About Me

I’m a writer and editor based in New Delhi. Read more about me and my work here.


Night Out: Connaught Place
If you only have one night in Delhi… ♦ Delhi has a surprising amount of nightlife, but it can be difficult for a newcomer to…
Review: The Biscuit
Lizzie Collingham traces the journey of the biscuit from sustenance to sweet treats ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. This summer, when…
Mind your language
Learning Urdu in Delhi ♦ Growing up mostly in the US, my Hindi instruction was limited to brief bouts of Sunday school and reading that…
Provisioning During a Pandemic
Gourmet ingredient delivery around India ♦ Originally published in India Today. Not too long ago, “gourmet” was synonymous with imported. Foreign products occupied the shelves…
Capital Rambles
Delhi: Unknown Tales of a City By RV Smith (Roli, ₹295) Among the contemporary crop of Delhi’s flâneurs and society chroniclers, Ronald Vivian Smith is…
bpbScoop: Devan’s Now Has A Café
The old coffee store now makes drinks, because Devan is a place on earth. ♦ Stopping by recently for our go-to bag of beans (shoppers often…
A Deadly Cocktail in Delhi
Book Review: Killing Time in Delhi ♦By Ravi Shankar Etteth A certain kind of book predictably gets described as a “heady cocktail” of sex, drugs,…
The Writer’s Endurance Test
Book Review ♦ The Assassination of Indira Gandhi: The Collected Stories of Upamanyu Chatterjee, Volume I Originally published in India Today. From the ‘hazaar fucked’…
RT Book Reviews
Magazine review ♦ Name: RT Book Reviews Circulation: 70,000 Date of Birth: 1981 Frequency: Monthly Price: $4.99 In a little brick building in Brooklyn, the…
Stirring the pot
Delhi’s culinary melange ♦ Part of a Time Out Delhi food cover story, this is a short history of Delhi food, plus a guide to eating in…
Rain words
Compiled from John T Platt’s Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English. āb-i-bārān (m) Rain-water. abr-i-āẕur (m) A cloud without rain. abr-i-ʻālamgīr (m) Rain clouds which cover a large…
Delhi Hectic
A new online “Instagram graphic novel” seeks to puncture Delhi’s poseur pride  ♦ It might seem like the height of irony, but Arjun Jassal, creator…
A Weekend in Old Delhi
A budget weekend in purani Dilli ♦ The most difficult decision I had to make while packing for a weekend in Old Delhi, was what sort…
Notes Struck by the Stars
Sanjib Singha at Shridharani Gallery. ♦ The previous shows of Sanjib Singha, a Government Art College, Kolkata graduate, were titled Elements l and Elements II.…
Cracks in the pavement
Setting out to rediscover Calcutta, Amit Chaudhuri rejuvenates the genre of city writing ♦ Cities have been the incubators of literature since at least the…
Asharq Al-Awsat
A worthy detour on the road to Damascus ♦ We don’t often find ourselves in Sarita Vihar, but Surya Sweets – a restaurant run out…
Shahjahanabad coolers
Street the heat ♦ Feeling a bit parched in puraani Dilli? Quench your thirst at these local institutions. Read the Time Out Delhi (July 2009) story as…
The company of strangers
In the neighbourhood ♦ I have never found Buddhist kitsch a particularly comforting form of interior decoration. But about two weeks ago, I found myself…
The treehouse for two
Paramjit and Arpita Singh line their sunny nest with warm reds and leafy greens ♦ This article is part of a series on artists’ homes. When…
The Grey Garden
Fabric of our lives ♦ To get to this Hauz Khas Village eatery, you first descend a cramped alley hung with fabric, reminiscent of the…
Sakura
Authentic, not atmospheric ♦ It’s been 11 years since Sakura first opened in Delhi. Since then, the city’s self-proclaimed “first Japanese restaurant” has opened a…
Looking back at you
While Gieve Patel’s Clouds and Skulls come across as simple studio sketches, his Wells offer a meditative exploration of the natural world ♦ Over the last…
Welcome to Americastan
Jabeen Akhtar knocks stereotypes out of focus ♦ Samira Tanweer just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately for the former political analyst, being back in the…
The collector
Meet Tarun Thakral – a different sort of transport mogul ♦ When the COO of Le Meridien hotel first showed a tendency towards hoarding, it…
bpb Review: Bo-Tai, Mehrauli
Bandage dresses, duck sausage, and Naga fireballs. Oh Mehrauli. ♦ To be seated at the bar at Bo-Tai, restaurateur Zorawar Kalra’s newest establishment, is to…
Fathers, Sons and Motherlands
Book Review: South Haven ♦By Hirsh SawhneyHarperCollins Publishers India, 2016 When the Babri Masjid was demolished, I was about the same age as Siddharth Arora,…
Wat’s up
