Gymming Shimming

“Gymming karta hai ji” accused the mother of my patient, a young boy with vague pain abdomen. Suppressing a smile I told her that she should be happy that he is active and cares about his health. My words unleashed a deluge of emotion. She wondered why he ran for an hour on the treadmill but used his car for errands in the neighbourhood, why he thought lifting a sack of rice wo...
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There were three of us in the car, an oversized SUV that seemed to house all the worldly possessions of the driver. At the wheel was the topper of our class and I was designated co- pilot. On the backseat was the better half of the person who was known to occasionally better her in the race to the top. It was October, I was in august company and enjoying every moment of it. ...
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A soundless death

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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Fairy tales

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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The Homecoming

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

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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Time Machine

“Hmm, so not even the children?” my maid asked, not caring to hide her disdain. “No, just us siblings; our parents will accompany us, though.” I replied without a shred of guilt. I had been through this drill so many times, had been judged by so many people, that I didn’t care anymore. After all it was just a holiday, a 15-day break. It was a family vacation that we had been...
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Almost famous

While clearing out my daughter’s cupboard drawers I came across some newspaper cuttings which took me back in time. It was the year Kalpana Chawla died. My daughter was in Class 11, in the school the astronaut had studied in. During her meteoric rise, KC never missed an opportunity to give back to her alma mater. As a goodwill gesture she had arranged for two students from the ...
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Bellwether Experiences

Sometimes I wonder how things would have been without it. Would I have turned the other way at a crossroad? Been too late for a meeting, a tryst with destiny? Would I have tread a different path and met other people ? Would I have missed out on friends and opportunities or had better ones? Would I have not become me and become someone else? Intrigued? I'll explain. I depend ...
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Simian Saga

  At the outset, I insist that only the believers read on. Sceptics and cynics please stay away. After thus alerting the spoilers, I will recount this story, but first some background. We live in a small town in Haryana and run a nursing home that occupies a small part of a vast compound, which has a garden vegetable patch and fruit trees. Monkeys are frequent visito...
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