Straits ahead: Malacca in Mint

Iam trying hard not to laugh at my guide. He has been very friendly, chatting in Tamil on the bus to Malacca. He has also organized a vegetarian lunch for me, after he’s recovered from the shock of encountering someone who doesn’t eat meat. The reason I am having trouble is, talking about the history…

Stranger in my country

Published in Mint Lounge (September 04) as Stranger in a strange land… *** Nancy is the local school teacher at Lachung village in North Sikkim and has recently returned home after some years outside the state. She has been chatting non-stop with me in the darkness of the late evening about her school and students….

An uneven path to peace

This piece on Sri Lanka appeared in Mint Lounge of April 24th. I am in Anuradhapura at the Sri Maha Bodhi shrine, a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike. The low fence encloses a cutting from the Bo tree (Ficus religiosa), protected and venerated by Buddhists, under which Siddhartha Gautama is believed to have…

Temple performance

Published in Mint Lounge recently – original version posted here… Read the pdf version online here – or if the link vanishes, you can read it here… *** Day one among the temples and I keep remembering a delightful phrase I had come across long ago. Vuja de. Looking at the familiar with new eyes….

Midsummer madness

Published in Mint Lounge – May 31 – read it online here or the pdf version here… We are just finishing a salad lunch at the tiny restaurant opposite the library when the dragons walk past. A bright red patch on a black face, a black-and-red body, head waving in a friendly fashion. A fairly…