From Humans of New York, a good reminder:
“I’ve spent my life trying to undo habits—especially habits of thinking. They narrow your interaction with the world. They’re the phrases that come easily to your mind, like: ‘I know what I think,’ or ‘I know what I like,’ or ‘I know what’s going to happen today.’ If you just replace ‘know’ with ‘don’t know,’ then you start to move into the unknown. And that’s where the interesting stuff happens.”
Baby birthday parties, especially the elaborate ones with expensive cakes and extensive guest lists, used to strike me as unnecessary and self-indulgent, not to mention a little absurd – why fête someone who can’t understand the concept? But as I’ve come to realize over the past year, things change when you become an aunt.Read More
Founded as Shahjahanabad in 1639, Old Delhi was the capital of the Mughals until the end of the dynasty. Once filled with elegant mosques, gardens, and the mansions of the Royal Court, Old Delhi circa 2009 is an immensely crowded, dilapidated version of that former glory.
It wasn't just the comforts of the French home and the stability of an everyday routine that nurtured my adoration. Like good love stories often do, mine started with idealized notions and grand ideas. New Delhi, the exalted subject, was not just the dusty city I was currently living in, it was itself a notion and an idea nurtured by an author whose words floated off the page.
Darkness. I could hear the kids running up and down the hallway and Solenne’s shoes clinking on the marble floor, but I couldn’t see anything. After one home-cooked meal and a good night’s sleep, I woke up the next morning, my second day in Delhi, with a burning fever and a migraine that made my stomach turn.Read More
Delhi is more arid than Mumbai. From the moment we stepped out of the train station and into the early morning sun we knew it wasn’t going to be the sweltering experience we’d just had. There was, however, a fine haze in the air. You could see it in the rays of sun beating down on the tops of idle black cabs, but you couldn’t feel it because it wasn't water vapor. . .Read More
It would have been easy to hop on a plane. Let me rephrase, it would have been relatively easy to hop on a plane, considering that nothing is really easy in India, but we decided to take the adventurous route instead, opting for a 17 hour train ride.Read More
I would like to pause this narrative for Chapter Three and talk about something I was obsessed with while in New Delhi, the motor rickshaw. I told my travel buddies numerous times that I wanted to import a real motor rickshaw back to England, complete with the customary decorative stickers or statuettes of Krishna, Ganesha, Shiva, and Vishnu, and the glittery, neon grass that was often "planted" on the dashboard.Read More
It was broad daylight when we arrived at the train station. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is located in a bustling but not entirely upscale sector of the city, and its Victorian gothic architecture springs out of the clamor and dust of the busy streets, providing a drastic contrast.Read More
I was excited about visiting India, no doubt about it. Prior to departure, nothing could dampen my enthusiasm, not even the ridiculous drama that ensued at the Indian Embassies in London and Berlin two weeks before. The dreaded vaccine regimen was a blip on the radar, and the warnings about recent outbreaks of dengue in New Delhi seemed overblown.Read More
Last year I moved to a bustling city known affectionately to me as sweet little London town. Among other more intrepid adventures, I spent quite some time in the stuffy hideaways of the LSE library. I was learning IR theory, and better acquainting myself with a new city and an interesting group of friends.Read More
They looked at each other and smiled. I thought my grandpa might be put off by the idea of a long question and answer session about his love life and marriage, but as I asked the questions and coaxed a conversation along, he seemed to float back easily into memories of those times, the early days.Read More
In Politics, Aristotle says, “human beings are by nature political animals” (1253a1-18). This is certainly true, though sometimes it takes triggers to politicize people. These triggers are commonly the effects of defunct ideologies, bad policies, corrupt politicians, or ideological persuasion. . .Read More
Last week I was sitting at my usual lakeside perch reading Susan Sontag's historical novel The Volcano Lover when I learned that a real, live, ash-spewing volcano had just erupted near Eyjafjallajökull, an Icelandic glacier named after a typing error.Read More
I’m charmed by places like Oggebbio. There is a sense of quiet respite and quaint comfort foreign to big cities, and the eccentricity of local customs that neither conform to nor are informed by rules or modern customary practice.Read More