Eschewing meat- a few short stories

Until the start of the new millennium, my classification of people into “meat eating” vs “non-meat eating” was pretty static. If you were born vegetarian, you remained vegetarian (and vice versa). Although, I must admit, I ran into quite a few Indian vegetarians who had belatedly discovered their omnivore impulse.  Then I met the Englishman …

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MOMO Gormandizers Anonymous

Momo: a type of steamed dumpling with some form of filling. Original traditional delicacy from Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Darjeeling, and Northeast – now mainstream Indian fare I’ve heard some of the most interesting stories at work townhalls when I’ve posed questions like “Tell us something about yourself that most colleagues don’t know about” OR …

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If only giving up desires was this easy

The great sage Ramakrishna from a conversation on Aug 24, 1882: “Sometimes I used to assume a rajasic mood in order to practice renunciation. Once I had the desire to put on a gold-embroidered robe, wear a ring on my finger, and smoke a hubble-bubble with a long pipe. Mathur Babu procured all these things …

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At the left hand of God

But everyone can make a beginning. Things to do in the morning: 1) First, I remember that I’m going to die. This gives urgency to the way I will live that day. 2) Second, I spend 5 minutes in thanksgiving to Nature for being permitted to live, to have this chance to experience, to learn, …

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The asthmatic who went up a hill but came down a mountain

“Hey V, are you carrying your inhaler? R is having an asthma attack further up the trail.” It was day #6 (of our 3-week trek from Uttarkashi to Yamunotri) and my first reminder that I was an asthmatic. I rummaged through my rucksack, found the inhaler and ran along with the messenger. Ten minutes and …

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Tiny Habits, as explained by Goscinny & Uderzo

If you’ve not heard about Dr. BJ Fogg or Tiny Habits, let me suggest this 800-word primer on the habit guru’s key principles. If you are struggling with an unambiguous definition of tiny, the masters Goscinny and Uderzo (and if these are new names to you, I won’t judge you but will exhort you to …

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Lockdownland – a documentary by BBC’s David Reid

I first met David Reid (one-man-army BBC documentary maker) in late 2014. A meeting that started off with a cold call to the mGaadi call center with “Hey, you guys seem to be transforming auto rickshaw hailing business. Could I talk to your founders?” That cold call led to the making of Mobile apps taming …

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In defense of idol worship

A source of controversy and a massive source of division between the major religions that believe in form/idol worship (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) and those for whom it is anathema (Christianity, Islam). I found Ramana Maharshi’s response to a Muslim questioner interesting enough to share. The following extract from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi  Pages 109-110 …

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Subhadra is a horse

[Editor’s Note: My mother, a late adopter of the Internet, used to write the loveliest of letters to her children pre-Internet era. The letters stopped after I returned to India. In the past few years, after she got comfortable with Internet and gmail, the letters resumed as emails to her children. After an extended hiatus, …

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The well-grounded runner

Years ago, when I shared one of my posts on barefoot running (or cold showers) on Facebook, my friend Ramesh Pai shared this interesting anecdote: You’ll be amused to know about this Polish guy that we met in the jungles of Costa Rica. He left his high paying job to go live in the jungle. …

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