(Written a few months ago, posting now. Fervently hoping this has lost its relevance.) * New Delhi, June 2013.  To you, I’m not sure when it happened but Running in the Family has become one of my favourite books. I’d read it years ago and I stumbled across a battered copy at a Sunday book […]

July 2013, Delhi To you,   It’s finally happened. I’ve put down roots. They’re hesitant, frail tendrils with a propensity to wither at the slightest provocation but they’ve been planted. After nodding my way through conversations with potential landlords/ladies and looking at one dubious room after another, I’d wearily head back home, climb up to […]

Heavily pencilled-schedule in hand and books in backpack, I walk past the lines of people waiting to greet his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and navigate past the formidable bodyguards (a new addition to this year’s festival). The Dalai Lama, wagging his finger informs the packed front lawns that money fails to bring inner peace [...]

  To you, 1) This is going to be a list letter. Brevity and organization are the key words for the day. 2) It seems as though I’ve spent a chunk of my life, waiting. Huddled in a threewheeler, watching rain form rivulets and drip slowly down the taurpalin; waiting on hold, a pop song [...]

I hang up my phone in amusement. My ride was still at home, in a half-sleep stupor but awake enough to brush away my insistence to take a cab. I didn’t mind hanging around for a while. The arrival section of the airport is a lovely place to people watch and I’m usually in such [...]

One of my most treasured possessions is a copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. While growing up, Andersen’s stories unnerved me. Very few of them had positive closure and at times highly ambiguous (Ugly Duckling, anyone?) and for a little girl who liked utopian, apple-pie endings where everyone lived happily ever after, Andersen’s stories [...]

The thing with three-wheelers in Delhi is that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. With green and yellow exteriors and plain interiors and sometimes a picture of their respective deity/religious leader or Salman Khan wedged between the frame of the three-wheeler and the tarpaulin, there’s very little distinguish one three wheeler from the [...]

To you, Most people I’ve met in India are products of many places. There’s an enviable fluidity between cities over here. You’re born in one city, sometimes school in another, go to college somewhere else and maybe settle wherever your work takes you. Back in Sri Lanka, all roads almost always seem to end up [...]

Words I realized it was time to retire the notebook when the back cover came apart a month or two ago. It had followed me wherever I went and the wear and tear that age brings was visible on its shabby pages. I started maintaining it while I was in school. It was something that I had started on a ...

Adventures in solitude The first time I went out for coffee alone I was horribly uncomfortable. I felt awkward, conspicuous and acutely aware of the groups of people congregated at the coffee shop.  I skulked over to the nearest table, took out my book and started reading. I tried to flag down a waiter repeatedly, but failed spectacularly. Then to top things ...

Shadow Days Every now and then I see traces of familiar faces on strangers. Yesterday I saw my grandmother’s nose. The other day I saw a lady who could have passed off as a friend’s mother – the same thin eyebrows, the hands and even her gait were all remarkably similar. Once, on the metro I came across a man who ...

I wish I could tell you that I regularly revisit Proust. I wish I could tell you that I peruse Swann’s Way frequently and that I get reacquainted with Tolstoy, Joyce and Kafka every now and then. I really do. The truth is while I try and read as much as I possibly can and my book case is brimming ...

Beautiful People Darjeeling and Gangtok were filled with some of the most evocative faces I’ve had the pleasure of encountering.  (Last of the Holiday posts, I swear) The story teller.  Our driver to Changu Lake regaled us with the most fascinating stories about some of the myths surrounding the lake.  He also took some excellent pictures with my friend’s camera. I have ...

R is for Random We were treated to a potent dust storm yesterday. I staggered on to the terrace only to be blown back inside, blinded by dust particles. To make up for it, there was ample lightning and a spectacular sunset though. Instead of the milk and water sunsets Delhi glories in, the sky exploded into a surreal yellow-orange.  Plus, rain after 4 ...

Photography and I fell out of love a while back. It wasn’t pretty. Tears were shed, tantrums were thrown, hearts were broken. My fling with photography started off about five years back. I took pictures for three years with my trusty camera phone before I advanced to a compact point and shoot, which has accompanied me since. There were instances ...

Voyeur I like art. I also like watching people look at art. I think one of the best things about it is the humanistic element.  It’s fascinating watching people’s reactions to pieces of art. Once I stopped hyperventilating about being in the same space as an original Dali and Picasso, I walked around the India Art Fair. I watched as people ...

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