Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, essayist and politician, introduced English education in India, calling for an educational system to build a class of anglicized Indians who would serve as cultural intermediaries between the British and the Indians. In his Minute on Indian Education submitted to the Parliament in 1835, he suggested that all native Indian literature could be beaten to pulp: “It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England.”

Ironically, during the British Raj, many Indian words sneaked into the English language—from Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and many other languages in use in the country. My monthly column for India Currents Magazine, On Inglish, weaves stories around such words.


  1. A Palanquin of Wedding Bells
  2. The Sound Of My Name
  3. Hey, I Need Cash!
  4. Off With The Loot
  5. The Churidar Gets A Nod
  6. The House of Teak
  7. The Call of the Koel
  8. That Downward Dog At Yoga
  9. Not Just Another Jute Bag
  10. Sheesh! So Much Bakshish!
  11. Unearthing Shakti
  12. The Sari Story
  13. So Naked Without Bangles
  14. On The Shanghai Bund
  15. Puffed Up Over A Roti
  16. Frenzy On The Maidan
  17. Down From The Tonga
  18. An Orange Letdown
  19. Stop By For Chai
  20. A Raja's Pearl
  21. Crushed By The Juggernaut
  22. Who Took The Tamarind Out?
  23. Step Into Our Verandah
  24. Auto!
  25. Perfectly Done
  26. From The Man Village Into The Jungle
  27. I'll Have Three Sugars With That, Please
  28. A Boy Turned Pariah
  29. Offend Me And You'll Be Chutney
  30. Is That My Karma In The Envelope?
  31. A Guru Minus A Halo
  32. The First Strains Of A Raga
  33. Starched, Crisp, White, And Made In India: Dhoti 
  34. A Maharani In The Next Avatar, Perhaps?
  35. Nirvana In My Tequila
  36. Mind It, Pandit
  37. My Summer Tango With The Mango
  38. Pukka Idiot
  39. Cotton Bales And Calico Tales
  40. That Bungalow In Chennai
  41. So Much Ado About Curry