A Heritage Walk near the Charminar

I take a group of bloggers on a heritage walk around the Charminar. We discover a bunch of stuff about the iconic Charminar and its heritage, as well as some yummy food, the chef's ancient but still-working communications system, and of course, lots of stories!

A Hell of a Tale

A chance misreading of a letter sets in motion a long rambling account of what happens in my mind when faced with an unexplainable phenomenon. Also a bit of fun about living in the age of STD booths and inland letter cards.

Part of a Billion

Last week, a census taker visited us, and for the first time, included us in the National Census of India.

The only previous memory of being included in the census was in the 1981 census, when I was staying with my grandparents in Bangalore for the summer holidays. My grandmother was sitting on the stone step outside the front door, removing adulterants from rice, when the census taker visited. My grandmother being a teacher herself, she got into a conversation with the census taker, who was also read more

The Art of Self-promotion

Insurance agents truly redraw the boundaries of entrepreneurship. A case in point is the image you see here. Vidya forwarded it to me, and I guess it was sent to her by someone to whom an insurance agent sent it. I have, of course, removed any personally identifiable information before posting it here, lest the agent be subjected to random acts of anger.

I myself am unsure of my reaction to this. On the one hand, it is easy to instantly lament the poor taste and opportunism exhibited by the agent. read more

Commercial Media Workers and the “War on Mumbai”

As much as the terrorist attack on Mumbai has exposed India’s unpreparedness to respond, it has exposed the Indian media’s lack of ethics and the death of journalism in Indian television.

The commercial media workers have been screaming at us continuously for about four days now, conveying opinions and impressions rather than facts and figures. Bringing us, and to the terrorists, minute-by-minute updates on what the over-burdened, blundering, ill-equipped “security” forces read more

Summer Wedding

Last weekend took us on a whirlwind visit to Mumbai and Pune. Sriram, long-time friend, sharer in many an adventure (and misadventure!), sleeper at ten thirty, and a lot of other things, finally got hitched, and Vidya and I got a chance to see a Tam Brahm wedding from up close.

Traditional Water Management Systems

Vasumathi was telling us about traditional water management systems that have existed for centuries in agrarian India. She was talking mainly about south India, and the way water management was institutionalised. This is especially important as the vast majority of cropped area is dependent on rains for irrigation.

Since there is only one rainy season, lasting for about two months, a network of irrigation tanks is maintained by the farming communities. These tanks have a two-fold purpose: one is read more