Why India? Why Photography? And why do you have so many black eyes?Read More
The forecast: WET. The excitement level? High. It's always a beautiful day for rugby.Read More
The steadfast Mr. Greese was responsible for registering all foreign nationals in Aligarh. It was an Indian city a sensible traveler would pass through: ramshackle, low-lying buildings; dead puppies rotting on the road.Read More
But, regardless of what society-at-large told them or how some of their families chastised them, the women still laced up their cleats at 6:30am every morning and hit the pitch.Read More
[Part 1] Where I lament the death of my laptop, teach some kids to dance and play rugby with camels;
[Part 2] Where I get more serious than dead laptops, teaching kids to dance and playing rugby with camelsRead More
The guard stepped out from behind me, snatched the balloons from her hand and pointed his gun at her face.Read More
Hobson-Jobson, an Anglo-Indian Dictionary (formally titled Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive), is a dense, acrobatic tome detailing the crosspollination of colonial English and vocabulary from the subcontinent. So, with over 2,000 of these definitions at hand, it’s a marvel that when the e-mails appeared, asking “So how is India so far…?” I seemed to lack the right words.Read More
My new definitions of “cold” includes:
- Sleeping with socks…mittens…jackets (over four other layers)…hats…a sleep sack…and four blankets…and still shivering.
- When you wake up in the morning and the condensation from your breathe has frozen on your blanket.
- When you can’t drink out of you water bottles because they are solid Nalgene-cubes.
- When you can’t tell if your red and purple toes are frostbitten? Or bruised?
- When you try to conquer a squatty potty that has frozen over night. TMI? Maybe. Life hazard? Definitely.
Over the years I’ve seen friends and teammates and roommates suffer from disordered eating. I saw them starve themselves and heard them put their fingers down their throats in the name of sex appeal and sundresses. But me? I love my meaty haunches and am proud that yes, I inherited my mother’s impressive linebacker-sized wingspan. My calves are thick but they’re agile and man, pedicurists may reel in horror when they see my feet, but those tiny fast twitch muscles have served me well over the years. I’m an athlete playing a bulky sport: I wasn’t chasing aesthetics, but achievement. But that vein of perfectionism — maybe it’s reaching a superficial goal for one person, or a peak performance for another — runs deep and dangerous. In this singular battle, our cruelest opponents can prove to be ourselves.Read More
By the end of the session the girls were asking us if we would come back every day, and saying that they loved rugby AND that next time we came they would be ready and waiting for us. “We’ll even be 15 minutes early!” exclaimed one of the girls (and those familiar with IST, or “India Standard Time”, it’s somewhat affectionately called) knows that this is the highest-of-high compliments.Read More
2016 Olympic dreams in mind, Is there anything that would stop you from playing? The list ran in my head — the inevitable marriage? Another degree? A job abroad? —
“Nothing is going to make us stop playing,” says Surabhi, “…unless we are geriatrics…who can’t move.”Read More
Bhagya’s demeanor takes a turn for the serious as she tells me in a matter-of-fact manner, “If girls are playing rugby on field, they are so confident in themselves. They talk, they communicate with each other, they run and they are damn strong. Because we are confident on field, we are [confident] off the field. If anyone pressures us,” — and then she finally laughs — “we can tell people that we play rugby.”Read More
I think a lot about the notion of home, of movement, of complacency and consistency. I think a lot about the transience and longevity of relationships. I think a lot about the people I meet along the way, the ones I’ve kept, the ones I lost. It’s a bittersweet thing: Though I’ve had the opportunity to find so many good souls along the way, I’m always leaving them.Read More
From the back of his motorcycle I watched as Kolkata roared by with its wide avenues that held running rickshaw wallahs and shards of crushed clay cups from the tea stalls on every corner. The balmy humidity was the sort that left you rubbing a film of sticky soot from your forehead and black crust from your eyes. You could smell the rot in the Ganges and the salt in the air by the port. Pooja celebrations and freshly washed yellow Ambassador cabs simultaneously made their ways down the street.
We were greeted by goats chewing on cigarette packets and a remix of the Venga Boys’ Boom Boom Boom Boom playing on a set of loudspeakers.Read More
“So, you want to get her married?”
The air outside the orphanage hung still, hot and dry around the yellow cement buildings. It was the kind of heat that makes your skin sizzle and ache for a cloud burst, or perhaps any clouds at all. 106°.Read More
I’ve been putting off writing this blog for a few weeks now — the whole business of it all seems a bit too final for my liking. I’m not ready for any sort of au reviour, I bid thee adieu, sayonara, ciaocito or the likes… to India, to this blog, or to this experience as a whole.Read More