Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Indian Express

There are two places at any given time – the start and the end. India for instance, is a very different place when you first set your eyes on it; and a very different place when you say goodbye. When travellers land, they are overwhelmed and exhausted. Next day begins the sightseeing – Qutub Minar, Hawa Mahal, Agra Fort – and bit by bit, they start to unravel a mystery. They drive from one location to the next, observing the [...]

The Kochi – Muziris Biennale

Kochi (Cochin) is among the few cities in India where pre-colonial traditions of cultural pluralism continue to flourish. These traditions pre-date the post-enlightenment ideas of cultural pluralism, globalization and multiculturalism. They can be traced to Muziris, the ancient city that was buried under layers of mud and mythology after a massive flood in the 14th century. The site was recently identified and is currently under excavation. It is necessary to explore and, when necessary, retrieve memories of this past, and [...]

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

It’s not known when the first inhabitants arrived on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands but their presence was documented in the 2nd century by Greek astronomer Ptolemy. In the late 17th century, the islands were annexed by the Marathas who then ruled vast areas of India and by the 19th century the British took over and used it as a penal colony to send those proven guilty of crimes and also the freedom fighters for India’s independence, to keep them [...]

The Salaam Baalak Street Walk

Let’s be frank – India can be a terrifying place. Recently, a stranger I met at the Sunburn festival in Goa related an interesting story. His friend had apparently decided to visit India; exited New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and experienced a cultural shock so extreme, she took the next flight back to the States. I can imagine though, that if she had waited, taken a deep breath and re-oriented herself; she would have realized that there’s a place [...]