About Me

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


Paradise Garden
Secret Delhi: Shalimar Bagh ♦ There is a scuffed-up, chipped and fractured jewel of a garden close to Delhi’s northern limits — Shalimar Bagh. Despite…
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…
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…
The Householder
Amitabha Bagchi’s second novel focuses on corruption in Delhi ♦ Naresh Kumar, the householder of the title, is having a little trouble holding his home…
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…
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…
Club Pangaea
Guilt plated ♦ Judging by the tremors Pangaea has caused in the lifestyle media with the news of its opening, the nightclub at the Hotel…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Where Sinbad Sailed His Dhow
The Arabian peninsula’s maritime history comes alive in Oman. ♦ In 1979, British adventurer and maritime explorer Tim Severin wandered the west coast of India,…
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…
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…
A City in a Fog
In Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, dangers lurk in the long shadows of Nithari and Nirbhaya ♦ Originally published in India Today.…
Haunted Delhi
The bhoot is out there ♦ From the haunting of 10 Janpath to Gef the singing mongoose – not to mention djinns, headless sepoys and…
Kavia’s Kitchen
A hidden find for adventurous foodies ♦ Sau Foota (100 Foot) Road in Chattarpur has a couple of random gems, including sweet patisserie-café French Affair. But…
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.…
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…
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…
DV8
Where we’re drinking. ♦ Like many other Connaught Place venues, DV8 is an institution — but one that has changed with the times. In the…
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,…
Q&A: Velu Viswanadhan
A Malayali living in Paris for the past four decades brings his works to Delhi Art Gallery. ♦ This story was originally published in Time…
Music of the spheres
Ranjani Shettar’s fluttering installations at a New York gallery reveal their secrets ♦ Ranjani Shettar’s skeletal sculptures hung festooned from the ceiling of Talwar Art Gallery…
Take notice
Resignedly yours ♦ Leave-taking has been on my mind lately, and my thoughts found their reflection in a photo currently making the social media rounds.…
Three Tier
Wonderwall’s first photo show. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Spiritus mandi
To market, to market ♦ The Defence Colony sabzi and phalwalas are a sonorous lot, with strength in numbers and vocal prowess. Mornings sound like…
Delhi dictionary
Mind your language ♦ From Time Out Delhi, March 2013 The word “kedgeree”, according to The Concise Hobson-Jobson, “appears to have been applied metaphorically to…
Ten spiritual trails
Exploring Delhi’s religious landmarks ♦ Excerpt from a Time Out Delhi cover package from October 2008. Read the excerpt below, download it as a PDF, or…
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…
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…
bpb Review: Aku’s, Defence Colony
This new “brrgrr co.” urgently needs vowels, but is sweet on the tongue all the same. ♦ Passing through the newly-shorn Def Col this week,…
View with a Room
A watercolour of a friend’s room in what was once a convent on the Upper West Side, Manhattan.
