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Showing posts from January, 2016

Solitude and transformation

When a flood occurs, we deduce that an overflow elsewhere caused it. But a flood of emotions can suddenly overwhelm us without any link visible to the mental eye. For no apparent reason, I recollect a period from many, many years ago.
“So, what were you doing today?” asked my friend who just returned to home. “Nothing. Nothing at all,” said I.
Far from being an outlier, this was the feature of my then daily life. We weren’t the typical roomies. I had an unfinished business at the place he was working, and I called him asking if he could accommodate me. He readily agreed, and soon I found myself in a remotely located independent house in non-descript part of a small town from a crowded apartment in a bursting megacity. 
People find short, unavoidable moments of seclusion during otherwise hectic schedules unbearable. But there was this time when even if I were to shout at top of my lungs, the only ears to hear it would be mine. My friend would be away at work during daytime, and I rarely h…

“Eaten by the Japanese” by John Baptist Crasta : Book Review

Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer struck by the macabre expanse of turtle skeletons probably resulting from being eaten alive by wild dogs wrote,” For what offence must they suffer this agony? What is the point of the whole scene of horror? The only answer is that the will to live thus objectifies itself.”All creatures are thus instinctively evolved to cling tenaciously to life (both hunter and hunted), notwithstanding the tremendous odds. The book in review is one such tale of survival amid unbelievably horrendous tribulations.

A published author with critical acclaim chances upon his father’s handwritten manuscript in a rusting steel trunk and discovers a “tale of unmitigated horror”*. Besides stray references, the father would never reveal the true depths of despair he underwent. For this was a job his son was destined to undertake. After lying around for 50 years, these papers are found by the son who edits and publishes them and our grand old man who has seen it all in life finds th…

The quest for the perfect Hyderabad Irani Tea

Those unacquainted with this city’s ethos may find the typical Hyderabadi obsession with Irani Chai (tea) amusing. Some may even accuse them of being chai-addicts, which (justifiably, I may add) is met by strong denial, nay defensive, “Others may as well be called air-addicts or water-addicts then.”
For the younger generation the ideal venue of a get-together begins with Cafe Coffee Day / McDonalds (when hard-pressed on cash!) and might extend to any upper limit when feasible. But before affluenza took over the Y2K generation, Irani Cafes were the most popular meeting venue for the cash-strapped teens. In a bid to appear more Western than the West we have sadly abandoned efforts to modernize our traditional outlets and instead sought to westernize them.
The joyous conversations and noisy ambiance has since been replaced with uneasy silence punctuated with tight-lipped formal conversations. But to my mind nothing beats the cluttered, crowded Irani Cafes that always are vibrant, soulful …