Book Review: Inglorious Empire - Shashi Tharoor


Book cover for Inglorious empire - featuring a bejewelled crown.

I know shamefully little about the British Empire and its colonisation of India. I remember going on a school trip to the memorial at Ypres - but I don't remember hearing about the thousands of Indian troops who served and died. I learned endlessly about Churchill - but not about his racist attitudes towards the […]

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Final Day In India - Food


It was a stroke of marketing genius to declare that the national dish of Britain was Chicken Tikka Masala. A dish almost totally devoid of Indian origin - but exotic enough to make us seem comfortable with multiculturalism. I like a good curry. Damn. Even the word curry is a generic Britishism designed to cover […]

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Fourth Day In India - Colours


India is an explosion of colour. The food, the clothes, the temples. They all pulse like a rainbow. But not me. I'm white. Very white. More than that - I feel white and foreign. I feel out of place. The people I meet are friendly - but it's clear I don't really understand the culture, […]

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India Day Three - Money


There's a whole science dedicated to the universality of human expressions. Across vast continents and endless oceans, humans make the same face whether in a state of grief, joy, or disgust. More or less. The face of the Indian street vendor clearly said "Oh, FFS!" I had made the universal tourist mistake of paying for […]

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Day 2 in India - Bangalore Is Las Vegas


The heat. That all oppressive heat. Not that you'd ever notice it; you move from air-conditioned hotel, to air-conditioned taxi, to air-conditioned office. Yes, cars everywhere. A fifteen minute walk quickly turns into a twenty minute taxi ride. No one walks here - the streets are too crowded for that. Our hotel is hollowed out […]

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First Day In India


Today was my first day in India. Bangalore, to be precise. The city is hot, noisy, full of dangerous drivers, cows on the road, and a disturbingly potholed pavement. I entered a modern looking mall. Partly out of tourist curiosity, mostly for the air conditioning! I saw something which shocked me. As I was coming […]

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