Busy For Hours

For a place where several hundred severely disabled men, women and children are looked after, the atmosphere in Mumbai’s Asha Daan is surprisingly quiet and relaxed. The nine nuns who run the place clearly wish to avoid ostentation, although they’re effusive when it comes to greetings. “Look around,” they say. “Talk to the people. Ask them how they are.” The Divine L and I have … Continue reading Busy For Hours

Very Rarely Confronted

It really is impossible to over-emphasise the prominence and importance of smells in Mumbai. My last post was just a brief, tip-of-the-iceberg sample of the stream of chemicals that constantly enters one’s nose in this genuinely sensuous city. I could’ve mentioned the aroma of jasmine and tuberose coming from the garlands hanging by the florists’ stalls, or the salty freshness blowing into Chowpatty Beach, or … Continue reading Very Rarely Confronted

Plastic Nike Bottles

Just across the Mula river from Pune’s Koregaon Park is a large gym on the first floor of a modern building. Lining the floor-to-ceiling windows is the familiar sight of sweating bodies – with obligatory towel around neck – doing battle with treadmills, cross-trainers, stationary bikes and rowing machines. As they sip energy drinks from their plastic Nike bottles, they look out at the city … Continue reading Plastic Nike Bottles


Starting a Saturday with a trip to Tesco is probably not the best way to put oneself in a tranquil frame of mind for the rest of the weekend, but a quick visit was unavoidable this morning. Yet again, I was astounded by the skill with which the many (and boy, do I mean MANY!) shoppers turned their trolleys into weapons of mass obstruction. More … Continue reading Aisle