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Excerpts

Indian Dust

Indian Dust

By Rumer & Jon Godden

Click here to buy Indian Dust Miss Passano Miss Annie Passano stood in the station yard with her boxes and bundles, the bird cages and the monkey, and turned her money over in her black leather bag. I had better take a rickshaw, she thought, but it will have to be two rickshaws with all this luggage, what an [...]

One Last Drink at Guapa

One Last Drink at Guapa

By Saleem Haddad

Click here to buy One Last Drink at Guapa One Last Drink at Guapa: I hover by the entrance, looking for him, when a waiter dressed in a sharp suit comes up to me. “Can I help you?” “A table for one, please,” I say. He gives me a strange look, confusion transitioning toward disdain, but I repeat my [...]

A Little Book of Happiness

A Little Book of Happiness

By Ruskin Bond

Click here to buy A Little Book of Happiness ‘Having bumbled through eighty years without permanent injury, I am no wiser than an old cabbage! I only know that for the most part I have followed instinct rather than intelligence, and this has resulted in a modicum of happiness. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses. And yet, [...]

Empire of Tea

Empire of Tea

By Markman Ellis, Matthew Mauger and Richard Coulton

Click here to buy Empire of Tea The hot infusion of the oxidized and prepared leaves of Camellia sinensis was an extraordinary innovation when discovered by British drinkers in the seventeenth century. There was no language to describe its flavour, and few directions about how to consume it. Encountering tea for the first time [...]

Kingpin

Kingpin

By Kavita Daswani

Click here to buy Kingpin In the end, they could say that it was a ‘love marriage’. After all they had first laid eyes on one another in the most oddly romantic way possible—across a crowded room. But it had been more than just a quirk of fate. Sonia had landed in Bombay the previous day, not just to celebrate her cousin’s [...]

House Spirit

House Spirit

By Palash Krishna Mehrotra

“Our attitude to drinking is the same as it is to sex. We don’t do it. But, like sex, we do it all the time. And some states, it seems, do it more than others… The states with solid drinking reputations are Uttarakhand, Punjab and Kerala. I realized this when I emerged back into the ‘real’ world after spending several years in Dehradun, drinking 8 PM whisky. My first port of call was Bombay. I went to a party and drank too much. A [...]

The Prisoner of Kathmandu

The Prisoner of Kathmandu

By Charles Allen

Not so long ago the Ranas were the rulers of Nepal – not as kings but as prime ministers. Although governing in the name of the kings of Nepal, the senior members of their clan held absolute power for over a century from 1846 to 1951. Today they no longer have any political clout, and the powers they once exercised are now celebrated only in the grandiose family portraits that line the walls of the last of the Rana family mansions still [...]

One Thousand Days in a Refrigerator

One Thousand Days in a Refrigerator

By Manoj Kumar Panda

Click here to buy One Thousand Days in a Refrigerator The Testimony of God Premashila’s seven-year-old son died on the train. Mother and son were travelling to their village from Hyderabad along with some daily-wage labourers whom she worked with in the city. The boy had been suffering from [...]

Tram 83

Tram 83

By Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Click here to buy Tram 83 Tram 83 was one of the most popular restaurants and hooker bars, its renown stretching beyond the City-State’s borders. “See Tram 83 and die,” was the regular refrain of the tourists who blew into town from the four corners of the globe to conduct their business. During the day they wandered zombie-like through [...]

I, the Salt Doll

I, the Salt Doll

By Vandana Mishra

Click here to buy I, the Salt Doll Sangeet Natak as a form was beginning to seem old and tired even to its loyal audiences. Those five-to-six hour extravaganzas seemed boring and baggy. Jowly men playing women’s roles were also becoming unacceptable. Times were changing and cinema was accelerating those changes. It was felt that [...]

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