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Showing posts from 2013

Losing and finding yourself in Premier bookshop

Before Church Street squandered its soul, it was home to an unassuming bookstore fronted by an affable, unassuming owner. Nestled in between a shady pub and another establishment I can’t care to recollect, it was a throwback to a bygone era when owners knew their patrons by name and politely enquired about their well being. It was a store that was oblivious to the world outside, not because it didn’t care, but because it really didn’t affect how it did business. 

When you entered, it was as if you were walking into an impending avalanche; of books that is. Shelves with fancy titles like ‘new age’, ‘fiction’ and ‘Indian writing’ to shepherd you in your search didn’t exist. Books arranged in alphabetical order? Sorry, try your luck someplace else. Each row of books was backed up by another layer and fishing out a book perched somewhere in the middle of second row was an art in its own right. Old timers were familiar with attempting to pull a book from the middle of a stack and have the e…

Life through the eyes of a backbencher

It’s a given fact that most people sleep in class. The frontbenchers do it with their eyes wide open and the back benchers with their eyes wide shut. No prizes for guessing who gets caught.

Hunger strikes you at the most inappropriate situations. As a frontbencher, you are subject to minutes of acute starvation. Dry chapattis and soggy chips never tasted better. Only a back bencher would know.

You strain to see the blackboard and hear what the teacher is saying. A lot of it never made sense, never has and probably never will. As a result, I can listen to music only at extremely high decibel levels and at some point of time have ended up with glasses. These are the sacrifices I have made to be a back bencher.


At times lightning strikes you suddenly and they say “I want to check your book.” The frontbenchers cringe that their notes are not complete. A black mark on their otherwise illustrious record. The back benchers are the ones with sense. Their record remains impeccable and their notes…

Puliyogare should be the symbol of love

In the not so distant future, there'll be a tamil movie that will tell of a love quadrangle. The title track of the the movie is tentatively titled ‘enga irunthai puliyogare’ (where were you puliyogare?), where all the concerned parties dance in a tamil movie hot spot like Mauritius. The dialogue that precedes the song will be something like this:
Girl: 'Nambalode kadhal compare pannuna, yedeke compare pannuve'? (what would you compare our love to?)
Boy: 'En amma ode puliyogare ke' (my mother’s puliyogare) Girl (looking terribly flustered): 'Puliyogare ka'? (to puliyogare?)
Cut to song
Love has many symbols, most of which lack any sense of practicality. Observation, an unbridled love for puliyogare and connecting the dots has led to a eureka moment - puliyogare is the new symbol of love. As you observe the rigmarole of any romantic relationship, you will see this correlation play out in all its glory. 
Puliyogare is prepared by mixing rice and tamarind paste (kno…

Filter coffee (and Mila Kunis) on a day like today

On a day like today when the sun plays your favourite childhood game of hide and seek and the only thing you want to do is pull back the rug in an attempt to catch the deep sleep that just won’t come back, brush open the curtains a little. You’ll think you’re in the movies, the weather so perfect you’ll look next to you to check if Mila Kunis has also woken up, her hair hiding the twinkle in those eyes that can cause even the most abstinent to disintegrate. You’ll then realise it’s your pillow playing tricks on you but the weather outside is still like it is in the movies. Waking up still seems onerous but days like these are not meant to be experienced from the comfort of your bed.
On a day like today, you need filter coffee. That’s all. The aroma of the decoction percolates to the whole house and catches your nostrils just as your head is about find the comfort of the pillow and the imaginary Mila Kunis’s gentle caress. Filter coffee is what coffee is all about. It maybe served unde…

Bachelor boy blues

There comes a time in every bachelor’s life when a face in the crowd pops the million dollar question – ‘so when’s your turn’? Until now, the dignified reply has been to scratch my beard and respond with the cricket score. When there isn't any cricket being played, the discussion is deftly steered toward when Sachin Tendulkar should call it a day. And if he retires, all talk will revolve around his retirement and the question will die a natural death, albeit for a little while. 
It's a moment that takes a leaf out of Saint Paulo Coelho’s evergreen quotable quotes – except, in cases like these, the universe conspires to help you get what they think you want.Until that point, your days are lived in relative obscurity, with all cares in the world relegated to how to feign illness next Monday, where to get wasted on Friday and how to look busy in the intervening days. And just like that fateful day, many moons ago, when you lost your innocence with a bunch of magazines that were h…

Ronnie on summer holidays and work-life balance

My childhood occurred before the summer camp era and it was a time when parents worried about how much time their kids spent outdoors unlike now, when they are concerned about how much they spend indoors. When the summer holidays were coming to a close, a sense of melancholy set in. No more endless games of cricket and mangoes after lunch. Writer Mike Royko eulogized the last day of summer holidays in this fashion:
“When I was a kid, the worst of all days was the last day of summer vacation, and we were in the schoolyard playing softball, and the sun was down and it was getting dark. But I didn’t want it to get dark. I didn’t want the game to end. It was too good, too much fun. I wanted it to stay light forever, so we could keep on playing forever, so the game would go on and on. That’s how I feel now. C’mon, c’mon. Let’s play one more inning. One more at bat. One more pitch. Just one? Stick around, guys. We can’t break up this team. It’s too much fun. But the sun always went down. And…

The obituary of a wisdom tooth

Much talk time on television shows is wasted on the death sentence and the morality issues surrounding it. Countless debates ensue on the unspeakable cruelty that occurs unchecked at modern Auschwitz’s like the Guantanamo bay. But as much as I would have liked to believe that I am face of all human rights abuses, I am forced to reconsider my plea in this regard. News anchors don’t hold living rooms to ransom on my behalf. Amnesty International doesn't file petitions in my name. So amidst much tooth wrenching pain, I have decided to take up my own cause and speak of the unspeakable cruelty that wisdom teeth are subject to.

I presume there must have been some discomfort. My owner keeps holding his jaw and it doesn't look too serious. In my humble opinion, the cause of the pain can be divided into 3 major factors: The fake smiles (a genuine smile doesn't hurt, trust me)Junk foodThe incessant chatter and gibberish that my master thrusts upon the unsuspecting, innocent and cruel …