Notice: This is a personal page, not an institutional page. (If you're looking for publications, course syllabi, &c., try my top-level Web page.) The following pages include artwork and social and political views with which you may not agree or by which you might be offended. If you don't want to see such material, please do not follow any of the links on this page. My personal page represents my own views, which do not necessarily reflect the views of institutions and organisations with which I am or have been associated.
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I've lived in England, the United States, and India. Of all these countries India has been the best, and I would very much like to go back. People ask me why, and I tell them the many reasons to love India — its wealth of peoples, languages and cultures, the sincerity of its many devotees of many faiths, the omnipresence of its mythic narratives and their instantiations in daily life, its ethos of kindness to visitors, the industry of its small businesspeople, the freedom (in some contexts) to bend rules as one bends metal, the jugaad of all the jagged pieces and the all the jagged people into a thing that works. There are the dances, the songs, the colours, the clothes. There are the kebabs and curries and daal and sobji and ilish and misti doi and rasgulla. There are the biryanis and the dosas and the sambar and the fish fry. And there is the land itself: the fog-draped ghostliness of the North on a winter morning, the musty scent of damp leaves and rustling ferns in the cool air of Uttarakhand, the icy warmth of the still-faced Ganga at dawn, the black walls of cloud and the drenching massage of Kolkata's kalboishakhi rains, the forests, the pebbly streambeds and the crystal-clear glacier melt of North Bengal, the waterfalls of the Western Ghats, the rocky moonscape of the Deccan plateau, the dusty red sunrises and sunsets, the long, sandy beaches of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
And of course there are the frustrations: the on-again off-again electricity, the missed water deliveries, the monsoon waterlogging laced with sewage and typhoid, the corrupt officials, the diffusion of responsibility, the intransigent bureaucrats, the inflexible peons, the confusion of equanimity with inaction, the confusion of story with fact, the lack of environmental awareness, the judicial paralyses, the parliamentary paralyses, the traffic paralyses, the hastily announced bandhs, the demagogic politics and politicians, the sexism, the racism, the compulsion to place one's wealth on display, the practised lack of compassion for those outside one's own community.
I know about all of that. And you know what? On balance — on balance, mind you — I love it.
Music, you say? Well, a couple of friends of mine in London have a goth band called Witching Hour.
Also, who could forget the group that started the eighties revolution, Sid Luscious and the Pants?
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