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Category Archives: South Asia


There is no try.

MUMBAI—In the literature, those accounts of mostly British people who have passed through here, Bombay is a way point. It is a place you pass through on your way to somewhere else, a place you stop for official business, training, garrison duty, before marching off or setting sail for points beyond. Of course the 20 […]

In the Bazaar

MUMBAI—At the risk of offending Edward Said, I will describe the famed Chor Bazaar. It is in a Muslim quarter of old Bombay, its narrow lanes caked with the accumulation of Bombay’s years and history, despite daily sweeping, one darkly glittering storefront after another, whose jumble of wares, all the amazing, exotic junk and treasure […]

On the Streets of Mumbai

Land of Water

MUMBAI—There is a liquid quality to Mumbai. Water is everywhere, omnipresent without being always visible. It is especially so now in the season of the monsoon, but even during the dry season there is a wetness and fluidity to the place. It is hard to catch your breath as it feels like half the air […]

5 Scenes More

Just a Little Farther

MUMBAI—We journeyed to Colaba today, old south Bombay with its Gateway to India, Taj Palace Hotel and other colonial era buildings. The outing was more expeditionary in nature than anything else, a learning experience in hailing local cabs and pushing the envelope of our tiny Indian bubble. It is too easy, in a place so […]


MUMBAI—The woman wore a blue and gold sari and walked with practiced grace through the crowded street. On her head she carried a translucent, cylindrical container. The hard, noontime sun illuminated the water inside, so that as she walked it appeared as if she had a corruscating pillar of light atop her head.

Out on the Street

MUMBAI—I ventured out on foot for the first time today. I put the boy in the backpack, filled a canteen, pulled on my cap and sunglasses and headed out with a somewhat hazy idea of how to find the nearby shopping center. The street leading to our apartment is lined with trees and fairly quiet, […]

Changes in Latitude

MUMBAI—I looked out a window of our apartment I had never looked out before. The orange ball of the sun, rippling at the edges, hung above a tiny section of the Indian Ocean, shining grey, visible through the forest of buildings. As I watched, it disappeared. There was none of the usual fading away. It […]