‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2020


Some very clever people are writing off cities. Not altogether, but quite substantially. Consider a new piece in Politico magazine by Parag Khanna, bestselling author and managing partner of the data and scenario-based strategic global advisory firm FutureMap. The pandemic “may cause fundamental shifts in our human geography,” Mr Khanna writes. “Why choose to stay in a … Continue reading “‘Sell city, buy country’? The pandemic won’t empty London, NYC”

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O brave new world. It’s the week it opens the door and gingerly peers out

by Rashmee

Posted on May 10, 2020


This is the week the world tries to recover its nerve even though we remain months away from a vaccine for Covid-19 and still have no cure. As 15-year-old Miranda said in Act V of The Tempest: “How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in’t!” Indeed, rather a brave attempt … Continue reading “O brave new world. It’s the week it opens the door and gingerly peers out”

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When coughing became a tool of terror

by Rashmee

Posted on March 30, 2020


In Canberra, Australia, two men were arrested on March 28 for coughing and spitting in public. In Hail, Saudi Arabia, a man with coronavirus could face the death penalty after spitting on trolleys and doors in a shopping centre. In Blackburn, England, a 40-year-old man was jailed after threatening to cough and spit at a … Continue reading “When coughing became a tool of terror”

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The Asian footprint (or perhaps that should read foodprint) is pronounced in Vancouver

by Rashmee

Posted on February 1, 2020


In most of my time in Vancouver, I ate richly and well of the foods of different countries in Asia. The first night was Vietnamese. The second day was Chinese (dim sum) and Japanese (sushi). There was “Indian Chinese” on day three and Indian Punjabi (chole bhature) on day four. And so it went. The … Continue reading “The Asian footprint (or perhaps that should read foodprint) is pronounced in Vancouver”

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Jerusalem in food, in pictures

by Rashmee

Posted on December 20, 2019


Resign yourself to it: unless you eat a falafel pitta sandwich (very good from the shop at Damascus Gate, opposite the bakery) or a couple of kibeh or a 15-shekel arayes, food is expensive in Jerusalem. We were shocked. The baker opposite the falafel shop at Damascus Gate sells four pitta for 5 shekel, which … Continue reading “Jerusalem in food, in pictures”

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India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days

by Rashmee

Posted on November 18, 2019


India’s internet gag completed 105 days on Sunday, November 17. The Wire’s Mudasir Ahmed reported the milestone – if 105 days can be called a milestone, being neither a nice round number, nor particularly memorable. But the report came in the context of a different sort of milestone – Kashmir’s local government departments were restive. … Continue reading “India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days”

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Donna Leon’s ‘Acqua Alta’ paints a pretty good picture of high waters in Venice

by Rashmee

Posted on November 13, 2019


I was at work today when I read about Venice under water, its walkable streets flooded, tables and chairs set out for touristy aperitifs bobbing along alleyways, and the gangways of hotels along the Grand Canal washed away. It’s the “acqua alta” or high waters, but an exceptionally intense one. This one has peaked at … Continue reading “Donna Leon’s ‘Acqua Alta’ paints a pretty good picture of high waters in Venice”

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The UK’s general election is the most unpredictable in a generation

by Rashmee

Posted on October 31, 2019 / Quartz


Britain will vote on December 12, the first election in that month since 1923, the third in four years, and a contest that is likely to be the most unpredictable in a generation. There are two main reasons for this: an increasingly fickle electorate, and someone election strategists are calling “Workington Man.” The term appears … Continue reading “The UK’s general election is the most unpredictable in a generation”

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Hong Kong, Paris and Santiago are relatively rich but restive. A development economist explains why

by Rashmee

Posted on October 30, 2019


I’m rivetted by Jeffrey Sachs’ analysis of why rich cities rebel. Paris, Hong Kong and Santiago, he recently pointed out, have been unquiet, mutinous places this year mostly because they’re burdened by “a sense of unfairness”. Quite. How and why is this the case? According to Professor Sachs, who teaches sustainable development at Columbia University, … Continue reading “Hong Kong, Paris and Santiago are relatively rich but restive. A development economist explains why”

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To beat climate change, cities would have to shrink to the size of ancient Rome

by Rashmee

Posted on August 30, 2019


Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl climate activist, took a yacht across the Atlantic rather than fly. It wasn’t exactly fun–there was no hot food or a loo on the boat–but the 16-year-old wanted to send a message. She, and anyone else who cares about their carbon footprint, should re-examine transport choices carefully. Those of us … Continue reading “To beat climate change, cities would have to shrink to the size of ancient Rome”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK