History, Travel

Pul Kanjri

What would you do if you were an all-powerful ruler and your favorite dancer was upset that she lost one of her silver slippers while fording a canal? You would build a bridge of course!  The ruler was the Lion of Punjab – Ranjit Singh, the dancer was called Moran and the place where the bridge was built is Pul Kanjari,…

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Family

Lessons from my Father

  “You have no idea how easy you have it, back in my time…”.  Chances are that if you are a parent, you have uttered these words before.  I have and I don’t know about you, but when I start a sentence with anything remotely like this, my teenaged daughter gets this glazed look in her eyes and she zones…

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Family

Licensed to Drive

“CAUTION: STUDENT DRIVER…and screaming parent” said the bumper sticker on the car in front of me as I drove to work.  I chuckled to myself. Very apt, given that my daughter passed her road test over the weekend and is a proud young lady.  She has passed a rite of passage and she now feels that she has all the…

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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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Nature, New England

Of Birds and Birdfeeders

When it came to cooking, my mother, like many others of her generation, relied on first principles.  That meant that the idli-rawa (cream of rice) used for making idlis was made at home.  This involved soaking the rice in water, drying it and then grinding it at home using a stone mill.  The soaked rice was spread out on an old…

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Family

The Family Tree

  Family and friends occasionally tell me that I have a pretty good memory when it comes to trivia and incidents that have transpired in the past.  I think each one of us has a good memory, we just tend to remember different things.  I can remember conversations from the past or what song was playing in the car as…

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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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New England

Stonewalls

They meander all across New England, marking forgotten boundaries of farmlands.  Sturdy and seemingly impervious to the elements, yet at places, they are overgrown by vegetation and hidden to the eye.  I’m referring to stonewalls and I’m fascinated by them. I noticed them during my first week in New England. I was driving along a winding road, dwarfed by tall…

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