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…
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 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…
Mirdard Lane
Khau gali ♦ New Delhi gives way to the old city as you cross the railway line northeast of Connaught Place. A little before Shahjahanabad…
Spirit uprising
Once upon a time, the Old City was besieged by ghosts ♦ Read this article as part of Time Out Delhi’s “Haunted Delhi” cover story.…
Portrait of a lady
The last century of Mughal rule comes to life in The Mirror of Beauty, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s compelling picture of Delhi and its wider world ♦…
Bridges, not barriers
Delhi’s new literary festival is an appropriately polyglot affair ♦ If India is, as Mark Twain put it, “the country of a hundred nations and a…
The Great Trotter Resurrection
Irwin Allan Sealy’s Trotter-Nama comes alive for the third time. ♦ Originally published in India Today. It’s hard to imagine that the author of a…
Beef in Sheep’s Clothing
A chef spills the beans about serving beef in India. ♦ Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals , where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant…
Arcade Games
Time travelling on Melbourne’s historic retail trail. ♦ Melbourne feels less like a small city than a miniaturized big one. Roughly the size of Delhi’s…
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…
Eternal outsider
Abraham Verghese talks about Cutting for Stone and the idea of home ♦ This interview was conducted for a feature in Time Out Delhi. Could you…
For Good Resin
On the frankincense trail in Muscat. ♦ Oman smells like Christmas all year round. Walking in out of the hot sun—whether it’s into a mosque,…
A room on the roof
Notes from the last barsati ♦ Delhi, early morning. The sun burns through the haze, like a lighthouse lamp growing brighter as the bustling port…
Here and There
Design-makers at the British Council. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
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.…
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…
Superiority complexes
The silly building name epidemic ♦ A man’s home may be his castle. But is it absolutely necessary to call it King’s Court? Absurd, westernised…
Eco chambers
Are green buildings just ivory towers in disguise? ♦ As a changing climate and growing population stretch Delhi’s reserves of energy and water, the importance…
Force and Composure
Krishen Khanna remembers Satish Gujral, who passed away on March 26, 2020 ♦ Note: After Satish Gujral died, I spoke to his friend and my…
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…
Two to dastango
Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain ♦ Part of a longer cover story on Delhi’s theatre scene. If Delhi’s theatre universe can lay claim to any…
Printer’s proof
A public airing of a private collection of prints could spike interest in an underappreciated medium ♦ When people in the Indian art frat hear…
Hippies vs hipsters
The case for Paharganj ♦ For years, there’s been no stemming the southbound, outward drift of Delhi nightlife. The mega-clubs of Noida and Gurgaon first…
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…
The big wheezy
Winter may well be gone, but our ashen city’s pall of pollution lingers on. A close look at Delhi’s visible air ♦ This article anchors…
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…
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…
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…
Home of horrors
Joe Sacco and Chris Hedges combine efforts to draw a poignant, disturbing picture of post-capitalist America ♦ Black and white truth has little place in…
The Saints Come Marching into Her Living Room
Behind the scenes at Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor Entertainment jazz sessions, an uptown institution. ♦ Over the years, Count Basie, Paul Robeson and other prominent Harlem musicians…
Eternal returns
William Dalrymple on researching Return of a King, his history of the First Afghan War ♦ In Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, William…
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…
A dog’s life
Capital canines unleashed ♦ Dogs are both Delhi’s most maligned and best-loved creatures. From strays who know our city’s tough streets better than most people,…
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…
Here’s looking at you
The eyes have it ♦ On the occasional morning, a tall, dark, handsome man and his short, dark, even more handsome Labrador visit the pocket-handkerchief…
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…
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…
Unclaimed Terrain
Ajay Navaria’s stories deal with the new customs of caste ♦ A tea cup, a clogged toilet, a pair of old gym shoes; these innocuous…
Delhi Classic: Campa Cola
There’s more to life with… ♦ Campa Cola was always a Delhi drink. Bombaywalas had Thums Up, we had Campa. If you pass by the…
The Walls of Delhi
Uday Prakash’s stories bring downtrodden characters to life ♦ “I bet you’re thinking that I’m taking advantage of the one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary…
Patel Rap
Capital Communities: Delhi’s Gujaratis aren’t all business. ♦ Gujaratis have a long history in Delhi, going back hundreds of years when Gujarati and Marwari traders…
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…
Gossip Folks
From feuding queens to rebel sultans, the dead are alive in Manu Pillai’s books. ♦ Originally published on VICE India. When Manu S. Pillai (“the…
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…
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…
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,…
Through the Looking Glass
A peek into into artist S Ayesha’s shiny paper and plastic wonderland. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Poet Verses Delhi
Akhil Katyal chronicles Delhi’s many moods in his new poetry collection ♦ Originally published in India Today. The last line of Agha Shahid Ali’s poem…
Vega
 Pure vegetarian, old-school Indian ♦ The owners of one of Delhi’s oldest hotels (Alka in Connaught Place, established in 1968) decided not too long ago to…