mungbean in india

Category Archives: Culture

India on Wheels

Testing slideshow from Flickr.

A New Broom Sweeps Clean?

So here we are on the verge of 2014, and quite a historic day in Delhi.  A new Chief Minister and his cabinet were sworn in today, after their party did well in the state elections here earlier in December. It’s historic for a number of reasons… firstly the party, the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party), was only officially launched a couple of weeks before the elections.  Even so, they managed to take 28 of the 70 seats on […]

Noisy Holi

Today was Holi, the Hindu “festival of colours”.  Given that I’d already been targetted by local kids with water-bombs and supersoakers last night, I decided to stay home, relax and enjoy my day off.  Maybe do some studying.   In the end it was way too noisy.  Starting from very early.  Which was unexpected, as I live in a really peaceful neighbourhood. So this put me in a pretty weird mood for the rest of the day.  (Or maybe I […]

Small Things #8

Around 5pm, on a busy main road in Naraina. A small, wiry woman–a daily wage labourer–walks briskly along the road after work with her three children.  All of them are animated and chatting over the noise of the traffic. It’s clear that she’s a daily wage labourer because as she walks she has a full-size pickaxe perfectly balanced on her head, hands-free, and with the handle pointing directly forwards.  


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; […]

Small Things #5

About 8.30am, and I’m walking to work down a residential side-street.  A woman comes out of her house with a large bowl of food scraps.  She goes to the corner of the street and calls something out. A huge black and white friesian cow comes waddling up to her, and she puts the bowl down on the ground in front of it. As it starts eating, she touches the cow on its rump, mutters something, and blesses herself.

Nearly There

Only four and a half weeks to go and I’ll be home!  For the first time in 2 years.   Well I’ll be back in the UK anyway–I’m not really sure where “home” is these days. But it will be great to see my family for Christmas, and after that possibly living the life of an itinerant couch-surfer for 3 weeks, catching up with dear friends, many of whom seem to have participated in the British Baby Boom this year. […]

Small Things #4

Saturday lunchtime. It’s about 25 degrees.  A boy of around 7 years old nonchalantly wanders about in bare feet, daydreaming and singing to himself, outside a shop on a busy road. He’s wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and a fluorescent, lime green, knitted balaclava.

Filmi Music

Since moving to India I’ve been educating myself about the film industry here, and particularly the music which is an essential part of any movie. This tune  is one of my favourites so far, even though I’ve never actually seen the movie Noorie yet. (It’s set in Kashmir btw – looks great on the clip, eh?) The playback singer is Lata Mangeshkar, who along with her sister Asha Bhosle, must have sung 90% of all the tracks that ever came […]

School Run