Browsing Category

Now Brewing

road to singapore

it’s new year in chinatown

“in through the dragon gate, see the temple, out through the tiger gate! the tiger will eat all your bad luck!” said the helpful gentleman in the red tee shirt. he also did a little tiger leap and and bit on air, to underscore his meaning. i felt as if at last i had found what i had come looking for. may not be a good idea to go for a walk with a preconceived notion of what you might…

Continue Reading

road to singapore

on the water side

it’s a beautiful road, running along this calm stretch of water, tall trees line it and on its other side are dense green woods. look across the water and it’s another country out there. malaysia. the high rises and urban sprawl of johor bahru, a mere kilometre away. there aren’t too many roads i know where one can stand and stare at another nation. from mount nebo in jordan i remember being shown the city of jerusalem in israel and…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

time for a lal benaroshi

i was pretty young, six or seven i think, when i decided i’d wear my mother’s wedding saree when i got married. it was of course a lal benaroshi as bengali brides have worn at their weddings for years perhaps centuries… a red banarasi saree from varanasi where beautiful sarees are made with fine gold and silver and silk thread work, where the ganga flows deep and wide and shining with tales, where bulls charge you in narrow lanes  with…

Continue Reading

road to singapore

changi prison and memories that capture

changi prison

 “i thought it was a fight against insanity if you could really keep your mind occupied by having some form of intellectual activity. you weren’t sure what the long-term effect of imprisonment or malnutrition and disease would be. but at least i knew if i was going to survive, i was going to survive as a person, not as a vegetable.” ~~~ stanley warren, british pow ~~~ he was a prisoner of war, extremely sick, an inmate of changi prison…

Continue Reading

Now Brewing

Learned Helplessness

learned helplessness

Learned helplessness is a behaviour in which an organism forced to endure aversive, painful or otherwise unpleasant stimuli, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are escapable – From wikipedia There are days I wake up struggling to get out of bed. A list of tasks from laundry to office projects line up my day when all I would rather be doing is reading a book under the shade. Do I do much to…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

the black paithani

sarees tell stories the black paithani

i think it was in 1984 that i first heard of paithani sarees. while struggling with the correct way to say the name and marveling at all the stories of how real gold thread was used in its tapestry weave and how the art was almost dying but now the government of maharashtra was reviving it, and oh they were so expensive so exclusive (that favourite word) and almost sighing at the fact that i’d never ever be able to…

Continue Reading

Espresso Shots

one of those things… a short story

  his wife was not feeling well and when she felt out of sorts, he really couldn’t concentrate on anything. he had taken her to the hospital close to their hotel the moment she had complained of that nagging thing again. it was the feeling she always spoke of, a feeling that her chest was bursting, her head was tense and the roots of her hair pulled, she had to untie her hair and let it hang loose. her hair…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

sarees tell stories… rukmini hall

should a chair wear a saree? at its own risk, i guess. but i was staring at this wonderful kanjeevaram silk i’d just fallen flat for and instantly bought in bangalore on a recent trip, when i felt the wish to write something come and disturb my peace. what i fell for in this one were those tiny checks in mustard and the ganga jamna border in two different colours and yes, also the rich maroony pink colour… the checks…

Continue Reading