2021: Yet another year of surviving the pandemic

When I wrote my year-end blog at the end of 2020, I wondered if there would be another year, where just surviving would take as much precedence as this. Then I proceeded to say, “Maybe not.” I could not have been more wrong. As far as a year goes, 2021 was worse, way worse, than 2020.

A visit to Belgium’s only official Chinatown in Antwerp

Situated in the heart of the Diamond City, the Chinatown is just a few feet away from the city’s railway station, an architectural marvel. The colourful paifang, the traditional Chinese arch or gateway, welcomes you, like the one in Milan, but subdued very much similar to the city itself.

The way of life of shokunins, the Japanese masters

職人. Shokunin.  I first came across this word in Matt Goulding’s Rice, Fish and Noodles, where he describes a Japanese chef’s dedication to the art of making sushi. I came across the term again, when I was watching the popular documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which chronicles the life of shokunin, Jiro Ono.  It is…

Hayao Miyazaki, the king of dreams and madness from Japan

As journalists, we all have that one personality that we would love to interview. Think of tech celebrities such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or maybe even Jack Ma (if we know where he is first), but not limited to them. You get the drift right? People who had humble beginnings, who are visionaries, and…

Coronavirus diaries | Eating my way through the pandemic

One of the best things that happened during the pandemic was getting back to cooking, which I used to love.  From trying North Indian dishes to Korean pancakes, I have spent more time in the kitchen over weekends in the last few weeks than over the last one year.  There were lot of dishes that…

What happened to the once popular never ending game Temple Run?

I was killing boredom with a game of Temple Run 2 at the dawn of another boring day.  I ran. I ran further. I kept on running.  I crossed the rivers and hopped over the obstacles. Rewards were plenty and dangers bountiful. There were narrow lanes and fire coughing mountains, giggling rivers and dangling emeralds…

Besan ka Chila, from India to Africa’s Zanzibar

I was recently reading the book, Feast in the Islamic World by Anissa Helou, a cookbook focused on the regions, where its food culture was shaped by Islam including India, Pakistan, West and Central Asia, and Africa.  It was more of a recipe book sprinkled with information about when and which place it originated from….

From Kabedon to Wabi-Sabi and Ikigai, the beauty of Japanese language

How many languages do you know that has a word for every damn thing? I mean like literally everything. I know one – Japanese.  The language, based on my elementary proficiency and reading popular literature, has a vocabulary so wide that it makes me wonder if there are any situations that cannot be described by…

Coup d’état, small town style!

It was 9 PM. Men and women in groups of three and four were whispering in a remote village in a district in rural Tamil Nadu. After an interval, of say 15-20 min, a person from one group would move to the other to keep them abreast of the discussion, again in a whisper. That…