Brussels: The Unsung Hero of Europe

"Brussels has nothing, why are you spending so many days there?" This was something I heard over and over again by people who got to know of our plan to be in the city for five long days. I arrived in the Belgian capital tad worried: had I really made a mistake by keeping too …

Hiraeth: A Home That No Longer Exists

I have a thing for old dilapidated houses. In them I see the decay of generations, the worthlessness of ambition, the insignificance of pride. You find them everywhere if you look hard enough. I have found them in the middle of the busiest street, among the ugliest, albeit modern, buildings; in narrow alleys of old …

Books That Changed My Life — Or So It Seems

Come December, everyone and everything reminds you what you don't want to be reminded of: that you have lost another year. As if the calender is not enough, now you have facebook too. Just as I logged in to my account this evening, there was a prompt telling me to review the year gone by. …

The Khichdi of My Childhood, This Sankranti

India is a land of festivals, and festivals, in our country, signify only one thing – food. While most festivals boast of elaborate meals prepared well in advance and cooked through the day, do you know that there is one festival, which celebrates the most humble meal ever? What’s more amazing is that the festival …

Pongal, Uttarayana, Bihu, Lohri: One Festival, Many names

Wherever your compass may face, the season of harvest festivals will have you indulging in a unique local festivity every January.

My Books and I

My love affair with books began very late in life. In my 30s to be precise. Until then they had been passing acquaintances, the kinds you'd spend a few minutes with while waiting for the kids at the bus-stop, but never invite home. It is not as though I did not try to read. In …

Oh! The places you’ll go — 2017 a year in Travel.

If there was one thing I did in 2017, it was travel. Mostly across the country, sometimes across continents. I travelled on the first day of the year, and the last, and also many, many days in between. I went to some old places, and many, new ones. Which then were my favourite? 1. How …

Bishnupur: An Unlikely Hero

A tiny town in the heart of rural Bengal surrounded by paddy fields and hutments, flanked by low hills and lakes, little known to the outside world, and taken for granted by the locals. Bishnupur, in the first look, may seem like an ordinary hamlet, displaying no visible sign of being an important center on …