My Vernacular of Happiness

My blues have come back again, But, this time, when I try and breathe out of the sweaty summer beehive of worries sitting on my heart, I feel a wind help me ease out of this violent mesh of stings – A wind that smells of sprinklers on a dusty football field, Of dust and…

Hailstorms and red dust: Calcutta to Shantiniketan

– as part of a special series on road trips through India – At a specific time in the morning, the Ganga looks like something Monet would have painted, albeit in black and white. I don’t know why, but, this is where I always feel the true road trip begins – over Nivedita Setu, with…

Things I fell in love with, this Valentines’ Week

It was eleven o’ clock in the… morning (sorry, I hesitate, because the last time I called 11 AM morning, I was close to being disowned by my family, and close to disowning my phone for its treacherous alarm system), and I was halfway through typing a message to my friend. Replete with my usual…

An ode to Hussainganj, Old Lucknow

The realization that it was time to go came like the moist, peach-golden sunshine soaking the cottony fog over the settlement of Hussainganj. Lucknow wasn’t a difficult city to explore, but far from the more glorious margs, the gargantuan gateways, the imambaras and heritage complexes, the naked brick saucer that held my blues was Hussainganj. 

This is for anyone who has ever been called pretentious

 This is for anyone who has ever been called pretentious. You, yes, you, who cringed right now, your fingers tightening a little around your tea-glass. This is for you, who couldn’t go to sleep because you’ve played an old jazz track by Dinah Washington over and over, fifty times, and for the fifty-first time, when…

From a Russian philosopher’s house in Naggar

Nicholas Roerich’s house in Naggar has been transformed into a piece of art, his study, dining room and vintage car sealed in and accessible to tourists only so far. The ground floor of his picturesque mansion houses the many mountain studies he made with the Shivalik, the Dhauladhar and the Zanskaar ranges as subject. He…

The Simple Joys of Here and Now

– My baby cousin’s face, when I make her listen to music from headphones for the first time – When the beauty of streets in traffic jams is sudden, in the suddenness of winter twilight; naked concrete buildings blowing bubbles of luminous red and green. That’s when Dinah Washington makes sense.