Books, Memories

The Children’s Encyclopedia

If I was to conduct a census of the population of books residing in our cupboard in the late seventies and early eighties, I would find an interesting mix of books.  There were a few permanent residents, chiefly books that we had bought or had been gifted.  A few temporary residents – usually books borrowed from friends that would reside…

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Memories

Coming to America – Part 3

Hari was at the station to pick me up.  Wait there were three others.  Brief, quick introductions – Bipin, Vish and Manish.  Bipin and Hari, my new roommates, walked home in the rain, while I settled myself at the rear of Manish’s 2 door sedan with my luggage.  A very short drive and I found myself making my way up…

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Memories

Nagraj

We were introduced by a mutual friend in the bus on my way to school.  I was probably in 8th grade and the boy introduced to me shook hands with a firm handshake.  He was alert, fit and the corners of his mouth appeared as if they would break into a ready smile at the smallest pretext.  He held a…

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Memories

Coming to America – Part 2

“There are a few things to remember in this country”, said my cousin.  We were walking along the banks of the Mississippi.  I had risen in the morning, the effects of jet lag if any, didn’t show on me.  We had an omelet for brunch.  The onion, that I sliced, looked intimidating.  I had never seen one so big in my…

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Books, Memories

The Phantom

As a young boy, I would have to accompany my mother to relatives’ or friends’ houses.  Usually, I would go willingly but sometimes a bribe such as a roll of Poppins would help sway my mind.  It’s not that I did not want to accompany her, its just that if the house that we were visiting had no children of…

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Food, Memories

Sausages

In an earlier blog on Brer Rabbit, I had referred to the fact that I read Enid Blyton’s Brer Rabbit books as a young boy.  One of the stories featured Brer Rabbit eating sausages.  Two things about that puzzled me: I knew that rabbits were herbivores and I wondered why he was eating meat (never mind why he was wearing trousers…

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Memories

Enter the Dragon

Once in a while, a movie comes along that captures the collective imagination of the masses.  It runs to packed houses, dominates conversations and leaves a lasting impression on its viewers.  There have been many such movies over the years and the Star Wars series is an example.  In my memory though, as a young boy, the two movies that fit these criteria…

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Memories

Christmas

As a percentage, Christians account for just 2% of India’s population, however, when I look back, Christmas seemed to be celebrated more widely than the numbers would suggest.  Perhaps the fact that I studied at Jesuit schools and had a lot of Christian friends leads me to this conclusion.  My primary school (up to 3rd grade) was on a January…

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Memories

The Apollo Gym

    I remember my first visit to the gym at my university at Clemson.  I was awestruck by the facilities and the equipment.  Times have changed but in the early nineties, I don’t think national level athletes in India had access to such facilities.  The contrast was stark to the gym at my undergraduate college in India.  The gym,…

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Books, Memories

Brer Rabbit

  An enduring memory of my childhood is that of lying in bed on a cold December night in Bangalore, sometime around 1973 with the lights switched off and my brother telling me stories of Brer Rabbit.  These were written by Enid Blyton and involved the escapades of a rabbit who was constantly outwitting the trio of Brer Fox, Brer…

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