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My Feminist Fight For A Front Seat On An Intercity Bus

As I booked an intercity bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad with "XYZ Travels" (no libel today!) for later tonight, I immediately got a phone call from the company. The man on the other end of the phone sounded rather perturbed. He shouted, "You have booked a seat next to gents, Madam!" The reason for his distress was that in spite of one "ladies' seat" being available I chose to book seat number 1, in the very front, which was in all probability going to be next to a man!

The Best Way To Become Nobody

We live in a world where you've got to a) be yourself, b) be different, c) be extraordinary. Whatever you do, you've got to be somebody. Run of the mill won't do. We're constantly searching for an identity. Something to latch on to. Something that defines us just a little bit more. A new tattoo maybe? A different hobby. A rare profession. A vacation to an off-beat place... And then somebody says to us -- you are nobody. And the world comes crashing down on us.
Isheta Salgaocar

6 Magical Experiences You Cannot Afford To Miss In Positano

In the 1950s, when John Steinbeck visited this gem along the Italian coastline he wrote an essay for Harper's Bazaar. "Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would be a cliff except that stairs are cut in it," he wrote. Nearly 64 years later, not much seems to have changed.

4 Stunning Destinations That Show There's More To Russia Than Moscow And St Petersburg

Just about every country falls into the trap of being defined by only one or two cities. And while these might be truly spectacular cities, ignorance about other jewels results in a loss for the traveller as well as for the country in question. While Russia does see thousands of Indian visitors every year, most make a beeline for Moscow and St Petersburg, perhaps not aware that the country has plenty more to offer.

Leap of Faith: What A Water Slide Taught Me About Fear

In a queue of about 20 people, six or seven backed out as their turn came, laughing nervously. One woman lost her balance in front of me; thankfully her grip on the handlebar was tight, or she would have hurtled down the vertical slide into god knows what. I grew more and more nervous as I moved ahead, imagining all sorts of scary scenarios, all involving injury or death.
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Bullet Trains Are All Very Well, But What About The Common Passenger On Indian Railways?

Dear Mr PM, bullet trains will probably add to the overall GDP and propel the country to an elite list of nations that boast cutting-edge transport infrastructure. But what about the millions who still rely on trains that cannot exceed 60kmph? Every aspect of train travel -- from booking tickets to finding seats -- has become difficult. Unless your government takes steps to ease the hardship it cannot claim to be benefiting the common person.
Ajay Sood

The Heritage And Crafts Arc Of Northern Thailand

When you think of Thailand as the tourism authorities sum it up, a myriad images usually crop up - from beaches and snorkelling to spas and massage, from Buddhist temples and ornate stupas to Khon, the traditional dance form. The slideshow begins. Yet, something else deserves a place on this list: traditional crafts. It is not that there is any paucity of beautiful handicrafts in this wondrous country - it's just the rest of the imagery has a stronger gestalt!

'Don't Smile At The Auto-Wala'

After six days there, I was convinced that Bangalore had a certain lazy sensuality to it, one that apparently extended to auto-walas. Using the mirrors on either side of the rickshaw, I glanced at him, imagining meeting him in a different context -- as a cousin's friend or a colleague at my internship in Hyderabad. A context that admittedly stripped him of his khaki uniform and punted him up several classes.