Walk in the Bazar

I should have known better. It was crowded, impatient people pushing and jostling. I took my phone out of my trouser pocket and put it in my knapsack, wearing it on my chest, not my back. I was able to zip away my wallet and keys safely. I checked again in five minutes and the… Continue reading Walk in the Bazar

Chawri Bazar

During the last days of the Mughals, in the early 19th century, Chawri Bazar was the Soho of Old Delhi. It was an area famous for courtesans and nautch girls – girls who danced so alluringly that their suggestive moves could reduce men to gibbering wrecks. Although the lanes were narrow, behind an unprepossessing facade… Continue reading Chawri Bazar

Schools

Private schools are big business in India. They advertise their services aggressively. How about Glorious School, offering horse riding and skating? Or Goodley School with its PowerClass? Some schools show photographs of students who have scored highly in examinations. The best students are called “Toppers”. I am not sure that they actually attended the schools… Continue reading Schools

Hope for the Future

We work in one of the poorest areas of Delhi. The squalor and filth of the slums around the extensive rubbish tips have to be seen to be believed. Amidst all this horror, there are some shining lights of hope. This is a photograph taken in Adarsh Nagar Police Station House Officer’s office today. Inspector… Continue reading Hope for the Future

New ways for India to succeed at the Olympics

An Indian commentator in the press recently bemoaned the lack of success of the nation’s athletes in Rio. He suggested that howking and spitting were two things at which India excelled. True, the pavements and walls of Delhi are spattered with red spittle. This isn’t blood; it’s paan masala. This is a mixture of betel… Continue reading New ways for India to succeed at the Olympics

Raksha Bandhan

Did you fight like cat and dog with your siblings? If so, perhaps this Hindu festival might encourage you to bury the hatchet. Strictly speaking, it celebrates the bond of protection between brothers and sisters, but it can also apply to relationships outside the family. A sister ties a sacred thread, or “rakshi”, onto her… Continue reading Raksha Bandhan