at school. Without thinking I point my camera and shot. That’s it! I want to stand on a corner, at a cafe, and observe, interact, smile with them… I actually had a very interesting conversation in with Mariana, that spoke perfect portuguese… She was telling me how her weekend is ruined because Maths are haunting once again… Sometimes we see childhood as a worry free, careless walk in the park… But the truth is, children do reflect, ponder and show many faces of different emotions… Whatever caused them, I don’t know… I’m just a passerby…

Rainy Strolls and Sunny Smiles: The Goan Way

Tired of rain, I must admit that my “portugueseness” does not allow me to cope very well with it… In that way, I truly admire the Indian people who perform their routine in an exemplary way, using ingenuity and creativity… Yes, tired of rain, but also tired of sitting indoors… I go for a wander, a rainy stroll that takes me a bit outside of the city. The countryside is amazingly green, beautiful luscious green… I could say green the rest of the afternoon, savoring how much sense that word makes just gazing at this landscape… Eventually my “portugueseness” brings back the sun… At least it is the mythological creed that my mind tends to believe, even though it makes no sense. And then I keep walking.. A good five, or six kms… I feel quite happy to be favored by the lights of that slick sun… My smile must’ve been contagious, because I lot of people started smiling back at me. And even more they smiled when I told them where I was from. “Ah, Portugal! Viva Portugal!” A huge Wow, popped into my head, I was quite stunned to see how a portuguese could be such a smile enhancer. I mean, they looked like they were meeting an old friend. How strange that was… In my mind, I thought of colonization and etc and al that jazz… But next to an old police station, that could be anywhere in that little corner of Europe, talking to some kids, I felt this deep connection… As if somehow, we had something very much in common…