Beer Prague

The Beer and other Clichés

Illuminated faces by a golden or amber liquid, spume hung to the lips. Tongue clearing the whole thing. Behind the counter, this is an endless and sped-up video of the day, in a paradoxical slow-motion: steins get filled, two different taps, one for the foam, the other one for the golden brown liquid.
Ireland tavern candlestick

Cold Marble on Hot Skin

That was the month of the yellow winds dust storms from china tear gas from guns-- That was the year I learned to cry again to shake as if it were a prayer; Easter Sunday, surrounded by troops the students began to sing: something about freedom
Morocco lamentations kettle


The day we arrive, the map says duck pond, but our host crosses out the words impatiently: not a duck pond— it’s a lake! It floods sometimes, enough to wash a car away. A man drowned there a few years back. Jeremy demands proof: How can there be a funeral with no body? We walk through town. The duck pond by the road is flat and calm. Two weeks later, young Karam, brought by his father to help welcome us, retells the story.

When Moonje Met Mussolini

While M.S. Golwalkar is the better known ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, Dr. B.S. Moonje was no less influential in the formation of the ethos of militant Hindu nationalism. A brilliant ophthalmologist who discovered a new way of treating cataract, he was the head of the Hindu Mahasabha from 1927 to 1937, when he was succeeded by V.D. Savarkar. He was a close friend and mentor of Hegdewar as well. After attending the Second Round Table Conference in England in 1931
Selfridges Consumerism Tourism

Selfridges and Consumerism

“We are all merchants,” said Selfridge, “and all races of men have been merchants in some form or the other.” Merchant was he who was a writer, doctor, statesman, lawyer or an artist, said Selfridge. While bourgeois mercantilism found an illustrious redefinition in the store Selfridges, what also became furthermore legitimate was—to put it rather bluntly—the vulgar and consummative gaze of the travelling buyer, or the soon-to-evolve window-shopper.
Leonard Cohen Canadian Crooner

The Curious Case of a Canadian Crooner: Leonard Cohen

It was 2010. Cohen’s world tours had been on for a couple of years. His one-time secretary Ms Kelley Lynch had defrauded him of millions of dollars. (Eventually she was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2013, on grounds of harassing him with intimidating calls and emails.) Cohen who had retired from public life, had to start singing at concerts in 2008. They were a runaway hit contrary to his expectations, and his managers decided that this could be expanded to a world tour.
dublin, ireland, joyce, literary tourism

A Senior and a Slacker Tour: Literary Dublin

The River Liffey cuts through Dublin on its way to the Irish Sea, dividing the town into two distinct halves. “South of the Liffey,” reported our Fodor’s guide, “are graceful squares and fashionable terraces from Dublin’s elegant Georgian heyday.” Trinity College, Temple Bar, Grafton Street—all of the city’s most heralded sights are here.
Barber in Kaxgar

Chini Bagh

Avid and hopelessly anachronistic Great Game historians that we were, the city’s other offerings (few enough) were at best incidental, at worst inconsequential. In the annals of amateur travel (certainly in India)


November 1973. The dark sets in early in Calcutta winters, so when the Bombay-Howrah Mail glided in at journey’s end it was practically night, even if the hour wasn’t too advanced. Of the three of us on...

Allen’s Dalliances: New York, London, Barcelona, Paris, Rome

There can be no doubt; he is a womanizer...of cities. When his New York affair began, in Allen's own words (as Alvy) he was the: "I think I'm gonna be the balding virile type, you know, as opposed to say the, uh, distinguished gray." And, by god, we loved him for that. Or, perhaps we all mistook his landscapes for him. Termed as Muses and Cliches -- and in an endless litany of articulate and inarticulate audience-responses -- Woody Allen's cities keep inspiring, mesmerising, irritating, eluding and deluding just as the characters inhabiting them.