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Swami Vivekananda on India’s Caste Problem

[Editor’s Note: I don’t recall from which of his books I found this extract. It’s been sitting in my Drafts folder for 4.5 years and is eminently worth a read.] A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India and the two castes become equal. The […]

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The Real Indistructibles

Editor’s Note: There were middle class values in the 60’s/70’s/80’s and there are middle class values now. Big big difference. The old adage used to be “if it’s not broken, why fix it”. And if something does break, well.. repair (don’t replace) it. My parents have taken these adages to heart.. for 50 something years. I […]

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A proposal in Lincoln Park, Chicago

I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. – Algernon: The importance of being earnest My […]

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Shakuntala and Dushyanta in the forest - another Ravi Varma painting

Ravi Varma in a Vijayawada home

{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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If you really want to see aggression, look into Rahul Dravid's eyes - Mathew Hayden

Day of the gritty knock

If the race wasn’t worth writing about, you didn’t give it your all. – A donkey [Editor’s Note: This is my Mumbai Marathon 2017 race report masquerading as a three-part cricket metaphor laced narrative. Any self-aggrandizement percolating through is purely accidental. Really.] Part 1: The week after Jan 17-19, 2017 I laced up my shoes […]

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Let the ass kicking begin…

Santa Cruz squash club (circa 1999) It was my second year of playing squash seriously. ‘Seriously‘ doesn’t mean I was any good yet. I was at that rookie stage of a squasher’s evolution when I was constantly looking for easy winners (read “low percentage drop shots or optimistic boasts”). I had signed up for a squash […]

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When in Rome be a barefoot runner

When in Rome be a Roman. If you are a runner there’s possibly no better city than Bangalore for year-round running. There’s at most one hot month and even then the mornings are nothing remotely like Chennai. There’s hardly a run where I don’t thank my stars I’m in Bangalore! While it’s widely known that […]

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They managed to snag the half-monty

Three Act Play for the Fourth Time

“The human being, by and large, is a very bad companion for himself; where he has to face himself for any length of time, he acquires a deep disgust and a restless anxiety which makes him seek almost any escape.” – Victor F Nelson [Editor’s Note: Started this post the Monday following Bangalore Ultra 2016 […]

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I’m racing, not running!

Progress is linearly proportional to one’s efforts but results often come in cycles. – several wise men Coming off a 22-month streak, the 2013-14 season was looking rather normal. KTM in Sep followed by 75k Ultra in Nov and finish off with SCMM in Jan. I had come within flirting distance of sub-4 times in a few training FMs and finally did […]

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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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Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat?

Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat? A 2012 psychology research study, it turns out, has the answer. But before I get to the study (bulk of this post anyway), I want to give some background. I wrote this post a few days before Eid 2016, a rather unremarkable piece recounting my witnessing the slaughter […]

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