Tag Archives: India

The Maharajas’ Express

The Maharajas’ Express

People do a lot of waiting in India. Waiting for work, waiting for a blessing, waiting for things to get better. Often they are waiting for a train. Here are some people waiting on a platform: an elderly man with a waterfall beard cascading from his wizened face onto orange..
India: Too Much, Too Soon

India: Too Much, Too Soon

Anoop was making tea when I asked him about Kolkata. Squeezing the bag against the side of his mug, he considered it for a second. “It is…” he paused while he strangled out the last useful dribble, “the poorest, dirtiest city in India.” This was not what I had wanted to..
Pure ‘Shaws

Pure ‘Shaws

Aravind Bremanandam was under a Lada, sheltering from a sandstorm, when he had an idea. Stuck in the Sahara during the Budapest to Bamako Rally he decided that such misery, or adventure, might transplant well to his native India. “People want stupid?” he said to himself. “I’ll show them stupid…”..
Training Days

Training Days

I have always loved Indian-English and the way it clings to formality, dredging up archaic verbs and half-forgotten idioms. Indians don’t argue, they quarrel; they don’t think someone is nuts, but that they ‘have bats in their belfry’. It is a dialect that bathes in hyperbole, whether that’s a best..
Surviving the Rickshaw Challenge

Surviving the Rickshaw Challenge

The BMW that picks me up from Mumbai Airport to take me to the JW Marriott is an absurdly, unnecessarily luxurious machine. Little bottles of water gently perspire in its perfect air-conditioning; it has televisions in the backs of the seats, and a power-assisted boot, negating the need for manual..
A Big Bang Theory

A Big Bang Theory

Staying at the Oberoi Grand Hotel then walking out onto the streets of Kolkata is like witnessing the creation of the universe. You are inside and there is silence, a void. Then you walk out, just a few strides, and there is everything, all at once. A mammalian flight reaction..