Jug Suraiya

The storyteller who scripted my life

Mother enrolled me in an academy of equitation and horsemanship, and made me by far the youngest member of the North Calcutta Rifle Range.

11 Jan 2020

The multicoloured mosaic of India

India is vast space; space to accommodate the clamour of giant cities, teeming with the seething energy of millions, and the silence of empty solitudes.

08 Dec 2019

What price a loved one’s death?

One of the sisters in the family was stricken by an irreversible and fatal disease that attacks the auto-immune system and for which there is no known cure.

09 Nov 2019

In foreign parts, loo before you leap

When I first visited Britain many years ago, it truly was a green and pleasant land, its salubrity reflected in the plenitude of public loos.

12 Oct 2019

The Moveable Feast that is India 

The other evening our friend Chitra cooked us some spectacular Bangla ranna (Bengali cuisine).

21 Sep 2019

A tale of India’s many biryanis

All this can, and does, provoke heated debate. But there is one argumentative staple, a constant of controversy.

18 Aug 2019

The Many Travels We Make Towards Ourselves

I was a traveller long before I knew I was. As a young boy in Calcutta, I would walk along the streets and bylanes of the city.

18 Jul 2019

Calcutta: City of a distant joy

Perhaps no other place exercises quite the same kind of lure, composed of about equal parts of nostalgia and anger.

22 Jun 2019

The Price-less pleasures of nostalgia

The other day I paused to lend an ear to a couple of economists discussing inflation.

25 May 2019

The Joyous Alchemy of Witnessing

The scant foliage and gawky branches of Amaltas trees give it an air of gauche adolescence.

27 Apr 2019

A Magical Tapestry of Time

It was a minor miracle that it survived.

29 Mar 2019

Archie’s death and end of an American dream

The comics were a magical gateway not only to a mythical America but also to a thrilling new terra incognita called adolescence, with its acned angst and its exuberant ecstasy.

02 Feb 2019

The rediscovery of a literary ‘greeneland

Greene attributed his conversion to a youthful romance and has shrugged off the label of being “a Catholic author”, preferring to be called an “author who happens to be Catholic”.

06 Jan 2019

A remembrance of Calcutta christmases past

The mainstay of Calcutta’s Christmas tradition was the Anglo-Indian household, to which an invitation had to be inveigled if one wanted the true savour of the season. 

01 Dec 2018

We Indians need to spit it all out

Yaaaaarnk! The blood-curdling sound freezes me to the spot.

03 Nov 2018

When Durga comes visiting in Kolkata

Durga Puja is around the corner, evoking in me memories of how this festival was celebrated in what was then called Calcutta, and where I spent most of my adult life.

04 Oct 2018

Down memory lane on Kolkata’s park street

Every now and again they talk about renaming Park Street, in what is now called Kolkata.

08 Sep 2018

An Israeli-Palestinian take on Shakespeare

The other day I saw a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino playing Shylock.

11 Aug 2018

From blood and sand to flaming heart of Spain

What redeems bullfighting from being an act of senseless cruelty is the courage of the matador who while dealing death coolly faces it himself.

14 Jul 2018

Madrid represents all of Spain—or none of it

Perhaps the best aperitif to the city is a morning stroll through the Plaza Mayor, the vast, cobblestoned square designed by Philip III in the 17th century.

16 Jun 2018

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