There are many joys of living in Goa, but its gastronomic pluralism is easily one of the tiny state’s biggest attractions. On the day that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was calling for a national law against cow slaughter, I was having dinner with a Goa BJP minister: On the menu was fish curry, pork sorpotel and beef chilly fry. When I asked the minister how he interpreted Bhagwat’s remarks, he smiled indulgently: “Bhagwatji lives in Nagpur, we live in Goa.

The latest opinion polls in the US are suggesting a much tighter race for the country’s presidency but the debate in Washington DC, at least, has slowly shifted from “will Trump be the next US president” to “gee, how did someone like Trump get so close to the White House”. This mood shift reflects the belated realisation that the US could be electing a man who is clearly unsuited to the job, someone whose outrageous remarks evoke as much anger as mirth across large parts of the country.

On the face of it, Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee are as different from each other as idli sambar is from macher jhol. The Tamil Nadu chief minister is the self-styled empress of Poes Garden, a remote, inaccessible figure who thrives in imperial grandeur; the West Bengal chief minister, by contrast, likes to project herself as a plebeian folk heroine in crumpled sari and chappals who revels in her street-fighting image.

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