Urban sprawl

We decided to go live outside Almora for a week last diwali. Childhood stories had primed me to expect long walks along forested hills. Even though I knew that things would have changed since, the reality was like being hit on the nose by a fish. Almora sprawls across a horse-shoe shaped mountain wall: all… Continue reading Urban sprawl

Reading or writing?

“I’m coming as the president of a friend, and I’m coming as a sportsman.” –George W. Bush, on his trip to the Olympics in China, Washington, D.C., July 30, 2008 A few minutes with Google translate convinced me that I could speak Pǔtōnghuà (Mandarin), but others might not understand it. The world needs more than… Continue reading Reading or writing?

A quick weekend dash

Lonavala is not “real nature”. It is bungalows with gardens, but that is enough of a change from Mumbai that you might want to dash there now and then during busy times. Locked up old bungalows with imposing gates and no fences were common some years back. They are slowly giving way to weekend fortresses… Continue reading A quick weekend dash

A cat that catches the mouse

As part of my education on China I’m trying to read something other than history and travel books. There is a lot of modern literature, and there are movies. And there is also interesting journalism. Several years back I’d read a book Pallavi Aiyar about her time as China bureau chief for the Chennai newspaper… Continue reading A cat that catches the mouse