Oh My Dear Son!

Indian Moms seem so obsessed with their sonny boys. Surely, I may be generalizing here. But my observations almost always tilt towards this. So whether they are 10, 20, 30 or even 40, the moms just can’t stop babying their “Laadla Betas”. For example, Mom Grey gets restless every time her son eats even one roti lesser than usual. Even if sonny boy explains that he is just simply full and there isn’t any major issue, she would insist on him immediately consuming a homemade brew to ease digestion!!!!! I really don’t interfere in the mommy-son relationship, but it quite

Temple Under The Filth

I drove slowly into the street, searching for the little Ram Mandir I had heard about from Mrs. Kumar. She had said, “Though it is a small temple, it is clean and pious. You get a calm feeling here.” As I had some time at hand this evening, I decided to explore this little temple I had never visited, though it existed in my neighborhood. My car inched its way up the street. I followed the directions Mrs. Kumar had given me, yet I could not locate the temple. The only thing that I noticed was the stench. Where was

Boys & Girls Should Not Sit On the Same Bench in College

This bit of news in this morning’s newspaper caught my eye. “Keep boys and girls apart, not shoulder to shoulder on the same bench, in a co-education system”. These were the words of the Education Minister of Kerala-a state considered to be progressive in thinking with high literacy rates. The Minister seemed ok if the boys and girl are seated side by side but does not support them sitting on the same bench. The surprising bit in this news is that there exists a taboo in the manner of seating inside a classroom. The two genders are kept apart, yet quite a

Who Said There is No Child Marriage Anymore?

My domestic help Sangeetha seemed unusually excited. “Ladki dekhne ja rahi hoon, didi. Apne ladke ki liye.” (I am going to see a bride for my son). I looked up from the newspaper I was reading and asked her what her son’s age was. “Unees- bees saal ka ho gaya. (He is 19-20 years). Pichle mahine baawarchi ki naukri lag gayi. Ab shaadi karadenge, ladka settle ho jayaga” (Last month he got a job as a cook, We will get him married now, and he would settle down in life). In an instant my tone changed from a curious one

The Ghost Town Of India- Kuldhara, Rajasthan

About 20 odd kilometers from the desert town of Jaisalmer lies Kuldhara. As I took to the dusty road that led to this ancient town of Rajasthan, I noticed the scant presence of humans around. The sun was at its fiery best and an unusual silence prevailed. I reached Kuldhara, eerie and desolate. I had heard it had been abandoned by its people more than 200 years ago.  I spotted a few villagers grazing goats nearby. What really was the story of Kuldhara? For a paltry amount of Rs. 10/- two little boys came up to me to narrate the

Moving on in life- After a Cancer Treatment

You have begun your battle. Diagnosis of cancer brings with it numerous things. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, scans etc… It often proves to be a setback to many physically, emotionally and of course financially too. Though the battle is often considered an ongoing one, at the end of every treatment cycle, it is time to sit down and breathe. Give yourself a pat on your back for having endured a treatment, so harsh. Cancer treatments could be very stressful. The side effects cannot be undermined, and may linger longer in many patients. You may thus get a sense of relief when

What Lies Behind The Station Wall?

Have you ever wondered what lies behind the walls of those small railway stations that we come across on long journeys? As I sit travelling from New Delhi to Jaisalmer by train, I am reminded of  a story- ” Time stops at Shamili” -written by Ruskin Bond, in which he expresses his curiosity about how life would be outside the railway station. My train  traversed through bigger known cities -Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur. And some towns I had never really heard off- Marwar Mathanya, Phalodi,Ashapura Gomat… A ghost station it seemed, for not a single vendor I spotted, just a couple of

What's With The Saliva, I Say?

I have often wondered what makes people spit in public places. Why is it is so difficult for people to keep those few extra milli-litres of saliva within themselves? It’s a mystery that has baffled me… This morning as I drove from upscale Chanakyapuri to Gurgaon Sector 29, my eyes witnessed the woeful habit on the streets of Delhi. From the red- stained teeth “pan” eaters to elegantly dressed english speaking individuals, the habit of spitting seems to be commonly prevalent.  And if you thought this habit is restricted to the lower income group, well, you sure need to think again. A middle aged