The Story of Col DPK Pillay

*This post was featured in The Better India Col DPK Pillay was critically wounded during an insurgent operation in Manipur, but chose to ignore his injuries to help evacuate two village children.  It indeed was a fateful patrol that DPK Pillay undertook on January 25, 1994. A young Captain then, Pillay was tasked with protecting a few tribal villages during a highly charged phase of violence in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. Tracking down the militants and finding them cornered in a locked room, Col Pillay broke open the door, only to be welcomed with a burst of bullets from AK-47s. The first bullet

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To Rent a Womb- The New Surrogacy Bill in India

Let me begin by telling you a story- the story of Baby Manji. She was born in the summer of 2008, to a surrogate mother- using the sperm of a Japanese man and an egg from an unknown source (reportedly a Nepali/Indian). But even before she was born, her parents had decided to part ways. The wife who wasn’t genetically linked to the baby didn’t want her, and the husband whose sperm was used to create the embryo, wanted the baby. The actual twist, however, came after her birth. It was a catch 22 situation where Indian rules required the

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This Time It’s Forever- Aditi Bose

There surely is no better feeling, than finding that one book that feels like magic in your hands. A book that takes you in from its very first page, right till the end. And when you are done reading it, you can feel your heart squeezing- a weird sort of ache and you clutch the book tightly unable to put it down. I am one of those kinds who could read practically any genre of writing. I sometimes pick up contrasting genres back to back so that I am able to look at each book with a fresh perspective. My

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Murder in the Mews- Agatha Christie

There are murder mysteries and then there is Hercule Poirot! This Belgian detective is surely AGATHA Christie’s greatest creation. Charming and not so modest about it, Hercule Poirot is known for his eccentric mannerisms. But well! He sure does manage to solve each of his cases with a dramatic twist. No wonder he has been the centerpiece in many of Christie’s novels. And as the man himself says- “My name is Hercule Poirot, and I am probably the greatest detective in the world.” – Hercule Poirot in The Mystery of the Blue Train And we don’t doubt that, do we? It’s

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Promises I Keep

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Our lives are filled with promises. Promises of every kind. Conditional, unconditional, unsaid, or understood. Whatever you call it they are a sort of assurance that we give to either ourselves or to another person.  My life isn’t any different. I make a zillion promises of different kinds almost every day. Take for example, a pinkie promise to my little girl. For those who aren’t aware, a pinkie promise is the entwining of the little fingers when you assure the other person of something. Ah well! for my

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Joys of Monsoon Robbed?

“Hey it’s raining”, I announced to my kiddo. “It’s time to splash and have some fun, because monsoons are joyous times and makes childhood memorable. We love the smell of wet mud, and sail paper boats in water puddles. Or maybe we could play football in the rain. How about sharing that single umbrella and taking a walk down the lane, jumping into every puddle we comes across? Let’s spot a rainbow as the sun peeps through the clouds or step outside to open our arms and dance with glee. Its monsoon time and let’s be silly and do childish things.”

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It Doesn’t Matter if Those Tiny Shoes Are Blue or Pink!

“Phir se ladki hui he!”(You have given birth to a girl again). This was the first thing I heard, when my second child was born. The duty nurse walked in and placed her by my side. I was exhausted after the long labor and was bleeding excessively. I glanced at her, all pink and tiny, when a single tear drop slipped down my eye. I was happy. My baby was just fine. Hubby and I were elated when we realized that our second bundle of joy was on its way. The nine months seemed too long for us three- and my

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I am a married woman and…. I don’t like to cook!!!

“She caught me red handed! I had cut open the packet of instant sambar mix and was about to add a couple of spoons in water, when I noticed my mother-in-law peering from behind me. “You know how to make Sambar don’t you?” she asked. My sheepish grin gave it all away. I am a married woman and…. I don’t like to cook!!! Well before you give me those judgmental looks. Let me make things clear. I do know how to cook, yet it is to me a mundane task that I seldom enjoy doing. But, years back the story

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The Great Indian IIT Dream

“The mind of a child is fragile. Their emotions touch their future. Your words shape their destiny.”-Anonymous As I picked up my morning newspaper, a bunch of leaflets slipped out of its pages. Oh boy! The newspaper as it is bombards me with advertisements, and the leaflets just seem to add to the agony. As I got picking the leaflets that were strewn across the room, a little pink one caught my eye. It was an advertisement placed by a coaching institute located in a thriving medieval era colony- Kālu Sarai, in Delhi. “A Guaranteed Programme”, it said. “Give me

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India’s Third Gender

I saw her walk across the road swaying her hips. She was dressed in a black sari that seemed to shimmer in the morning sun. As she approached my car, I pulled down my window and for a brief moment, my eyes met hers. And at that very moment, amidst the constant honking on the roads, her eyes spoke volumes… On a busy working day, I sat in my vehicle waiting for the signal to turn green. It would be a long wait- the timing system at the signal indicated 90 seconds. I was on one of Delhi’s busiest roads near

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She Was Born For The Blue Skies

They say- “Truth is stranger than fiction”. Our life can be amazing, and difficult to believe sometimes. A lot of things happen with or without any meaning, and like the butterfly effect- a chain of events happen! Take the life of Shital Mahajan. A chance meeting with her friend’s brother- an Air Force Officer, in the year 2002, led Shital to be introduced to skydiving. She decided to learn the basics from him then. So intrigued was she by the adventure in the sport, that she decided to go in for further training. However, at that time, a civilian could not

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