Babel

The multilingual, multicultural online journal and community of arts and ideas. There's a heaven above you, baby.

Babel

Ajay Kamalakaran

Journalist, optimist, writer, runner, linguist, passionate about Buddhism, Russia and hockey. Other interests include Sweden, India, philosophy and books.

Homepage: http://ajayinbombay.blogspot.in

How Alexander Pushkin used fairy tales to deal with a lack of free speech

June 6 is Alexander Pushkin’s birth anniversary.  This article looks at how Pushkin used fairy tales to make political points. As well as being recognized as a great writer during his lifetime, Alexander Pushkin was also a successful civil servant. He graduated from the Imperial Lyceum, an elite educational institution established by Tsar Alexander I, […]

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Immigration is not a crime

I am fortunate enough to live in a country that has made rapid strides in poverty alleviation over the last few decades, and if I wanted to move out of India, the reasons would be no different from why Western expatriates (a posher word for short term immigrants) look for jobs in emerging Asian countries. It […]

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Russian hospitality needs to be experienced to be believed

A family I once knew in Sakhalin (an island in the Russian Pacific Coast) spoke to me about the first time they hosted a couple of foreign business associates for dinner. This was in the late 1990s when the country had just begun to recover from chronic food shortages and a few years after people […]

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Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquake

The world greeted the news about Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and claimed more than 2000 lives (and destroyed cultural treasures in the Kathmandu Valley), with absolute horror. This was unfortunately a disaster waiting to happen. I first visited the Kathmandu Valley in 2004, when the country was in […]

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Oh Calcutta!

Crumbling heritage buildings, a communist legacy, buses and automobiles from the 1950s…It’s no wonder that some call you the Havana of India. For more than 30 years, the ‘City of Joy’ stood still and stayed in a time warp as the rest of India moved on and entered the age of globalisation. Now, however, the […]

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