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.

Infinity In My Teacup

INFINITY IN MY TEACUP Sometime, when the wicker of the incandescent dusk, perched On the incense limbs of the Himalayan cypress, Spilled the blue aroma of faraway desire, All over the candle-lit mist of the valley – Then, in the saucer of mountain-lost souls, I found infinity in the fumes of my teacup.

Rain, Soul and Ruskin Bond

Sometimes, when it rains, I like to curl up on the window ledge – in my verandah, which has a honeycomb of windows, instead of walls – with a cup of first flush tea – living partly in North Bengal pays off emotional needs in the name of grocery – and read Ruskin Bond’s poetry….

Why Contemplative Writing Will Never Go Out Of Fashion

The immediate pinch which set off this essay was a Facebook post which spoke of how one of the rejection letters of Einstein’s theory of relativity said, that his claims were too artistic to be physics. Just over a month ago, on the last stretch of my editorial work for our college science magazine –…

#Dooars: How to be a Do-er

Have breakfast on river rocks. Get up early and stare at the squawking black drongo on the tree caressing your window sill. Take a long time to have your tea. Put on just the right amount of weight, that is, thanks to your camera and maybe a light jacket. Throw your head out of the…

Chronicling the second Xavotsav

I love my college. I love my friends. Did you get that? Do you want me to repeat? All right, if you’re clear on that, and are ready to proceed with the silent suspended “but” that wants to wrench free from beneath that full stop, I am going to tell our freshers one teeny-tiny truth…