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October 25th, 2016

Baking Christmas Cakes in India

There is an interesting little story in the morning papers here, about Le Club des Chefs des Chefs, who are meeting here in Delhi. These chefs des chefs are the men (and one woman) who cook for heads of state, be it HM the Queen, President Obama, the President of India.

Apparently these hot shots had a shot ( 😛 ) at making jalebis in the kitchens of Rashtrapati Bhavan (the residence of the President of India).

So far, so good.

And then

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October 23rd, 2016

Warning! Grumpy Old Woman alert!

Haven’t blogged for a while, I know, I know. Guilty as charged and all that.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks.

And to add injury to insult, this is going to be a bit of a moan-y blog post, too.

Actually, it’s going to be a totally Grumpy Old Woman post.

I truly wanted to be all chipper and upbeat after my silence on the airwaves, but, sadly, it ain’t to be.

Let me explain.

I went for a long run this morning in Lutyens Delhi, the show-case-y centre of the city.

Lutyens Delhi is home to some of […]

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October 10th, 2016

“The hills are alive, with the sound of…”

…lots of gods being carried down to Kullu for Dussehra.

Kullu dussehra is celebrated in quite a different way from the rest of India. In Kullu and its environs, the celebrations start on Dussehra day itself, and so as the rest of India recovers from their celebrations, the Kullu valley is just about getting into gear.

3 years ago, we had a fab time experiencing Dussehra up here in Himachal – gosh, that was such a brilliant trip.

Every time you venture out onto the road that winds along the Tirthan valley, there is some god or other being carried […]

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October 8th, 2016

James Bond chewing paan? ‘fraid so


Just because Pierce Brosnan is drop dead gorgeous, doesn’t mean he’s a man who necessarily thinks the way we would all like him to.

Pierce Brosnan is not James Bond, a man of steely principle and impeccable manners and unshakeable morals, merely an actor with an eye for a good deal.

Yeah, whatever.

I don’t CARE if you need the money from this ad, Pierce.

WHY oh why oh why did you agree to promote such a revolting product as paan masala?

The spitting of paan all over Indian buildings and staircases and monuments and walls – ugh.

It is […]

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October 7th, 2016

Good morning from the hills


There’s a bit of a nip in the air, this …er, hang on, what day of the week is it?…just a mo, lemme check my phone. Oh, gosh, it’s Friday.

So, yes, there’s a delicious nip in the air, this early Friday morning, as I sit on my balcony, warming mug of coffee in hand, and watch the world rush by.


The farmers in the fields opposite are, I think, weeding their field. (I am a city creature, remember, so

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October 3rd, 2016

Your Hindi word of the day – “chakotra”


As in pomelo.

And, I suspect, by default, grapefruit. (But I am open to correction here, friends.)

But right now, though, we are talking about the huge fat pomelos that are sold at this time of the year by the side of the road in rural Haryana.

Driving up from Chhachhrauli to Dehra Dun, we

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October 3rd, 2016

Possibly the rudest breakfast ever?

A couple of days ago, thrillingly, I was filmed for a possible documentary about running.

(Yes, yes, promise, I’ll tell you more as and when I’m authorised to.)

A delightful young film crew came up from Bombay and with 2 Delhi based youngsters, off we went for a long hot morning of filming yours truly running in various venues. The film crew’s day had started at 4am, mine at 5, so by mid/late morning we were all sorely in need of sustenance. Our driver suggested CP (the place, yaar, not me 🙂 ) and so off we went.

First choice […]

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September 23rd, 2016

Gardening leave is drawing to a close

These last few weeks of enforced home stay (because my foot was in plaster) saw me spending more quality time than usual with my potted plants.

Taking an evening turn on my roof terrace became A Thing, slowly walking to keep the injured foot a little active.

I deadheaded a lot, and weeded a lot, and generally irritated the heck out of the mali (gardener) a sweet man who much prefers working on my mother-in-law’s garden and veggie patch, than my plant pot collection.

And who can blame him?

A lawn and a veggie patch definitely trump a gaggle of […]

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September 22nd, 2016

Fiddling while Rome burns


Was the expression that sprung to mind when I opened my morning papers today.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Delhi is in a mess these days.

Apologies if that sounds negative, but when a capital city is ravaged by dengue and chikungunya, when two women are killed by stalkers in as many days – all while Joe public looks on, to our collective shame – what do our esteemed city fathers do?

Oh, they change the name of a street, that’s what.

Out “Race Course Road”!

Begone vile name!

Let’s welcome “Lok Kalyan Marg” !

Race […]

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September 16th, 2016

Re-visiting the battlefield

Traditional wisdom has it that Diwali marks the change of season, ushering in the winter and cold weather up here in north India. Diwali is still many weeks away, but the extreme ends of the days are slowly & imperceptibly changing. Improving, in a word.

Early mornings and late evenings are now pleasantly warm as opposed for to baking hot, but the days are still hot hot hot.

For example, it’s only 9am as I write this but I’ve already retreated indoors from my sun filled verandah. Plus I got bitten by a mosquito. And over my morning cuppa, damn […]

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September 15th, 2016

Education. Education. Education (& a lot of punishment)

Where on earth do you start?

How does one inculcate a sense of respect for women in the Delhi police?

Where does all this arrogant, dismissive misogyny come from?

Read this and weep – not so much for the revolting creep who flashed a student in her own kitchen. Sadly, low-life exists in every country. Sick men who flash are not exclusive to India.

Weep rather for the attitude of the cops, the hostel owner (both men) and – even more shockingly – the owner’s daughter-in-law.


Click to continue reading Education. Education. Education (& a lot of punishment)

September 14th, 2016

Love me, love my dog. (Or not)

A brilliant interpretation of the modern day Indian love story has gone viral here, and it’s a fascinating glimpse into the clash of young India.

Girl’s parents want her to have arranged marriage.

She chats & whatsapps a young man they think is suitable. To quote Karishma:

“It was an arranged marriage set-up. This guy was good to talk to, well-to-do and pretty good looking, but when I told him that I wanted to bring my dog with me after marriage, he wasn’t keen on it.”

Like so: […]

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