Mirza Ghalib

Ghalib’s Favorite Whisky

The finest Mughal food served in the court of Patiala owed its origin to a brand of whisky favored by Mirza Ghalib.  Patiala, the erstwhile Sikh kingdom, is now known for its one time larger than life ruler – Maharajah Bhupinder Singh and its larger than the normal measure of alcohol – the “Patiala peg”. In the past, Patiala was…

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Family & Friends, Nikhil

Bedtime Rituals

We all have our bedtime rituals whether we are aware of them or not.  Some rituals are passed down to us and we don’t know their origin but once in a way, we are witness to a ritual take root in front of us.  One such ritual is our son Nikhil’s new bedtime ritual.  But before I get to that,…

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Introducing Trivia by Average Joe

Here is a shameless plug for a new section on trivia on my blog. I have always been interested in trivia, a trait that stood me in good stead during my quizzing days in High School. Over the years, I have had some fascinating conversations with my brother, my cousin Bakin (the king of quizzers) and friends like Navdeep and…

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Scout Camps

I joined the Boy Scouts in 7th grade for a couple of reasons. For one, my brother was already a scout and I was very well acquainted with the motto, knots and scouting lore. I was merely following in his footsteps. For another, that seemed to be the only outlet to adventure for a boy of my age. I have…

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Family & Friends, Nikhil


Do you remember the time your child learned a new word and surprised you by using it in the right context? We had many such opportunities with our daughter when she was a toddler. However, after the first few times, we took it for granted and given the normal trajectory of development, what started as a trickle of words soon…

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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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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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