Dola Jatra – The other Rath Yatra

When world was water, you became a tireless vessel of the Vedas. You, in Pisces form, Keshava: conqueror of the world, Hari!   When this heavy earth you carried on your callused tortoise back, how venerable you were, Keshava: conqueror of the world, Hari!   A blemish on the hare-marked moon, the earth became as…

Khichan – A model of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’

‘Unless we live with non-violence and reverence for all living beings in our hearts, all our humaneness and acts of goodness, all our vows, virtues, and knowledge, all our practices to give up greed and acquisitiveness are meaningless and useless. He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin… Those whose minds…

Jawai – Where Leopards are Locals

‘We went to India not only to observe the changes that had occurred since my former visit, 23 years ago, at the conclusion of our Philippine war, but also to visit places of interest, see something of the military air and ground forms, visit some old friends and acquaintances and then have a good tiger…

Water Heritage of Jodhpur – Then and Now

Ranisar, Padamsar Ote, Vyapari Gaya Tote If Ranisar and Padamsar overflow, the market rates will fall as there will be good rainfall and bumper crop and the hoarders and money-lenders will be put to loss  An old saying in Jodhpur Jodhpur, Rajasthan’s second largest city and the cultural capital of Marwar is a jewel in…

Water and Thar Desert – Stories from Indo-Pak Border

Sau sāndiya, saukarahalā, pūt, nipūti hoe Mehadlā to buthān hi bahlā, honi ho so hoe A hundred she camels, a hundred camels, all left childless, What is destined to be will be, even so a few drops of rain would be a blessing. Depiction of drought in one of the folk songs sung in the…

Mangalajodi– Where Ashoka is Born and Dies Every Other Day

Emperor Ashoka, 268 – 223 BCE, popularly known as Ashoka the Great became a Buddhist after witnessing firsthand the large number of casualties during Kalinga War. It was a turning point in human history. One among the many measures the emperor took was  promulgating and execution of world’s first animal right laws. Through his edicts…

Ajrakh – A Journey with Dr. Ismail Mohammad Khatri

For an archaeologist from South Asia such as me, what could be a more precious discovery than the Priest King of Mohenjo-Daro! Archaeologists have been debating on his role and position in Indus Valley society, but for those who are inclined towards aesthetics and art they are fascinated with his shawl depicting trefoil patterns interspersed…

Traversing the Ganges, from Old Times to New – Part II

Once upon a time, when man did not bind waters for his own selfish needs, rivers moved freely. They traversed borders, crossed countries, beginning from one and ending in another; sometimes merging with rushing brooks, and sometimes branching away into runnels. They formed a network of  waterways, which seamlessly interwove varying cultural, religious, and social patterns…

Charming Chandor : A Capital Long Forgotten

Ancient Chandrapur The very name of Konkan conjures up scenes of lush greenery during the monsoons, seasonal waterfalls, low hills with ancient Buddhist and Hindu caves, and various forts built by the Portuguese and the Marathas. Recent excavations and archaeological findings have added further layers to this area already rich in ancient and medieval heritage….

The Partition Story of India through My Eyes

Very often while sitting in groups, when friends share stories from the Mahabharata or Panchatantra recited by their grandparents, I am in contrast reminded of listening to real-life stories while growing up. These paint real life incidents of war and bravery, life and death, crime and hunger and about love and togetherness. My roots are…