Books, Memories

On Bookstores

If you lived in Bangalore anytime between 1970 and 2010 and loved reading and purchasing books, you have probably been receiving forwards in various WhatsApp groups about the recent demise of Mr. T. S. Shanbhag. Mr. Shanbhag was the owner of Premier Bookshop on Church Street, Bangalore, and was an institution to himself. He, sadly, like many others in India,…

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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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Memories, Nature

The Ichthyologist

“You could call me an Ichthyologist”. That was the rather grandiose statement with which I started my essay for the English language paper of my High School ICSE exams. We had been given three topics for the essay section. The first topic was the sentence “I was walking down the road when…” The second was the picture of a boy…

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Memories, Sport

Indoor Cricket

This blog is inspired by a conversation I had with my brother this morning.  He is an orthodontist who besides teaching at a dental college also runs his own practice in the evenings.  Six days a week.  Needless to say, he is very busy, often out for thirteen to fourteen hours a day.  The current coronavirus lockdown has seen him…

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Memories

Two Elections

Today is Feb 29, a leap day.  As a young boy, to me, it was synonymous with the birthday of Morarji Desai, the fourth prime minister of India.  He came into power in 1977, at the age of 81 but since he was born on Feb 29, we joked that he was just 20 years old! I was not even…

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Family, Memories

24 Shantinath Bhavan

Bhala tha kitna, apna bachpan Bhala tha kitna Bhala tha kitna, apna bachpan Bhala tha kitna How wonderful was our childhood How wonderful How wonderful was our childhood How wonderful Hemant Kumar’s sonorous voice was reproduced by the LP playing on my uncle’s radiogram. It was a midsummer’s night in Bombay in 1975 and I listened to the song along…

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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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Memories

Remembering the Radio

Long before Arnab Goswami screamed his opinion on Republic TV, long before cricketers such as Dhoni and Tendulkar touted myriad products on TV, long before another mother-in-law and daughter-in-law duo sparred on yet another teary soap-opera spinoff and if you can dare imagine, long before the dirge that served as Doordarshan’s signature tune ushered in the day’s program with an…

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Family, Memories

Ajja

The relief marking the end of my final exams in summer would give way to anticipation of my annual trip to Bombay. I would travel by the Udyan Express that would reach Bombay at 7:00 am in the morning. I would peer out of the window as the train pulled into the Dadar Railway Station and as the train slowly…

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