Last week I was in north Goa. It was my first trip there and I was delighted to find it was not full of slimy 50-something European men with little boys, backpackers in rags or drug addicts on ecstasy – as I had been expecting. Instead it had become gentrified – or most of it. Modern sleek cafes and swish bars were springing up everywhere to cater for the middle-class mainstream tourist. The days of stalls selling Ali Baba trousers, Rizzlers and chillums, appeared to be to be numbered. Read more
On the plane to Goa at the weekend I read a story in a newspaper about a 13-year-old English boy who had fathered the baby of a 15-year-old teenage girl in the UK. Alfie Patten’s voice had not yet broken and his son had been born after one night of unprotected sex. It reminded me of several things I don’t miss about the UK and like about India: the breakdown of family values being one of them. Sex education is widespread in English schools; I am not even sure if it exists in India. But, I am yet to see a teenage single mum in India. Read more
After interviewing the entire cast of Slumdog Millionaire and reporting on all the awards and nominations, I finally went to watch it.
Twenty minutes into the movie, my Indian friend asked me whether I liked it.
“Err, it’s ok,” I said. “But the exoticism is lost on me. I think I’ve turned desi.” Read more
Dating Indian men as a western woman in India is not easy.
Friends ask me why I don’t go for an expat, but the problem is finding one from my country, single, of a similar age with similar interests is hard as the pool of expats is so small. Read more
At a human rights film festival in Mumbai I saw a disturbing documentary about the repression of women in Afghanistan.
They were not allowed to wear lipstick and the flick Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame focused on the resulting obsession six-year-old Afghan young girls had with red lipstick, drawing it whenever they could in an obscene way all over their faces, since it was banned from lives. When they got caught by a group of men with a lipstick, they were stoned (and I don’t mean they were smoking joints.) Read more