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Photo Essays

Bharat Darshan

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To the winter sun

desi emotions, My Dubai, Nostalgia

Each winter as I open the trunk and smell the warm clothes that have been aching to be worn I think of you: the winter sun. I think of the ways you would fool with me, showing up only when you please. I lie in my cosy bed detesting the thought to leave because I know that when I’ll draw the curtains and look for you, I will lose in this game of hide ‘n’ seek. But soon I push myself to leave the behind the cosiness of my warm blanket and get ready to face the chill. I slip…

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Just another day in India

desi emotions

Ever wondered how blessings look, feel? Is it only in temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches that blessings are bestowed? Or is it touching the feet of an elderly that brings us these? Does a blessing lie in the smile of a child, a hug by a mother, a nod by a stranger? Perhaps, yes. Today, look around. Count your blessings — that are hidden in our mundane routines, lives. On a recent trip to home, New Delhi, India, the author made note of all the tiny blessings in her life — the daily, mundane lives become worth it because of…

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Dubai is the best place to ‘live in India’! Agree?

Bharat Darshan, desi emotions

Dubai is a destination where many people ‘like’ to move not just from India but other countries as well. A lot of my friends in the UK and US often express their interest in moving to Dubai, a place that has best of both the worlds, home & abroad. The power of both ambition and need that tempts and compels an individual to leave home and head to Dubai amazes me, makes me wonder and leaves me in awe. Before I boarded the flight to Dubai I had asked myself why I was willing to leave behind my family, home…

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Can the humble & exotic Indian spices really tempt a sweet tooth?

Food, Indian Belly

My mother dry roasting Indian spices to make garam masala that later she would pound in the white marble mortar and pestle, which would be sprinkled on many a curry. Sugar, spice & everything nice! Indian spices on the dessert menu is the sweet news this season. – The Indian Trumpet’s Debut Edition My grand mum would leave the juicy ruby red pomegranate seeds out in the sun and leave them to dry for days to make anardana, which we would later enjoy in each bite of our allu parantha (Indian flatbread stuffed with potatoes). Our neighbour Mrs. Chellapa, would…

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“It’s not my habit to yell actors’ names out loud at my TV screen when they enter a film but that is my customary greeting for Pran!”

70 MM, Bollywood

It’s not my habit to yell actors’ names out loud at my TV screen when they enter a film but that is my customary greeting for Pran, 2013’s winner of the Dada Saheb Phalke award. Although he is known best to many film fans as one of the all-time great villains, he’s not someone I love to hate, the way I do, say, creepy Jeevan, wild Amrish Puri, or hammy Ajit. Pran is an actor I love to love because he is, simply, just that: an actor. He’s never cardboard and never sleepwalks through a performance, even after more than…

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To my Godrej Almirah, with love

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

I stepped into the living room packed with mourning men and women. The air was potently infused with sandalwood incense jabbed into oiled coconut halves left burning from various corners. In the middle of the room, lay my grandmother covered in white soft cotton – still and lifeless. People from everywhere came to pay their last respects – they shed a tear, shared a memory, whispered a prayer and chanted a mantra for the soul’s peace.

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As a child, did you ever follow the rules of katti-batti?

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

Before friendship bands became the ‘coolest’ form of offering your friendship to someone, there was a fad of ‘katti/ batti’ in the early ‘90s. This method was as fast and easy as ABC, and it didn’t require a Friendship Day! If you were mad at someone, you could ‘break’ your friendship with a ‘katti’ (unfriend) instantly; in order to patch up with them, all you had to do was say ‘batti/ buchchi/ abba’ (friend).

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How did we make friends in the ’90s?

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Rahul Khanna (naam toh suna hoga) studying in St. Xavier’s college. One fine day, a girl named Tina Malhotra joined his college, and he immediately went up to her with a ‘friendship band’, extending his hand in friendship. This scene from the movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ popularised Friendship Day all over India and the colourful friendship bands became the rage in the late ‘90s.

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Will the instant-noodles generation ever truly relish the taste of homemade pickles?

Food, Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

On my dining table are three glass jars that once contained jam, now they are proud holders of lehsun (garlic), kairi (raw mango), and mirchi (chilli) ke achar. We got them from Lucknow, when we visited my husband’s family last September. Their unique flavours shifts from somewhat pungent to slightly tangy and extremely spicy. At lunch, they scream – what’s your mood today? Pick me! And each one promises to add a unique shift to our desi meals.

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Why didn’t we have sales while growing up?

Bazaar, Fashion, Fashion Fry

Last week at the mall, submerged under a pile of children’s clothes at a kid’s store, I saw a pink skirt which would perfectly fit my 2-year-old princess. I had the exact same one (well, almost) that my uncle had got for me from a trip abroad. The only difference – I was six then and the dress wouldn’t fit me till I was at least eight that was if I ate for three. The one in my hand had an adjusting elastic on the waist (an awesome innovation) – the one in my memory, my granny had to alter…

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Each winter as I open the trunk and smell the warm clothes that have been aching to be worn I think of you: the winter sun. I think of the ways you would fool with me, showing up only when you please. I lie in my cosy bed detesting...

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