Tag: India

My jour­ney over­land from West Ben­gal to Rajasthan has been intense, exhaust­ing, beguil­ing, ter­ri­fy­ing, won­der­ful. As the train rolls into Jaipur I am, if truth be told, run­ning low. Not quite recov­ered from my fever in Alla­habad, I sur­ren­der to …

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After depart­ing Bun­di on a rick­shaw ride through sheets of wafer-bod­ied midges, I board a clank­ing train for Udaipur, a city famed as one of the most beau­ti­ful in Rajasthan. But before I reach my des­ti­na­tion, I have a stopover …

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Pushkar is com­ing with me. Well, Jim and Em and Fi are com­ing with me, or I’m leav­ing Pushkar with them. It proves to be one of those great trav­el­ling days, where con­ver­sa­tion between friends new and old drifts from …

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Pushkar is a spe­cial place, one that will remain long in bliss­ful mem­o­ry. After an anx­i­e­ty-induc­ing bus ride from Jaipur – fea­tur­ing no less than three near-death expe­ri­ences – I arrive at the lake where Brah­ma, it is said, once …

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I take a taxi to Kalighat, one of Kolkata’s most sacred sites. As so often in India – as in the world – the near­er one draws to the sacred, the more like­ly one is to trip over the pro­fane. …

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Kolkata, a tang of sweat and car fumes, as a pre­paid taxi takes the roulette out of arriv­ing in a new city at night. A late check-in inspires a flur­ry of activ­i­ty at the Broad­way Hotel. The place is ram­shackle, …

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Trav­el is what hap­pens when you’re mak­ing oth­er plans. I knew some­thing was amiss as I left the Anand Bha­van. Even as I forced a smile, pos­ing for pho­tographs with a troop of Indi­an Scouts, I knew a mon­ster stalked …

Alla­habad to Kha­ju­ra­ho Read More »

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Final morn­ing in Varanasi. With sor­row, I bid farewell to my new friends in the guest­house, and to that view from the leg­endary Room Twelve. Soon I take a final walk along the ghats, and dis­ap­pear into the smoke-wreathed city. …

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This train feels less hos­pitable than the last, and some­one warns me to watch my bags. There seem a lot more twitch­ing stares than smiles, and I start to see thieves every­where. In fact, there are almost cer­tain­ly noth­ing of …

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In Cal­cut­ta, I wake to the news that my teacher and friend Rod­er­ick West has died, tear­ing a hole in my heart. Yet such was the man’s intel­lect and spir­it that he always seemed eter­nal, so it is not so …

From Cal­cut­ta to Bodh Gaya Read More »

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