The new Ethiopian Cultural Centre ♦ Set in a couple of low-lying whitewashed buildings with red tiled roofs clustered around a courtyard, the unpresuming new…
From Baghdad to Your Backyard
Iraqi emigrée Roaa Sardar delivers kunafa, shawarma and more around Delhi.  ♦ The Back(lava) Story The first few times we call Roaa Sardar to ask…
Mother of Invention
Perumal Murugan remembers Amma in his latest book. ♦ Originally published in India Today. I’d been waiting a couple of days to hear back from…
Drink Mekkeh Cola
Secret Delhi: Mekkeh Cola ♦ This one goes out to all the anti-globalisation activists. For a refreshing, non-American cola while on your protest marches this…
Home is where the art is
Gulammohammed Sheikh creates sacred spaces for the secular minded ♦ In Gulammohammed Sheikh’s first solo show in a decade, the­re are maps everywhere. There is Sheikh’s…
Review: Rajdhani
Serving up a capital thali. ♦ Mumbai’s legendary Gujarati thali establishment opened recently in the NCR with two outlets, one in CP and one in…
Time Out: India Perfect Places
Guidebook ♦ I contributed a chapter on Agra and some writing on Delhi for Time Out India: Perfect Places to Stay, Eat & Explore. You…
Like a surgeon
In Abraham Verghese’s debut novel, fate is stitched together with sutures ♦ Abraham Verghese is a man of science and fact. His experiences as a doctor…
East is Beast
Book Review ♦ New Kings of the World: The Rise and Rise of Eastern Pop Culture, By Fatima Bhutto Originally published in Open. As 2014’s…
Exile and the Kingdom
An ongoing exhibition of miniatures inspired by the Ramayana, at the Met in New York City ♦ Originally published in India Today. Far from the…
Second Helpings: The Big Chill
Khan Market’s sweet spot for comfort food. ♦ With two branches in Khan Market, The Big Chill is Delhi’s favourite comfort food hang-out for expats,…
Going off script
A cross-border blog spreads the word of South Asian literature ♦ In India, Pakistani writers in English are considered common property. Their books are often published…
Sex and Sidi
Meet Sidi Ibrahima, a pulp fiction author in Harlem ♦ Harlem’s 125th Street is a bazaar of cottage industry products: incense and earrings, knit hats…
Driving passion
Three transport museums light up the road ahead ♦ This article is part of a longer story on Delhi’s museums. The words “Guggenheim”and “Gurgaon” have rarely,…
Embassy Restaurant
Representing Civil Lines. ♦ The Embassy Restaurant in Connaught Place has been around for ages. Recently opened in Civil Lines, the new Embassy Restaurant is…
Tending Bar: Deepak Fartyal
The Turquoise Cottage veteran describes his job. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi’s “Night City” cover story.
Here and There
Design-makers at the British Council. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Cheese Chaplin
Quick bite ♦ Did someone say cheese? Cheese Chaplin, tucked into the air-conditioned, office-like basement of a tiny building draped with bougainvillea in Lado Sarai,…
Murder most fowl
Tarquin Hall discusses his latest Delhi mystery ♦ For the third of the Vish Puri mystery series, journalist and author Tarquin Hall dispatched the Punjabi…
Eight Women: Devki Joshi
With over three decades in the Delhi Police under her belt, Devki Joshi now manages an all-woman fleet of emergency response vans. ♦ Parenting experience…
bpb Review: WD House, Greater Kailash II
A well-known Chandigarh restaurant unsheathes weapons of mass degustation.  ♦ At a time when Indian modernism is threatened from every angle—from the demolition of the…
Scent of a season
Farewell to winter ♦ Winter ends as it began, its first and last trace a lingering scent, like the whiff of tobacco on a smoker’s…
Waiting for a Christopher Columbus
Viaduct Valley, Harlem’s “meatpacking district”, is trying hard to survive. ♦ Whipping up from the Hudson River, wind funnels through the cross streets between 125th and…
Against Extinction
From petting zoos to eco-tours, Victoria, Australia offers many models for wildlife conservation. ♦ As the plane descended, the moon rose, inching across the sky…
bpb Review: Piso 16, Nehru Place
Literally on the level. ♦ Many, many New Delhi bars have tried to bring New York home. (Bombay is – of course – worse: an ‘It…
Graveyard Shift
Exploring Delhi’s burial grounds. ♦ Delhi War Cemetery Headstones in neat lines mark the graves of mostly Christian soldiers (though we did find a Jewish…
Kaghaz Ke Ghar
Zarina Hashmi at Gallery Espace ♦ New York-based Zarina Hashmi has lived in homes all over the world and it is fitting that her retrospective is…
A Lingering Puff of Smoke
