Just when I began to think that Beijing was bored of swine flu, (H1N1) I met an Indian parent ordered to check his son’s temperature every morning and note it on a school form.
A nanny on the school bus checks the card. Any student with a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius and/or a cough, runny nose and headache, may be offloaded. Everybody — students, parents and visitors— must disinfect their hands at the school entrance. Read more
“When I heard you were Indian, I thought you would be fat and old,” a young English graduate I was interviewing blurted when we met last week.
“Do you find curry in China?’’ she then asked, ignorant of the dozen Indian restaurants in Beijing where the Chinese drink more mango lassi than the Indians. Read more
For a change, this post is a party report. On Saturday night, Beijing’s Indian community sang the national anthem to the voice of Rabindranath Tagore, followed by the spine-tingling rendition by Rahman, Lata and Indian artists as it played on two screens.
The national anthem can move you even when it plays inside a cinema hall in an Indian metro. But thousands of miles away in a city with a small and depleting diaspora, the moment went down as especially memorable. Read more
Your Chinese is good. Which country are you from?
Ah. I don’t feel friendly toward India.
My Chinese friend and I were practising how to say ‘let’s stay in touch’ in Mandarin, when the taxi driver glanced behind to ask about my nationality and retort that he did not feel friendly toward India. Read more
Friday: Wake up and check if the sky is blue. The sky is ash grey.
Start checking pending emails. The next Bollywood screening at the Indian Embassy culture centre is Hum Saath Saath Hain (We are united, 1999). Stop checking emails. Read more