Tag Archives: India

Chinglish / ,

Toilet Cum Bath

All my morning rituals, in one handy place.


/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Holy Curiosities / ,

Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard

As I stepped over the leg bone, I laughed. I’m no bone doctor, but it looked human to me. Orthopaedist, is that what it’s called? I’m no orthopaedist.

Must be from a cow, or maybe a dog. Do dogs get that big? Not a human. Definitely not a human.

But then I tripped, and I stepped on a skullcap, that really nailed it for me.

This Bangalore graveyard was covered in human bones.

“Maybe the dogs dig them up,” suggested Kaveri, as she led the way to the high priestess of the graveyard. “Or the rats.”

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/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
Copyright Carelessness / ,

India’s Charlie Chaplin-branded Potato Chips

Okay, they’re not really potato chips. They’re about as far from that as you get — offerings like papad chivda, soya chips, sev puri, and mari banana wafers. They’re tasty.

And the bags are all stamped with Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp.


I loved them so much I bought every kind the supermarket sold.

I think this might be my new favorite Indian snack.

/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Chinglish / ,

Anus Dairy

The dairy that keeps on giving.


(“Party orders,” too!)

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
Historical Wonders /

Photographing India, Then and Now

In London, I found the old box of slides. It was hidden in the back of my parents’ closet. I had to move fifteen other boxes to get to it. It hadn’t been touched in decades. I bought a slide scanner immediately, and went to work.

Going through the treasures inside, I keep gagging at the photos that I’m retaking 30 years later.

Some are awfully obvious, like these crackers of the Taj Mahal…

and Humayun’s Tomb…

But these are the de rigeur shots. Of course Dad shot them in 1983, and of course I re-shot them 30 years later. But then I keep finding less traditional shots, like this so-specific angle of one stretch of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu…

Mahabalipuram? I can’t remember being there, let alone that very specific 15-degree angle. Or how about this off-centered angle shot of

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/ by Andy Deemer / 6 Comments
Strange Tourism / ,

Little Girl on a Unicycle on a Tightrope, Jaipur 1986

I’ve been scanning our forgotten pictures from our 1980s holidays, and found this incredible picture from our visit to Jaipur in 1986: a girl on a unicycle on a tightrope. So does this still happen here in India?


/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
Historical Wonders / ,

Goodbye Telegram / Hello Telegram

If you’d asked me, I’d have confidently told you the telegram service was long gone, relegated to dusty 1930s spy thrillers, retro New York hipster bars, and awesome games I’m building.

I would have been so completely wrong.


It turns out India actually still uses telegrams. Barely. The service is closing in days!

When I read this, I sent Woo an urgent SMS. “We’ve got to send a telegram. Pronto.” I looked at the note, and added one word to the end: “Stop.” And I knew, this was going to be awesome.

The local post office didn’t think it was as awesome as we did. “No, we don’t send telegrams,” the guy behind the counter said. “That stopped weeks ago.”


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/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

Deranged Clown Cream Biscuits

These Milk Bikis Milk Cream Biscuits might just be the creepiest teatime snack I’ve ever seen.


Like the John Wayne Gacy of high tea.


/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
Holy Curiosities /

This Hindu God has 1,000 Vaginas!

So I’m in the middle of R.K. Narayan’s condensed version of the Ramayana — one of the great Indian epics — and I have to re-print the amazing story of Ahalya, Gautama and Indra. It’s too amazing.

The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)

List Price: $16.00 USD
New From: $3.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.01 USD In Stock

Now Ahalya was gorgeous. Like, insanely gorgeous.


Brahma had created her from the ingredients of beauty, itself. Of course this led to problems.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 6 Comments
Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums / , ,

Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura

It came up over a bowl of brain stew at Karim’s, Old Delhi’s famously-dingy 1913 eatery.

“Tasty,” I said, wiping my mouth. “By the way, did I tell you about the brain museum in Bangalore? The architect told me we should go.”

Michelle tore off a piece of naan, and sopped up a wet chunk of brain. “We have to go,” she said.

And this weekend, we did.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 9 Comments
Historical Wonders / , ,

Murder, Incest, and Fratricide led to The Taj Mahal?

Well, we made it to the Taj Mahal last weekend. Huge. Overwhelming. Magnificent. I wiped away a tear or two.


Shah Jahan built it in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. That’s like the awesomest romantic gesture, ever.

But I was also reading William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi at the time. It’s a great book. And according to it, Shah Jahan wasn’t just a mad romantic. He was also the head of one seriously fucked-up family — a generation plagued by incest, murder, harems, fratricide, sororicide and even patricide. It’s less Shakespeare than it is Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 9 Comments
Holy Curiosities / ,

Another Little Bangalore Boat Church

53 weeks ago, I posted about my first boat church. The other day — deep in Bangalore’s Austin Town — I found another.

So what does this represent? St Thomas coming to Kerala? Or Jesus and Mary coming to India? Is the boat a little Fisher of Men? Or the stormy trip to Gerasenes?

How many of these boat churches are there? And when will I find one that’s not empty?

/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
Excellent Products / ,

Damn Strong Tarps

I love this hand-painted ad for Bhadra Tarps. You know they’re tough if even this mustached hunk can’t rip them!


(Then compare to their rather lackluster website. Oh….)

/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
Other Obscura / , ,

Antilia: The Most Gratuitous House in Mumbai

When you’re in Bombay, a great way to get some context is start in the alleyways of Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world. About a million people live here, crammed into 0.67 square miles.

“It’s like mainlining gratitude for how much we have to be thankful for,” said my old pal Chris.

I couldn’t agree more. But there’s no time to ponder that — hop in a Premier Padmini cab, and zip the few miles downtown to Mukesh Ambani’s 27-floor, 40-storey, $1bn single-family house Antilia,

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Shameless Promotion / ,

Happy Holi!

A few days late, but I was pretty drenched.


/ by Andy Deemer / 13 Comments
Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books / , ,

Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops

Somewhere on Mutton Street, in Bombay’s Chor Bazaar, sits a cave of musty sweetness. It’s filled with old movie posters, piled almost six feet high.


Bollywood Posters (Paperback)

List Price: $34.95 USD
New From: $12.73 USD In Stock
Used from: $6.80 USD In Stock

“You know V. Shataram, yes?” says the pint-sized operator, Khalim, who looks to be about twelve years old. “He’s fantastic, amazing,” he says, flailing his arms. “You must see his movies.” He dives into the center of a thousand posters, and flips through four before he lands on a Shantaram poster. “You must buy this. It’s beautiful!”


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/ by Andy Deemer / 62 Comments
Offbeat Museums / ,

The Quirk of Bangalore Palace


The old Tudor-style castle in the middle of Bangalore is touted as a tourist must-see. It’s not. But there are three reasons you might want to go… See them at BangBangBangalore.com

/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Holy Curiosities /

So this guy walks into a bar…


(Thanks to Julie for the lovely pic of Woo at the Kumbh Mela.)

/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
Devoted Obsession / ,

Noel Wilson’s Awesome Soccer-Themed House

In a street filled with single-storey houses, Noel Wilson’s juts up like a skinny football-worshipping minaret. It’s bizarrchitecture!


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/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
Holy Curiosities / ,

Hindus Are Buried…?!

I didn’t know Hindus were buried. Like, they’re always cremated, right?

And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were.


The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later.

“That’s the great white myth,” he said. “You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians like the colonialists. But it’s not true. These days, most of us Hindus prefer to be buried.”

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/ by Andy Deemer / 13 Comments