Bad Weather

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It was to be the perfect culmination of my whirlwind tour of the west coast. The week that had followed this hectic fortnight was relatively sedate with me spending time at my son’s home in San Jose, cooking, cleaning and doing other ‘mummy things’. But I had kept the spirit of adventure alive, ventured into the unknown. Booked an Uber and after two failed attempts  managed to ...
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In Queue

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We were in queue, me and my daughter. It was cold and it was getting dark.  We had missed out on the express passes which would have entitled us to jump the line, so there I was, with an estimated waiting time of two hundred minutes and a daughter who said she couldn’t leave without taking the ride. She has  been a Harry Potter fan since childhood and although she is now past t...
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Holy Cow

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I was visiting a friend who had suffered an accident. He had been riding his scooter on a dimly lit road when he bumped into a black bovine sitting in its middle. The impact tossed him into the air but mercifully he escaped with just a few fractured ribs. As I congratulated him for not breaking his neck, his wife interjected, “Bhagwan ka shukr hai, gaai bach gayee, varna hamara...
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Big Fat Wedding

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I gawked at the invitation. A box full of goodies. Besides its primary purpose of divulging the itinerary, it had four treasure chests with jewelled necklaces. The Gayatri mantra played in the background as I examined them. Sadly, I will have to miss Isha’s wedding because although  I got the card I am not  invited. Like most of us, I received  the Ambani invitation as a forwar...
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Down with Dengue

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As doctors, more for our own sanity,  than anything else, we learn to ignore laments and wails. Every patient feels that he will die of his disease but that is seldom the case. All doctors develop mechanisms to deal with these situations of “Mar gaya re”. Some use humour, some use sympathy, most of us reason it out and, as happened recently, sometimes personal experience guides...
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Smoke Season

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Maybe I over reacted, I do have a tendency to hit the panic button sooner than later. But there is no denying that the sight made my eyes sting and throat tighten. I have vivid memories of the sickening post Diwali gloom that engulfed us last year. Hence my ‘over’ reaction when I stepped out on the terrace for my ‘morning brew with a view’ and found it strewn with black burnt s...
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Maasik Adharm

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It’s that time of the year again and we are discussing that time of the month again. The Navratris are here and as the nation gears up to worship the female form, her right to worship because of her femininity is being debated. These ten days ( and nine nights !) are a celebration of womanhood, the sacred time when even the most chauvinistic misogynists will bow their heads ...
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Twisted Mother Tongue

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Awaiting an appointment, I was roaming the corridors of a premium medical college in the capital. A tired, old man hobbled up to me and asked if I could direct him to the TB ward. I told him he was standing right next to it and pointed at the signboard. He haltingly read ‘ phoophsiya yakshma vibhag’ written under Department of Pulmonary Tuberculosis (T.B) and remained clueless....
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Fair Play

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It was not what she said but the way she said it that surprised me. There was pride in her voice, none of the usual disappointed resignation that accompanies such information. Before the cropped hair young girl could answer, her grandmother had volunteered, “Circus karra kare .” Intrigued, I looked questioningly at the girl, again the dadi spoke first, “Yoga nahin hua karein, a...
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Raksha Bandhan

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The teenager sang it gleefully, his fingers drumming my table, the twinkle never leaving his eyes and his father, an old patient of mine, nodded with the beat, proud as punch at his son’s rendition. Ho mantri teri chaal Tera silly suraksha jaal Ab main is se zyaada kya kahoon Main gusse me gaali de gaya Oye ki kariye, ki kariye Dil chhalni sadda ho gaya Oye ki kariye, ...
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