Anthony Bourdain: It’s not bad to be the idiot abroad, if you’ve got an open mind

LiveMint · Nov 04, 2017

Anthony Bourdain discusses Sri Lanka, spicy crab curry and the highs and lows of a life with no fixed address.

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Fuchsia Dunlop: It’s bad luck that Chinese cuisine is labelled cheap

LiveMint · March 17, 2017

Award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop on the nuances of stir-fries, duck’s tongue, and why one of the world’s most popular cuisines is also the most misunderstood

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Halfway Home: Talking with Pakistani refugees in Sri Lanka

adda · January 23, 2017

A lone shaft of afternoon light filters into the cavernous church hall. Today, the light reveals a glint of joy in Paul’s eyes. An elderly musician is playing the mandolin, another visitor is strumming the guitar, and the melody seems to shake something loose in Paul. He flashes a rare smile, his teeth stained red with betel, and asks the musicians in his Urdu-tinged English if they would listen to a song he has composed. It is a song about unrequited love, with a lone English line in the chorus, and although one may cringe at the lyrics, he sings them with complete self-assurance. As the music rises and fills the church hall, it becomes harder for the others to resist. Shyly at first, and then more confidently, Peter begins to sing. He sings about Yesu; gospel songs in Urdu that are unfamiliar to my unaccustomed ears. Neena joins in, her voice teetering and shrill, and everyone begins to clap. They sing about Christmas — and even though it’s still September, in a place so far from the one they call home, their absolute faith lends the empty church hall a strangely festive fervour.

In all the months that I have known Paul, Peter, Neena and their families, this brief interlude is the closest I have seen them come to happiness. They are always glad to see me — if only for the simple pleasure of speaking Urdu and being understood — but inevitably, the conversation returns to their current living situation. This limbo, how long will it last? How long before we can dream of a new country to call home? And every so often, a doubt laced with dread: what if that day never comes?

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Cookbook Tells The Story Of Sri Lanka’s Civil War Through Food

National Public Radio · October 9, 2016

Even if you knew nothing about Vijaya, her haunting portrait would likely give you pause. She peers out of the page, unsmiling, her silver hair pulled back and her eyes conveying an unspoken anguish. From the accompanying narrative, we learn that a few years ago, almost overnight, Vijaya became her granddaughter Anjali’s primary caretaker. Her daughter, Gayathri, set out to find nutritious food for the family amidst heavy shelling, at the violent end of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, and never returned home.

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Dutch forts and marine sanctuaries: Sri Lanka is ideal for a long weekend trip

Hindustan Times · February 11, 2016

Sri Lanka is south Asia’s newest hotspot. Perfect for a long weekend, the undiscovered parts of the country boast of marine sanctuaries and Dutch forts

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A wellness check-up

Hindustan Times Metro · May 08, 2010

On April 29, a diplomat fainted after a massage at an airport spa. It was typical of an industry that’s booming, but has little regulation. A government body is trying to put standards in place, but wellness centres say it isn’t clear how they and their customers will benefit.

A unique gift

Hindustan Times Cafe · May 7, 2009

Children with superior intelligence often get mistaken for being problem kids. Here’s how one child and his mother are coping with the fallouts of being gifted.

Silent Struggle

Hindustan Times Cafe · April 2, 2009

Adults with autism don’t wage a war of words, they jostle with the lack of them.