A chat with a Sommelier over a glass of wine

What is in a glass of wine? It is either white or red, sometimes rose and if occasion calls for it a Champagne flute. Some sweet and sour and the rest just sour with a punch. Yet for connoisseurs of wine, it a whole new world with unique flavours from places they come from, be…

People and places

The world is indeed a beautiful place. Its mysterious dark blue oceans, Amazonian forests and structured cities and cultures, there is beauty in everything we see in the world. Just thinking about it makes me wish I were rather looking at century old architecture over a cup of coffee with a dashing Italian than writing…

Youkai and its relevance in modern Japan

Do you believe in the supernatural? Not many would at this time and age when many are turning atheist. Well, how can anyone rationalise spirits and ghosts. But don’t you think sometimes the way supernatural beings manifests in literature holds deeper meanings? For instance, youkai in Japanese culture. For people who are reading manga, youkai…

Evolution of Japanese script

Japan as we all know is one of the most ancient cultures in the world. The world’s first novel Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu, was from Japan. But interestingly Japanese got their script later than most civilisations. The journey it took for the Japanese to create their own script is as fascinating as…

Bento: Japan’s fascination with boxed lunches

For most of us lunch boxes never held much fascination. These boxes are usually filled with rice, sometimes mixed with sambar, rasam, curd or more kuzhambu or packed separately. Rice and curry are usually accompanied by vegetable kootu or fry, eggs or fish and rarely meat. It is the more elaborate typical Tamil lunch box…

Could Tamil and Japanese languages have common origins?

Linguistics is an ocean. You can be learning the subject for ages and still not grasp them all. Its close connection with culture only makes it complex and even more fascinating. My interest wandered towards linguistics when I was researching about Japanese culture and its origins. I came across several research journals during my pursuit and…

Poetry in Makoto Shinkai’s movies

It was raining. The garden where lilacs are in full bloom resonated with the sound of falling rain drops. There she was, under the resting area built of black stones, sleeping. He looked at her, went there and sat beside her. She opened her eyes and smiled at him. This was a scene from the…

Remnants of our Colonial past in North Madras

I had in fact forgotten how beautiful North Madras could be. It is so easy to forget that it was where the British had their headquarters during the time they ruled, before the commercial hub T.Nagar and orthodox Mylapore became the ‘cultured part’ of the city, tourists usually frequent. But the only part of Chennai…

Baahubali 2: Not an epic it was meant to

OK. I’m going to say this first before you guys start throwing rotten tomatoes and eggs at me. I saw Baahubali 2: The Conclusion yesterday and I loved it. Sheer visual grandeur rooted me to the spot in the darkened cinema hall. I just could not take my eyes off majestic Baahubali on an elephant,…

The land that lives: A tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his Macondo

This post comes two weeks late since death anniversary of the my favourite Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez on April 17, 2014. In addition to being a role model, he inspired me to find the surreal in the ordinary. Here is to Marquez and the world he created, Macondo.  Macondo, a land founded by the Buendias, who…

What makes a good manga

Ever since a long time ago, I have been reading manga aka Japanese comics. I remember vaguely watching an anime called City Hunter, which narrates the story of a hit man. I could catch only few episodes on TV, but I liked it to the extent of watching entire series online. It was based on…

A ship to nowhere

I had gone to Hong Kong couple of years ago. The place did not impress me. What did was the visage of a ship on the ocean when I was on a Ferris wheel in the Ocean Park, an amusement park in Hong Kong. The text that follows captures what went through my mind when…