The eye of a storm

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It always feels bad, but this time because it involved a close friend, it felt worse. The way we Indians are maimed, mutilated and mowed down in freak accidents. Last Friday evening the founders day celebration of our Health University was in full swing when the dust storm hit. The gust of wind toppled a five quintal truss pillar standing near the stage. My friend was one of th...
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Gharaunda Gets It!

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  Now that it had yielded results, it sounded less irritating, the recorded message which played on a loop, disturbing the early morning calm “ Nagarpalika aapke dwar.....shehar ko saaf suthra banane ke liye.........”( the municipal committee is at your doorsteps to clean up your town). Suddenly everything fell into place, it all started making sense. Small things which...
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Of dogs and bitches

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Last night I followed her. She was not her blithe, carefree self. She looked preoccupied, cautious, almost jumpy. To my experienced eyes none of these are good signs so I tagged along. I wish I hadn't for I was shattered by what I saw. I cared for her deeply so it's hard not to be affected. Since then I have been trying to console myself. Telling myself that we are different. A...
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Women with times

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Back then, I was younger and essentially a more patient doctor. I indulged the little idiosyncrasies a rural practice entailed, in fact I enjoyed them. Among my favourites and one that I found endearingly silly was the response to a very basic question. It amused me no end at how women would blush when I asked their husband’s name. If a family member was with them they would co...
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Three Lessons

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Circa 1968 I was in first grade and to teach us how the government is formed, Ms Lynn Butler, our teacher conducted a mock election. When the ballots were counted I emerged winner and was declared President and a boy who was much more popular, but had lesser votes, was made Vice- President. I was surprised by the outcome more so because I thought the word was Wife- President...
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The One Eyed Bride

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This is a tale of simpler times and limited choices. A reminder that life existed before the advent of online shopping and express delivery. It was two days before my wedding. Dad’s friend, a rich poultry farmer had dropped by. When I went in to serve tea he casually remarked that I should stop using spectacles so that people get accustomed to seeing me without them. He was sho...
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Hangman

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Misfortunes never come singly, they come in groups. As do rapes, or news there of. It started as a trickle and became a surge. First there was one, and then another and then some more. Cases were reported from across the country, brutality and depravity being the common theme. As always, more than sympathy and concern for the victim, there was a feeling of horror and disgust...
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The Great Gamblers

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It’s raining as I write this. Not a gentle pitter-patter but a heavy downpour, with God adding a spectacular light and sound show for good measure. Thirty years ago, the ignorant me would have rejoiced at this. When I started practice in this suburb I had no idea about the delicate balance between rainfall and crops. For me, rain around this time of the year meant a few days of...
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A Son is Born

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It happens so often that I wondered why it irked so much. A pale, undernourished, breathless, fully pregnant women walked in for her first!! antenatal checkup. On being told that it was her fourth child I asked her why she was risking her life producing so many children. The question elicited the usual response. She summarily dismissed her three previous born, “Sab ladkiyan hai...
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Haryanvi by Nature

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Sunday mornings will never be the same again. I will sorely miss the potent, invigorating caffeine that was served in my newspaper. And although I don’t follow politics I loved Kaffeeklatsch for the way it was presented. The free flowing style, effortlessly moving from one topic to the next, reminiscent of the great Sardar but without the malice. I had a habit of reading the en...
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