Spirited Away

To all my moralist friends who spread juicy stories about their colleague. They are absolutely right. I flew abroad and drank an ocean. But they must note one more thing in their diary: their friend had left India with little hope. 1)    Alcohol sale is strictly controlled in the mountain kingdom. A dry day is observed every week. And you won’t get a drop before the clock strikes 1pm. 2)    Once in every year, Bhutan observes a month of absolute … Continue reading

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