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Trumpet Lead

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Bas, ek minute!

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

One fine day, driving home after a rather awkward situation with my tight-fisted German boss, I began to dwell on what exactly we Indians mean when we use ‘ek’ (one) in conversation. My boss had asked me to come into his office, prompting my instant response: ‘Yes, I’ll be there in one minute’. After 10 minutes, as I chirpily walked into his office, he said, with a raised eyebrow: “Which part of 1 minute is a quarter of an hour for you?” As he questioned me I realised what I’d actually meant was “Boss, I’ll be in your office shortly,…

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It’s my fifth Diwali in Dubai, and I’ve learned that there’s Diwali and there’s NRI Diwali

My Dubai, Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

India, especially New Delhi, where I hail from, wears a lovely hue this time of the year. The busy capital city decides to slow down. It wipes the sweat of its forehead just like the people who inhabit it. It dresses up to welcome winter. Dubai too enters a similar phase at almost the same time. Festive and pleasant vibes fill up the air. It’s Diwali; the message is loud and clear, in both the lands. Yet, the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) Diwali leaves one wondering what’s missing? Something is, though it may be tough to pinpoint.

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If there is a clan that can poetically describe a curry, it is a Bengali. Every Bengali is a food critic.

Trumpet Lead

I eat. Therefore I Am. A Bengali is born to eat. Literally. Bengalis eat everything. The clan saw no innovation in having three different verbs that did the same thing: eating, drinking or smoking. So, they decided to stick to one. In Bangla (the language) you ‘eat’ everything from fish to water to their favourite brand of smokes. The idea is not to labour on ‘how’ it is being consumed but ‘what’ is being consumed. Simplicity redefined.

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When cleaning the fans becomes a son’s duty!

Trumpet Lead

Being the only son in the family is enough reason to have to clean all the fans in the house, time and again, especially when Diwali’s round the corner. There are other duties that sons don’t really mind, like fetching stuff from the market, but they’re always going to be less willing to do anything that involves standing on rickety chairs and cleaning unstable machinery.

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2356 0

The kaamwaali bai & the pankha!

Trumpet Lead

The blissful, lazy Sunday sleep had just been disturbed. I was feeling distinctly warm. The room was quiet and I instantly knew that the fan had been switched off. The soft, comforting whirring of the fan had stopped and with my eyes still closed, the hearing sense took over. Diagonally across my bed to the left, I could hear the slow jingling of the maid’s bangles as she swept the floor. A decision had to be made: should I just keep my eyes closed and fall asleep again? Or should I open my eyes and investigate? Sensing that she just…

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2482 0

Ever been to a government office in India?

Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

Especially those in dusty, not pretty, one in a few thousand towns across the nation? Where living is a simple business, governing is almost nonexistent. Intricacies of administration are less and extended conversations on daily predictable mishaps are more the norm. “Why is the chai less sweet today?” “There was more cow dung to avoid on the road today, too much of a nuisance, I tell you!’’

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Happy Diwali: Just one little candle

Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark! Better far that you light just one little candle…all you need is a tiny spark…these words from the prayer we sang at Notre Dame Academy got ingrained in my consciousness and to this day, I wish I could light someone’s life in whatever little manner I could. It is for this reason that I love the festival of lights, Diwali. As a child, I remember how just days before Diwali, we went around our society collecting bricks, which we used to build small gharkulias or…

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2546 0

Dusshera, Ramleela aur Ravana!

Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

A bird’s view of India highlights two important elements of our country, colours and festivals. Yes, we’re a nation that takes pride in its ‘festive’ colours and colourful ‘festivals’. And what makes our country’s fabric so interesting and diverse is its history of more than 5,000 years. Each part and fable of our country offers a reason to celebrate, and one such lovely reason is Dusshera. As a child, I recall how school books introduced us to the festival and the teachings from it, the victory of good over evil, but I think I understood the meaning behind the festival…

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Durga Puja playground!

Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

I’m talking about another time. A time of bulky transistors and Eastman coloured mornings. When I’d be woken up by my grandfather, as he gently dragged me out of a flimsy mosquito net, our footsteps often colliding as I then sat perched atop his lap, staring out into a mist smudged October morning. Madhu dada, our Oriya driver’s son would soon turn up the volume as Shanti mashi, my toothless nanny brought Dada (I called my grandfather that) a steaming hot cup of Darjeeling tea, as we all sat in a curious semi-circle, listening to Mahishasuramardini – a two-hour telecast rendered…

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