Candy is dandy, but fifth gear comes from fear

Don’t knock on my door this Halloween. Don’t ring the bell, or peek inside. I am planning to decamp. I am running away because I am scared of all the children who are going to land on my doorstep, shouting “Trick or Treat” in their squeaky little voices. Pic courtesy Freefoto Come Halloween, my front…

Why don’t Indians follow chess?

For the next few days, newspapers will publish large pictures of Viswanathan Anand and laudatory articles about him. Perhaps they will write about how Anand makes perfect idlis and Aruna dances Bharatanatyam beautifully.? But mostly, they will write about Sicilian Najdorf and Nimzo Indian, and everyone’s eyes will glaze over and they will switch to…

Iapetus in a gulab jamun

Wish you all a very happy Diwali (or Deepavali)!! I am going to shamelessly borrow my brother’s greeting to me to add: “May the Markets recover, May the economy recover, May Paulson and Bernanke see light and usher in prosperity this year.” Last Diwali, I was making sweets and ruminating about Ravana’s army. I was…

Presidential elections

I am tired of being on the campaign trail. Ten more days to go. I cannot wait for the elections to be over. No, I am not running for President. Not even Vice President, though that is not saying much. But R, I suspect, is the secret political strategist for some leading party. For the…

Chandrayaan-1 goes to the Moon

I was a child when India launched Rohini, and grew up hearing about Aryabhata and Bhaskara – I mean the satellites, not the ancient scientists and mathematicians they were named after. But I remember Rohini and SLV-3 all too clearly. My first memories of satellites involves that picture of SLV-3 at its launch – blue…

The bottled water debate – purer than tap water?

Most of us know that a lot of the bottled water we buy is really tap water. Pepsi admitted last year that Aquafina is really tap water and Aquafina’s bottles either say ” Bottled at the source P.W.S.”  or a longer version where instead of “PWS”, they mention it as “public water sources”.  In other…

An itch to spend

I was speaking with an aunt on Skype when my palm started itching.? It was my right palm, let me specify, as I realize that is important. “Why are you rubbing your palm?” My aunt asked.? I was trying to be unobtrusive, but she has eagle eyes. “My palm is itching”, I said. She suddenly…