It had not rained in a while, Not a torrent, nor a downpour nor a drizzle It had not rained in a long while, three thousand six hundred sixty seven days to be precise, Though no one has been precise lately, it’s the haze they said, it’s the haze that induced the daze The old counted time in the number of teeth they had lost, The young thought of the children they have sacrificed. They sang poems of the trees, They told stories of the…Continue Reading “The never never rains”

mahabalipuram

I am an anti-believer. I don’t just not believe, I make fun of the ones who do. But then, a few times in a lifetime, there are occurrences, places, people who take you beyond the immediate. I believe in energy zones, though. Some places have very palpable influences, they would soothe you in an unnatural way, make your hair stand, give you a sense of deja vu or agitate you. This spot in Mahabalipuram, near the butter ball, is one of the most powerful ones…Continue Reading “Do some places have unusual energy?”

rabi ray delhi school of economics

I was never a good student. Never too bright for teachers to take notice. Too silent and arrogant to talk to teachers unless talked to. And, given the perverted ideas I had in childhood, for a long time I thought anything that is useful can not be taught. Anyway, in short, teachers and me were like oil and water – contact made, but no transfer was possible. And, then, this guy happened at Delhi School of Economics. Oddball to the core, ram headed and would…Continue Reading “To the only teacher I had”

Next time you kiss, think about ease of doing business. It is not romantic, it is not love, it is not an expression of affection. It is ease of doing business. Why do we chose lips over anything else? We hands of course, but that is friendly. Then, what is it about lips that makes them such reservoirs of love? Why do they get to be the love ambassadors and not …..let’s say….ears? Why can’t you touch your left ears to someone else’s right ones?…Continue Reading “Kissing and ease of doing business”

asiatique the riverfront bangkok

Let’s start with a confession. This was some sort of a tourist hotspot. The approach by road is bad. You have to go by a boat that is specially run by Asiatique. Everything about it sounded like a tourist trap. And, to add to add to stigma, friends who went there had loved it. So, the challenge of discovering something that very few knew or liked was also gone. I was not at all kicked about going to Asiatique. But, eventually, we did. Right after…Continue Reading “Asiatique the riverfront, Bangkok”

indique jodhpur

Lately, we have hit on a formula. Food trips. Some cities may be stinky, some sights may not be worth the pain, some plans may not work out etc etc. Then, fall back on food. And,it works every time. This time, after being fed up of the general stink of Jodhpur, we decided to eat the very best places. Indique was at the top of the heap. And, it was such an antidote to everything else. Amazing view of the fort. Amazing khada lamb. This…Continue Reading “Indique Restaurant, Jodhpur”

shahi samosa jodhpur

The shahi samosa is not a snack, it is a meal. It was the size of my palm and my palms are like any other ape’s. And, it was spicy and awesome. But what was remarkable was the alu bonda. The moment you bite into it, the universe smells of hing. It is massively spicy, has onions and garlic etc too. In my estimation, the bonda was way more potent than the samosa. In contrast, the mirchi bhaji was nice and the green chili sort…Continue Reading “Shahi Samosa, Jodhpur”

ginkgo japanese bangkok

Bangkok is spotlessly clean but it’s hard to find a public toilet within the city streets. Tourist places have plenty. So, as a last resort, I walked into a Japanese restaurant near Sala Daeng station for a beer and a pee. Sadly, they could not serve beer till 5 in the evening. Some rule that bars restaurants from serving alcohol before 5 pm. Even Seven Elevens that sell alcohol have these time rules. Anyway, in the absence of beer, I ordered a chicken thigh and…Continue Reading “Peeing in Japanese”

vertigo bar bangkok

Every time, we go out of Delhi, I feel rich. Other Indian cities don’t compare. Bombay, Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry etc are way cheaper. No expensive restaurant there would shock you. In Bangkok, Vertigo, which is on 62nd floor and is ranked one of the best bars in the world had dishes and drinks priced around 900 rupees (450 baht). The drinks came with 2 chips and wasabi peanuts. Then with food, we got a bag of chips and prawn and mayo complimentary. We ate at…Continue Reading “Something shady about Delhi restaurant prices”

naga cafe sathorn

How do you eat in an unknown place? You pore over tripadvisor, ask friends and bloggers and spend days on internet planning. I did pore over the internet. But eventually, the places we ate at were places we found through just walking around. If you can feel vibes and trust your instinct, you will end up eating well or you will have an experience anyway. To think that there is only one best way to navigate a city is stupid and you should be open…Continue Reading “Naga Cafe, Sathorn, Bangkok”

