Foodfest: Pincoya’s Blessing

Chile, South America: They believe this blindly. If the water mermaid, La Pincoya, dances on the beach facing the mountains on their island, with her back towards the sea, there is little hope for the day. But if she dances facing the ocean: AHOY! Come, let’s rush! We have plenty of fish waiting for us in the sea. Chilao, the enchanted archipelago – separated from the mainland of Chile by a narrow channel and a unique culture – is shrouded … Continue reading

For a bite of white meat

I was hungry one evening. Then I remembered an invitation I got twelve years back. I set off in a train next day to remind my student about it. When Vijeesh touched my shoulder and called, “Mashe…” I froze. I was waist-deep in water in the middle of the river. I held my breath and peered down at where he pointed his torchlight at. At first I thought the whole riverbed was moving. Then slowly my eyes picked the serrated … Continue reading

The Divine Comedy: Paradiso – Part 1

This is the third and last part of the Divine Comedy series on the writer’s journey through Bhutan. To read the first part click Divine Comedy: Inferno. For the second part, click Divine Comedy Purgatario. Enjoy reading. I wake up under the woolen quilt – inside three t-shirts, a jacket, blue jeans, and a pair of woolen socks – with a hunch that someone is sitting near me, patiently waiting for my eyes to blink open. I pull my quilt … Continue reading

The Divine Comedy: Paradiso – Part 2

Continued from part 1 of Divine Comedy: Paradiso Every time a beautiful girl in kira (their traditional dress) passes by, Chang stops the car and asks for direction. “Abu danna,” he says once or twice, and bows politely when they reply something quick in Dzonga – perhaps, a ‘poda patti’ or ‘get lost, you asshole’ in their language. But I don’t understand why the girls chuckle as they retort (see the typical pic). All morning we spend our time idling … Continue reading