Category Archives: International

Fond memories of a chaotic volcano

By Keith Pereña

Apart from cars and bikes passing by every 15-or-so minutes, the only sound you would hear at 5am in Tagaytay in the Philippines is of the wind. The vacation town, famous for its view of the majestic Taal Volcano, had not woken up yet, but the lights of some establishments remained wide open — as if they never needed to sleep. Puddles formed on the cement walkways leading up to the polished floors of our hotel -— which boasted a balcony with a view of the restive geographical ‘marvel’.

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What’s a jar of purple jam got to do with Greta Thunberg?

By Keith Pereña

Over the past week or so, my newsfeed has been filled with the adventures of a 16-year-old girl who had world leaders passionately listening to her speech on climate change. Speaking at the United Nations earlier this week, Greta Thunberg’s message about inaction regarding climate change sent shockwaves in the UN’s uber-formal New York headquarters.

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Remembering Sri Lanka, when it was the Dubai of the pre-oil era

By Suresh Pattali

#247, Galle Road, Bambalapitiya, Colombo 04.

At a very young age, when I was still grappling with the spelling of my own hometown in India, I could memorise this Colombo address. Just as my dad finished the ritual of dictating his monthly letter, words dripping love, nostalgia and lots of politics — national and familial — I would fold the blue-coloured foreign envelope and jot down my maternal uncle’s Colombo address from memory. To everyone’s surprise, I even knew “Galle” is pronounced “Gol”, not “Gally” as a sizeable number of Indians still do.

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Why a nighttime stroll through LA beat the official tour

By Dhanusha Gokulan

When you’re in sunny California — the land of Hollywood, hippie counterculture, fast food, and the birthplace of the Internet — there’s very little not to love. Yet, I did not possess my wanderlust spirits at nighttime. Thanks to mainstream American media, I have to admit: even smiling, friendly faces became menacing scowls to me after the sun set. Continue reading Why a nighttime stroll through LA beat the official tour

It will take more than money to rebuild Notre Dame

By Suresh Pattali

Hailing from a town full of churches and temples, the magnificence and architectural brilliance of places of worship have always beckoned me. I preferred to visit them outside of prayer timings — when their physical emptiness and silent ambience would fill my soul with peace and spirituality.

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