Every new beginning starts with a grand farewell

I’ve been around the block, as they say. Across continents and geographies.  Jan 5, 2018 was my last day at Yatra. And my team gave me the grandest possible farewell I could ever imagine. Scratch that. I couldn’t possibly have imagined the kind of farewell they gave me. A year and six months is not …

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What Kubera can teach us about the miser philanthropist

Another Mahabharata story excavated from the tendrils of my Amar Chitra Katha memories. Specifically, from the period after the Pandavas had decimated 99% of the Kauravas clan. The Pandava kingdom was in the grip of a famine and were desperately in need of food grains, having exhausted the royal granaries. Yudhishthir the Wise (who always …

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Resetting habit defaults

We know adding good habits is hard. Stopping bad habits is harder.. though Sam Thomas Davies will have you believe it’s not impossible. Exercise every day? Good. Smoking? Bad. Eat vegetables? Good. Daily drinking? Bad. Sleep 7-8 hours daily? Good. What about the vast spectrum of decisions in between? Uber or Ola? Flipkart or Amazon? …

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The Yin and Yank Race

The great runner philosopher George Sheehan talks about a certain staleness that can afflict the seasoned runner. In my 9 years of running, I’m relieved to admit that I’ve been spared. From peaks of 12 FM+ runs a year to lows of 2 races a year, the weekly enjoyment hasn’t changed much – thank God for …

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Anatomy of a pilgrimage (Sringeri edition)

[Editor’s Note: My mother is a late adopter of the Internet. In the pre-Internet era, she used to write the loveliest of 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. This is …

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A vegetarian cracks an egg

I was raised a vegetarian. Avoiding meat was the most natural thing for as long as I can remember in my childhood. During our teen years, eggs made a brief entrance into our lives. In the form of cakes. They would be baked in a special-purpose oven (egg handling done by a domestic help) away …

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The Salmon Experiments

Among marine life, salmon probably lead the most interesting lives. Born in freshwater rivers, they migrate to the ocean where they live most of their adult lives and, when it’s time to spawn, they start the reverse migration process swimming upstream all the way to their natal river, often to the exact riverbed area where …

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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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