About Me

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


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,…
Damn nation
 Siddartha Deb finds life less than shiny in the new India ♦ In The Beautiful and Damned, F Scott Fitzgerald’s profligate main characters embody the two…
Eight Women: Shanti Devi
Shanti Devi works alongside her husband in the no woman’s land of Delhi’s largest truck stop. ♦ It’s unclear exactly how the Internet originally discovered…
Step Across the Line
The repetitiveness in Jogen Chowdhury’s works is deceptive. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
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…
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…
Crash of Civilisations
City of Spies ♦ By Sorayya Khan Aleph Book Company, New Delhi, 2015, 239 pp., Rs 295 (PB) ISBN 978-93-83064-78-6 Pakistan was scorchingly hot during the summer of…
Shelved selves
Unpacking literary baggage ♦ The first library I fell in love with was my great-grandfather’s study in Shimla. An angular room with thick glass windows,…
The Lady and the Landmark
Ethel Bates wants a cooking school in the historic Corn Exchange. The city just tore part of it down ♦ Until she starts talking, Ethel…
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…
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…
Crumble in the Bronx
Threats to New York City’s Affordable Housing ♦ Note: This reported, unpublished story was written as part of a master’s program at the Columbia School of…
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…
The Angst of Being a Modern Indian
The Cosmopolitans ♦Anjum HasanPenguin India, 309 pages, Rs 499. “Being a modern Indian is hard work,” a former king tells Qayanaat, the protagonist of Anjum Hasan’s…
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’…
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…
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…
Unbreathable
Why taking the air is a bad idea ♦ A cover story on air pollution in Delhi, from Time Out Delhi, March 2009. Read an…
Consuming passion
Anjum Anand ♦ Anjum Anand served a station full of beefy British fire-fighters naan and lamb curry – cooked by one of their fellows –…
Epic tale
Raavan Chhaya is iPad myth lit ♦ Indian epics cast a long shadow into popular culture, but it’s safe to say they could never have been…
Objects
Group Show at the Visual Arts Gallery. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
Here and There
Design-makers at the British Council. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
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…
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…
Footloose
Walking with a purpose ♦ “Every walk is a sort of crusade,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in his essay on “Walking”. His particular idea of…
Delhi-spotting
Looking for home at the National Museum’s Cosmology to Cartography: A Cultural Journey of Indian Maps exhibition.
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…
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…
Q&A: Alka Pande
Alka Pande has a finger in many artistic pies. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.
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…
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…
Invisible Man
Aravind Adiga imagines Australia refracted through an immigrant’s eyes ♦ Originally published in India Today. We use the word apocalypse, and these days frequently, to…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
Fodor’s Essential India
Guidebook ♦ I wrote several chapters for Fodor’s Essential India guidebook and helped update others for the second edition. This included articles on Indian history…
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…
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…
Gunpowder
Fully loaded ♦ Purely via word-of-mouth, this unassuming little room with a view has become the new hotspot in Hauz Khas Village. Ears are buzzing,…
The Great Defender
Appupen’s Rashtraman comics use ribald humour to reflect political reality ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. On November 28, Appupen put up…
Watching it burn
Marking an anniversary and the National Museum of Natural History ♦ I believe it was for Time Out Delhi‘s first “Beat the Heat” issue, in…
Poster politics
Theatre of persuasion ♦ Last month, a strange plant took root in the hard soil of the Capital. Its season is rare – roughly once…
A Very Small Hotel
Secret Delhi: The Petite Hotel. ♦ If you thought the only place you could find an Italian pensione in Delhi was in the well-worn pages…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
Eight Women: Nidhi Goyal
A visually impaired activist and stand-up comedian, Nidhi Goyal took up the mic to talk about the way people perceive her. ♦ From the age…
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…
bpb Review: Chez Jerome, GK1
Escoffier & escargot in an unlikely market. ♦ Henri Cartier-Bresson took an iconic image of a Parisian boy with a bottle of wine tucked under…
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…
Mask appeal
The new face of Indian comics ♦ A few decades ago, the Indian comic books scene was burgeoning. The art may have been simple, and…
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…
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…
I ❤️ Civil Lines
The civilised life in Delhi. ♦ When I came to Delhi for an exchange semester at St Stephens College, I was housed with several other…
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…
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.…
A Strange, Familiar Place
This Place ♦ By Amitabha Bagchi Fourth Estate / HarperCollins, New Delhi, 2013, 253 pp., Rs 499 (HB) ISBN 978-93-5116-018-2 After being suspended from his government…
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…
Diva Piccola
Ritu Dalmia’s return to Hauz Khas  Village ♦ Restaurateur Ritu Dalmia has come full circle since her opening first restaurant in Hauz Khas Village, almost…
Walk the chawk with Sam Miller
Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity ♦ Journalist Sam Miller’s new book Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity describes the British expat’s walks around town, which followed…
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…
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…
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…
Long exposure
Chirodeep Chaudhuri captured Durga Puja at his ancestral village in Bengal over 12 years ♦ Twelve years is a long engagement for an artistic project.…
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…
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.…
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…
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…
Difficult Pleasures
 Anjum Hasan’s short stories score on pacing and plot ♦ Tortured as some of them are, it’s a pleasure to slip inside the minds of…
Charred minars
Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie surveys the world from Guantanamo to Peshawar in an interview ♦ Extending from the callousness of the Nagasaki bombing to the compassion…
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,…
Shankar’s International Doll’s Museum
The world in miniature ♦ This article is part of a longer story on Delhi’s museums. [cycloneslider id=”shankar-dolls-museum”]To celebrate Janmashtami this year, the doll-makers at…
bpb Review: Kampai, Aerocity
Samurai gour-meh. ♦ Leaving aside roadside chow mein, unaffordable five-star hotels, and Delhi’s immortal Aka Sakas and Ichibans, three newer categories of east Asian eateries…
The Street
Yusuf Arakkal at Art Alive. ♦ There’s something very theatrical about Yusuf Arakkal’s “The Street” series. Culled from candid photographs that Arakkal took of people…
A Conversation With: Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
A Conversation With: Literary Critic and Novelist Shamsur Rahman Faruqi ♦ India’s literary establishment is abuzz about the recently published novel “The Mirror of Beauty,”…
Ab Dawa Ki Jaroorat Nahin
A doctor uses medical charting software to plot trends in classic Hindi film songs. ♦ Originally published on VICE India. Anupam Kumar Singh, 35, works…