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Showing posts from February, 2011

That’s me in the corner, losing my innocence

Plagiarism. It’s all around us. Business wars worth millions are fought between two sides claiming originality. A pretty young author sees her new found fame evaporate just as fast as it came. If one were to really reach deep into the recesses of one’s mind, one would chance upon various instances of plagiarism in our otherwise uneventful lives.
It all begins innocently. A chance glance at your neighbor’s answer sheet and you discover something amiss in your answer paper. Hastily corrected, you forgive yourself for this one time faux pas. The next exam, the glance ceases to be just a glance. You exercise your neck muscle a little more. Only to realize that students all around you seem to have something in their papers that mysteriously isn’t present in yours. And thus you begin a journey of ingenuity, lateral thinking and saving your face.
At the risk of not returning answer sheets the way you received them, copying is by far one of the greatest tools devised by mankind. The very art …

When an Iyer met an Iyengar

If you see my parents, they look like the quintessential arranged marriage couple. After nearly 35 years together, they still take care not to touch each other while posing for a photograph and my mother’s smile dangles precariously between a smile and a grimace. But this image discolours the truth a tad.
Some 40 years back, they met at work, fell in love and got married. The talking point of the union being mom’s status as an iyengar and dad’s as an iyer. Simply put, the iyers and the iyengars are two castes of the Brahmin community, each, when given the chance, profess superiority to each other on all counts. If you listen closely, an Iyengar talking about an Iyer will say ‘Iyer a?’ in a condescending tone. And vice versa.
Mom tells me that when she told her dad about the marriage, he vowed to stand by her at any cost. Dad never told me what happened, but allow me to hazard a guess. His mother (my grandmother), threatened to go on a fast unto death. My dad threatened to go on a parall…