Time Machine

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“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

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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

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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

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  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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Back in Time

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It was an unlikely group on an implausible journey. Bound by blood and a common past, we liked to call ourselves 'the originals'. By definition, we are not a legal family - a social unit of adults and their dependant children. Our parents are retired, but not tired octogenarians and we, their offspring, are tiresome, middle aged professionals who still depend on them to br...
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Conifers and curried eggs

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Each year, as a nip in the air announces the arrival of the festive season, I am inadvertently transported to the past. I was a medical student and a visit to my friend’s house was on the cards. Her mother wrote, asking if there was anything specific I wanted to eat during my stay there and I requested egg curry, my favourite at that time. At dinner time, as we sat around th...
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Relatively Speaking

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In the morning when I’m still groggy and in bed I close my eyes for what seems like a second, but when I open them the clock tells me 15 minutes have elapsed. In contrast, when I’m huffing and puffing on the treadmill, each second takes its time to pass. This is Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity as I know it. All of us experience it. Time passes slowly at office meetings a...
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A gang of girls

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They met at the mall for an afternoon of shopping and created a virtual ruckus as they hugged and greeted each other, excitedly talking, all at once. The amused looks of fellow-shoppers did not deter them from their very public display of affection. The shopping spree had been planned in advance and the agenda was clear. First was a trip to the make-up lounge where they deba...
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Mad over Doughnuts

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We had perfected the drill over time. I would get up early, coax my children into the car, and rush to the airport, a 20-minute drive from my brother's place which was our usual night halt. This enabled my daughter, who was studying design in Gandhinagar, to be in time for her classes after her visits home. On one such occasion when we reached the domestic terminal we we...
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