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Jamaica and Alibaug

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I happened to visit a friend’s home in Alibaug. Mumbai residents know of this ‘beach’ which you can get to from Gateway of India in South Mumbai via a half hour boat ride, or a 3.5 hour convoluted drive. In fact, the


At BRACU, Dhaka

I was in Dhaka with my daughter, Simran, 14 years old, as a guest of BRAC, the organization founded some forty odd years ago by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Abedbhai, as he is known there.  The organization is the world’s largest so-called NGO, non-government organization, and runs like a well


Chennai, July 12

Sweltering heat, humidity, rains, though not as torrential as Mumbai these days.  I stay at the Park Sheraton, not because it’s a fabulous hotel, but because I like to run the loop around the Boat Club Road (a loop just outside the hotel). I’m amazed at how hard it is

Istanbul, flags and nationalism

In Istanbul, there are flags everywhere. Some extraordinarily large ones are found on the shores of the Bosphorus, several adorn official buildings, many shops and restaurants display them, and vendors hawk them on street corners, and all this on a normal day, not a national holiday of any sort. It

Turkey, of words and language

I love language. I feel it is a window into local civilizations. So I’m constantly gravitating towards learning phrases. Occasionally enthusiasm strikes and I dive into a new language entirely. Usually it does not sustain itself much and I end up with a lot of vocabulary, and several dozens of

Antiquity in Turkey, June last week

As someone born in Delhi, I am accustomed to walking past very old monuments. Sadly, I’m also accustomed to thinking that they will perforce be dilapidated, disrespected, and generally ignored.  So Istanbul is a pleasant surprise. Hagia Sophia for example (Aya Sophia), the now-museum, once-mosque-and-once-church, the awe-inspiring edifice I walked past

Nairobi, Kenya, May 2012 002

Africa visit, May-June 2012

Here’s a quick photographic round up of my recent Africa trip. Butaro, Rwanda. Amazing to see this hospital run by government of Rwanda, helped by Boston based Partners in Health, the NGO by Dr Paul Farmer that has build Haiti’s health system from scratch. Three pictures of graffiti protesting corruption