Dahlia, the oldest Japanese restaurant in Chennai

After months of planning I finally visited the oldest Japanese restaurant in Chennai, Dahlia last weekend. Though finding the restaurant could be a problem, I loved the experience. The restaurant was almost hidden, as if it does not want unnecessary attention, in the far end of the corner in an old building that could use…

Coffee, a way of life

There are two types of people, those who love coffee and the rest who don’t. Cliched though it sounds, coffee is one such drink that either creates loyalists or enemies. There are hardly in-betweens. Because coffee is not just a drink for people like me, it is an emotion. (A cliche again, but please bare…

How I went from being a poor eater to a foodie

People who know me will say that my appetite is poor. I have never been able to finish food when eating out. If it is a three course meal, be sure that I will be full by the time second course is served. Somehow I was never able to find much pleasure in the act…

Kotodama, spirit of words

Language or rather words, have power. I have often heard my grandmother or father advising my sister and I about the way we use words through anecdotes. My father would say, “Words have power. They attract the good and evil, positive and negative energy.” I would hear stories about how devas grant wishes by saying…

Are we regressing in the name of culture and heritage?

What is Indian culture? I feel compelled to ask this question after I read range of news reports that emphasised ‘pure’ way living and doing things like abstaining from desire, lust, eating meat and basically everything that a human needs. It all started with reports on how you should copulate only on auspicious days to…

Shinsengumi, the Japanese version of Karna from Mahabharata

Who would not like tall, tanned men with taut muscles in sexy yukata that reveals their six-pack? Add that badass smile and tragic story, women are seriously a goner. That is what Japanese Shinsengumi are all about. Shinsengumi is a military faction formed to support Tokugawa Shonungate led by Serizawa Kamo, Niimi Nishiki and Kondo…

Kimi no na wa, a movie with a soul

You watch so many movies, some good, mostly trash and others that just refuse to leave your mind like Kimi no na wa (Your name) by Makoto Shinkai. I saw the movie when I was on the flight from Denmark to India two months back. It has possessed me since then. I chose the movie…

Yet another bowl of Ramen in Chennai

I tried Ramen again. This time in GoGo Ramen, a Japanese Ramen restaurant in Chennai.  I have tried Ramen in two other places before. However the taste was not quite the same and it differed from one shop to another. But I loved all the three, probably for their distinct versions. The one I had…

Of world of fiction and of latent desires

I love fiction. I grew up reading them, be it Jeffrey Archer, Kalki or even Sidney Sheldon. If you ask me if I would read Sheldon now, no way I would. I can only say it was a phase. There are books that I found pleasure in when I was an adolescent. There are many…

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…