Stories

Jaipur Lit Fest Days 2 and 3: Courtesans, migrations, and the madness of crowds

Day 2 of the Jaipur Literature Festival was slammed. Packed. Jammed. If you wanted to get your Indian experience of moving in colossal crowds, well, there you were. I'm not sure what made Day 2 so much more dense. People coming for the party that the festival is? Loads of schoolkids? I don't know. The days of hosting the festival at Diggi Palace are numbered. All four speaking venues were overflowing.

2011 Jaipur Lit Fest Day 1: The earnestness of art, mathematical chimps, and the literature of cancer

Day 1 of the Jaipur Literature Festival (http://www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org) is over. It was my first ever day at the festival, and I had an enormously good time. Thanks to Supriya for suggesting it.

Mumbai Marathon 2011: The Unmarathon Marathon

The marathon is secondary at the Mumbai Marathon. Don't let the supersonic Ethiopians fool you. The Dream Run, a 7 km charity run/walk, is the real ticket on marathon Sunday. I thought this was a bit annoying at first--hey, guys, I'm running the marathon, look at me! LOOK AT ME!--but I warmed up to the fact as the day itself warmed up.

Panchkula Half Marathon 2011: The Panchkula mystery race

When I first conceived this trip to India, my plan was to explore the burgeoning running scene in India. Today's runners are at the crest of a wave. There will be more runners and more races on India. It's coming. These are the pioneers, and I had to meet them.

Let me admit my conceits at the start. I nurtured a notion that maybe--just a tiny, tiny chance--I could sneak into the winner's circle at the first race, the Panchkula Half Marathon. These Indians just learned how to run, right?

Kolkata: Down the Maidan

Monuments are the highlight of tourism. Like an entire sporting match condensed to a series of big plays for television shows, monuments draw the casual viewer's eyes to the most striking sights.

Indian itinerary, take two

Thanks to all who helped me with the previous itinerary: Kriti, Supriya, Palash, Abhishek, Pradeep, Anmol, etc. We're supposed to call things like this crowdsourcing, right? To hell with that--I like to deal in individuals, not crowds.

85 days in India; or, Peculiar travel suggestions

(2010-12-08: Updated.)

On 27 December I will depart the States for India. On 23 March I will return. The chronologically curious will note: that's 87 days. (Subtract one day in a plane on each end for 85 days.) It's not quite a geologic age, but it is a long time.

In spite of itself, Wrigley Field hosts a brilliant evening of football

I am not a Cubs fan. I have nothing against the Cubs, but growing up in Central Illinois meant that all of the locals were either Chicago Cubs fans or St. Louis Cardinals fans. If you've ever had the urge to plumb the depths of human stupidity, ask a Cubs fan what they think about the Cardinals, or a Cardinals fan about the Cubs--but not until you've got your riot gear firmly attached.

Detoxification in the time of doldrums; or, Waiting to be led

Last week was quicksand, each day deeper into dullness by struggling to get out of it. This week--slowly, slowly--I'm crawling out of the hole.

I'm not any closer to getting paid--not yet. I'm trying to approach that problem from the other side. I'm thinking about how I want to spend my time first.

Happy birthday, Jeff Buckley

Today would be Jeff Buckley's 44th birthday.

I feel a little artificial saying, "What a tragic loss." I didn't know the man. I didn't know his music until years after his death. I'm not familiar with his full catalog of music. Dwelling on any what-might-have-beens is an unnatural affectation.

But his voice... If that doesn't move you, what could move you?

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