We hate politicians and there are good reasons why. Most of them proclaim there would be no politics of death and then they go on manufacture riots and rivalries and employ goons to impose authority. But, we, the normal people should be normal, right? Death, especially unnatural, should shock us. Be it from floods, riots, train accidents, potholes, hit and runs, no matter what, deaths should grab our attention and make us value life, humanity and just plain existence more. So, when some people brush…Continue Reading “Lynchings are acts of journalism”

The number of resignations in Trump camp has been stunning. These dudes knew they are campaigning for the biggest asshole in the world. He did not doublespeak or had a hidden agenda like Modiji. He was shitting all over the place and his team stood by. And, then he wins and it is time to reap the benefits. That’s when people start fighting and quitting and showing him that they won’t be steamrolled. Contrast that with our case here – judges, politicians, bureaucrats, members from…Continue Reading “Resignations from Trump camp”

All of us know there is a massive hole in Odia food writing. I am not talking about recipes, I am speaking of writings that deliberate on cuisines, compare cooking methods and practices in different parts of Odisha as well as giving a historical context to what we eat. And, then there is the issue of exploring lesser known regions. The recipes currently floating are majorly coastal Odisha. Rarely something is seen from the north, west or south or regional variations in cooking. I have…Continue Reading “Appeal to Odia food writers and bloggers”

If someone tells our maid that i called her a maid in a blogpost, she will slap me. She has slapped me, on the back (not on the face, thankfully), when I walk on the floor she has just cleaned. She will reprimand us if we eat out and the food she cooked is untouched, she will taunt,she will joke and she will shout back when in a bad mood. She has a spare key to the house and we only see her on weekends….Continue Reading “How middle India treats its maids”

khoi

There are three kids in the family. The younger is all nonsense, mischievous, gets into all sorts of trouble. Nothing is out of bounds for her, she can do anything she wills to. She is also incredible fun, full of zest, laughs like a wild kid and every one loves her. The middle kid is more serious, a workhorse of sorts, does all the heavy lifting for the family and chips in when the younger one just can’t do it. he is reliable, dependable and…Continue Reading “The rice siblings”

Two statements today put a question mark on future of Indian democracy: 1. VHP brings in truckloads of stones for construction of Ram temple. Chief of ram janmabhoomi nyas says it does not matter if the matter is sub judice, supreme court respects public opinion and will toe line. 2. Bengal BJP described the Governor as a dedicated soldier of Modi vahini and will toe the line. I know most right wingers want an autocracy. But the rest should think, do they want every Democratic…Continue Reading “Whither democracy?”

Few days back I shared a lot on how straws are destroying the earth and about the StopSucking campaign etc. My battle with straws has come to an untimely end. Why? I walked into a departmental store, picked up a few Nescafe cold coffees, the Intense ones. I plucked the straws from the tetrapack, hung them from the shelf. The store already does that, so I was not disfiguring. I knew I could pour it into a glass at home or find an old straw…Continue Reading “Last day of my battle on straws”

People watching is time watching. Let me explain how. Today morning, I saw a man walk down the service lane next to the NH8 near the airport. High waist pants, really long sleeved shirts and a receding hairline. The sun was extremely strong this morning. He looked hassled. Point being he looked from another time. I recently saw a young nephew who got a haircut that would have been odd in my time. Nothing on the sides and the back and suddenly a crop at…Continue Reading “People watching is time watching”

masala papad

Have you ever spent a moment to think about the guy who created masala papad? His friends who created butter chicken and vada pav and jain shikanji have become legends. This poor dude who gave India the starter it never had is a nameless one. How unfair!