Kathmandu, 1983. I was eighteen. In the Office of Controlled Immigration where my three school friends and I extended our visas, billboards shed notices like autumn leaves – photos of missing persons, stolen passports, wanted men: drug traffickers, art thieves, fraudsters, lost souls. One night Ch…
‘Every sect needs jargon. We did not have churches, we had halls; services were called meetings; the congregation was the assembly; elders were overseers’
The Interpreters: Among the Brahmins of Benares
‘That first sight of the city curled around the river goes through me like the breath of something old and known and familiar. The city has been destroyed many times in the last thousand years, no less by development authorities than by conquerors. And yet it is so perfect an articulation of the culture that built it that the overlay of centuries has not muffled its voice.’ Aatish Taseer revisits Varanasi.