School

Be Prepared

As a young boy, my imagination was fueled by books such as “Robinson Crusoe”, “The Coral Island” and “The Swiss Family Robinson”.  I was consumed by the sense of adventure and mystery that these books evoked.  Many a lazy summer afternoon was spent dreaming of navigating the Amazon on a canoe or trekking through the Himalayas.  These were just day-dreams…

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Books, Memories

Libraries

Fourth grade was an exciting time for me.  I changed schools and was now studying in the same school as my older brother.  An impressive colonial-era building, with large sprawling fields – I was fairly intimidated and in awe the first few days.  It was also the first time in my life that I had access to a library.  The…

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Memories

Garuda

Religion is a way of life in India.  It permeates almost every aspect of daily living but not in an obtrusive or militant fashion.  The landscape is dotted with temples, mosques and to a lesser extent gurudwaras and churches reflecting the religious composition of the population.  There are grand complexes several centuries old and modest one room structures.  As a…

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History, Travel

Eating Humble Pie

Sir Issac Newton’s remains are buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey.  I was on a walking tour and our guide Tom, pointed out  Charles Darwin’s grave, also in the nave.  Two outstanding scientists with towering intellects who have had a remarkable influence on our understanding of Science.  Fittingly, in between their graves, is a plaque marking the spot where…

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Books, Memories

Enid Blyton

Good authors have the ability to fire up our imagination while great authors have the ability to transport us to the magical world they weave with their words.  Children of today’s generation will probably nod their heads and point to J.K. Rowling but for a large group of children of my era, the author of choice was Enid Blyton.  Many…

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Music

There is more to that song

The radio would always be on at home when I was growing up.  It would start at around 6:30 am with Vividh Bharathi and would then switch to Radio Ceylon at 7:30 am and that program would culminate with the signature Saigal number at 8 am.  It would then switch back and forth between the two stations through the day…

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Memories

Ganesha Habba

Long before Facebook, Tumblr and blogs. Long before Netscape Navigator and IE, there were Usenet groups and harried students trying to finish up their theses. I used to frequent alt.culture.karnataka (ACK) and this was my contribution to the “Bangalore: A Nostalgic Perspective” thread. I had posted this in June 1994.  These were my recollections of how we used to celebrate…

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Family

And then he sat down

This is a reflection on our ongoing journey with our son.  It was written in September 2013.  I’m sharing this to provide a glimpse into the world of special needs children and their families. A few days ago, my wife called me excitedly to Nikhil’s room.  As I walked in, Nikhil bent down, placed both his hands on the floor, folded his…

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History, Music

Tansen

When I turned nine, my cousins gifted me a couple of Amar Chitra Kathas for my birthday.  These were comics that retold tales from Indian mythology and history.  One of them was on Tansen, the legendary singer from the court of the Mughal emperor, Akbar.  This was my introduction to the story of Tansen.  He was one of the “Navaratna”…

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Memories

Street Games

My mother used to tell me that my brother and I never had the kind of fun that she and her siblings had when they were young and that my nephews did not have the kind of fun that my brother and I did.    It is true that she was subject to less academic pressures than my brother and…

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