On June 3, 1995, I had the opportunity to meet the much-debated sociologist Dor Bahadur Bista for an interview at his residence in Lalitpur. Ethnic identity politics had been gaining momentum in the years following the establishment of multiparty democracy. In a society that was slowly beginning to open up, Bista had introduced the idea [...]
It’s unclear if the proprietors of Chez Caroline in Babar Mahal Revisited chose their location at the far, far end of the suspiciously polished and over-restored palace as a means of enticing their clientele, or to run away from them. I entered the restaurant perhaps a bit too earnestly dressed, and the busy diners all [...]
Please be seated by 4, noted the ticket, but by the time the MC began to gush about how lucky we were that Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia was in the house, it was close to 5. And she wasn’t even in the programme. ‘When was the last time you saw classical music in Nepal,’ she [...]
Image: Oranges ripen in front of Jhamak's house.
There are peculiarities to every journey. In most cases, travel is defined by its purpose. Few have the luxury or peace of mind to travel aimlessly. Even as a tourist, such abandonment is a rare experience. When one travels in a big red bus filled with books, the books form the pixellated vision of the [...]
Aruni Kashyap’s debut novel The House with a Thousand Stories (Penguin, 2013) is about many things: women, marriage, fear, guilt, purity and xenophobia, alienation from the state, language and its transformative properties, and a variety of oppressions. When Pablo, a young man raised in Guwahati, returns to the village of Hatimura in remote Assam, he [...]