A heart cooler for the heat

Some people have called it a ‘heart attack in a glass’. They are terribly unkind. I prefer to think of it as ‘heaven in a glass’. How else would you describe a concoction that has almond resin, Sarsaparilla syrup, cold milk, sugar, finely chopped dried fruit and nuts, and all of this topped with a…

Why you should visit Tamil Nadu in 2016

My home state of Tamil Nadu has found a place in the NY Times’ list of must-do destinations for 2016 – rightly described as a gateway to India’s cultural core. From the temples of Rameshwaram to the hills of Ooty, the music concerts of Chennai to the jallikattu of Madurai, the spicy kaara kuzhambu of…

Hotels I love: Heritage Madurai

Sri Lanka is dotted with stunning buildings and hotels created by the visionary architect Geoffrey Bawa. He was a master in the way every one of his buildings blends beautifully into the local environment. Bawa has worked outside Sri Lanka too and in India, he created the Madurai Club. And when the old Madurai Club…

Eat Like a Local: Madurai

Madurai has always been a city of commerce, with trade relations extending to the Romans and Greeks. When Greek ambassador Megasthenes visited the city in 302 BC, he wrote about it magnificence. Arab merchants and Sufi saints also made their ay to Madurai to trade with the Pandya kings since 900 AD. Closer home, the…

Friday photo: Madurai

I was in Madurai last weekend on week, when I stayed at the lovely Heritage (more on it soon), went on food walks and explored the streets around the temple. This was possibly my tenth visit to this city and I enjoyed it as much as I did my first. The only thing that has…

What I have been writing

A quick update on my recent stories… I have a short piece in this Sunday’s New York Times on shopping in Mumbai. Have a looksee – from mill to mall in Mumbai… On one of my favourite towns in India, Madurai, in The National. Read on – The divine distractions of Madurai… A few stories…

Meenakshi on my mind

Malayadhwaja Pandiya must have been a sad king. Fate had played a cruel trick on him. After years of being childless and spending days and nights in prayer, and pouring countless kilos of pure ghee in the sacrificial fire, he had been blessed with a daughter. Alas! A daughter who was a freak; she was…

My travel column in FirstPost

I know I have been missing in action on this blog for a while now. I have been traveling loads and been so busy writing for a living (isn’t that great?!) that I have not had the time and energy to blog. Promise to rectify that soon. For now, head to FirstPost and read my…