Kaccha Papad

Days in Banaras

18 Oct 2010

Terrible heat, Auntieji says, too much. The beads of my sweat so big they feel like fat ants slipping down ... read more

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Coming Of Age In My Indian Family

Even before I became a part of his family, I often thought of my Hindi teacher, Virendra-ji, as my grandfather, simply because the two reminded me so much of each ... read more

16 Aug 2010

Insider Tips



Come for the scandal, stay for the cricket

If you find yourself in India in March or April, don’t miss watching a game, or several, of the IPL (Indian Premier League) 20/20 cricket series. This fast-paced ... read more

03 May 2010
Culture Shock


Learning to litter

I had just finished drinking chai out of a Dixie-sized plastic cup. I couldn’t see a trash can, so I handed the cup to the storekeeper for him to ... read more

02 Jul 2010


One round, crunchy looking thing please

Indian sweet shops used to intimidate me. Labels and menus aren’t common, and asking after ingredients almost always yields the same basic result (sugar, nuts, milk, flour). There are ... read more

02 Jul 2010


If only I had something to read...

I was in Rishikesh, thoroughly enjoying myself... until I finished the book I was reading. I half considered taking a daytrip to Delhi just to stock up on novels. Luckily ... read more

02 Jul 2010


Bollywood's "adult" film

Dev.D is director Anurag Kashyap’s 2009 sexed-up, drugged-out take on the classic Indian novel Devdas. Headstrong Dev is rejected by Paro, his childhood love. He consoles himself by ... read more

09 Jul 2010
Being an American


Is this your first time?

Perceptions of Americans in India range from the expected (we’re all rich) to the curious (our hair turns white because we don’t eat enough coconut) and surprising (did ... read more

11 Jul 2010


You don’t want to be 420-friendly

The number 420 (charsaubis) in India refers, as it does in the U.S., to a section of the penal code. But stoners beware: charsaubiis here means a smooth operator ... read more

11 Jul 2010


Congratulations on your wedding!

Men and women traveling together in India (sex-crazed foreigners that we are) are often assumed to be having lust-filled, illicit affairs. To avoid curious looks and unwanted attention, tell people ... read more

26 Jul 2010


No, I don’t want the rest (of your impure leftovers)

Once, my cooking teacher gave me a chunk of jaggery to try. I had taken one bite when her sweet-toothed son appeared out of nowhere and grabbed it off the ... read more

26 Jul 2010


Mastering the art of heat

India’s heat is a force to be reckoned with that can wreak as much havoc on your body as any tainted water or undercooked food. It’s a time ... read more

26 Jul 2010

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