Monday Reads – 19/04

Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

With Covid cases increasing steeply in India, requesting all readers in India to stay home as much as possible. Here are a few articles that you can read while at home.

An Atlas of the Cosmos – How do we map the Cosmos? Read this article to learn more on this fascinating topic.

The bizarre reason watching birds can make you happier than money – Bird-watching has been a hobby of mine for most of my life. I have always been happy while watching birds. This article posits a few reasons for why this can be such a pleasurable hobby.

The fight to save India’s most elusive cat – India’s most famous cat is undoubtedly the tiger, though few know that many varieties of wild cats, both big and small, exist in our diverse country. This article looks at one of the lesser known wild cats of India.

How the bathroom became the ultimate sanctuary – Many of us would find resonance in the statement that the bathroom has become a place of piece and solitude in today’s age. This article looks at the history and evolution of the humble bathroom.

Why we define ourselves by our jobs – This is a topic that I have pondered about. Why is it that our identities (typically) are so defined by our jobs (and titles). There is no easy answer to this topic, but this article is a good exploration of this topic.

Monday Reads – 12/04

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This is the season of summer holidays in India. Here are a few interesting articles on travel that I cam across over the past week.

‘You must come to our Friday night lime!’ Community cricket in Trinidad – The West Indies is a group of nations in the Caribbean that come together to play cricket. Traveling to these tropical isles and watching a game is a dream for all cricket lovers. If you are one such dreamer, or even if you are not, this is a wonderful article.

Life Aboard the Longest Train Ride Through India – I recently heard about the Dibrugarh – Kanyakumari Vivek Express, the longest train journey in India. I have loved train journeys since the days we used to travel 36 hours in one from Mumbai to Kerala. Read this article to learn more about what trains mean to India.

A Visual Journey Into the Burra Bungalows of Tea Estates of North Bengal – Combining my interests of travel and architecture is this article on the colonial bungalows located in tea estates around the Darjeeling region.

Of Reh, Rituals and Rice Beer – Keen readers might have observed a theme emerging from this list. Yes, most of the articles in this list talk about the North East of India. This is a unique part of our diverse country that I have never been to (not even been close). Well, I do hope to be able to do something about it when it’s safe to travel again.

This Man Searched for the Yeti for 60 Years—and Found It – Moving slightly (but not much) from North East India to a country on India’s northern border is this article on a search for the mysterious Yeti. Does it exist? Read on to find out!

Monday Reads – 05/04

Brabourne restaurant dhobi

This week’s set contains articles from Science, Business and more. Happy reading!

When did life first emerge in the universe? – A long, but fascinating article explaining the possible origin of life in the Universe and the prospects for life in the distant future.

String theorist Michio Kaku: ‘Reaching out to aliens is a terrible idea’ – Continuing on the theme of science, this is an interview with a scientist working on String Theory. It seems like any discussion on Quantum Physics ends up being a discussion about God, and this one is no different. Read on till the end to understand this scientist’s views on the topic.

We still don’t know the origins of the coronavirus. Here are 4 scenarios. – It’s been over a year since the world went into lockdown. And, unfortunately, parts of India are preparing to go back into lockdown soon. This article lays out 4 possible scenarios about the origins of the Coronavirus.

We (might) Work – Remember the disaster that was the WeWork IPO? Well, I subsequently worked out a WeWork facility and really enjoyed the experience. It turns out that WeWork has been, over the past few months, quietly rectifying its ship and might be on the path to profitability soon.

Maska Bun and Migration: Irani Cafes of Bombay – You can tale a person out of Mumbai (Bombay), but you can’t take Mumbai (Bombay) out of a person. Even though I have not been staying in Mumbai for over 12 years now, I still think that no other city in India (and very few in the World) can match it in terms of experiences. It appeals (and attacks) almost every sense. This article talks about one of the icons of Mumbai – the humble Irani cafe.

My time in the UK – Part 3

Stonehenge

Spring turned to summer soon after we moved into our rented flat in North London. If memory serves me right, it was, by and large, a warm, sunny summer. We decided to see some of the sights around London on a short road-trip.

I hired a car from close to our flat in North Finchley. Our first destination was Stonehenge. We reached Stonehenge in the late afternoon and were able to enjoy the place in the late afternoon sunshine, with hardly any tourists around. We did not spend too much time there, but there was something special about the place. We also visited Avebury, site of the largest megalithic stone circle in the world.

I do not recollect where we stayed that first night, but I do remember that it was the night that Amy Winehouse sadly died. The place was a lovely English cottage bed and breakfast. We enjoyed a relaxing stay at this place before making our way to Bath.

Roman baths, Bath

Bath was the highlight of our trip. The Roman ruins were stunning and atmospheric. In addition, the small size of the town and it’s architecture made it a beautiful town to just walk around in. We would have loved to spend an additional day there, but unfortunately, we had already made reservations at our next halt.

We then headed to the Cotswolds region where we halted at the charming village of Chipping Campden. The place was quiet and relaxed, but we were missing Bath, which took away some of the charm of the stay.

We were headed back to London the next day. The drive took us through Oxford, but we did not stop to see the place. I always thought I would be back to visit it one day, but that has not happened (so far!).

Monday Reads – 29/03

Photo by Jyoti Singh on Unsplash

A mix of articles across business, equality and travel make up this week’s list. And Happy Holi!

The Sonic (Entrepreneurship) Boom – Is this post-pandemic period going to be one of history’s most productive eras? Professor Scott Galloway reckons that this is the best time to start a business in over a decade. Read this article to find out why.

Nazara’s 22-year survival journey to $80 million gaming IPO – A fascinating article on how one of India’s oldest tech ‘start-ups’ navigated two near-death experiences and is now getting ready to list on the stock exchange.

John Stuart Mill’s Philosophy of Equality – ‘Sometimes in the debates about how to improve equality in our society, the reason why we should desire equality gets lost. In his classic text The Subjection of Women, John Stuart Mill explains why equality is critical for solving the world’s problems—because it allows everyone to decide how they can best contribute to society.

This ancient city is the perfume capital of India – There is so much to see and experience in India – it’s truly mind-boggling. This article talks about a town in the heartland of the Indian Gangetic Plains and it’s history of perfumery.