Looking at the sleepy old city of Lucknow wake up to its cosmopolitan character is cause for much celebration. It is often forgotten how the city has been multicultural for ages, welcoming people from different parts of the world to live here and enrich existing architectural styles, cuisine, fashion, language and trade.

Love’s Gone

Atia Naqvi, the 96-year-old grand dame of Lucknow, and perhaps the last in the line of elegance and grace, died recently. When I heard that she is no more, my immediate fear was that a lot of love that is already in short supply may have also departed from earth with her.

I wanted to write about Atia as a lesson to myself on ‘becoming’ love. But I did not know how to do so in words. Would it make sense to you if I said that Atia was one person I knew who was a personification of love?

‘I find a lover when I want one’

Ever since Taksim Square and Gezi Park hit the headlines in May, Hulya Gulbahar, leading lawyer and women’s rights activist in Istanbul, has been on my mind.

When I was last in Istanbul, I recall sitting with Hulya in one crowded pavement eating house after another till the wee hours of every morn. What we did was to drink, eat, laugh a lot and talk politics around a table full of women.

The German Pill

A very good idea like the European Union (EU) is in such a mess today. Talk to those who are still able to think on the continent, and you will be told that this is because the European project is unfinished business. Economy alone does not make a community happy.

The EU came into being to economically unite the constantly warring nation-states on the continent. The rationale was that when economic interests are at stake, member states will not wage war on each other.