Don’t turn Diwali into a scene from a disaster movie

Usually, I wake up to the sound of birds. As noisy as my city can be, it allows for such luxuries. But in two days, my playlist for the wee morning hours will drastically change. Because people will be celebrating Diwali - the Festival of Lights. Every year, around this time, they become a discourteous... Continue Reading →

Make a fist

In Karate, one of the most important lessons you learn is to take an ass-kicking. You understand that you need to pick yourself up and move on. Before every session, you socialize with your opponents. They are your friends. You like each other. You also take pleasure in roundhouse-kicking them during a sparring match. Because... Continue Reading →

I woof you too

I have mixed feelings about pet dogs. While I want to kiss every dog I meet on its wet nose, I am unsure if it is a deep and purposeful bond.  It seems to be a symbiotic bond between two emotionally-needy creatures. The Homo Sapien and the Felis Domesticus. I had a pet Pomeranian called... Continue Reading →

Happiness is leaving on a stolen jet plane

I think Con Air, a movie about a plane hijacking, has some of the worst dialogues ever. But I have seen it over 30 times. I can’t help myself. It’s like stopping by a highway accident to assess the carnage. A cat-and-mouse game we play with our minds. We may grimace at the sight of... Continue Reading →

10 reasons why Madras wasn’t just about the filter coffee

It is tough to pigeonhole Indian metropolitans. They are Dickensian by nature. Often, their identities shift, like tectonic plates, under the pretext of urbanization. All the while, they play a game of cat-and-mouse with the past, whether good, bad or ugly. They are works in progress or experiments in terror, depending on how you see... Continue Reading →

War on stress: A phantom menace

Stress isn't a loud-mouthed villain. Very often you can’t hear its war cry. You just don’t see it coming. Stress can be a cold and calculated sociopath. It won’t catch you in a bear hug and squeeze the life out of you. It waits for you to go to sleep. It climbs into the bed and... Continue Reading →

Death becomes them

I have been thinking a lot about death since Raj Kumar passed away last year. He was a close friend. We wrote a film script together a few years ago. The story was centered on how intricately interwoven all our lives are. We were sure that it would have been the first of our many creative collaborations. Eventually, he... Continue Reading →

Freedom in speech: Rufuous Treepies

There are several Rufous Treepies in Chennai. During winter, many of them visit the guava tree in my neighbor's backyard. They sound like singers with speech impediments. But people just don't seem to notice them. I struggled with a severe stammering problem for about two decades. I could barely speak a few words without a prolonged stutter. Unlike the treepie,  I drew attention to... Continue Reading →

2015: A rackety race odyssey

Greater Racket-Tailed Drongos are whirling dervishes who frequent foothills. Black is not just the color of their plumage. It runs through their soul. And it gives them an air of magnificence. They are cloaked in shadowy panache. In human beings though, this end of the color spectrum is treated with ignorance and superficiality. I find discrimination by skin color to... Continue Reading →

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