Since my adolescent years, I have devoted a great deal of my time to the study and performance of music, travelling the world (professionally since 2006 as a tour-manager/guide), and reading and writing history. Music, however, was my first love. I began as a drummer and later learned to play the piano as well. Over time, moreover, I not only extended my enthusiasm for pop-rock music and jazz towards world music and modernist Western classical music, but also developed a great interest in (ethno)musicology.
In 1988-89, my wanderlust brought me twice to Beijing: first from what then still was British Hong Kong and the next year from India and over the Khunjerab Pass in Pakistan. Back home my first impressions of South Asia haunted me and I decided to return. By now, then, I have spent around four years in the subcontinent and, indeed, after recurrent visits since 2006, nearly a year in China (besides another few years in other countries, including longer stints in Brasil, Britain, Germany and Turkey).
In the meantime, I studied modern Asian history, as well as Hindi and Urdu, at Amsterdam, Leiden and New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Universities. Ultimately, I specialized myself in the history of modern South Asia (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2004). Besides in the Netherlands, I have been invited to talk about my research in Britain (Cambridge and Oxford), Germany (Berlin and Göttingen) and the United States (Los Angeles, New York and Riverside). I held (visiting) fellowships at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen and the University of Amsterdam's Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms.