Malabar Musings: A Fish Story

Like most people from Bengal, fish is something close to my heart or stomach for that matter. But have you ever thought what goes on from when a fish is caught till it appears in your local market? A lot actually, as I found out during some of my visits to the Malabar coast, more specifically the South Karnataka coast in India. (more…)


Durga Puja: When Kolkata becomes the City of Joy

Almost every culture on the planet has a "triumph of good over evil" story. Most major cities have a monumental festival: Rio has its mesmerizing carnival, Munich its folk festival like Oktoberfest and New Orleans its musical Jazz fest. For Bengalis and Kolkata, it's the essence of Durga Puja, when for 5 days, Kolkata (and its 15 million population) transforms the "good over evil" story to a gala of transcending proportions. This is when Kolkata actually lives its moniker: the City of Joy.  More than religion, it is the celebration of cultural diversity, creativity and any set of beliefs that one can loose themselves in. In fact, one hasn't experienced Kolkata without seeing Durga Puja at least once. (more…)