Kafeel Bhai

There was scarcely a long-distance hauler that did not bear this slogan. ‘Kafeel bhai ko salaam,’ it would say in the Nastaliq script.

Forgeries of Burnt Skin

In this City of Sin — Such beautiful forgeries! It’s been a pleasure, really — Lying in air-conditioned rooms, feeling the silky sheets on burnt skin, while 26 stories beneath you — a glorious carnival continues.

Grave Matters

Down a slender gravel path – little more than a farm service road – in rural west central Illinois, twenty miles or so from the Mississippi River, in the township of Sumner, in the county of Warren, lies the Sugar Tree Grove Cemetery, established in 1830 as the original site of the first church in that county.
Woman from Kashmir

Poems for Kashmir

Today, while they show you the colour of Jhelum —bathed in red do not let them forget The Lidder’s water— splashed with blood in ‘89 Turning lives to stone Peeling the skin of kith and kin reminding them—you never were our own The foundation of the dry blood coating the streets of Srinagar remains of Lassa Kaul.
Koniak (Konyak)

Trip to the Land of Borderland

Can you ever imagine your bedroom in India and your kitchen in Myanmar. Isn’t it bizarre and wouldn’t it be strange to know that your home is divided not between family members or even relatives but between two nations? As bizarre as it sounds they exists!
Ephesus Celsus Library

Letter from Ephesus

The Road to Mazar: They said the north was safe and so I went, stepping through the snakes of the Kabul airport, face and body draped in burka blue,

France Poems (Paris & Toulon)

The train weighs lightly on the locomotive and moves like a hurried whisper. The landscape, to my surprise, looks a lot like the American Midwest: parched grass, unfettered trees and thread-sized electric cables tied to giant poles. The grazing cows might have looked healthier, but I couldn’t tell.
Fatehpur Sikri_Equal Caramelized Accusations

Equal Caramelized Accusations

In that first photo, you have a bouffant updo and bangs “The Sadhna cut was all the rage” Squarish face, with just a hint of the heaviness that will come later. Large eyes and a direct gaze. Not a hint of a smile. Even for this, the biye-er chhobi.

Pedra da Gávea

Pedra da Gavea— the 'hard-topped stone' mountain. I climbed that difficult bastard, That pebble-ridden, stone-cold, jagged edged, steep dropping type. The type that makes your legs wobble and your eyes stretch out to distant shores. Millions of dollars of urban habitat colonize the beaches below, Like miniature ant colonies bustling around sand piles.
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.
Old Bell

A Stone’s Throw Behind the Black Backbone

In the firefighter’s dawn, a waking jolt Shook a scientist’s needle in its bracket. Our storm-flensed heaven made no sign of rain. We went about our business, unaware Of what would come of that discovery While somewhere unnoticed, a faithful eye
Kyoto Museum

The Tiger in the Outlines

Back to Kyoto four months later, after leaving it in that summer haze when I cycled through the streets and every sight and sound wove meaning into the larger scene. Saturated it. I found the temples by the sluice and its rock garden that rippled through me. I looked into its rooms at the dimly lit paintings, the tiger’s shimmering golden lines. I wrote a blog, felt renewed and re-discovered. I’m still in dialogue with those initial impressions of Kyoto.
Kamarpara Aro Akash

The Loss of a Horizon: Kamarpara

A thatched roof with muted light seeping through what appeared to be stained glass had caught our attention. Stained glass in a village with barely any sign of urbanisation, in the red laterite district of Birbhum, not one of the more affluent and developed districts of the state?
Indian Railway Poetry

No One Got down at Ludhiana

Twenty two houses for every village and an endless paddy field. We glide over the iron tracks, across the valley, watching lights flicker from the distant horizon. Night brings moon, spreads its wings over the vast fields. An ancient snake screams out its disgust. Leaves only smoke when its gone.
New Jersey

Lost and Found in New Jersey

Last year my wife and I drove from New Jersey to Florida and back. We visited the low country of South Carolina, the sea islands of Georgia, and the coastal wetlands of northern Florida. Two years ago we drove from New Jersey to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, and then drove west, across Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, up into Colorado and across Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains and down into Durango.
The Very Bearable Lightness of Being, Agnes Andre, Czech Republic, East Europe, Clock

The Very Bearable Lightness of Being

Ostrava and its region is a former industrial center, but you know, the city and its inhabitants are really willing to get back on their feet, they are very active in investing dynamism into the rehabilitation the region.

Three Magical Places and a Quartet

Kashmir’s geography has the added charm that one can read the unique history of literally each place in the pages of Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅginī that was written in 1150. As in Herodotus’s Histories about Greece,