The Girl In Wanderment

I have been travelling for as long as I can remember. As a little girl I travelled with my parents through the country -- from the snow covered passes of Himanchal, where we went with my four-month-old brother, to the oceans of Kanyakumari, where we travelled, a few years later, with grandparents and cousins in …

Of Nawabs & History

In 1784, the province of Awadh was struck by a famine of an unprecedented scale. So severe were its effects that not only the common man, but the nobles were also reduced to penury, many having nothing to eat. At that time, the emperor of Awadh, Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, came up with a novel way of …

Of Muddy Boots & Memories

The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep. The closing verse from Robert Frost’s famous poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, reverberates in my mind as I pant my way along the muddy path evading grasshoppers, beetles, bugs and an occasional …

For The Love of Madras

 "But why did you go to Chennai again? Do you have family there?" It was the fifth time I was being asked this, or may be the tenth, I don't quite remember, and like all other times I had no answer. Cities, like people, often come into your life unannounced. They stay with you until …

Mornings At Mavalli

About fifty odd men, all with grey hair and receding hairlines, stand in and around the coffee room sipping aromatic coffee from identical white cups. Outside, on the pavement, a hawker sets up his wares – handkerchiefs, nail cutters, combs, lighters, wristwatches. Diagonally opposite of him is a newspaper vendor already doing brisk business. The …

This Garden Rocks

I arrive at the Rock Garden on a hot, sultry evening shortly after Nek Chand’s demise. His death has been closely and eerily followed by Le Corbusier’s and has expedited my forever pending trip to Chandigarh. And I do not seem to be the only one: the place is swarming with people of all shapes …

I first notice the flags. Thousands of big and small pieces of red, blue, green and yellow fabric hanging from thin ropes fluttering in the abundant monsoon breeze. Some are tied in between tall, thin silver-oak trunks, some to tall poles. They have appeared suddenly among lush green fields and they disappear as quickly – …

In Search of Solitude

At ten in the morning, the sun is as bright as it is hot. It is hard to keep your eyes open without a pair of sunglasses on just as it is difficult to stand in the sun for long without having to scurry for cover ever now & then. Shade is not that easy …