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Life Among the Scorpions

LIFE AMONG THE SCORPIONS: Memoirs of a woman in Indian politics (Rupa and Co. 2017, 294 pages, available from Amazon) No Indian woman has written openly about the stresses and hassles of functioning in the political sphere- it would be too embarrassing to mention sexual harassment in a society that purports to revere leaders and […] Read more

When I was a silly 10 year old my brother I played a game of pretending to be two Parsis called Freny and Homi and we carried on dialogues in funny voices between the imaginary pair and which we thought were hilarious. I found their names exotic and so different from run of the mill  […] Read more

Exiles in far islands

Currently  pertinent in regard  to colonial history,  the Karma Police are working overtime issuing warrants and ASBOs.    Unholy chaos in the Middle East (messing about with other peoples’ borders and ideas of nationhood) as well as  news reports of rotten baby teeth in Britain, obesity, cancer and diabetes (linked to a sugar laden national […] Read more

British Values (4): Watching the English

Summer to Autumn, Autumn to Winter the period before things stabilize into predictable patterns, or what they are going to be like for a while- at least until the next seasonal change starts to shake the air- people like me become restless and questioning. Who am I, where do I fit in, where do I […] Read more

Two Businessmen in Delhi

Being designated a businessman is an accolade in India,  replete with aspiration as well as connotations of  hustling,  money-making  and someone worldly,  street savvy, shrewd.  And though Kapil Gaur is, strictly speaking, an artisan-entrepreneur he sees himself as a bit of a businessman. “If I told you my story you would never believe it. I […] Read more

The Outdoor Working LIfe in Delhi

              Sridevi is a gardener at the Lodi Gardens, formerly Lady Willingdon Gardens, where she has tenured employment at Rs 1,400 a month She is a widow and comes from the  Mali caste. She has two children and lives in Badarpur, a suburb of Delhi. I complimented her on […] Read more

The ghosts of Lodi Gardens

                      At the Convent of Jesus and Mary, on the Feast Days of Saints David, Andrew, George and Patrick, Reverend Mother announced a picnic for the girls belonging to the House named for one of the four saints. I seem to remember I was a […] Read more

A few pretty pics and then a rant

  The old bullock cart of democratic process has changed: it’s now a battered three wheeler which phuts along, breaking down every so often in clouds of  black fumes. Sometimes it almost sputters to a halt and lengthy debates erupt about its efficacy. Maybe the older image was better: the cart lumbered on, regardless. It […] Read more

Simon Digby’s Collection at the Ashmolean

Simon Digby   In a small room below the major space devoted to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore,  is a selection of delightful miniature paintings collected by my friend Simon Digby and bequeathed by him to the Ashmolean Museum where, in the eighties, he was Assistant Curator (the only paid job he ever had). The […] Read more

Two steps Forward in India

Everything is rotten in the state of India, but maybe not quite as black and white as it sometimes looks to the returning native. We can only blame ourselves for our lazy, laid back, class ridden, caste riddled, feudal, corrupt, filthy society. The rupee has fallen by 20 percent (incompetent management at the top), investors […] Read more