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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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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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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The butcher did it

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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Musical dope for runners

There was a time I used to listen to music while running. This might come as a surprise to my runner friends in Bangalore but it’s true. Chicago (circa 1995-96) Getting the high on W93.1 in Chicago along Lake Shore Driver Jettisoning it during my 1st FM training (I even remember the exact point on …

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Never too late to be alone

Chicago was the first city where I lived alone. Alone in the truest sense of the word.  Hostel life at Mesra, an extended hostel life at Jamshedpur, and roommates during my years at Houston certainly prepared me for it. If not for my friend Ganesh I might not have experienced  Chicago, Ganesh Glen Dale Heights …

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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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