One of the benefits of having the archives of the New York Times available for downloading from the convenience of a home is that there is a vast collection of news articles of cultural and historical significance easily available. Today, I came across a book review of Lajpat Rai's The United States of America: A … Continue reading A Hindu’s impression of the United States in 1917.
Biologists can be pretty annoying when they’re trying hard to come up with cutesy names. I mean did you guys really have to name a gene required for mammalian development sonic hedgehog after the Sega icon? I mean what comes next? A gene influencing cranial tensile strength named after a pudgy Nintendo chap? But you … Continue reading The Hariome Project
There is a proper way to eat at an Indian buffet which those who are not desi may not appreciate. Being desi myself, I feel that I’m qualified to advise others. But my qualifications to pontificate on this topic don’t end with a blanket ethnic designation. In an earlier era, I was a graduate student … Continue reading How to eat at an Indian buffet
An American coworker once asked me why we Indians break out into song and dance all the time. At that moment I vaguely remember answering that we like to shake a leg instinctively because our streets have a lot of rabid, stray dogs which we want to shoo away when they attempt to bite us. … Continue reading Why do Indians dance all the time?
(Because we all just love stereotypes). Your national element is Indium (In), very malleable and soft, but not useful for building long-lasting structures. You find it normal for random people to get close on buses, but find the idea that two potential life-partners be allowed to talk unsupervised before being thrust into wedlock, preposterous. You … Continue reading You know you’re part of the Indian middle-class when…
Today, I saw a column in the Sunday Times of India on Indian foreign policy by none other than Indian novelist, Chetan Bhagat. Mr Bhagat takes a very hawkish line in a whiny tone after the collapse of the India-Pakistan peace talks between SM Krishna and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. If it now acceptable for non-experts … Continue reading Diplomacy in the age of glacial relations
It is the season for ranting. Actually, every season is the season for ranting. Not wanting to be left out, I've decided to post a few open letters to choice individuals. Every situation is true unless it it addressed to you (in which case the resemblance is purely fictional). ____________________ Dear Paul: I appreciate your … Continue reading A series of open letters
Pappu Patligali was seated with his friends at at a table in the A.C. section of New Aroma Restaurant located just off of National Highway 6. He was visiting India during semester break and he had a few days to enjoy with friends and family before heading back to the US to finish up his … Continue reading How to tip desi-style – a guide to the “baksheesh”
A chance encounter with a copy of the October 1943 issue of the National Geographic magazine at a library book-sale piqued my interest since the headline article was about British India. I have always had more than a passing curiosity in the opinions of the British ruling-class during the days of the Raj. What did … Continue reading India though the eyes of a former Viceroy
All great civilizations boast architectural wonders that are not only expanses for the soul, but temples of the mind. I gaze upon temples and stupas and get a glimpse into the heart of ancient India. In the medieval forts and palaces, I am transported into my country's heritage. I look at the Taj Mahal and … Continue reading The monumental failure of modern Indian architecture