Category Archives: India 2012

Clean souls and Satanic Verses

‘I remember you from last time! Last time you buy very much for your wife!’

From my seat in the rickshaw I glance up at the rearview mirror to be greeted by a wide grin. It is clear that telling the driver that I am neither married nor bought anything on my visit here (to the Jaipur Literary Festival) last year will make no difference.

‘Yes you buy very much! I remember! What you take back for her this year? Jewellery?’

‘A clean soul,’ I reply, half sarcastically, the words falling out of my mouth before I know what I am saying. Continue reading


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Ladies and acceptable authors only

“Excuse me sir. Ladies only,” says the platform guard.

He looks apologetic. I look around the carriage of the Delhi Underground train I have just boarded. Yup, there is no mistaking the hundreds of sari-clad women around me. I slink back out of the closing doors as unobtrusively as I can, followed by a crowd of puzzled dark eyes. Another lesson re-learned in India.

It takes a little time to get used to Delhi’s foibles again after a period away; but despite the freezing January fog (the city’s inhabitants are wrapped in a bizarre assortment of winter shawls, scarves and balaclavas against the nine degrees temperature), some things never change. Continue reading

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Filed under India 2012, Jaipur Literature Festival