“How is Shah Rukh Khan doing?” asked Paul Zhang. Read more
Over Sunday brunch with a smart, English-speaking Chinese postgraduate, I mentioned that it looked like China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy. Read more
I recently had a back row seat next to a Chinese neighbour for an India-China event. India’s external affairs minister S M Krishna was delivering a speech at an official think tank and every chair was taken. Read more
How to write Mandarin, from my textbook of the Peking University Press:
· Fu (married woman): Simplified form of broom. The character shows a woman sweeping the floor with a broom, thus, a married woman.
· Hao (good, fine): Written with two characters denoting woman and child. For, a woman who has a child is a ‘good’ thing. Read more
My first teacher in Beijing made me repeat ‘jerk’ and ‘church’ several times until I could growl the Mandarin Rrrr. After a gap, I’m now back to school where a 26-year-old Song laoshi (Teacher Song) stares at me wide-eyed and orders: angry, I want more angry!’ Read more
I put down my cell phone and ignored the laptop. In the age of broadband in the capital of the third-biggest economy with more netizens than the population of USA, it was once again time to switch on the fax machine, dig into a drawer and pull out my prized possession: a red plastic chop (seal). Read more
The curvy girls in ghagra cholis were swaying their hips on stage to Aishwarya Rai’s moves in the 2005 Bollywood hit kajra re that continues to crash into Indian weddings.
But this was a stodgy old Beijing theatre where elite Chinese usually amble past signs saying ‘please keep quiet’ and ‘please dress decently’ to watch classical Peking Opera. Read more
“Hello, this is Rajeev,’’ said the caller from Chinese telecom major Huawei, that operates its biggest overseas research and development centre in Bangalore since 1999.
As my taxi rolled down Beijing’s main east-west axis, past a gun toting commando guarding gardeners placing potted plants for China’s high-security military parade on October 1, I assumed that Rajeev was an Indian India spokesperson of Huawei. 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
“What is this dish called Chicken 65? Why do Indians think the Chinese eat only noodles? Why do Indians think all Chinese movies are about kung fu? Why is the India-China relationship only focussed on politics and trade?” Read more