Himal Southasia

The Occidental Southasian

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 7 (JUL 2011) If Southasian-ness is a sensibility, then anyone can be a Southasian. The requirement is having respect for the history of the Subcontinent and empathy for its people. You can be a native or a non-native. Of course it helps to be born in any one of
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Abbottabad, Osamabad

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 6 (JUN 2011) Poor Abbottabad, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, now notorious as the last hiding place of Osama bin Laden. It is harder for me to imagine that this person, so intently watching his own past exploits on video with the help of a remote control, was managing a world
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Location! Location!

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 5 (MAY 2011) While studying law at the University of Delhi during the mid-1970s, I stayed at Jubilee Hall hostel, regarded as the larger but poorer cousin to Gywer Hall next door. But Jubilee had a special distinction that very few noticed, and it was not the peacocks that
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The god of Allasia

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 4 (APR 2011) If we regard god not as a supernatural being, but as a representative of the best in human emotions and values, then Asia has been in need of a god for some time – one who showers compassion and empathy all around, and comes to the
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The discovery of Southasia

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 3 (MAR 2011) It is an uphill battle, frankly, to create a Southasian sensibility in the modern era. And so it is important to relish small victories, and bring them to notice. Otherwise, the little tree will have fallen in the jungle and no one will have heard. The latest
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The leg-paddlers of Inle

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 2 (FEB 2011) Just when one thought one knew a little bit about everything, one realises there are some things one knows nothing at all about. Recently, one such revelation caught up with me on a visit to Inle Lake in central Burma, where I discovered the use of
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Connectivity: The India-Bangladesh land bridge

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 2 (FEB 2011) Can a formal bilateral communiqué be a ‘game changer’, foretell a ‘paradigm shift’, in a Southasian relationship? If India and Bangladesh manage to follow through on promises to open up their economies for transit and trade as set out in a memorandum of January 2010, a
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Upwelling mud

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 1 (JAN 2011) Hasan Mansur (Milon-da), the tourism entrepreneur of Bangladesh, has lovingly built a boat to the specifications of his own experience and his deltaic country. The M V Aboshar has 20 cabins with a wrap-around passage and a top-deck providing a common space for dining and viewing the scenery. And yes,
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Lumbini with Romila Didi

From Himal Southasia, Volume 23, Number 12 (DEC 2010) The human mind craves travel, be it through geographical terrain or through time. Take a train, trek or bicycle, and you suddenly find yourself in different surroundings. This translocation fulfils the intellect’s craving for new perspectives, contexts, views and interactions. The same holds true for time
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Choti line to Bhikna Thori

From Himal Southasia, Volume 23, Number 10/11 (OCT/NOV 2010) Come with me early this upcoming winter for a trip through backwater history, across borders and ecological zones, across fields, rivers, forests, gorges – and to confront the invasion of modern reality every step of the way. The trip I propose* starts in West Champaran district
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