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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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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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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The Devi Paradox

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Last night was spent in forced piety. I was an unwilling participant to the liturgy of a devout neighbour. His hired negotiators beseeched and bargained in the darkness. Their prayers, inspired by raunchy Bollywood numbers blared on a screeching sound system till daybreak. Tossing and turning in my bed, I desperately begged Mata Rani to fulfill his wishes. No, not a case of nei...
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All Things Nice

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At a conference recently I called up my husband for some errand. More used to the somewhat dry and matter of fact “Haan bolo” ( yes, speak) I was completely taken aback by the bright and sunny “ Hello ji” at the other end. My mind raced as I tried to figure out what had changed in the intervening hours since I had left home. And then I realised that I was using my friend’s phon...
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Taking Offence

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A disclaimer first, I am not qualified to say what I am about to, but will say it anyway. It’s a free country after all. Not only am I entitled to an opinion based on half baked information, but I can use brute force to impose it on others. If some citizens can threaten to kill, maim and self immolate without actually seeing what is offending them then I retain the right to say...
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