Games people play: more on Ganjifa

The Ganjifa playing cards tradition is believed to have entered India with the Mughals (Farsi ganj for treasure or ganjifeh for playing cards, according to different sources) via Bengal in the 16th century. It passed along the country, the motifs changing with each region. After it was adopted by the Hindus, the most popular icons…

Footprints on the sand

I am looking out of the window of my room in Sindhudurg at the rain crashing down, as I sip the ginger tea (my fourth cup… fifth? since morning, I have lost count). It was clear and sunny just a minute ago. Just as I put my book away, finding rain-watching more absorbing, the downpour…

Come home to Sindhudurg

My piece on the Culture Aangan homestays in Sindhudurg appeared in yesterday’s Mid day – here it is… *** ‘Safety on the roads is safe tea at home’, proclaims the sign on the Mumbai – Goa highway, just one of the numerous well-meaning signboards that make this route so enchanting. We have been on the…

Vengurla: footprints on the sand

Early morning at Vengurla jetty… And then a beach to ourselves at Sagareshwar. Only crows and a few fishermen for company. Information: this was last December, over the Christmas break – we were based at Nandan Farms in Sawantwadi, just over an hour’s drive away.

Chilling in the heat in Sindhudurg

Here is a plug for what I think is a worthy cause – Culture Aangan is a Bombay-based NGO that works in the Sindhudurg region – they have homestays and several women’s self help groups. I recently spent a few days at the Pitruchaya homestay in Shirgaon near Devgadh and want to tell you all…