No Takes

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“No take” comes the voice from below and the pedantic me cringes. “No take,” he  repeats, sometimes sternly, sometimes gently but always in a calm authoritative voice. Before I confuse you further, let me begin at the beginning. My friends had gifted me a Cocker Spaniel on my birthday. It hadn’t required too much guess work. They knew that I wanted to adopt a pup ever since my ...
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Fringe Elements

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As I return to my column after a longish break,  desperately  hoping that I was missed, I am numbed by a recent happening and intrigued by the coincidence. I had last written on how we Indians live precariously. Now I am compelled to write this one about falling off the edge. It seems, if you live on the fringe, falling through the gap is inevitable. He was  still practicing...
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Recipe for disaster

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Standing in a sea of pink,  I calculated the chances and hurriedly went over the check list. I was waiting to run (  walk ! ) for  ten km and mentally preparing myself, not to ace the race but to survive a stampede. Pinkathalon was a  state sponsored mini marathon to celebrate International Women’s Day. Like all such events which are used to show political clout,  despite  the ...
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Women’s Day Special

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I take great pride in my daughter’s confident strut, her head held high, ready to express her views, striving to be seen and heard. My grandmother, on the other hand, spent most of her life bent over. She was trained  to walk with her eyes downcast, aiming to melt into the scenery, never to be seen or heard. So yes, over generations, there has been a definite change in the way ...
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Virtually Speaking

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Jab we met, it didn’t seem like it was for the first time. She said that I was exactly the way she had imagined, I felt likewise. She is a prolific writer based in U.S.A who prefers Hindi medium. I am comfortable writing in English though I reside in apna desh. We had been following each other on social media. Facebook categorises her as a friend of a friend, actually she is my...
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Smart City

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It was the recurring theme of my thoughts “ Unki kameez hum se safed kaise.” The Sun was brighter, the sky clearer, the water blue-er and the land was cleaner. As I inhaled lungs full of unpolluted air, I wondered where we had gone wrong. Weren’t we the agrarians and they an industrial nation. They a consumerist society, we the wise minimalists with ‘reduce and reuse’ ingrained...
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Trust Issues

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About two decades ago, I was on the way to my sister’s grihapravesh  (house warming). Logistics forced me to get off the car on the highway and take a rickshaw to her house. The colony was new with very few constructed houses. I had been there many before but always by car. With the rickshaw moving slower,  my orientation of time and space got affected and I took a much earlier...
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Bad Weather

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It was to be the perfect culmination of my whirlwind tour of the west coast. The week that had followed this hectic fortnight was relatively sedate with me spending time at my son’s home in San Jose, cooking, cleaning and doing other ‘mummy things’. But I had kept the spirit of adventure alive, ventured into the unknown. Booked an Uber and after two failed attempts  managed to ...
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In Queue

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We were in queue, me and my daughter. It was cold and it was getting dark.  We had missed out on the express passes which would have entitled us to jump the line, so there I was, with an estimated waiting time of two hundred minutes and a daughter who said she couldn’t leave without taking the ride. She has  been a Harry Potter fan since childhood and although she is now past t...
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Holy Cow

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I was visiting a friend who had suffered an accident. He had been riding his scooter on a dimly lit road when he bumped into a black bovine sitting in its middle. The impact tossed him into the air but mercifully he escaped with just a few fractured ribs. As I congratulated him for not breaking his neck, his wife interjected, “Bhagwan ka shukr hai, gaai bach gayee, varna hamara...
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