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May 13th, 2018

Blown away here, folks!

So…Delhi got the promised storm.

And how!

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The sky went crazily dark, the winds howled, thunder & lightening, torrential rain – we have the whole 9 yards happening right now.

Plants pots crashing to the ground.

Shade cloth ripped to shreds.

Our many wind-chimes going crazy.

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We’ll assess the damage later, when it’s subsided, but for now, from my position of comfort & privilege, secure in the knowledge that my chicks are safe – ie Anjulie is cosily in her flat, and the dogs are curled up at my feet – it’s all rather exhilarating to […]

Click to continue reading Blown away here, folks!

May 7th, 2018

India’s rape epidemic

Please don’t misunderstand me when I say that I’m not sure just how much more of this I can take. I’m not being precious or anything. Simply, I’m not sure how much horror can we all take. How much anguish. How much revulsion.

I’m talking, of course, about the seemingly non-stop horror story of rape and abuse and murder that is taking place in India.

I am not a victim.

I am not a doctor or a social worker having to

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May 6th, 2018

The ransacking of Delhi’s “haunted” palace

Late last year, I shared with you the story of Malcha Mahal, a decrepit 14th century hunting lodge, deep in the Malcha forest in Delhi. Malcha Mahal was (in)famous for being the home of a reclusive, armed middle-aged brother and sister, claiming to be the descendants of the deposed King of Oudh. Surrounded by a thick forest, and with ferocious dogs, Malcha Mahal became the stuff of legend, and was even rumoured to be haunted.

If you didn’t read my original story & the sad follow up 2 weeks later, then won’t you please take the time to read them […]

Click to continue reading The ransacking of Delhi’s “haunted” palace

April 29th, 2018

Climbing & lots of tea & a few tears

In less than 3 weeks, I’m off on my next big adventure, climbing a mountain called Banderpoonch .

So, by way of practice, yesterday I climbed the mountain (whopping big hill?) opposite the Himalayan Trout House where we are staying with our friends Shefali & Christopher Mitra. For years this mountain has been the view from our room, and it has featured in innumerable Instagram photos.

Like so:

[…]

Click to continue reading Climbing & lots of tea & a few tears

April 27th, 2018

Pheasant attack!

Although we are now up in the Himalayas, in Himachal Pradesh where Himmat has come to fish, just this time last week we were in rural England, preparing for my best friend’s wedding.

I was unacceptably lazy during my time in England, and hardly blogged at all.

Guilty as charged.

So forgive the delay in sharing one of the most bizarre moments of our time in Dorset. Better late than never etc etc is my excuse.

I went down to Beaminster, a pretty Dorset village, a day earlier with Liz, the bride-to-be.

We wanted a day to catch up and […]

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April 6th, 2018

The strange case of the Bollywood star & the slaughtered gazelles

Right, where does one start in trying to explain the Salman Khan verdict?

For Indian readers, or those familiar with the Indian scene, it is simply a case of whether or not you think justice has been done, in a 20 year old poaching case against a swaggering high-profile Bollywood actor.

Nailing my colours to the mast here, I think justice has been done.

And yes, you’re probably right, my use of the adjective “swaggering” just now, is indeed a bit judge-y,

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Click to continue reading The strange case of the Bollywood star & the slaughtered gazelles

April 4th, 2018

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

…that if you drive a classic car in Delhi’s unforgiving traffic, you will get a guaranteed smile.

Or, in the case of the driver of a bright orange DTC bus, a smiling thumbs up and a “bahut buriya” (excellent), as he towered above us at the red light.

There is a definite magic about an old car, and I have yet to see anyone not smile at us in the traffic. Lots of people slow down to take a grab shot with their mobile (they’re the slightly alarming ones, the bikes leaning in super-close to get a photo), but the […]

Click to continue reading It is a truth universally acknowledged…

April 2nd, 2018

Bharat was indeed bandh today

There is no such thing as a dull day in India.

No. Such. Thing.

Trust me.

Take today, for instance.

We left our friends Shefali & Christopher’s house in the Tirthan Valley at 7 o’clock, to head home to Delhi.

Our car was loaded to the gunwales, because we’d had a puncture, and had to put on the emergency tyre, which is smaller than the actual tyre, which then had to go in the boot because it wouldn’t fit in the prescribed place, thereby reducing luggage space…hey, you are following me here, right?

So, yes, as I said, loaded up […]

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March 28th, 2018

Back in the Valley of the Gods

Am back in my happy place, aka the Tirthan Valley in Himachal.

The sky is the deepest of blues, the Tirthan river is rushing past, below my window; there is non-stop bird-song (though I get that in Delhi, too, to be fair) and something I definitely don’t get in Delhi, there is the sound of drumming for the gods.

The drumming, far off but approaching, is that of a devta (god) on the move. I guess, from the sound, that it’ll be another hour or so before the procession wends its way below our balcony.

We saw 4 different devtas […]

Click to continue reading Back in the Valley of the Gods

March 17th, 2018

In praise of talented friends

When it comes to a super dear friend like the designer Sonam Dubal, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m proudly and unashamedly biased.

If ever I needed to make a full disclosure statement about my relationship with Sonam and his clothes, it would go something like this:

“I have known this lovely man for years, and he has designed many outfits for me and for my daughter Anjulie, and I trust him implicitly when it comes to anything to do with fashion.”

So with this in mind, if you are expecting an impartial, critical review of Sonam’s show […]

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March 15th, 2018

Old fashioned glamour to the fore at India Fashion Week

And so, last night, for a while, I got to hang out with Delhi’s beautiful people, courtesy of Amazon India Fashion Week.

Quick heads up – one of my cousins-by-marriage is the designer Ashish Soni, and so off we trotted, daughter dearest and I, to watch his show, the final show of the first day of India Fashion Week 2018.

And WHAT a show it was. Showmanship in every sense of the word.

Ashish is super well-known for his menswear,

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Click to continue reading Old fashioned glamour to the fore at India Fashion Week

March 11th, 2018

Now, about our wonderful Delhi weather…

Many, many moons ago, an Indian friend visiting England for the first time, said he had finally understood the British obsession with talking about the weather.

Since Blighty can experience several weather changes in one day, small wonder, he said, that we talk about it all the time. Always an evolving topic of conversation.

Here in Delhi, the weather isn’t unpredictable the way it is in England.

Winters are short, chilly and terrifyingly polluted.

Holi comes, and we head towards summer, which is always long – very long – and hot.

The rains come and wash everything clean.

Then it’s […]

Click to continue reading Now, about our wonderful Delhi weather…