Around the world… and home

Almost a year away from home.

We’re home!  After just 24 days less than a year away from home, we’re back.  According to the airline, we flew 29,000 miles, from Boston to Paris to Bangalore to Sydney to Auckland to Fiji to Charleston to Boston, not to mention all the layovers in between.

It’s nice to be back, although a little strange.  The house is pretty much the same, though I now see it through different eyes.  It seems huge, and we seem to have so much stuff.  The cat recognizes us, and seems to he happy that we’re back.  We’re buried in boxes, having shipped home almost two dozen bags and boxes as well as the 10 checked and 6 carry-on bags we brought with us (and which, believe it or not, I managed to fit into my Prius along with all five of us, to get home from the bus stop.)

I’m not sure I’ll be adding much to this blog for a while. I think it will be nice to not be traveling.  If I find some time, I might dig through some of the videotape I shot while in India; although I focused most on still photos, some of the videos might be fun.  


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

In spite of the gods

My favorite non-fiction about India so far.

In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India, by Edward Luce.

I’ve just finished reading this excellent 2006 book by Edward Luce, a journalist who lived in India for five years as the South Asia bureau chief for Financial Times, and who is married to an Indian.  His prose is wonderful, his insights fascinating, and his anecdotes amusing.  Definitely my favorite non-fiction about India so far [though I still recommend Nilekani’s more recent book Imagining India.]  It is a must-read for anyone who wants to begin to understand India.

In his conclusion, Luce cites four major challenges that India must face in order to thrive:

  • “Lifting 300 million people out of poverty and providing the remainder with a more secure standard of living…,
  • “Overcoming the dangers of rapid environmental degradation…,
  • “Heading off the spectre of an HIV-Aids epidemic…,
  • “Protecting and strengthening India’s system of liberal democracy….”

Indeed, he quotes Vijay Kelkar in noting that “The twenty-first century is India’s to lose.” Huge challenges, and huge opportunity.

For a more extensive (and professional) review of the book, see the NYT reviews [MacintyreGrimes]; the NPR interview with the author is also very interesting. The book is available on Amazon.


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Favorite India photos

The best of the best.

With 5,662 ‘keeper’ photos from India, it was awfully difficult to narrow them down to my favorites.  I tried to select a dozen in each of several categories, based on a mixture of criteria – trying to represent the diversity of people and experiences, and also an amateur notion of what makes a nice photograph.  I hope you’ll enjoy them!

[nature]  [people]  [children]  [farms]  [streets] [sights] [IISc] [universities]


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

South Pacific favorites

A dozen favorite photos from each place.

For those readers – if I have any – who may have been overwhelmed by all the albums I’ve been posting in recent weeks (I know I have!), this blog entry is for you.

I selected a dozen favorite photos each from AustraliaNew Zealand, and Fiji, for your viewing pleasure.  Well, actually, New Zealand’s “dozen” has 15 photos, because I could not bear to part with any of them. 

The index page also provides links to the start of each country’s visit.


This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2021, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.