The ghara or earthen pot acquires particular significance in the love story of Sohni and Mahiwal. In the climax of this Punjabi folk story, as Sohni crosses the Chenab river to meet Mahiwal, who is waiting for... More
It is midnight in the courtyard of Kolkata’s iconic Sir Stuart Hogg Market. A spot that brims with hawkers and haggling customers in the morning is being transformed into a giant communal bedroom. Locals, many of them... More
The Sylhet-born Gurusaday Dutta, a noted civil servant of yesteryears, a famous folklorist and writer, was renowned for his contribution to the preservation of the folk arts and crafts of Bengal.
Writing on the importance of handicrafts of... More
From exploring typography in Paharganj to watching the making of Pashmina in Kashmir, these experiences in India will make dull heritage walks a thing of the past.
Although it’s arguable that there’s more to life beyond food, there’s... More
Bridging the island’s colonial past with the present is Sri Lanka’s museum dedicated to the Lankan heritage of tea. Standing atop the scenic mountains of Hantana, four kilometers from the historic Kandy city, the museum is based... More
After decades cleaning the sewers of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s crowded capital, Sujon Lal Routh has seen plenty of misery. But the tragedy of 2008 was the worst. After a day of heavy rainfall left the streets flooded –... More
Towards the end of 2008, news spread all over Bangladesh that a life-size replica of the Taj Mahal was being erected at the outskirts of Dhaka. While officials of the Indian High Commission reacted with shock and... More
In July 2018 Sri Lanka will mark 151 years of tea being introduced to the country by the British pioneer James Taylor, after the country’s first cash crop experiment, coffee, failed due to a leaf disease. Tea... More
"Taliban -- what's that?" asks Sultan Begium shyly from her freezing home in Afghanistan's mountainous Wakhan Corridor, a region so remote that its residents are untouched by the decades of conflict that have devastated their country.
The frail-looking... More
A small group of foreign tourists are standing in a street corner at London, carefully listening as their guide describes the area. One of the tourists stops the guide and asks, “Why are Bengalis not widely visible... More
Syed Sulaiman Akhtar, 43, was born with a defective bladder. He had to go through three surgeries when he was only three months old. Even after the surgeries, his health did not fully improve. His kidneys started... More
Bengali’s beloved Ilish is all set to earn its Geographical Indication tag as a product unique to Bangladesh. According to reports and data from World Fish, an international, nonprofit research organisation that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture,... More
The rugged jeep snakes, shakes and jostles 6,500 feet up the dusty, one-lane, rock-pitted road toward the remote Nepali village of Hiledevi in the region of Ramechhap. As the driver fearlessly negotiates the road, I focus on... More
It’s 5:45 am. Thousands of people walk towards a ground. Some of them are carrying a dead body draped in a woolen blanket. Others are throwing rose petals on it. The crowd is taking Burhan Muzaffar Wani... More
The aspiration for self-rule of the hill people in Darjeeling is more than a century old. To be precise, such aspiration for autonomous rule can be traced back to 1907. The complicated narrative of such aspirations is... More
India's passenger trains are notorious for being rickety and spartan, but the government is hoping to change all that with a new "luxury" service.
The popular image of rail travel in the country of 1.2 billion people is... More
THE GENIUS engineer behind the Sears Tower and Chicago's John Hancock Centre has been celebrated with a Google Doodle.Â
Pioneering architect Fazlur Rahman Khan would have markedÂ his 88th birthday on April 3.Â Khan is best known as the creator... More
The iconic image of yesteryear; the Ambassador car, seen as the four wheel lord of the roads of India for more than 50 years much upto recent times, particularly in Kolkata, seemingly received a new gear in... More
Abdul Sattar Edhi founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation.Â Unlike wealthy individuals that fund charities in their names, Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he... More
En route to the Pakistani food festival in Colombo last month, a Tamil Brahmin friend tags along unwillingly, vowing that he will starve.Â He visualizes chunks of meat in virtually every dish. He also fears that the... More
With sundown, Kolkata and its suburbs undergo a radical change. While peace and tranquility prevails as most of Kolkata prepares to doze off, a large number of young and not-so-young people come to life for a taste... More
The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no longer just between the US and Taliban or the US and al-Qaeda. The ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, has established its presence, which has forced many countries—Russia, China and Iran—to change... More
The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More
An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index.
CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More
While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More
The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More
The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More