Books

Panorama – A Selection of Poems

“Didn’t we study a poem called ‘On Killing a Tree?’”, asked my brother. “It was written by Gieve Patel,” he added. We had just started our daily WhatsApp call and I mentioned to him that I had spent the better part of the morning cutting down a tree. My wife had been asking me for the last three years to…

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Books, School

Peshan, the Lapland Boy

My introduction to the word “Geography” came via my third-grade textbook.  It was passed on to me by my friend and neighbor Srikanth, who is a year older than me.  I received it probably sometime in December after the end of my second grade and I remember poring over the black and white photographs of people and their dwellings in…

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Books, Nikhil

Cat of Nine Tales

A few months ago, a family of cats took residence in our bookshelf.  While the family itself is fairly reticent, a boisterous youngster emerges each day to entertain our son Nikhil with his various feline adventures before returning to the confines of the pages where he dwells when the books are put away.  Entertaining Nikhil is a bit of a challenge. …

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Books, Memories

James Herriot

It’s 1982 and I’m at the bus terminus waiting for the bus to go home after school.  The bus has not showed up, so I have to wait another hour for the next one.  I have nothing to fear though, I have just checked out “If Only They Could Talk” by James Herriot from the library and I happily perch…

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Books, Music

Time, Life and Stoicism via Songs

As another year ends, it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on the passage of time. This is also the second part of my blog on exploring stoic philosophy through songs, particularly Hindi songs.  This blog focuses mainly on Seneca’s  “On the Shortness of Life” (“De Brevitate Vitae”), a moral essay that he wrote around 49 AD.  I’m relying on the…

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Books, Music

Stoic Philosophy through Hindi Songs

My introduction to stoic philosophy came via a YouTube video.  Titled “Stoicism 101”, the engaging video was presented by Dr Massimo Pigliucci, professor of philosophy at the City College of New York.  Presented at an informal setting, likely a pub in NYC, Dr Pigliucci provides a very good overview of the history and philosophy of Stoicism.  I was intrigued enough…

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A doodle of Lt Col Desmond Hayde by MF Hussain
Books, History, School

Lt Col Desmond Hayde and the Battle of Dograi

“It’s about regimental pride,” said my friend, “I will send you a video regarding this.”  I was speaking on the phone with my classmate Chengappa after thirty-five years.  I remember him as a superb sportsman in school but I must confess our paths did not cross much then, boys tend to be self-absorbed in their own cliques.  However, I’ve been…

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Books

The Hidden Pool

When we first moved to New England, I was smitten by the scenery.  We moved in summer and the trees were tall and green.  Narrow roads wound their way surreptitiously through towns and the countryside. For long stretches, they were bordered by stonewalls.  And the trees, tall and green, flanked the roads on either side, the sun peering through the…

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Books, Family, Memories, Nikhil

Bedtime Stories

I remember the first time I told my daughter a bedtime story.  She was a little over two and not in the mood to sleep one night. Jungle Book was the ideal story since she loved animals.  Her curiosity was piqued as I narrated the adventures of Mowgli.  When I got to Sher Khan and “roared”, she burrowed closer to…

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Books, Memories

Chasing The Monsoon

While driving through my neighborhood a few months ago, I happened to pass a house that had a number of items placed on its driveway with an accompanying “Free” sign.  There were the usual knickknacks – items once bought but of no interest to the owner now.  What caught my eye, however, was the sizable pile of books.  As I…

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