The Himalayan Desert: Where solitude and isolation are a way of life

Part One: The Place In these strange times, remote areas of the country seem to have receded even further into the wilderness, and one wonders if and when they will be accessible again. For a while at least, the travel industry will be hit by the restrictions. Perhaps this is an opportune moment for a […]

Has the Pandemic Rekindled Family Ties?

The opportunity to reflect on pre-Covid days has provided important insight into the blind spots in contemporary social structures, both local and global. Aspects of existence that we had taken for granted have been challenged and we are now aware of how precarious our world can be. The greed and selfishness that guided our decisions […]

Has the Pandemic Shaken Up the Indian Middle-Class Household?

As I reflect on pending tasks like attending to unwashed dishes, a pile of sweaty clothes, or proposed projects, finding the mindspace for writing posts for Masala Chai has become a serious challenge. By the time there is some semblance of domestic order, the most productive hours have slipped past and the heavy heat of […]

‘The Wig That Was Caught For Stealing’ and Other Stories

‘The wig that was caught for stealing’ and other stories by Shashi Shukla From my father’s side, we are six cousins; four girls and two boys all born between 1978 and 1985. My father and his older brother were working in jobs away from their ancestral village, and annually, we would travel from our respective homes […]