The sound of Salzburg

The Sound of Music is the kind of film that defies both superlative and age. Starring the inimitable Julie Andrews, the movie won five Academy Awards back in 1966, and to this day, remains the third highest grosser in Hollywood. It turns 50 this year, and clearly, nobody is immune from its charm, not even…

Once upon a time in Copenhagen

I had written about one of the world’s most popular storytellers, Hans Christian Andersen, his life in Copenhagen and works for the Economic Times Sunday Magazine recently: Once upon a time in Copenhagen. He was a fascinating character, his life full of contradictions,and above all, he was a man after my own heart – see…

Of poets and pints: a literary pub crawl in Dublin

Let me start this story with a couple of “bet you didn’t know” bits of trivia: author and playwright Oscar Wilde played boxing for his alma mater, Trinity College. And Oliver Goldsmith, of The Vicar of Wakefield fame, also wrote the popular nursery rhymes Jack & Jill and Hickory Dickory Dock. I know these interesting…

High up in Heidiland

As I peel off a jacket and then a sweater on my hike up from Maienfeld village towards Heididorf, I am reminded of an initial scene from the book. Heidi is clambering up the Alps behind her aunt Dete, and as it gets warmer and warmer, off comes one layer of clothing after another. I…

The Zomato Guide to eating out in Bangalore

I recently got a review copy of the Zomato Connoisseur’s Guide to eating out in Bangalore, 2013 edition. I have occasionally used Zomato to check out restaurant reviews (altough Burrp comes up first in most online searches and I haven’t yet been able to spot a marked difference between the two). What I liked Compared…

Angel in disguise

Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore in Paris where one feels like being in one’s own apartment, just exactly how founder George Whitman wanted it to be, says Charukesi Ramadurai George Whitman liked to call himself the Don Quixote of the Latin Quarter. His windmills were the faceless bookstore chains and one-size-fits-all websites that threatened…

The other Shakespeare bookshops

RIP George Whitman, the eccentric owner of the original Shakespeare & Co. bookshop in Paris’ Left Bank. The shop, now in its second avatar, celebrates sixty years of existence this year. And Whitman, who bought it from the original owner Sylvia Beach died last week, aged 98. I have been dying to write a story…

The bouquinistes of Paris

The bouquinistes – outdoor booksellers – of Paris, by the side of the Seine are one of my absolute favourite things about the city (the other are the parks). There are over 200 of them now in Paris and between them, I read somewhere, offer over 300000 old and new books and magazines. Recognized by…