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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For a few hyperloops more…

[Editor’s note: The prequel to this post is Softly, as in a spiritual sunrise (a low-key announcement of a personal ultra run on Nov 27, 2015. This post was written in 4 sessions: Part 1 (on Jan 2) written at the Landmark bookstore in Forum Mall on a 3 year old Samsung Galaxy S2 (yeah – WordPress …

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Softly, as in a spiritual sunrise

Two years ago, I ran in 3 races. Last year it came down to two. This year I ran the Kaveri Trail Marathon and it’s my first (and last) race for the year. My running goal for 2015 was rather basic – “just keep running”. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant following the Triple …

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Arun Nehru and Lalit Suri

I thought I knew all the major players in the ‘organized’ 1984 Sikh riots. I was wrong. Hartosh Singh Bal’s Caravan article uncovered these two gentlemen – one a Gandhi extended family hawk, the other a hotelier. Gathering feedback on possible ‘war games’ is one thing: “As one of the few Sikhs in a senior position …

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Postcards from Bokaro

A reunion in Dallas (circa 2006). An email to a Yahoo alumni group on March 10, 2010 that triggered an outpouring of memories. Memories of grief, sadness, bravery and an innocence lost. Two and a half years later (on the 28th anniversary of the riots), I posted the first-person accounts of  Jasbinder, Sunil and Priti on this blog. Last …

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Stumbling upon LSD

After the ignominious end to my debut cross country run, the rest of the day was a daze. An unpleasant cocktail of emotions enveloped me.. Shame, defeat, dejection, inadequacy, self-pity dominated what would eventually be sufficed with hope. Moodily and half-heartedly I cheered the track and field participants. The outcome of no event mattered to …

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Understanding meat eaters through the lapsed vegetarian lens

[Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on vegetarians, omnivores, food habits, diets adopted by successful athletes (bias towards runners of course), perhaps eventually leading to a psychohistory of food. Several years of Facebook sharing has taught me that *any* article on these topics (lengthy, nuanced or researchy) invariably lead to defensive or …

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Poetry in tortuous motion

I parked the car, got the kids’ bags from the trunk and walked them over to the school gate. As we crossed the median, my runner friend B went hurtling past. He was obviously doing a speed workout. I asked my kids “Did you see him?” “That’s your friend B right?” Replied S. “What else …

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When finishing fourth became a game changer

April 1991 After years of asthma suffering, things seem to be turning around. I was still living in a city with cold winters (Jamshedpur) but.. I had started making an effort. Picked up that beautiful sport called squash. Had little natural talent but boy did I run around wheezing trying to chase that little ball. That …

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Death of a soldier doesn’t sell, period.

[Editor’s Note: Last week we had a kerfuffle in our high school Whatsapp group. The Minority Report voiced the ‘unpopular’ notion that the armed forces are a bunch of attention seeking spoilt brats. I mean what’s so special about the armed forces? They get a salary too, right? Just like the rest of us. Hey, we accountants …

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