Notes from Mostar

This piece was originally published in The Hindu Sunday Magazine.

The bus rolls slowly into the central station in eastern Mostar, the familiar crunching sound of gravel under the tires signalling the end of the ride. The journey from Sarajevo had taken just a little over two and a half hours, and we’d got to enjoy the sight of the enticing emerald-green waters of the Neretva river along the way. Continue reading “Notes from Mostar”

Summertime Madness

Ah, summer. How I loathe you.

I grew up in Chennai, a city that witnesses summer year-round – the heat a sort of clingy, constant companion that you can never evade. We dealt with it using artificial, environmentally unfriendly methods to ease our suffering, shuffling from one air-conditioned environment to the next in an air-conditioned car. Continue reading “Summertime Madness”

Dispatches: Delhi’s Neglected Urban Villages

The area beneath the Barapullah flyover, just behind South Delhi’s INA metro station, is congested, with vehicles, cows and pedestrians colliding as they make their way through the chaos. The honking is incessant; cows are sprawled on the middle of the road, with motorists often pushing them out of their way. Nearby, a sea of bricks and an excavator marks ongoing construction, while the air is pungent with the smell of sewage. Continue reading “Dispatches: Delhi’s Neglected Urban Villages”

Visual Diary: Dusty Delhi Days

Back in September, I moved to New Delhi. Over these past six months, the weather has gone from sweltering to frigid to—presently—clear skies and a gentle breeze. And with that, the air quality has dramatically improved (in Delhi, that means it’s no longer hazardous like in the winter months, just plain unhealthy). My own feelings towards the city have oscillated between fascination and exasperation—in addition to the absence of fresh air, there’s the relentless honking, the inexplicably high prices, the general brusqueness—and yet, it’s been good to be here. Delhi is steeped in history, and the chaos fuels my writing somehow. Continue reading “Visual Diary: Dusty Delhi Days”

Visual Diary: A Winter’s Night on Shimla’s Mall Road

Earlier this month, I ran for the hills – quite literally – fleeing Delhi (and its toxic Diwali smog) for Shimla. The crisp winter air was invigorating as I walked along Mall Road and the Ridge, taking in the surroundings. People gathered outside popular local eateries, busied themselves with shopping, gazed at watercolour paintings displayed at the Gaiety and enjoyed late-night strolls around Christ Church. Continue reading “Visual Diary: A Winter’s Night on Shimla’s Mall Road”