On Playing Mother.

My mother never dressed up. She did not believe in makeup or vanity, or even being overtly conscious about one’s appearance. And that’s always been her style — hair a little out of place, sari always without a pin, dupatta mopping the floor, bindi always crooked. I never had a problem with it, in fact in many ways I have grown up to be like … Continue reading On Playing Mother.

Making of the Muri Mix or Laiyya Mixture.

Muri. Murmura. Laiyya. Mamra. This humble puffed rice has as many names as it has uses: soak and make poha out of it (try it!), Grind it and make sattu with it, fry it and make a snack out of it, mix it up with other fun things to make jhaalmuri or bhelpuri, or, as they call in Allahabad,  churmura, with it. You can also … Continue reading Making of the Muri Mix or Laiyya Mixture.

एक खँडहर की कहानी। (Hiraeth)

इन दरवाज़ों के पीछे कभी ज़िन्दगी बसा करती होगी, इस दहलीज़ के अंदर कभी महफ़िलें सजा करती रहीं होंगी; इनके आँगन में कभी गूंजा करती होगी बच्चों की किलकारी, कभी नानी, कभी दादी, कभी प्यारी सी बुआ हमारी। इनकी चौखट पर कभी चाची की प्यासी आँखें चाचा का इंतज़ार करती रहीं होंगी, इनकी दलानो पर कभी चाचा ताऊ की तकरार भी हुई ही होगी; इस … Continue reading एक खँडहर की कहानी। (Hiraeth)

UNESCO World Heritage: A Story of Life and Love

Nothing I had read, or heard had prepared me for Khajuraho. It is not hard to imagine a temple town in India: take a few ancient sandstone temples, fill them up with religious crowds, add a handful of foreign tourists; line its streets with cheap hotels, dot its squares with beggars and touts; finish off with piles of garbage and a few stray animals. This … Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage: A Story of Life and Love

UNESCO World Heritage Week: Getting Lost in Brugge.

Ride a bike along the canals lined with world heritage buildings, gorge on home made fries, wash them down fresh beer, and follow it up with world’s best chocolate. Getting lost in the oldest city of Flanders is not without its perks. Climb the belfry, ride into the middle ages on a horse drawn carriage and stroll in the main square:   The bell tower … Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage Week: Getting Lost in Brugge.

UNESCO World Heritage Week: Prambanan.

There are many ways to learn about history – reading history books, studying about the subject, watching videos and documentaries – but there is only one way to experience history, and that is by being in places where history was made and being a history buff, I often find myself in places where history was created. After having spent a long peaceful morning in Borobudur … Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage Week: Prambanan.

UNESCO World Heritage Week: Borobudur, A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Java.

It is still dark when we arrive at a resort close to the temple. A bright reception welcomes us and a lady promptly hands over torches to everyone — we are supposed to walk the rest of the distance. Continue reading UNESCO World Heritage Week: Borobudur, A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Java.

Aloo-Puri: The Quintessential Winter Breakfast

If there is a quintessential UP breakfast, it is Aloo-Puri. Jalebi and dahi, khasta and samosa, makkhan malai is all good but one cannot eat any of it regularly, plus you cannot make them at home. And so aloo puri. Sometimes kaddu too. The aloo sabzi is lightest ever, the kaddu or pumpkin is cooked with red chilli, dry mango powder, and sugar and puris … Continue reading Aloo-Puri: The Quintessential Winter Breakfast