Sidewalk Saga

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I heard the first rumblings a decade ago. My siesta was rudely disturbed by a loud crash and screech. When I stepped into the balcony to find the source of the commotion I came face to face with the gigantic paws of what is called khooni panja in local parlance. The machine was tearing down the ramp of my neighbour and mine was next inline. Let me elaborate for those who are no...
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Picture this

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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...
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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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Tunnel Vision

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It wasn’t a lack of effort. I was trying really hard but still couldn’t see it. A small text box on the top right corner of my screen. I was on the phone with my son and he was helping me fill in a code which would get me a thirty percent ‘first timer’ discount on a purchase. It was my first time, which was precisely why I qualified for the discount. The frustrating part was th...
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Gymming Shimming

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“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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Serendipity

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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

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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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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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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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