Showing posts from August, 2012


The past weekend was too frenzied for my liking. At my energetic best I manage to potter around, but usually, remaining in a python-like state is the norm. This particular weekend however was thrown out-of-gear by an email from my editor.
She wanted my photo along with a short bio for their catalogue. There’s really nothing much to say about myself, so the short bio was not a problem. But the photo is an insurmountable problem. I did ask her if I can send a Pink Panther picture – but there was no response from her. I guess she is the silent, sombre type and finds such emails extremely frivolous.
Anyway, I knew this could not be a ‘passport’ type photo as my friend terms it. It had to be more classy, as befits an author, even if the said author is below average. So I looked up some author photos to get an idea. My heart sank. Each author looked more exotic than the next.
Some looked into the camera: wide-eyed innocence; chiselled chin; arched eyebrows; an alluring movement caught i…

'Into That Heaven Of Freedom...'

Childhood memories of Independence Day celebrations are not pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, I am just referring to the packaging of the entire event.
August 15th meant getting up really, really early and heading to school for the parade. But this had a lot of other preparations. New white ribbons had to be bought – because the ones bought at the start of the year would have become yellow. The sports shoes – white keds – had to be washed and ‘polished’. This was before they mercifully introduced ‘karate’ shoes that had a blue canvas. The sports uniform had to be starched and ironed.
The white ribbons had to be bought from a bangle store on Malleswaram 8th cross. I usually realized my ribbons have taken on the colour of tadka daal around August 14th 8:00 PM. With much chiding, face distorted with deep frowns, teeth gnashing and grating, Amma would drag me along to the shop, which closed by 8:30 PM.
The ribbon came in a roll. Amma had to then measure appropriately according to the lengt…

Let The Games Begin...

I am quite tired of reading and hearing the lines ‘1.2 Bn and we can’t produce medals’. Really. Every newspaper has comments of this nature. And I bet most of it is from people who are not fit enough to walk even 1 km without wheezing.
So let me start this blog by standing up and applauding each and every athlete of the Indian Olympic contingent. I don’t care if they’ve ‘crashed’ out of qualification rounds, or came last in the races. Compare them to their counterparts from around the world. It does not take a trained eye to see that our team is at a disadvantage when it comes to world-class training facilities, healthcare, access to sports science and technology, continuous training – and not to mention the non-existent social support, either from the media or from the general public. And despite such disadvantages, the fact that they are STILL able to stand in the middle of world stage by sheer dint of personal passion, determination and mental strength – well, surely, they deserv…

Terror In Dyatlov Pass


Nothing thrills me more than mulling over an unsolved mystery. Years and years ago, when I saw ‘Picnic to Hanging Rock’, the open-ending had me gnawing my wrist with frustration. God that was great horror! Not the horror of evil spirits or zombies – but the horror of not-knowing. That movie distracted me no end for days together. “What happened to those girls?” I thought over and over again as I tried to understand Venn diagrams.
So imagine an unsolved real-life mystery. I had heard about one particular incident long time ago – but the memory revived when I saw a rather over-sensationalised documentary on the History channel. It is called the Dyatlov Pass Incident. If you do a Google search, you can find tonnes of articles. Possibly a factual account is in the archives of The StPetersburg Times.
Anyway, here is a summary. In January 1959, ten experienced skiers set off on an expedition to the remote Otorten mountain in northern Urals. (Yeah, jog your geography. Urals is the ribb…