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Showing posts from 2016

An English summer

That was not a bad year after all. How can it be, when London appeared on the horizon, and I lapped it up. That was a great year. Memories of London still stay with me. Until the next time, of course. 

In the News No More - My piece in the Sunday Magazine, The Hindu

My piece on the last two journalists to check out of Fleet Street in the Sunday Magazine of The Hindu

The last newspaper on London’s Fleet Street downed shutters in August, turning the U.K.’s iconic newspaper hub into just another street It was summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and one half of London’s Fleet Street was awash in sunshine. Long shadows fell on the other. I could see St. Paul’s looming large at the end of the street, but that could wait. It was Saint Bride’s Church that I was looking for. Famously called the Journalists’ Church, it is still dubbed the ‘spiritual home of journalism’ in the United Kingdom. Still, because Fleet Street, once the hub of the newspaper industry in London and the U.K., is today just a term used collectively for the British press.
The Street has gone pale for decades now, and in August, the last two journalists working on Fleet Street left the building. They had been working at Sunday Post , a DC Thomson publication, which lately clos…

London Love

When you love something too much, it becomes painful to even talk about it. That's how it is with London. I just can't muster up enough strength to even look at the photographs, lest they remind me of how wonderful the fortnight in London was. But, am trying, and here are my five favourites for now:


The tube: Tapping the Oyster and walking down the stairs/elevator and then looking this way and that to figure out which is the Westbound and Eastbound. Getting into the train followed by the familiar 'Mind the Gap', watching people in their trenchcoats and their workday faces. Grim, largely, boisterous or chatty, rarely. Getting off nonchalantly and exiting to the street to find sunshine!
Ah, love you London!

Walking the streets: Rain, yes, take out umbrella...oh no, gone, fold it and shake it furiously at a corner like a typical Londoner. Soak in the sunshine. Walk, walk, walk. Oxford Street, Regent Street, Fleet Street, Nottinghill, Piccadilly Circus, Baker Street, Camden…

Walking down Fleet Street

One of London's most iconic streets, if you are a literature lover or a journalist or anyone who has anything to do with words. That's Fleet Street for you. The St Bride's Church, designed by Christopher Wren, located on this street has a lot of history associated with it. It is called the Jounalists' Church because of its location. Some of London's oldest papers were born on this street. When we walked into St Bride's, it was all quiet. We were the only visitors and the place was being renovated. Yet there was a free exhibition on. We enjoyed looking at old newspaper extracts, the history of the Church, clippings of how the Church was bombed during the WW II, how it was destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt etc. It was next door to this Church that the first printing press in London started to function as well.

Our second stop on Fleet Street was the pub that came with many recommendations in books such as the Lonely Planet. The debate continues on whether …

Romancing Kolkata

My piece in the Deccan Herald

Romancing Kolkata

It was a humid December afternoon when I landed in Kolkata. As the yellow taxi made its way through labyrinthine roads, I tried to take a deep breath and search for the Kolkata I had imagined from Tagore poetry, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland or Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire. 

I strained my ears for Rabindra Sangeet, bits and pieces of which I had listened to, on the Doordarshan of my childhood. Why, I even looked for the Kolkata of Saurav Ganguly, with the distinct voice of Geoffrey Boycott — “He’s the Prince of Calcoottar” ringing in my ears! 
It became an obsession over the next few days to look for the familiar sights of the famed city I had only seen on television and read about so far. And I found them as well. First, as we walked along the wide footpaths near the Victoria Memorial and the extremely well-curated museum inside. Then, as I walked along Sudder Street and took a turn to enter Mirza Ghalib Street, I chanced on a gramophone pla…