Author Archives: Devyani Nighoskar

here’s more than a family recipe behind their tandoori chicken. It was the summer of 1945. As the country burgeoned with political movements and struggled for freedom from the Raj, a young Sikh boy wished for his own kind of independence. 14-year-old Gurunam Singh lived on the fringes of Sialkot in Punjab (now Pakistan). The rebellious son of an affluent farmer, Gurunam decided to run away one day after an incident with his father. “Mere baap ne mujhe ghumake laafa maara,” (My father thrashed me for some mischief) he recalls. After telling his mother he was going to stay with a relative, he arrived in Amritsar on a train.

One fine morning, a king and a queen arrive for a tour of Dalhousie—a quaint Himalayan hill town located in the Chamba region in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The royal couple’s charioteer, locally known as the saarthi, doubles as their tour guide and takes them through the narrow winding roads of the town.

It is 2:46 AM on a dark, windy night, and for a city that never sleeps, Dharavi is eerily silent. There’s a slight drizzle keeping us awake very much like the suspicious gaze of the street dogs that guard the dimly lit lanes. The only sound is that of the leaves swaying in the wind and our own footsteps until they are interrupted by a deep, muffled voice.

“Try this, it’s a specialty” Sonam Dorje told me. When the owner of Kunzum Cafe and Guest House in Tabo slides a plate of Rosti (potato patty, topped with omelette) in front of you, don’t say no. Travelling through the tiny village

As a young child, one of Ramchandra’s favorite toys was a small wooden truck painted in sunny yellow with bright red edges. Wheeling it on the floor, Ramchandra would watch his grandfather’s hands work magic on the chiseled wood, slowly transforming it into something entirely different: a doll, an action figure, a movable toy car and more. It wasn’t long before he joined his grandfather in the craft.

When Rolina Rodricks was a young girl, she would often accompany her grandmother for a walk on the beach. Times were simpler then and so was this city they called their own. Or at least that is what Rolina’s grandmother always told her.