Fair Play

BE5AE006-051F-4AB1-A0FF-E52717FEC06A
It was not what she said but the way she said it that surprised me. There was pride in her voice, none of the usual disappointed resignation that accompanies such information. Before the cropped hair young girl could answer, her grandmother had volunteered, “Circus karra kare .” Intrigued, I looked questioningly at the girl, again the dadi spoke first, “Yoga nahin hua karein, a...
Read More

Distance Education

102849AA-145B-404A-8E5D-A609B2418204
The message filled me with dread but there seemed to be no escape. I gingerly typed k ( which is cooler than ok, which is much cooler than okay ) and waited for him to call. Seconds later he appeared on the screen, sleepy eyed and unshaven. This isn’t going to go well a small inner voice warned me, but sometimes no matter what, you have to do what needs to be done. He had in...
Read More

Picture this

F1947489-542E-4F06-8DEC-11A8C4EF3301
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there lived a king and queen who took too many pictures. If they wrote it, this is how my story would read. It was just three reels yet was becoming family folklore. We had committed the crime of taking more than a hundred pictures on our week long honeymoon. “That is more than fifteen snaps in a day,” the kinsmen solemnly observed. Thirty fiv...
Read More

Raksha Bandhan

78BBC5C5-F90B-431F-99E5-9B0C67B3A565
The teenager sang it gleefully, his fingers drumming my table, the twinkle never leaving his eyes and his father, an old patient of mine, nodded with the beat, proud as punch at his son’s rendition. Ho mantri teri chaal Tera silly suraksha jaal Ab main is se zyaada kya kahoon Main gusse me gaali de gaya Oye ki kariye, ki kariye Dil chhalni sadda ho gaya Oye ki kariye, ...
Read More

Scared of the sacred

3CB5B3B6-3AA6-48EB-A487-A7D2799D7839
As we weaved our way through them I could sense the fear. Our driver was overtly overly cautious. I wondered whether it was their overwhelming numbers or the unrestrained ebullient kinesics. Some prodding and the driver blurted how a car had been trashed and upturned earlier in the day because it had touched one of them. He further recounted a similar incident in his own compan...
Read More

Distant Friends

2FC21636-E6CE-4211-BBEE-42E2C9C5F405
We slowly gravitated towards each other, the seven of us, so different, yet so alike. By the end of second year we were inseparable and had a name Saptrishi. Our friendship survived the rigours of medical education, the insecurities of adolescence and three decades of silence. After leaving college all of us got busy in building careers and raising families. We met a few times ...
Read More

Cats and Dogs

9020C90B-2A10-4109-B846-E985DD1FE492
It was like a sauna, without the health benefits. We sweltered and complained of the heat, while the humidity sapped up energy and killed productivity. And then as I was on my way to Gurugram via Rohtak, the sky grew dark and it started raining. The first few minutes were of sheer joy. It was exhilarating to watch the dust settle, the filth wash away in one giant sweep. As it r...
Read More

Doctors today

EFDA872F-CCF0-4157-8078-F4A352B38CEE
Thirty two years ago I just needed an excuse to proudly count all thirty two of them, the doctors in my extended family. Three decades later only one of my nieces has wandered into a prestigious medical college and is already regretting it. For those who think that this data size is too small to be statistically significant I offer another example indicative of the present turm...
Read More

Faith and Disbelief

A08601D8-77F9-4469-BE66-7BE74E8EFF94
As I was driving home from a party recently I noticed that the Kohinoor on my ring was missing. I use the word Kohinoor very loosely here. For us non- royals any diamond upward thirty cents qualifies for the title. In any case, the loss was enough to give me an arrhythmia if not an heart attack. My friend, who was with me, nearly had one out of compassion. Fighting the mount...
Read More

Taking its Toll

02BFA8E5-2591-43DD-88C3-1CB801336484
First an affirmation, although I have not studied it as a subject, my location makes me an expert in this field. Gharaunda, my hometown is flanked by Toll Plazas on both sides, I have thus become a specialist on how ‘toll takers’ take their toll. Most times there is a queue of impatiently honking cars at the plaza. Primarily it is due to the lackadaisical attitude of the tol...
Read More