When I was 25, I consigned my grandmother to flames on the banks of the Kangsabati River. A few months later, I left that town, with my belongings in two suitcases. I crossed the bridge over the river, leaving behind my ageing parents, the home where I had planted trees and footprints, and the woman … Continue reading Crossing the River
Frequenting local markets has been one of the joys of my life. When I think of Istanbul, I think of stacks of colorful lokum coated with powdered sugar in the Grand Bazaar. Paris in spring conjures rain-drenched strawberries bursting with flavour in the 12th Arrondissement. Beijing is a hutong market with customers lining up for … Continue reading The joy of exploring local markets
When I'm at home you're most likely to find me sitting on a sofa in a windowless room in my basement, barricaded behind shelves and stacks of books. This is my refuge. This is where I come after fighting against the world. Without knowing it, in this respect I've turned into my father. He had set … Continue reading Books as the last refuge.
Travel by car is relatively comfortable in India these days. The roads are improved and the cars are modern. That was not always the case, and certainly not when I was growing up. There were two kinds of cars- the Hindustan Motors Ambassador and the Premier Padmini- and neither had been updated with creature comforts … Continue reading Oh, the luxuries of traveling by car!
Open the door of the closet you have been hiding in and take a look. There is sunlight streaming into the room. The monsters are gone. It is now safe to come outside and learn the stories behind the dry facts and formulae you were forced to commit to memory as a child. Leaving your … Continue reading Learning
The Buddha did not answer questions about the existence of God because these questions are irrelevant to the challenges of day to day life. In the morning, more relevant than the question, "does God exist?" is the question, "which toothbrush is mine?" Everything that brings you joy will also make you vulnerable. Seasons change. Generations … Continue reading On kindness
I have a peculiar relationship with travel. I complain when I am on the road, but I am listless when I am back at home. I daydream about heading out when I’m in one place for too long. The Germans call it wanderlust; others say there is a travel bug. A Bengali proverb mischievously describes … Continue reading On why I travel