Reporting on human rights & everything in between: India, El Salvador, Indonesia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Argentina. Walked 1,200kms across India on Out Of Eden Walk with Paul Salopek.
Karela is the crocodile-skinned vegetable nemesis of Indian children, but for one writer it has come to symbolise home.
In a patriarchal society like in India, men decide what is best for the family. This includes their choice to step out in the evenings. But do only men want fresh air?
The reductively termed “bread” is available universally in various forms, stuffed with complex savory or sweet fillings. The Indian rupee has been weakening. For a freelance journalist on a budget, every dollar or cent spent is the equivalent of the price of the refreshing and ubiquitous “cutting chai” on Indian streets — the quantity equivalent to an espresso shot. Thus, bread can — and does — sustain us, even under the most economically stretched conditions.
Moved on by sprawling transport system, residents of 'chawl' reflect on life in tightly-packed but friendly apartments.
Begum Samru was the supreme commander of 3,000 troops, including at least a hundred European mercenaries, in 18th-century northern India. She held court, wore a turban, smoked a hookah, converted from Islam to Catholicism, and dubbed herself Joanna, after Joan of Arc. Yet, she is largely forgotten today, and Bhagirath Palace is one of only two physical markers of her existence in the country’s storied history.
The difference between a correspondent and a “fixer” is not one of experience or qualification, but of geography. Local journalists hired as fixers by foreign journalists are often established reporters and can offer in-country expertise in the form of helpful contacts and language skills—and, again, may well have already covered the story in question. What they lack, in comparison with the correspondents and outlets paying for their services, is the big-name cachet that in the end only money can afford.
Women across Indian cities and towns have always had a date with the nearest beauty parlor (salon), which offered a comfortable, home-like space, to wax their body hair, get a facial, a hair trim, and manicures and pedicures. But now women and girls in India are wearing makeup every day, flaunting their eyeshadow blends and contoured faces outside the burkha and on the streets. As manufacturers eye the potential for increased cash flow, the color cosmetics industry — comprised of both Indian and international brands — has soared.
“Have dinner at home. I’ll fetch you at 10pm.”
The anonymity at the club was where my body came alive and my mind calmed. All through 2018, I caught up on what I'd missed when I was 18. At 33, dancing with R on Friday nights did to me much more than what it could've done to me at 18.
Urban infrastructure, especially in a densely populated city like Mumbai where commercial interests overpower every fundamental right, becomes the castle in the air built by political parties before elections.
[This deep dive was translated in Mandarin and first published in Initium Media]
"On one side of Nellie’s street are houses soaked with loss and injustice; on the other side are houses cemented with chauvinism. This template of roaming ghosts in India’s forgotten corner is now being replicated across the country."
Almost every bank in India – nationalised and private – has significant floor space in Patel, one of Mumbai's recently gentrified business district. But Ganesh Dattatrey Shinde, who sweeps the streets outside Elphinstone station that leads to the towers of commerce, has never been able to access any loans that these banks offer.
How does one draw in audiences for a movie that takes inspiration from real life events, but aims at being instructional from the margins? Kenny Basumatary has relied on what he has developed as a niche genre: mixed martial arts and cheeky comedy, in Assamese.
In the country with the world’s highest youth unemployment, the number of registered tour guides in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina has nearly doubled in three years.
Out of a population of 3.5 million, more than 86,000 Bosnians have acquired a different nationality since 1996. The process has been rapid in recent years: between 2012 and mid 2018, 25,003 people renounced their citizenship. And parents encourage their children to look for opportunities abroad.
Alen Marijanović’s cynicism is the air that the Bosnian youth breathe.
“We are Assamese, and are Rabha. It’s a wrong question to ask which I identify with first." Battles over identity — of caste, religion, ethnicity, statehood and nationalism — are bubbling up in different parts of India, as it prepares to vote for its next government. But in Assam, those multiple tussles are all converging this election season, turning the state of 31 million people into a unique laboratory that could demonstrate just how much identity politics will determine how Indians across the country vote in 2019.