Train to the heart of India

“No food,” says the ticket collector, shaking his head for emphasis, “You’re not going to get anything to eat until your destination.” Seeing the astonishment on my face, he then mumbles, “Try at Koraput”. So, here we are, three adults and two children, on a 7-hr train journey covering 200km of beautiful terrain – some … Continue reading Train to the heart of India

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Why hatred is cooking in India

My earliest childhood memory has to do with food. It is fitting that this flashback, which I can recreate as if it happened yesterday, has nothing to do with flavors, textures, smells – the usual associations with food. I have a deeply political moment. I am five years old, probably six, and am in Calcutta … Continue reading Why hatred is cooking in India

Don’t map the economy by business award nights 

India Inc's answer to Royal Ascot is the big business awards night. Fronted by the country's largest-selling pink paper, the Economic Times, it is our business icons' Oscar moment. As page after page of cloying coverage in the ET today reveal, it's an impressive gathering of big business and politicians. But do these much-vaunted awards … Continue reading Don’t map the economy by business award nights 

Beyond Doklam, it’s really Digital India vs China

In the Fall of 2008, bang in the middle of those crazy days that are now dubbed as the global economic crisis, I interviewed British historian Niall Ferguson. When I asked him whether the global economic crisis marked the end of the "American Century", the counter-factual historian was dismissive. "I wouldn’t really believe in the … Continue reading Beyond Doklam, it’s really Digital India vs China

NITI Aayog new chief’s smooth U-turn on IMF

Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chair Niti Aayog. Pic: Livemint The new boss at NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar has set the swadeshi cats among the pigeons. Days after taking charge after the choreographed exit of economist Arvind Panagariya, Kumar hit out at the proverbial "foreign hand". He said the days of foreign-trained economists driving Indian policy were numbered, … Continue reading NITI Aayog new chief’s smooth U-turn on IMF