A soundless death

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It was just a word, A 'mantra' To be uttered when we got stuck We hadn't seen it hadn't read much about it It was sparingly mentioned in our textbooks. But our seniors reiterated that we could fit it in anywhere If we ran out of our list of investigations and the examiner wanted more we could invoke it. It was the king of all diagnostic tools. X-rays to see bo...
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The Reluctant Yogi

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Some consider it a passing fad, others think its a way of life. To me it was a powerful vortex that sucked everything in. It started pretty innocuously, just a sun salutation to round off our morning practice. Slowly it grew and consumed every other constituent of our daily constitutional. Now let me begin at the beginning. Much before home gyms became a rage we had installe...
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Bad Mother

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I was far from an ideal mother. Never too indulgent, not too self sacrificing. I was never overly concerned about their strife and struggles. I never waited outside the gates, biting my nails or praying silently like other parents. I would rather use the free time to watch a movie or shop in the neighbourhood if I ever accompanied them for an out station exam. I never rustled u...
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Banking on Blood

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A needle prick can do what a spider bite can't...... turn you into a superhero! Sometimes, not great power, a little humanity is enough to save lives. Donate Blood regularly. We know you’ve got it in you....... This is an example of how a blood donation drive appeals to the innate nobility in people. They rope in celebrities and literally paint the town red with advertisemen...
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Disconnect

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At the turn of this century, I witnessed mobile phones descend from a convenience to a nuisance. I have an interesting experience to share in this context. A conversation with my husband was being punctuated by the incessant ringing of his phone. Frustrated, I called him up. He looked at my number flashing on his screen and told me that I had mistakenly dialled his number. I as...
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Fairy tales

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I still remember every tiny detail of the day my world came crashing down. I was all of seven and the festive season was approaching. My elder sister and I were writing letters to Santa Claus stressing on the reasons why we deserved his benevolence. Mum suggested we ask for clothes instead of toys and I was appalled. For a fortnight mum had been dropping hints on how we already...
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Creation and Dissolution

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Traditionally, idols were sculpted from the mud of nearby water bodies, worshipped with reverence and at the culmination of the festivities returned to their source, a representation of the natural cycle of creation and dissolution. But with each passing year the idols have become grander, gaudier and less green. Customarily the idols were taken for the final immersion amid cel...
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Beta padhao, beti bachao

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Every third Saturday for the past few months, I visit some village school and interact with adolescent girls. It is a state initiative to inspire the girl child. Apart from the usual 'doctor talk' about puberty and menstrual hygiene I have been instructed to inspire the girls. So I ask them to break barriers, to dream and persevere to realise those dreams. I tell them about the...
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The Homecoming

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The dream, in itself wasn't bothersome. It was the analysis, looking for a hidden message which was tiring. Her mind was working overtime again, trying to find meaning where, probably, there was none. Just like the old hibiscus tree in the garden that she thought, talked to her. She had planted it soon after her marriage and had watched it grow and bloom. Initially disappointed...
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House of Dreams

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On a recent visit to the heartland of India, I went back to the house of dreams. The landlord was no more and his descendants occupy it. The house is in good condition: the wooden beam ceiling, the rough stone floor and the thick brick walls were as they were. The only sign of modernity inside was a large LCD television in the bedroom. As I walked through the freshly white-wash...
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