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india

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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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3409 0

Do you remember these fan types?

IdharUdhar, Nostalgia

There is an archaeological proof that 1,000 of centuries ago the Greeks, Romans, Japanese, Indians and the Chinese used fans, both as cooling and ceremonial device. I am not surprised. With our humid climate, one cannot imagine life without it. On quiet evenings, lying on the bed and staring endlessly at the ceiling, I nonchalantly notice the swift set of spinning shadows left by the rotating blades. There isn’t a day it remains still. Even on cooler days. Except maybe when the maid is sweeping. Those two-unbearable minutes in this sweltering heat are brutal and even before she finishes sweeping the…

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3264 0

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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3443 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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3775 0

Khana thanda ho jayega!

Indian Belly, My Dubai, Nostalgia

I am sitting in the dining room, back home (Having been married for more than a decade, home is and will always be my parent’s house; one where I grew up with my little sister and one where my little girl spends her summer vacations each year). My little chefling is enjoying the makhane ki kheer her nani made for her to try and I am looking at both of them enjoying each other’s company with a cup of coffee in my hand. My parents don’t drink coffee but always make sure they have a jar ready for me when…

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3758 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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4115 0

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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4563 0

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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2012 0

Ganapati Bappa Moriya!

Nostalgia, Trumpet Lead

Ganapati Bappa Moriya – the sound of this pious chant is etched in my memory. It was an integral part of my childhood and is also an emotion that I want my children to respect. The festivities, colour, gaiety and delicacies of Ganesh Chaturthi are an important part of every Mumbaikar’s life. The decorations and processions fill up everyone’s heart with a kind of joy that is unforgettable. So when the twists of life brought my family and me to the shores of Dubai, I feared that I’d have to leave behind the festivities that had shaped my childhood and made…

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