Ambalapuzha, and yes, I know it is a tongue-twister for some.

Some time ago, I went to taste this most famous of payasams in Kerala. Here is an account of the experience at the new¬†Mint on Sunday’s page I loved taking the photos and videos, which are inserted in the page, so please see those if possible.


I didn’t set out to link flowers to culture, but there they are. A simple garland of flowers is a powerful cultural emblem. Dutch people stick tulips into vases. Brazilians arrange flowers on little pots that they hang all over white walls. Hawaiians make lei garlands out of flowers and wear them when they dance….


Digital magazines are getting better and better. Silverkris has a nice section called “Been There,” which talks about activities and locations. I am working on two pieces for this section. Here is the first one on a martial art that is close to my heart: Aikido. You can read it in the gorgeous magazine here….

Women– conformists and rebels

It gave me a lot of pleasure to write this piece. I think my mother in law is fascinating. She stayed with me for six months recently and it was a learning experience. She, like many of her generation, inhabits her identity so firmly and easily, without much angst or internal conflict. She does Varalakshmi…

Passage to India for House Beautiful

It was a dog-dripping-sweat summer’s day in Southern Kerala, when ravens took refuge under drooping jacaranda, and donkeys lay spread-eagled on muddy wayside pools. We were speeding along the narrow coastal road, the black Fiat rattling ominously with every bump. On one side was the aquamarine glare of the Arabian sea and on the other,…