Italy, America, China, Denmark, Turkey, Mongolia, Germany, France...,” says the old man who has stopped us in the square near the Seraikella Palace. He is 77 years old, gets a pension of Rs 2,000 a month from the Department of Culture, teaches at the Sri Kedar Art Centre and, in another era, performed Chhau in the countries whose names he proudly chants.
In a black hovel of a teashop in Garage Chowk, two men are silently scrutinising my partner and me. Finally, one of them drains his plastic cup of tea, drops it on the floor, points to the other and says, “This is my cousin. Chhau dancer. He’s been to America, Greece, Bangladesh... Two world-famous things in Seraikella. One is Chhau. The other is laddoo.” [Read the full story in Outlook Traveller]
The Quiet One
I’ve been listening to a language of which I understand only one word—ravintola. It means restaurant. My companions, Matti and Kati, live in Sweden but are from Finland. They’ve recently retired, so can now do much more of what they like doing best—hopping across to Finland and spending solitary weeks in their summer cottage, miles away from civilisation. I’m tagging along on one such retreat. [Read the full story in Outlook Traveller]