WHY HOPE?

There is the story of a doctor having told a patient that he had tried everything to save the patient and had finally come to the conclusion that nothing would work at that hopeless stage. “Is there anything that you would want to do before you die?” the doctor asked. Even though the patient was feeble and despondent, his response was prompt, “Yes, I would like to see another doctor.” […]

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TRIP TO SHAHDOL AND JABALPUR IN MADHYA PRADESH

Photo essay of my visit to Shahdol (Suhagpur) and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh where my company, Reliance, has Coal Bed Methane gas-wells over an area of 1000 sq km. Hence, I had to visit remote villages, forests and fields. Two boys washing their bicycle in a pond. Easy availability of water during the monsoons has led to greenery everywhere (Photo taken from train near Annupur, 30 mins short of Shadol A […]

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f For Freedom

She was a model A model of haute couture. So high that it was designed directly by God. Pot-bellied men and voluptuous women Sat awaiting the next item. And then, she walked along the catwalk Not flaunting but apologetic Of her near nudity. Tattered clothes barely covering her. A young body, all of fifteen years. A small child In the crook of her left arm, Held as a prize, a […]

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URDU – A LANGUAGE OF THE HEART

Ours was a Punjabi family but I spent all my childhood in Himachal because my father was posted there in the horticulture department. My schooling was entirely in Himachal and after the schooling I was amongst the first batch of students to have got a Pre-Engineering degree from the newly established Himachal University in 1970-71. The second language in our school was Urdu. In the Government School, Chamba, our Urdu […]

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CAMARADERIE OR CRONYISM?

A few years back, a retiring C-in-C of the Western Naval Command openly bemoaned, in his farewell speech, the scourge of “cronyism” that had started to plague the Indian Navy. One could do nothing right unless one was in the good books of some flag officer or the other; conversely, if one happened to be the favourite of a senior officer, one could never do anything wrong. It reminded me of […]

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ADS AND MOSQUITOES

At first glance there appears to be nothing common between the two; but, look closely and you will find various similarities. To start with both keep you from enjoying the scenery or whatever else you are watching, for example, the TV. Then, both have this quality that if you zap one there are many more to reckon with. Yet another similarity is that in a city like Mumbai both are […]

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A QUIETER MUMBAI – IS IT A PIPE DREAM?

  Causing unwanted noise is the worst way to intrude on other people’s privacy. It is like blowing smoke into a non-smoker’s face. And yet, over the last few years, ‘noise’ has become a menace far greater than many others such as indiscriminately thrown garbage, defecation and urination in public places, traffic violations and tarnishing historical monuments with such informed graffiti as ‘Kallu loves Tarunnam.’ Much of the noise is […]

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IF YOU DRIVE IN INDIA – PART I

This article has my tweets on the thread #ifudriveinindia. Comedy and humour apart, more people die of road accidents in India than in any other country in the world. It is because of our peculiar driving habits. One of the old Hindi movies had this song: “Zindagi ik safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jana?” (Life is a pleasant journey; but, no one knows what will happen tomorrow). Well, whilst driving in India you […]

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ROGER OUT

No, this is not the end of radio communications; Roger is the name of our Labrador retriever. Like any retriever he is happiest when he is out. He is all of eleven now and is tamed a bit; but, when he was small, keeping him indoors was a major task. He would take off in a direction we would least expect him to and all of us would run after […]

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A SMALL HUT BY A JOYOUS BROOK

1 It was a day to remember. For quite some time clouds were making thicker and darker the partition between the earth and the sky. Suraj had expected it; he had carried an umbrella whilst leaving his home for the college in the morning. He loved the rains even though his name meant ‘Sun’. He had often wanted to walk in the drizzle, preferably with the girl he was in love […]

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MUMBAI RAINS

Now that the monsoons are here in Mumbai again, I keep thinking that there is no other season or weather that can fill one with as deep and different emotions as the rains. There is a little something in these for everyone.Hindi movies have always used Saawan or rains for varied purposes. The most common is the longing that the village belle feels for her lover who has gone to pardes […]

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ABSOLUTE VIRTUE

Playwright Eugene O’ Neil once said, “Remember that every man is a variation of yourself; no man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart”. This relativity of human kind actually extends to the entire cosmic universe. The existence and even location of millions of objects in space is dependent upon other objects. If it were not for the gravity, many objects would lose their weight […]

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TEMPLE OF GOD

“Hurry”, said the man from his rickshaw seat, “Else, we would be late for the Mangal Pooja”. His wife tugged nervously at the flowers, She had gathered as an offering to the gods. Her face was red with accusation, Not just against the frail rickshaw puller, But also against her husband, “I told you not to hire this man, He hardly has strength to pull, Let alone pull with speed. […]

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DURING OUR DAYS

One month out of the Navy and already I am using this hackneyed expression. Read on; it may just be different from the old-hat.After wielding the stick at me for some time, one of my COs suddenly shifted to the carrot approach. “You are lucky”, he thundered, “I have made a list of my COs and believe you me, all of them were b——s of a very high order”. But […]

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SEVENTY-EIGHT NOT OUT

A few days back, on the fifteenth of March to be exact, my mother became seventy-eight years old. She has been a widow since my father died of an unfortunate jeep accident on First of May in the year Nineteen Hundred Eighty Four. She is a very simple person; some may call her ordinary. She is still the greatest person that I have come across. Greatest and the most beautiful.She […]

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