“The New Lighthouse : Great smells”

April 11th, 2013

If you are visiting port Blair’s Cellular Jail, stop over if your expectations are moderate.

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“Anju Coco Resto: Choose from a 28-page menu!”

April 4th, 2013

Arguably among Havelock’s best restaurants, at Anju Coco Resto, I had one of the best fish dishes.

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Slow life, anybody? Is time ripe for an India entry?

March 16th, 2013

( First appeared in The Economic Times, March 16, 2012)

The historic Palazzo del Gusto in the hill town of Orvieto near Rome is an apt setting for the International Headquarters of CITTASLOW INTERNATIONAL and its director, the-smiling- with- his- eyes Pier Giorgio Oliveti, who sports a prophet’s wispy beard, the right messiah for the cause. Cittaslow, meaning slow city, is the antithesis of the fast culture increasingly pervading modern life. It is a counter philosophy, expressed through a different lifestyle and attitude to life. If war and peace were the black and white of hippie perception, globalisation and homogenisation are the enemies of Cittaslow that seeks to protect things natural and distinctly local.

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The Who-fixation

August 23rd, 2012

(First appeared in The Hindu Business Line, August 23, 2012)

When a political leader said in her unique style what in essence has been stated by well-meaning constituents of the judiciary, prime time show anchors got the theme for a week and more. Understandable. After all, when a religious practice is critically evaluated from within, it is applauded as liberalism whereas the same words, from another tongue, will get attacked as inflammatory.
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A Romance called Venice

March 24th, 2012

(First appeared in Jet Wings, March 2012)

When you are in Venice, you have two choices. You can follow the beaten track – becoming a Boy Scout once again and following the tour guide’s flag to hear what happened to the missing left toe of the lion, to the far right of the fresco on the church wall. Or, experience that tourist-friendly city by hitting its cobble-stoned lanes, armed with the excellent Easymap (with Easyguide, from Venice Tourist Board) and a daily pass for the vaporetto (waterbus).

Venice is ideal for the latter choice. Here is why:

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Back to college, déjà vu”

August 14th, 2011

If you are a male, can you claim to have stayed in a girls’ hostel without breaking rules?

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Can we also have Indians against corruption?

August 10th, 2011

(First appeared in The Hindu, August 6, 2011)

Never has corruption dominated the public consciousness as obsessively as it does in today’s India. That there are more offenders outside than inside jails has helped the democratisation of corruption, which has seeped down to the pores of economic activity and the grass roots of governance in day-to-day living.

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Where the sands turn orange

August 9th, 2011

(First appeared in The Hindu, August 6, 2011)

A must-do on your itinerary, the Desert Safari in Dubai is filled with ups and downs, good food and some great dancing.

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Malacca – a treasure trove of history

April 15th, 2011

(First appeared in The Week online edition, April 2011)

For centuries, it was a flourishing port state bridging East and West. Founded by an Indian King in the early 15th century, soon under the Portuguese who were driven out in 1641 by the Dutch, followed by British rule till the middle of the 20th century…

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Plain folk — cricket’s true stakeholders

April 3rd, 2011

(First appeared in The Hindu, April 3, 2011)

I landed in Colombo on India’s Independence Day in 2006, with mixed feelings. A tri-nation cricket series involving India, Sri Lanka and South Africa was in prospect, but the inaugural match slated for the previous day was cancelled following a bomb blast in the heart of Colombo. En route to the Taj Samudra, we drove past the spot where a bomb had caused seven deaths just 24 hours ago.

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