Seen them all, he said. Really, I asked?

Seen them all, he said. Really, I asked?

Between seeing and seeing again lies an entire universe of change. Changes happen faster than one blinks an eye. What this means is that one visit is never going to be enough. Not ten. Not even a hundred visits. There will always be some new addition or some perceptive insight...
It’s not that simple to be simple, says Chetan Bhagat

It’s not that simple to be simple, says Chetan Bhagat

I saw him from a distance and waved. He smiled and waved back. No airs. No snooty looks thrown at anyone. Chetan Bhagat loves to retain his easy and communicative personality… and I guess this is exactly how he has shaped his writing through the years. As we walked around...
Redefining ‘Sanjeevani’ at the Valley of Flowers

Redefining ‘Sanjeevani’ at the Valley of Flowers

It was sometime in the nineteen thirties that Frank S Smythe ‘came upon the lush and colourful Bhyundar Valley, the Valley of Flowers’ and he describes his adventures in the lower and upper Himalayas in his book. Smythe discovered that ‘the predominant note was peace; not the faintest breeze ruffled...
Ashwin Sanghi and the secrets of writing a thriller

Ashwin Sanghi and the secrets of writing a thriller

I remember reading Chanakya’s Chant a few years back and knew then that the time for Indian readers to get high on thrillers written by Indian writers had come. In the years that followed, I read and reviewed The Krishna Key and Private India as well. Obviously then, it was...
Terrorism is a monologue in a subverted mind

Terrorism is a monologue in a subverted mind

Defining terrorism isn’t easy. Kamalhasan calls Nathuram Gadse the first Hindu terrorist but Madhu Purnima Kishwar retorts by tweeting that some people ‘can’t tell the difference between a terrorist and an assassin. The latter is not a complimentary term. Kennedy’s killing was an assassination and never called a terrorist act....
Poaching is a terror unleashed on wildlife

Poaching is a terror unleashed on wildlife

Poaching isn’t a word that exists only in political parlance around the world. Employees can be poached by corporates, ideas are often poached by unscrupulous writers, and of course lots of people love poached eggs. However, it is time to connect the word back to the world where it rightly...
Radio is the theatre of the mind

Radio is the theatre of the mind

If any of you thought radio was only for driving on packed highways or it was just a lot of words without the boxing gloves of statistics or that only preaching happened there, you are probably the sort who has never listened to ‘Mann ki baat’ by Narendra Modi, the...
Holy cow! Why in the world will we want to move away from traditions?

Holy cow! Why in the world will we want to move away from traditions?

Jarping. Songkran. Ruzzola. Namaste. This post is about understanding traditions and why need a contemporary make-over.
Comedy, creativity, and green tea

Comedy, creativity, and green tea

Comedy, creativity, and green tea. Read this post to know the secrets of a super boost in creativity. #SuperBloggerChallenge #Instacuppa
That’s how stories happen

That’s how stories happen

I tried rubbing the edge of my study table, whispering, ‘Appear, my lovely story. Appear!’ It didn’t. I tried this with the walls in my home, with trees in the park, and once even slyly tried rubbing the end of the shawl of a woman I didn’t know at all....
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Those who think clearly, listen

Those who think clearly, listen

The art of thinking clearly needs above average listening skills. One way to develop this skill is to listen to books being read out to you… particularly by people who know how to read well. By the way, even when we read books, our mind pauses other activities and listens carefully… and we call this...
Forever between a yes and a no

Forever between a yes and a no

Every time there is a request to review a book and I say yes, all the other books lying unread before me can do nothing but wait expectantly. And I have been doing this for ages. The number of unread books has grown. I am wondering now if every yes to read one book actually...
Stray thoughts, stray comments, and stray dogs

Stray thoughts, stray comments, and stray dogs

The universe is full of stray thoughts happily travelling through time until someone somewhere latches on to one and attempts to tame it. Poets do this all the time. Writers too. And yes, even artists, speakers, researchers, lovers, and almost everyone else, including politicians. These stray thoughts are charming entities and can be turned into...
One mind prodding another

One mind prodding another

Search for books on pandemic and Amazon has page after page listed. There are those that talk about the history of pandemics to those that list out lessons for a post-pandemic world, others go on and on about practical ways to get a healthy lifestyle during a pandemic and then those that have articles from...
The importance of being different

The importance of being different

‘I don’t like kindle. It doesn’t smell like a book,’ tweeted a friend, and the words left me wondering if a kindle must really smell and feel like something that it is not. For instance, a book never adopts the smugness of a smartphone, and it doesn’t bother me. Our obsession with making everything seem...
Which way to go?

Which way to go?

While on treks even I have often noticed, as did Oorja, the protagonist in ‘Mapping Love,’ the debut novel by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, that everyone is ‘in a hurry although everything around them is slow. They know that they have to make things happen before the sun sets…’ The narrative pace of this book, as...
Love sandwiched between drugs, fanaticism, politics, and patriarchy

Love sandwiched between drugs, fanaticism, politics, and patriarchy

I remember when I was posted in Bhatinda, a friendly chemist there near Birla Mill colony told me that he sells tons of Dulcolax. So many cases of severe constipation? I asked. Addicts actually, he replied, and so I realized that drug addiction was rampant in those parts of Malwa region in Punjab. This happened...
Khabar Pakki Hai!

Khabar Pakki Hai!

Khabar pakki hai?Khabar pakki hai!Where is the point in spending even that oft talked about twenty minutes reading a daily newspaper or that hour or so gaping at the idiot-box if all one gets to read or listen or see is stuff that may or may not be right. Or meaningful. When I read that...
The secret life of aggressive loudspeakers

The secret life of aggressive loudspeakers

This post is a satire on the use of loudspeakers... and also loud speakers.
The humdrum ways of most humans

The humdrum ways of most humans

Poets and pets forever swaySeeing the mysteries of creationWhen with the one they loveAnd create a sensationBy putting it all in their own way. But this is not the wayMost men and women thinkWhen they are with the one they love.From banknotes to dishes in the sinkAre the galaxies coming their way. And for them...
Interviewing a bulldozer

Interviewing a bulldozer

If you think it was easy to fix an interview with a bulldozer, think umpteen times. These massive machines have no time these days as a zillion sarkari farmaans (government notices) make a beeline to them even before they are fully awake. No coffee or fresh lime in tepid water for them. They must rush...
If only we weren’t ruled by such idiots

If only we weren’t ruled by such idiots

India and Pakistan may be two different countries now but have a lot in common…. And reading ‘City of Spies’ by Sorayya Khan made me sit back and smile. Yes, of course, like our friends in the neighbouring country, we too often think we are ruled by idiots, we too are constantly killing ourselves, we...