mungbean in india

Category Archives: History


Sometimes, to see something properly you have to stand a long way away from it. On the morning of 29 July 2012 I watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on the Internet. I watched as soon as I got up, around 7.30am, without my usually reading of the morning’s news over breakfast, to avoid any spoilers since it had gone out live the night before. As a piece of spectacle and theatre I thought it was really fantastic; […]

UP North, Part 1

I’m only just finishing off writing this post in July, but the last bit of holiday I managed to take was our “term break” in the last week of March. I took a short trip away to see another bit of India — this time up to the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh, or U.P. as it’s known. I got away for a whole 7 days, which is the longest I’ve been off work since arriving here in December 2010. […]

Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in India, celebrating the anniversary of freedom from the British. So here’s the national anthem, sung by the most famous sisters in the country, superstar playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The national anthem is quite notable, in that it’s a hymn, rather than jingoistic propaganda about winning wars or oppressing long-time enemies. It was written by Bengali poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore, and is sung in “heavily Sanskritized” Bengali, which I’m still trying to […]