A gift to my parents on their 28th marriage anniversary

A marriage in the winter of 1962

[Editor’s Note: My mother is a late adopter of the Internet. In the pre-Internet era, she used to write the loveliest of long letters to her children. The letters stopped after I returned to India. In the past year, after she got comfortable with connectivity and gmail, the letters resumed as emails to her children. She’s […]

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Importance of being intervaly

I will not last forever, but I am damn well going to know I have been there. – Dr. George Sheehan Roger Bannister is etched in my memory since at least 1982. My correct answer in a quiz qualifier test would turn out to be decisive enough to beat out 3 senior grades to make […]

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Been there seen that

A common thread running across all Indian/Eastern spiritual traditions is some form of meditation. The variations come in the form of how one meditates, whether it is the sole instrument for spiritual advancement or step 12 of 12, use or non-use of an internal mantra, generic or personalized mantra, addition of a group meditation session […]

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London, Sept 2010

Witness to a slaughter

It was my second year at BIT Mesra. My friend was the hostel mess secretary (hostel #7). One of the secretary’s responsibilities was to accompany the hostel mess manager for the weekly groceries+produce shopping. For one of those weekly trips, my friend couldn’t make it so I substituted for him. Pretty uneventful stuff for the first few […]

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Guide copy_rknarayan

The Guide’s trouble with the Censor Board

If you thought Bollywood’s troubles with the Censor Board are a recent phenomenon, think again. R.K. Narayan recounts, in The Writerly Life, his experience with the movie making process of The Guide. He appropriately titles that episode in his book as The ‘Misguided’ Guide. He devotes 13 pages to that episode, fine Narayan reading of […]

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The Indistructibles

When I bought the Palm Pilot 5000, I could legitimately call myself one of the “early adopters”. I still remember the excitement with which I drove to the Circuit City (somewhere near Park Ridge, Illinois). And I couldn’t wait to return to the office and lay my hands on the beauty. Some years later, I was buying […]

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Blame the butcher

A recent conversation with my parents unearthed a nostalgic gem from our years in Bokaro. This is post #2 in my series on understanding meat eaters. My older brother (S) was seven. We had our first cousin (let’s call her “IP”) living with us that year. She was six. I was too young to remember anything. My uncle (and […]

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Legend of Kukut Rishi

[Editor’s note: Amar Chitra Katha – a collection of 300-something picture books taught my generation all they needed to know about Hindu itihasa – rishis, kings, queens, heroes… they had them all. I recollected the contours of this story from Amar Chitra Katha but Google helped with filling out some details. This post first hit the Drafts folder in Mar 2013. […]

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Breaking a streak can be SO liberating

We are all prisoners of our own device. – Eagles Streaks are wonderful things. For the sports aficionado, it’s such things as consecutive games in which an NBA star has drilled at least one 3-pointer, consecutive years in which a tennis superstar has won at least one Grand Slam tournament, seven consecutive wins at the Western States […]

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Driving with the brakes on

This was a song and band I hooked on to during my Chicago years (1994-98). Easily the era where my musical heart was at its spongiest best. Recently the lines driving with the brakes on and swimming with your boots on seemed evocative of my last five years of barefoot running. I’m usually not much for finding out […]

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Squash and the City

Serious runners are crazy people. Serious squash players are no less crazy. The crazy squash player I am thinking about is my friend. Sanjay (now a Princeton, NJ resident) was my senior at BIT Mesra and we became close friends during our years in Jamshedpur. Unlike my sporadic dalliance (2 years of squash initiation in […]

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What drives birders

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Decades ago this was the topic for a school essay. It required the utmost imagination and sleight of hand to cobble together a few paragraphs. If one were to write on the same topic, words would flow better.  Beholding flora, fauna and mother nature up close and personal — […]

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