Showing posts from October, 2011

Walter Kaufmann

The man behind the AIR signature tune….

The other day I was sitting at our local Tamil restaurant in Cary and munching a rava dosa, happily musing about my days in Chennai ( was Madras when I was there, but not so long ago) and the fantastic food in Hari Nivas and so many other places, while at the same time glancing around the packed restaurant. One could see a smattering of the desi populace here, Tamilian families – the IT crowd, some Andhra guys, Kannadigas, but no other Malayalees, they venture out rarely for some reasons I suppose they only know, I suppose. But there are always one or two tables with the gora’s sticking out in the brown ambience, and then my glance would linger for a while at their countenances and the food they had ordered. You see it is a south Indian Veg restaurant where you do not get naan and chicken tikka masala.

It is the countenance that arrests you at times, for you see no confusion or consternation that one saw before. These guys know the food they are…

Manu and her friends

Sometimes it is very difficult to separate the threads of truth from the vast fabric of a tale woven over decades. Such was the case as I set about unraveling the story of the girl named Manakarnika, fondly called Manu, the product of a family displaced by the tussle between the Marathas and the English. It is not my intention to retell the tale in anyway, but to hover around an aspect from the whole story, namely the relationship between three people who set about to change the scene in British India. That they were unsuccessful is the unfortunate part of their history, but then again, their actions eventually sowed the seeds of dissent in a passive field where those who came as traders became usurpers and later, holders of power.

And with that, let us move on from the lands of Venad, Cochin and Malabar and venture out far North, to the arid regions of Bundelkhand. A place where wars were fought, where rival kings and queens ruled and where the warring people rode furiously on their …