With the Hyatt Regency opening a nightspot after a decade, Sonal Shah reflects on Djinns, the hotel’s erstwhile party-starting genie. ♦ At any popular nightclub,…
Amritsari Meatwala
Khau gali ♦ The market under the Defence Colony flyover is possibly one of the least savoury destinations inside the Ring Road. Just behind red…
Saanuk Oriental Bistro & Lounge
Luxe Buddhas and a killer deal ♦ In the early days of Time Out food reviewing, there were no quaint little tea rooms or reservoir-facing…
Chez Nini
 Cozy up for a friend-date ♦ Chez Nini’s decor suggests a nest, with twinkling lights, glossy tree trunk tables, branches and quite a few finely…
The Hired Man
Aminatta Forna travels to Croatia for her fourth novel ♦ In her fourth book, Aminatta Forna ventures out of Sierra Leone and Africa, the setting for…
Three Tier
Wonderwall’s first photo show. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Flaps over jackets
What’s behind the various covers of Indian books? ♦ On the US edition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a girl squats in a swamp, surrounded…
Floods and Streams of Anarchy
William Dalrymple discusses his new book on the rise of the East India Company ♦ Originally published in Mumbai Mirror.  “At the dawn of the…
The fandom
The universe of Indian comics collectors and geeks is expanding ♦ This article is part of a cover package on new directions in Indian comics “I…
Green Movement
The Time Out Guide to salads in the city. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Volatile Reactions
The Alchemy of Secrets, by Priya Balasubramanian ♦ Originally published in Biblio India. I read The Alchemy of Secrets on the first really scorching day…
Another Country
Anjali Joseph processes bewilderment ♦ If Anjali Joseph’s  second novel is  best devoured in  one sitting, it’s  not because it  wouldn’t hold up  to slow,…
Buried treasure
Digging out the weird and wonderful in Delhi’s museums ♦ For this Time Out Delhi cover story from September 2011, the team visited almost every museum in…
Object lessons
Subodh Gupta greets New Yorkers with A Glass of Water ♦ Subodh Gupta’s stainless steel glass, filled to the brim with water, created quite a…
Flights of fantasy
An interview with Alia Syed ♦ Experimental filmmaker Alia Syed was born in Swansea, Wales, to Indian and Welsh parents. Over the last thirteen years,…
Nox
Basic mixed drinks and loud karaoke at this casual HKV bar ♦ Nox, a long, sitting-room style bar thrust up the backside of Hauz Khas Village,…
Found in translation
The man behind a flood of translations is swept up in his work ♦ Nearly 15 years had passed since Arunava Sinha translated Chowringhee at the…
To the Manohar born
Help yourself to a slice of Delhi food history ♦ On a walk through Khan Market’s intestinal middle lane the other day, we came upon…
Cutting edge
Performance art: History, highlights and what to see at the India Art Fair 2012 ♦ Time Out Delhi‘s timeline of performance art from India and…
Bringing Home the Bacon
India is seeing the emergence of an enthusiastic culture around pork ♦ A version of this story was originally published in India Today. Being in…
Yoko Ono
The avante-garde artist performs and exhibits in Delhi ♦ This article is part of a cover story on performance art in India. Yoko Ono’s artistic…
River crossing
Five Yamuna walks ♦ Cities usually consider a river to be a blessing, but us Dilliwalas tend to turn our backs to ours. We hold…
Protest Code
Suñatā Samantā: Emptiness Equality invites you to look beyond the obvious in art to see discontent and dissent ♦ Originally published in India Today. Scribbled…
Chukandar chop
Beetroot patties ♦ Here’s a beetroot, juiced for breakfast and its fibrous bits turned into patties for lunch. With lettuce and tomatoes from the veranda…
Holy trinity
Manil Suri on writing the third of his mythological novels ♦ Math professor and writer Manil Suri grew up in Bombay, but has lived in…
Dystopic Living
Author Samit Basu lays out Delhi’s best-case scenario in his sci-fi novel, and it is horrific. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Dystopia is pornographic,”…
It’s Not Easy Being Green…
… for a Budding Cannabis Entrepreneur in India. ♦ A couple of years ago, Omair Alam was at a party full of people “in the…
Lost and Found
Vasudha Thozhur’s intriguing works weave together personal loss and national tragedy. ♦ Vasudha Thozhur has always been interested in collating disparate elements in her work.…
French Affair
Roadside rendezvous ♦ From its Toile de Jouy wallpaper with dancing French country couples to its aqua wrought-iron chairs and mixed-up crockery, this bakery is…