For Love 4

For Love
Beauty does not move me as much as your sense of freedom, The way you know the birds and the earth and the light. If life is a story, it is laid out in your grain. I want to lie back on a sunny day and hear you tell it. I want to stand close ...

A Class Act 2

On the second day of the school term, Siddharth Biswas caught eight flies, killed them and peeled off their wings. He then opened my pencil-box and scattered their dismembered bodies, taking care to heap the wings around my new eraser. I discovered the deed soon after lunch, and promptly burst into tears. It wasn’t a ...

Weapons of maths destruction 12

I was saddened to hear about the death of Shakuntala Devi, the maths genius, earlier this week. Her feats were many but what astounded me was the fact that she multiplied two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds. That would be the amount of time it would take me to read out a 13-digit number. (And ...

Agumbe on my mind 29

Agumbe on my mind
Agumbe had been on my mind for months. I nearly signed up for one of Darter‘s Agumbe tours last year but regular life intervened and, as it does, made a mess of things. So, when the tour was announced in April this year, me and K decided to go. After a pleasant overnight bus ride ...

Dosa dilemmas 23

That December, Madras had one of its harshest winters. Some days, the weather dropped down to as low as 27 degrees celsius. Schools shut down, offices decided to open late, and the earmuff sellers at T.Nagar were all but sold out. Women all over the city switched their allegiances from talcum powder to moisturiser, some ...

In good faith 39

The minister looked up from his porn video To say the girl’s character was in question, And so it was unfair to target the man Who’d maybe broken a few laws And just been violent. (When were men ever the problem?)   The minister who was driven everywhere By her coterie of security guards Said ...

Double trouble 15

“Lady, are you looking for my shop? Because I think I am looking for you”, said the man outside the sweet shop in Istanbul as he snipped off a piece of Turkish Delight and offered it to me. For the uninitiated, Turkish Delight is like a more user-friendly and colourful version of our halwa. Like ...

The Big Idea 4

A number of important innovations have been reported recently, setting the tone for a resplendent 2013. To start with, two students from Surathkal have come up with the idea of manufacturing notebooks that carry ads. That’s right. Because there isn’t enough advertising in this country. I wonder if they will extend their idea to exam ...

There’s something about techies 6

Many years ago, I worked in a charming little software company. Like every other software company in India, we had American clients, good salaries, and an appalling sense of fashion. We also seemed to have a lot of trouble understanding the concept of time. Most mornings would pass in a haze of interminable meetings, tea-breaks, ...

The culture of our elders (Or how they are aping the West) 4

[This is the unedited version of my column published 11 Nov 2012 in the Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle] Pre-Diwali spring cleaning was in full swing at home, when my dad handed me a stack of spotless cotton dhotis. “For donation”, he said, “Nowadays, I am preferring to wear these 3/4th pants at home. Very ...