Singing in the streets of Sikkim

A mild breeze, a distant ravine flowing meditatively, punctuated by the melodious chirping of the birds – this eargasmic experience is maybe what welcomes you to the state of Sikkim. However, as the night falls, that ambient music transforms into something entirely different. From the boardwalk of MG Marg to the rundown streets of a…

Gambling- a cultural enterprise

“Eyes up, hands down”- and so it begins. The tension is palpable around, as a man rhymes pithy sayings and trite one-liners to reveal numbers. A common sight at an annual gathering of people at the terrace of Kanchendzonga Shopping Complex for Tambola (a variant of Bingo). The man on the mic could get away…

The last day of the old year

The fire is crackling in the open kitchen stove. It is warm and cosy. The air is heavy with incense and the sweet smell of ci, local fermented millet beer. I cradle a warm cup of milk tea in my hands and wait for what is going to happen next. Villagers are huddled together in…

MONSOON RAMBLES

Looking up from the computer screen, I see the heavy rains pour down onto the crisp brown grass in the garden. The water collects in shallow puddles, as the dry earth is incapable of taking in the outburst of the summer storm all at once. I hear the shutters rattle in the wind and open…

HOMETOWN GANGTOK

There are two distinct phases of growing up in a small town, like Gangtok. First, when you want to move away. Second, when you want to make the journey back home.   Departure In school, I studied ‘Ulysses’. It was a poem about an old King, who had a gypsy soul. He’d dream of faraway…