I begin writing this perched on the top berth in a sleeper coach of a train that has a long halt at Ujjain Railway Station. Ujjain is an ancient town that has an important role in India’s history and religion. At the previous station, Nagda, I had a breakfast, that has become almost a ritual [Read more]
The good ol’ Amby has finally shuddered to a halt. And here’s an unofficial Google doodle (albeit a little late) honking in honour of the grand old lady of Indian roads. In the hills, where I come from, the incline is steep and the load is heavy some Mark IIIs and IVs still ply – [Read more]
It’s been 50 years since the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unexpectedly rampaged into Indian territory and reached the outskirts of Tezpur in Assam before making an unexpected retreat. The war was fought much before I was born, but being born into North East India, I heard a lot of [Read more]
64 years later, Shillong is virtually unrecognisable. I could only recognise the Governor House on Bivar Road, then known as Government House, the characteristic Ward’s Lake and the Assembly House (destroyed in a fire on January 9, 2001). These photographs from Government of India’s Photo Division were taken when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was on a [Read more]
The legendary Bhupen Hazarika died of multiple organ failure in a Bombay hospital today. He was one of the few stars of North East India that the rest of the country widely accepted and applauded. For someone from that part of the country his departure hurts a little more. This Star Cement advertising hoarding photographed [Read more]
(This post is cross posted from my blog Pixelated on IBNLive.com) Summer of 2001. Bhopal. Bharat Talkies. Dil Chahta Hai. A decade later the experience is still as fresh. On that overcast afternoon, I stepped out of the theatre with a heady head. I had just witnessed something phenomenal. The last time I underwent something [Read more]
Pleasantly surprised to find these posters in the neighbourhood. Sex in mainstream cinema has hit this genre hard but they are still very much in business. Multiplexes should also start screening these sex flicks, there’s a huge audience amongst the urban elite. It’s not uncommon to find recognisable faces from Bolywood in these C-grade films. [Read more]
The first Bengali, as recorded, who came to Shillong was the successful trader Golam Haider, who was the supplier to the Raj in Cherrapunji, the district head quarters. he established his ‘Golam Haider and Sons,’ the only departmental store in the centrally located Police Bazar in 1878.
It was Durga Puja (in Shillong it is puja and not pujo, even for the Bongs) and my two-year-old niece, Yana/Yashna, was all set to dress up as Lord Shiva for the fancy dress competitions. My four-year-old nephew, Aahan/Aarohan, wouldn’t be anyone else but his favourite – Hanuman. What was missing from Yana’s fancy dress [Read more]
Today is Mahalaya, the day of invocation of goddess Durga in her Mahisasurmardini form (the slayer of the demon Mahisasur). The beginning of the ten days of festivity.
This advertisement for Grasim’s Graviera Suitings is one of the rare occasions when Salman and Sangeeta appeared together professionally.
It has been the longest pause on Cutting the Chai since I first began blogging almost five years back. In fact if you look at the archives, February 2010 will be the only month that has gone postless since May 2005. And there were some pretty important reasons behind my absence here (though I had [Read more]