Working away in Kolkata’s streets

March 14, 2013

The streets in northern Kolkata – Chitpur, Jorasanko, Shyambazar, Lalbazar, Shovabazar and elsewhere – are more than stretches connecting the dots. You spend time on the streets not just going from place to place, but also to socialize, pass time and see what is happening in the neighborhood. And,...

Sustainable the Bangla way

March 3, 2013

Sustainable the Bangla way One of the very special things about Bangladesh is how people keep making use of each and every single thing. The country is definitely on the way to become more prosperous (and thereby less reliant on saving and taking care), but it remains dependent on not wasting and...

Look down!

February 27, 2013

Bangladesh is a pretty small country, about the same size as Tunisia, Nepal or Greece. But it is home to over 160 million people, nearly four times the three of them combined. That makes it the most densely populated country in the world, save a few tiny islands and...

Dhaka after the verdict

February 9, 2013

Dhaka is no stranger to political protests. Not sure how many hartals (an Indian-born term for politically motivated strikes) the city sees on an average month, but it’s quite a few. Whenever there is a disagreement, parties (especially those in the opposition) are more than happy to call for...

Heading there!

January 25, 2013

Bangladesh. Many tend to associate the country with things like poverty and starvation, or the looming threat of a changed global climate. But there is another story to tell. When Bangladesh gained independence in 1971, after a long and brutal war for independence, the country represented just about every...

Around the Shatmata

January 21, 2013

Bogra, a town in Bangladesh’s north-west, is known for its potatoes, red chilies, sweet yoghurt puddings and the historic ruins in the surrounding countryside. But this post will be about neither of them. It’s simply a small series of shots, taken on the streets that lead from Shatmata, the...

Dhaka, Ginsberg and Fanon

January 14, 2013

Dhaka. So many things have been said about this city. It is, we learn, one of the fastest growing mega-cities on the planet, receiving more than half a million rural in-migrants each year (this in a country that’s the 8th most populous in the world, and the most densely...

Encounters 2012

As we went from 2012 to 2013, I thought back a bit of the year that passed. I think most of all, 2012 was the year when I met fascinating people. Here are some of the people I crossed paths with: In January, we went to Mleeta, the ever-fascinating,...

Everywhere fantastic people

December 28, 2012

You visit a place you haven’t been to before. You walk the streets, you notice. You discover things about the world (most of all, you discover things about the place you’re from). You meet people. You become a different person through the people you meet. You continue walking, lucky...

Gurudwara dining

December 22, 2012

One day in Delhi, we were walking around Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest markets in the city. Outside the Sis Ganj Sahib Sikh temple, we bumped into a friendly guy called Vijay (or rather, he bumped into us). The friendliness, it turned out, came complete with a small...

Gandhiji’s Gujarat

December 19, 2012

Porbandar is a small coastal town in western Gujarat, complete with a crowded port, narrow alleys and an ever-present smell of fish and salty waters – and famous for two things. In recent times, it came to been known as a shady place, in the hands of criminal groups,...

Delhi’s beautiful tomb

December 14, 2012

Among all historical, mystical and legendary places in Delhi (of which I didn’t see more than a handful – this time around), one of the most fascinating is the tomb of 14th century sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The dargah (which by the way is a Persian term, meaning...

Enter Bhanvad

December 5, 2012

On our journey through Gujarat, we stopped for a few hours in a small place called Bhanvad. The town is surrounded by a semi-dry landscape, dotted with palm trees and greenery, and has the mountainous Barda Hills as a backdrop. There was a maze of charming back alleys, and...

Books and more

December 2, 2012

What is the first thing you do when arriving in a new city? After finding a place to sleep and making sure you’re not hungry, that is. For me, one of the very first things is exploring the bookshops. Large cities may be noisy and hectic, and lack the...

Painted walls in Udaipur

November 29, 2012

Rajasthan, the large state in India’s northwest, has a great artistic heritage. Ornate palaces can be found across the region, as can brightly colored and decorated temples. But there’s also another interesting form of art, which be seen in less spectacular places: the decorative wall paintings. In Udaipur, a...