Brittle walls

Night wandered in through the drapes. She swept around the house, bringing a coldness to everything she touched. She spread herself around the house and settled into the corners. In the living room, a lone lamp shone an arc of light. Saaya sat reading in a chair, silent, composed, watchful. She was waiting for Ravi.…

Relatively speaking

Blog posts may be infrequent in the near future. I am in India now, and as with all India visits, the schedule tends to get filled up. Over the next few weeks, I will meet quite a few aunts and uncles, and wonder what they are actually thinking about my appearance. You see, when I…

Desi movies and masala popcorn

  Popcorn smells of movie theaters.  It smells of excitement and joy and simple pleasure. These days I seem to prefer watching movies at home.   Especially the desi movies.  For all the desi movies I have watched seem to follow a few unwritten rules: (i)  The movie should only be aired on the one weekend…

Anonymous abuse, real damage?

I read two articles recently which made me start thinking about the nature of anonymity and how it brings out the worst in some of us. The New York Times had an interesting article about anonymous insults on blogs and the question of how to deal with them.  The article talks about an ad agency…

My toaster is making me fat

I eat a good breakfast every morning.  I always select multi-grain, whole wheat bread.  You would think I was on a healthy diet, right?  No, apparently not. The New York Times tells me that I am doing it all wrong.  A better strategy, it tells me, is to throw out my toaster.  Not just my…

Fictional autobiographies

Many times, first-time authors of fiction are asked whether the book is entirely fiction.  Is it at least partly autobiographic, they are asked.  Is the main character, or one of the other characters, based on you? It’s true that first books can be somewhat autobiographical.  But in any work of fiction, you cannot divorce the…

The war in the air

The air is dry. So is my skin, my hair and even my eyes. I slather moisturizer, I use deep-penetrating, salon-special conditioners, I use all the eye drops I can get. They work, but only briefly. The humidifier runs constantly, whining at the task of constantly feeding the air.  But the air drinks up all…