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
Books as the last refuge.
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.
Oh, the luxuries of traveling by car!
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
On why I travel
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
The great experiment
Nearly ten years ago on a whim, I started this blog. At about the same time, I also joined Facebook and Twitter. For all intents and purposes, this blog has been on life support for years. I’ve also severely restricted my forays on Facebook to infrequent personal updates. What I had been doing almost … Continue reading The great experiment
I’m not insane (I’ve only lost my mind)
Imagine that you are locked up in an insane asylum. You are perfectly sane, or so you think. In fact, you have lived your life with the assumption that you are normal. Now, you are stuck inside a mental ward because the doctors have diagnosed you with a very serious mental illness. The doctors think … Continue reading I’m not insane (I’ve only lost my mind)
The arrow of time
“Daddy, why does time go forward? Why can’t time go backwards?” I got asked a very simple question by my six-year-old that got the rusty gears, pulleys, and levels cranking in my head. It's not an easy question to answer. There is a lot to unpack here. We take for granted that the arrow of … Continue reading The arrow of time
A simple iron dagger
After the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen died, an iron-blade dagger with a gold sheath was placed in his sarcophagus. This was rediscovered in 1925 after thousands of years. Nowadays, the gold sheath attracts our attention, but in ancient times, the iron would've been much more valuable. I never thought about this before now. You might … Continue reading A simple iron dagger