I once had an entire relationship in a fog – no kidding, this really happened – while drifting aimlessly in the middle of a large river. A fog does strange things to sound, even time: deadens them, precludes, makes you feel as though you’re the only one around. As in a dream, memories and fantasies intermingle, apparitions rising unbidden … ‘Freedom is a word I rarely use without thinking of being lost,’ I warbled, floating through that day. Indeed, a fog spurs one to talk aloud, expressing emotions generally better left inside one’s own head. And that’s just what I was doing: I was navigating, world-weary, a thousand years old.
It is very quiet in a fog, so when I heard him coming there was no mistaking it. This was not the sound of my own breath or the chattering of my mind, nor even the wind or ducks or waves: this was the sound of another human being. I greeted him eventually, his vague form – no chimera, that – and I welcomed him. We navigated together for a while, and I’ll never forget him.
This image is by Shishir Bhattacharjee, a Dhaka-based artist, and is part of Himal’s commentary on artwork from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Dhaka. Oil on canvas, 1987.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
The archive: 25 years of Southasia
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).