Rebellion of the Child Bride

She was married when she was one year old. She didn't get a say, she didn't even know how to speak. Her parents traded her like a piece of property, her life theirs to do with as they pleased. But Laxmi Sargara refused to go along with it. When, years later, her "husband" came to collect her, she told her parents she wasn't going. This week, aged 18, she became the first Indian woman to refuse the marriage she was entered into as a child and demand that it be annulled. She should be … [Read more...]

Camels wrestling…and how to lie your way onto a ministerial flight

My career in journalism didn't start with a bang. It started with camels wrestling. After I finished university I moved to Istanbul to become a foreign correspondent. I had no employer, I was freelance. No newspaper was interested in sending a complete novice abroad. But I wasn't going to let that stand in my way. In my mind, I was going to be the fearless foreign correspondent of myth, the sort you see in the movies exposing wrongdoing, giving a voice to the oppressed, and standing up to … [Read more...]

View from a Terrace

Where do I begin? I'm sitting on the terrace of my apartment in Delhi. It's early evening and the light is already fading, but it's still warm, and the leaves are falling all around me. The leaves fall in spring in Delhi, which seems strange to some one like me who grew up in Europe, and associates the fall with the nights drawing in, huddling around the bonfire for warmth, and the death of the year. But here it is the summer everyone fears, summer is the season of death, and even the trees are … [Read more...]