Musings

The Unexpected

Despite calendars and clocks and all the mental gymnastics we use to control life and time, surprises are at the heart of existence.  This may seem like a truism, but…

And I Feel Fine

Is it the end of the world if we blow it? For the first time in history humans have the power to communicate with just about everyone everywhere and look…

India at the Crossroads

Returning from India after visiting my elderly parents each winter, is always filled with mixed emotions; a confluence of feelings, that of regret for not being able to care for…

A Visit from Uncle Joe and Auntie Jill

A few days before Christmas Eve, the President and the First Lady travelled to a well-endowed children's hospital in Washington D.C. Their visit was in keeping with the long-standing White House tradition…

An Immense Hunger

Now that our revels are ended, the holiday celebrations and feasts, if one had them, just a dream melted into thin air, our hungers perhaps richly satiated temporarily or not,…

Chance Encounters as the Walls Close In

“Apple Blossom – Blue Sky” by amandabhslater “A treasure stumbled upon, suddenly; not gradually accumulated, by adding one to one. The accumulation of learning, ‘adding to the sum-total of human knowledge’;…

A Paean to the Past

I grew up in a country that thrived with diversity. I grew up in a country where we were taught to accept diversity of cultures, languages, religions as a normal…

Do People Change?

Because there is so much personal anguish, unhappiness, and human mental and physical suffering in the world, many people often wonder how they might personally change to find happiness, contentment,…

There Is No Escape From Telling

By the lake’s lapping shore above the town and the railroad tracks, my wife and I stopped and marveled, struck stone silent by two dazzling Baltimore Orioles, clawed together as…

Caught in the Draft ’73

One surmises that the volunteer military system devised after the Vietnam debacle erases what had transpired before. Perhaps we all need to revisit that terrible era, when phony US incursions…

Resisting the forces of fear

Turn, turn any corner Hear, you must hear what the people say You know that somethin' is goin' on around here It surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of…

Nostalgic for the Future

Despite its pedigree as a fundamental element in civilization’s greatest stories, nostalgia has come to be associated with treacly sentimentality, defeatism, and spurious spiritual inclinations.  Homer, Vergil, Dante, the Biblical…

Indore: A Memoir

A memoir is a sort of autobiography. You record only those things that have affected you. You don’t do any research for it, except occasionally to check a date or…

The Houses of Dead and Crooked Souls

“A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability.”      – Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space There is a vast and growing gulf between the…

Lucifer’s Task

The two figures strolled in the most relaxed manner, until they came upon what many up there call ' The Edge of Heaven'.  They stood on the precipice and together…

MOTHER and CHILD

Of all visions accessible on this living Earth, no natural sight is more beautiful that a mother and child.  If the mother and child are human (no matter of what…

The Christmas Tree

Let me tell you, divorce with kids is no fun. In most traditional divorces the dad goes off and the mom keeps the kids. Now, many will say that the…

The India I Loved

kitnaa hai badnasiib zafar dafan ke liye do gaz zamiin bhii na milii kuu-e-yaar men Exiled in Rangoon in the colonial British India, the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar…

Make Mankind Great Again!

“It has often been said that the only thing that could unite mankind was a threat from space.” I read this in Arthur C Clarke’s novel, 2061, Odyssey Three. The…

To Rebel Against Necessity and More

“Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world, which operates on the basis of necessity.  The laws of necessity are as unexceptional as the laws of gravitation. …

God’s Own Fools

These are all very Kolkatan in nature and you really won’t get to see or hear them in any other parts of the country. What? Some years back a national…

Corbett Park Tourism

The India Tourism byline is – Incredible India.  I agree. I encountered it. Here is what happened. In 2015, two dear friends of mine and I decided to go to…

Independence

I’ve come to realize that I don’t conform to ideas of any particular political party, religion, ideology and position in the way that others think the world or people should…

A Serious Flaw of the Decalogue

In my “Putting the Decalogue Under a Microscope” I distinguished between “normative” and “empirical” statements relative to human behaviors.  The latter are factual statements that pertain to either a given…

A Lift From Reality

Diya Barmecha from Mumbai, proving that young minds are capable of thinking equally, if not better than older ones. A stunning essay on the life of a security guard, drawing…

My Clean And Green Village

15 year old Abhipsha Mohanty leads us to this fairytale land of clean skies, green farms, beautiful fragrance in the air and a peaceful life.But all of this for real…

 Late Summer ’70

When you're 20, full of piss and vinegar, you can open up to so much. That was the year, 1970, when dreams seemed so real. This writer had just returned…

Imagine

Did the caveman laugh? Did he have a toothache? The cheering thing for him would have been, he would not have to visit a dentist. Or, is that a cheering…

Eulogy or Elegy?

First the words; Eulogy: a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, especially a tribute to someone who has just died. Elegy: An elegy is a sad poem, usually…

The Dawn

            It’s always darkest right before dawn. In this dark time, which is the most frightening experience for a lot of people, we must find our strength to go on.…

Lesson 3: Life Skill Education

Lockdown Series 5 As lock down moves to 50 days, there is a “new normal’ emerging. Human beings have the amazing and scary capacity to adapt and endure in myriad…

The Weeping Cherry Tree

Jamal Uddin had lived an ordinary and extraordinary life at the same time. His life story is about hard work, determination, and resilience in living the life of an immigrant…

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