stories of a culture

A Pledge to Join the 100 Saree Pact

A few years ago during a particular Ayurveda video shoot in Mumbai, the director suggested that I wear a pair of trousers rather than my usual go-to outfit, a saree. Needless to say, I couldn’t help but ask why. “We’ve hired …

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Do you hear the people sing?

There is some irony in that today is my birthday given that it’s also China National Day. I never imagined that I would spend my birthday out on the streets of Hong Kong showing solidarity for the pro-democracy movement. But …

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Hong Kong-ers, don’t succumb to ‘Divide & Rule’

Henry David Thoreau’s famous work 1907 On Civil Disobedience proposed that when faced with unjust laws, people could “obey them, amend them, . . . or transgress them.” Thoreau himself chose to transgress the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 by supporting the …

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The Story of Tech startups in Hong Kong 3-6-2012

Do you ever think about chucking up your day job to become a tech entrepreneur? Silicon Valley might be physically miles away but that’s not stopping young entrepreneurs who want to take the plunge. Even with challenges like high rental …

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In the SCMP: How tradition can make a meal of feminist ideals

As a young child, the Indian festival of Karva Chauth was something like a competitive sport. After the guilt of watching my mother go without food all day, it became a race against hunger to help her find the moon …

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Wall Street Journal Asia: The $820,000 stamp

An extremely rare and unique Queen Victoria 96c. olive-bistre block of four sold for HK$6.4 million at Spink’s two-day auction series of rare stamps, coins, banknotes, bonds and shares which took place at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. This highly sought-after block of four stamps sold to an anonymous buyer and became the most expensive Hong Kong stamp ever sold at auction in Hong Kong.

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Wall Street Journal: A Modern Colonial in Bangkok

This story was written for the Wall Street Journal Asia. Fifteen years ago, Malawan Patamapongs, an interior designer whose clients have included members of the Thai royal family and a former U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, bought a 1,200-square-meter lot in …

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What’s up at Christie’s Hong Kong this week?

Classical Chinese paintings, contemporary Asian art and rare pink diamonds from India set the pace for a show of collectibles rooted in Asian tradition to be auctioned by Christie’s; the estimated value exceeds 1.7 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$219 million).

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Scene Asia: Seems Like Old Times for Chinese Watch Collectors

This story was written for the Wall Street Journal Asia’s “Scene Asia” column. Chinese watch collectors have begun to shift their focus toward vintage pieces. It boils down to heritage and nostalgia: “As the Chinese buyers grow older, antique styles …

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Recollections of a Punjabi Bride

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