Tag Archives: India

Chinglish / ,

This Bangalore Service Really Covers Everything

Take care of all your morning rituals, in one handy place…

toilet-cum-bath

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Holy Curiosities / ,

You’ll Have to Watch Out For Human Skulls in This 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.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 4 Comments
Chinglish / ,

This City Market Dairy Really Needs a Better Name

The dairy that keeps on giving.

anus-dairy

/ by Dean Pickles / 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…

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/ by Dean Pickles / 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?

jaipur

/ by Dean Pickles / 4 Comments
Historical Wonders / ,

We Sent Some of the Last Telegrams in India

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.

telegram1

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.”

What!?!?

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

These Deranged Clown Cookies Will Give Your Children Nightmares

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

milky-biscuits2

Like the John Wayne Gacy of high tea.

/ by Dean Pickles / 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.

Now Ahalya was gorgeous. Like, insanely gorgeous.

Ahalya-600x600

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

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/ by Dean Pickles / 6 Comments
Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums / , ,

On Eating Brains, and Playing With Them, at Dr Shankar’s Esoteric Museum

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 Dean Pickles / 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.

taj-mahal2

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 Dean Pickles / 10 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 Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Uncategorized / ,

Happy Holi!

A few days late, but I was pretty drenched.

happy-holi

/ by Dean Pickles / 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.

poster-stuff

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/ by Dean Pickles / 63 Comments
Holy Curiosities /

So this guy walks into a bar…

mela

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

/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Devoted Obsession / ,

You Won’t Believe This Bizarre Bangalore 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 Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Holy Curiosities / ,

Did You Know that Hindus are Actually 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.

graveyard1_zps09ce07ef

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 Dean Pickles / 16 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes

The first time I saw the menu, I was lost. Sure, I knew dosas and idlis, but that was as far as it went. The other items were utterly alien to me.

indian-menu

And so I did the only thing I could: I decided to eat them all.

It took longer than expected. Tasted better than expected. And added more pounds than I would have thought possible. But here they are…

Pongal

Poongal

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/ by Dean Pickles / 94 Comments
Nazis Nazis Nazis / ,

This Has to Be The Worst Sales Pitch for a Movie

But do you really need to promote it that way?

metropolis-dvd-2

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

Did You Know That India’s Greatest Actor was also… a Superhero?

I’m a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan. But then again, who isn’t? He’s the king of Bollywood. BBC readers chose him as the greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years. I’m sure you’ve seen him as the angry young man in Sholay, or the angry old man in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Or, if not, as the randy boa-wearing letch in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna? Oh, you really should. (I’m sure you’ll see him in The Great Gatsby when it finally hits screens.)

And then you should read his comics.

Yep, Amitabh, the superhero.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters

I hadn’t seen Ramachandraiah for far too long. He’s the movie poster artist. Some locals curse him as a ruin on this garden city. I hail him as an urban beautifying legend.

See his first batch of posters here.
His posters for my favorite movies: Suspiria, Wild at Heart, M, The Third Man, and Sixteen Candles.

“You want some samples?” he asked. His workshop was piled high in rolls of movie posters for local cinemas. Outsider masterpieces, they’re drawn in hours, printed on cheap sheets of 30″ by 20″ paper, and slapped up on highway overpasses, building sites, and concrete walls across the city.

His horror posters render horror in full 3-color gore and madness. Sam Raimi’s The Possession has never looked scarier:

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/ by Dean Pickles / 31 Comments