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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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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K.L. Saigal

The name Kundan Lal Saigal or K.L. Saigal will barely register on the consciousness of the current generation in India.  To be honest, it hardly did on my generation either but when it comes to my parents’ and grandparents’ generation, Saigal was a colossus who strode the screens of Hindi cinema from the early 1930s to late 1940s.  He was…

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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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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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The local Toast Masters group meets at my office once a month. On the few occasions that I have passed by the sign, I’ve told myself that I should join the group to improve my speaking skills. My job does not require me to speak frequently in front of large groups of people save for the rare technical presentation at…

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Family, Nikhil

The Conversationalist

Indulge me for a couple of minutes and picture yourself waking up each day, understanding what everyone around you is saying and conversing with them, only for them to not understand a word you say.  You are not inebriated and you are not in a strange land, you are in fact at home and you are conversing with your family…

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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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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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Chem Club

When I entered 9th grade, I had to choose a club in my High School.  I was a Boy Scout and I had the choice of continuing as a Scout but I didn’t know how to swim. This meant that the First Class badge was out of my reach.  We had a choice of a few clubs and the science…

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