Recently By Anjali Nayar
Delhi, India - OK, so I have to make an apology. As my family well knows, I don't always admit when I'm wrong, but I think it's unavoidable in this case.
I started this blog by writing:
"I don't generally associate India with raging athletic prowess. Besides the country's cricket team, a handful of wrestlers and a couple wealthy shooters (with their own private shooting ranges), India rarely makes an impact on the international level."
My muddy adventure started in Amritsar, in the province of Punjab and one of the hotspots for wrestlers in India.
I soon learned that the game actually has no rules or time limit. It's just one on one, heaving, grunting and grabbing until one wrestler ends up literally in the mud. In the olden days, wrestlers could even fight until death.
In the floodlights of central Delhi's Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday, the air was thick with nationalism (and grasshoppers).
Among the crowd were little old ladies with their faces painted and young boys zipping around with orange, white and green Indian flags.
"That's mallakhamb," a passerby told me, noticing my hypnotic fixation on the horizon. I had never heard the word. "Indian traditional pole gymnastics," he explained.
The driver, named Raj, turned back towards me with a smile "Welcome to Delhi, this is great city."
LOTHAL, GUJARAT - The Commonwealth Games disappeared from the headlines yesterday to make way for a ruling in one of India's longest and most impassioned legal, political, historical and socio-religious debates.
In short, Hindus and Muslims have been fighting in India for hundreds of years. And the Indian city of Ayodhya, northeast of the capital Delhi, has come to embody this ongoing conflict.
I propped the butt of the gun in my armpit and focused on my target. Through the magnified viewfinder, the black dot ten meters away was still only a few millimeters wide. And with every heartbeat, my crosshairs did figure eights along the wall around it.
The glistening towers of Hiranandani Gardens, made famous by the Slumdog Millionaire movie, are surrounded by neatly trimmed parks and lofty palm trees. It seems hardly the place to take a dip into India's ancient past.
The rich and the poor. The urban and the rural. The corrupt and the idealistic. You get modern and middle age within a kilometre, within a block, within a sentence. And fittingly, you either love India or you hate it.