Everything they say about the Jaipur Literature Festival is true. It’s crowded, sticky with people with minimal interest in books. Many speakers are hit-and-miss. And it’s the greatest literary show on earth. Continue reading “The Truth About JLF: Gap Year Week 27”
My grandparents live in Vizag, or Vishakapatnam, a small coastal town in Andhra Pradesh. At least I’ve been introducing it that way for the last eighteen years. Continue reading “Roots: Gap Year Week 26”
This time when I landed in Port Blair, the crowds didn’t come as a surprise. I was prepared for the crush around the luggage belt, the humid chaos of the taxi stand, and knew to relish the distance as we left the city behind us, the paddy fields rolling out further and further. My room, open-windowed to green around, felt on the verge of tumbling into forest, and taking me with it. Continue reading “Andamans Again: Gap Year Week 25”
For the last eight years now, my family and I have rung in every new rotation of the sun in Bangalore. New Year’s Eve there is not just a tradition—it’s a certainty, and to suggest anywhere else for the celebration feels vaguely blasphemous. Continue reading “Burning Bright: Gap Year Week 24”
It is the full moon, and the clouds glide past overhead, buoyed by winter breeze. Continue reading “Night Lights”
Great thick-knees are distinctly odd birds – a combination of a shoebill stork, a sandpiper, an ostrich, a bustard, with a hint of a brief, scandalous dalliance with a chessboard around the eyes. They move stiffly and slowly through the days, breaking out into short runs if hurried, moving deliberately, as if trying to hold all the different pieces of themself together.
The IUCN lists them as near-threatened due to the rapid disappearance of their riverside habitat. This one appeared on the bank like a ghost, landing silently, staring at us carefully for moments as we drifted away across the river.