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    Bespoke, she spoke

    Were I to pick a single indelible impression from my visit to Hyderabad last year, the genteel mien of an indomitable Suraiya Hassan Bose jumps promptly to attention. A spry eighty-something who has devoted the past three decades of her life to reviving Persian brocade. For the most part, unaided.

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    (Al)lure Of The Himalaya

    Dear Peeved Mountain-loving Subscriber,

    This one is for you. Just this once. For no reason other than that I empathise with your yearning for a topography nonpareil; indeed my bailiwick.

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    Times Food Guide

    Authoring the 2015 Times Food Guide for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali counts as yet another first. Challenging, but still. It is no secret that the Tricity is not topping charts as a gourmand’s destination, unlike say a Delhi or an Amritsar, but it did throw up some little-known gems that I hope will stay the course.

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    Review: A World Within By Minakshi Chaudhry

    Book churner Minakshi Chaudhry’s latest literary outing, her 13th, is a clear departure from her earlier works. A World Within is a two-year conversation between a dementia-struck father and his daughter even as he slowly and surely disconnects from his familiar former self.

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    Excavating The Story of Sirpur

    For a place named after wealth, Sirpur has clearly witnessed, is witnessing, vastly varying tides of fortune. This is one of myriad thoughts that flit through my mind as I sit watching the third edition of the Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival (16th-18th Jan) unfold before me.

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    Atmospheric Nizamuddin in Pictures

    The mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin sits amidst a labyrinth of really narrow passages which mostly and quite magically lead up to the dargah regardless of where you might be starting out from. Am sharing here a few images that hopefully capture the ambience of the place.

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    Sufi Stirrings

    The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526CE) is collectively credited for welcoming into its centuries long fold Sufi intellectualism even as the Mongols were busy trouncing it back home in Central Asia. Eventually, the Mongols too pushed their way into Hindustan but by then this mystical tradition of Islam, drawn no doubt in equal part by the spiritual mystique of Bhakti thought, had found a firm foothold. The Sufis of yore were philosophers, scholars and poets of immense note, as much as they were itinerant knowledge seekers who established a number of silsilas (orders) in their adopted homes.

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    Destination Chhattisgarh

    The pocket guide on Sirpur, one in a set of five books on Chhattisgarh, is a milestone of sorts. It’s my first solo-author book for Lonely Planet India and I couldn’t be more chuffed.

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    Birds, Memorials, Pakoras, and stuff

    Shirtless Latinos grappling with chiselled Danes may not be par for the course (perhaps I was the Chosen Few), this still is a favourable period weather-wise to look towards Punjab’s under-celebrated charms. Some of which I explored as unhurried day trips while at a pretty little village in Gurdaspur last month.

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    2015 Ahoy!

    Here’s wishing everyone another fun-filled year on the road. Countless sunrises, unavoidable bends, breathtaking sunsets…and all. To cutting loose endlessly, cheers!

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Travel

IMG_0934

Bespoke, she spoke

Were I to pick a single indelible impression from my visit to Hyderabad last year, the genteel mien of an indomitable Suraiya Hassan Bose jumps promptly to attention. A spry eighty-something who has devoted the past three decades of her life to reviving Persian brocade. For the most part, unaided.

Latest in Books

Latest in Food

DSC_9513-002

Times Food Guide

Authoring the 2015 Times Food Guide for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali counts as yet another first. Challenging, but still. It is no secret that the Tricity is not topping charts as a gourmand’s destination, unlike say a Delhi or an Amritsar, but it did throw up some little-known gems that I hope will stay the course.

Review: Amaltas Avenue By Manju Jaidka

Amaltas_Avenue

Amaltas Avenue, Manju Jaidka’s third novel, is set against a backdrop of campus happenings over a period of three days during a sultry Chandigarh summer. The book focuses on a number of characters who share a common milieu, including the eponymous residential neighbourhood, even as they drift through seemingly ordinary lives, playing out mundane everyday roles at an individual level.

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Review: The Kothi, Gurdaspur

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The old-worldly Kothi, set at the top end of a tree-lined driveway merging with viridian grounds efflorescent with colour, is a happy marriage between traditional Punjabi and colonial design motifs. It was once part of a rambling ancestral haveli that is today an amorphous result of expanding families and their need for privacy without losing all connectedness.

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