Masters and Simplicity: The Veena Makers

We were in south India, and in search of a harmonium maker. After asking around, we were assured that the right place had been found, and a few of us hopped into some tuk-tuks and headed out, down bouncy dirt roads, far out of town, until we came to this small workshop, which was NOT…

Istalif: Into the foothills of the Hindu Kush

Turquoise Mountain Foundation Compound Kabul Afghanistan 11:06 p.m. Well, today was a fantastic trip out of Kabul, at last. We piled ten of us from Turquoise Mountain Foundation into a mini-van and rollicked across the fertile Shomali plains north of Kabul for the roughly hour and a half drive up to the town of Istalif, in…

The Places in Between Jaipur & Kabul

Jaipur Rajasthan 5p.m. I have just today finished reading Rory Stewart’s fascinating book The Places in Between, about his highly dubious undertaking of following the Emperor Babur’s epic trek from Herat near the border of Iran across central Afghanistan’s high mountains into Kabul, alone and in mid-winter, just a few months after the USA’s invasion of…