The Mighty Nightie

Every time a lockdown is announced, I am reminded how truly a nightie is woman’s best friend. If you are one of those calorie-deficited bodies in skimpy PJs, let me give you a crash course on what a nightie is. It is a loose garment that is worn in the house. It is, sometimes, large enough to be...

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A Familiar PTM Pattern

1. Woman with mismatched scrunchie will speak the most.

2. Man from IT company will use jargon. He will ask for 'succession plans' and 'bench-strength' for Math teachers.

3. He will be told by the management that there aren't any Math teachers available even for a stool, leave alone a bench.

4. Mismatched scrunchie will start speaking again.

5. Engineer dad will ask for more Maths periods.

6. HR mom will ask for constructive feedback to kids.

7. I will be snoring softly.

8. One timid dad will have a hand raised for over 20 minutes.

9. Scrunchie won't let him speak.

10. I will groan, 'someone kill me'

End of Meeting

Security Hacks

On the other hand, there is security, purely for aesthetic purposes. Post 26/11, when the nation was swept with overwhelming respect for black cat commandos, I saw a few at a mall in Lucknow.

Security Hacks

On the other hand, there is security, purely for aesthetic purposes. Post 26/11, when the nation was swept with overwhelming respect for black cat commandos, I saw a few at a mall in Lucknow.

Neta Speak

Intellectuals say that we should keep politics out of social media, away from discussions amongst friends and from workplace discussions. I support that full-heartedly. People discussing politics with wrathful passion, frothing at their mouths, growing horns on their heads, and trawling the net for insults and abuses to make their point are a pain. They should be punished by, forcibly, being made to join Rakhi Sawant’s political party. On the other hand, politicians commenting on laypeople, on happenings they don’t concern is good. (Click the picture above to read more...)

‘Like’ My Page

I also created a Facebook page to market my books. I knew the task wasn’t easy. It is easy to get 200 plus likes on a selfie with hashtags like #justbeingme #tuesdaymusings #innerbeauty #lovinglife. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Roman Revenge

We begin our sightseeing. It’s a demanding task that includes walking a million steps on roads paved with disobedient stones, photobombing a thousand tourists and consuming a hundred miles of spaghetti. (Click the picture above to read more...)

A Chair-ful Note

‘The chair’ is still used as the emblem of authority in the House of Commons in the UK. Closer home, it is also a handy weapon when one gets into an argument over important political matters in the parliament. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Empty Nest

All day. Watching me work. I am not sure what’s going on in his mind. When does he eat or drink? I don’t know. All I know is that he’s my colour-changing Romeo who will always be there. (Click the picture above to read more...)

2018 Waves Goodbye

Howdy, folks! 2018 is ready to leave. It’s not coming back and isn’t leaving behind any forwarding address. Only memories — sweet, joyful, bitter, some salty. Here is a snapshot from a random album that could belong to anybody... (Click the picture above to read more...)

In the Hot Seat

Those uber cool sports bikes that require the rider to lie down on the fuel tank while riding — sprawled over the tank, waist bent at 80 degrees, chin propped up — have always intrigued me. I would always wonder what the seating protocol for the pillion rider was. My mind would proffer several options, each one more bizarre and law-of-Physics-defying, till I actually saw a pillion rider on one such bike. She was sitting upright, her hands clutching the small, curved bar behind her. The rider’s supine position contrasted against her erect one offered a strange picture. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Ouch! It's going to hurt..

Don’t worry, only ant bite’, the dentist kept reassuring me.
I started whimpering. Owww. Owww. Eeee. She had not even removed the syringe from its pack yet. And, when she did poke, it was not that painful. Quite like an ant-bite. I learnt that the anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself. (Click the picture above to read more...)

In revenge mode

If Caesar were betrayed in current times, it would have been via a tweet. And he would have responded by posting a quote on his Facebook wall: ‘It’s amazing how little you know those who you think you know best’. Or, ‘It’s hard to tell who has your back, from who has it long enough just to stab you in it’.

Random people would ‘like’ it, comment on it, without realising that it’s meant, solely, for the eyes of that one newly-turned enemy. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Flower Derangement

The Flower Arrangement competition was announced, catching me off-guard. I must have been doodling the teacher’s face in a sunflower when the techniques were taught — I couldn’t recall any! But, I’ve always had the determination of a cactus. So, I started planning confidently. Err, ten minutes before the school bus arrived on the day of the competition.

‘Vase. Vase. Where are all the vases?’ (Click the picture above to read more...)

Alexa, we need to talk

My friend was alone that weekend, so I decided to pay her a visit. She went to the kitchen to fix a cup of coffee for me. I was sitting on the sofa, soaking in the calming quietude of her beautiful living room, when a hushed, mysterious voice, from somewhere behind me, asked me a question in a softly lingering intonation. I froze. Who was this? She repeated the question and mumbled something else after that. Crumbling like those cakes I bake, I was about to get up to make a dash for the front door when this mystery woman suggested I listen to the song, Roop tera mastana. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Status: Senior

Don’t get me wrong - I love old people. They are adorable. As long as they do age-appropriate stuff like praying, taking long walks, and eating mashed vegetables. I can even live with the early morning throat clearing, which sounds like a bugle call made entirely of phlegm. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Eye can’t afford it

I am turning the deodorant bottle round and round, trying to feel, with my fingertips, where the spray-spout is. That is, after I have bathed with the conditioner and brushed my teeth with hair-removing cream. The big question looms again (in font size 48, so that I can see it) — Do I need glasses? (Click the picture above to read more...)

The revolving resolutions

I know you’ve been running, heaving, panting. Jingle Bells don’t go well with Jiggling Bellies, you and I have realised, earlier this month. We have been trying to get into shape to fit into the clothes purchased 12 months ago, at the last post-Christmas sale. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Game On!

I grew up like most of the billionaires’ kids did. The Gates’ kids didn’t use smartphones till they were in middle school. Zuckerberg’s daughter reads Dr Seuss books and plays outside. Jobs, strictly, restricted the use of gadgets and made sure dinner time was all about conversations. Same to same, I’d say, and watch those Grammar Nazis convulse. But, I won’t. Instead, I’ll take you on a tour of my childhood and the top five games I played. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Heat of the moment

It’s election time, they tell me. But, I don’t think I’ll be able to follow any analysis unless it comes in a tub of ice cream. My days are divided between sticking my head into the refrigerator, or into a fan and looking at clouds up above.  (Click the picture above to read more...)


What about the employment it generates? We have retired cricketers, mostly from Down Under who get good pay-checks and free Fab India kurtas. (Click the picture above to read more...)

M.P. (Missing Person)

Hey, I can spot my representative! He’s on a huge billboard, his benevolent face a big, radiant disc in the centre and several other smaller faces around that, radiating like ray florets of a sunflower. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Fashion without compassion

Fashion — the eternal fountainhead of hope and joy. It has kept women plodding on through phrases of stress, patches of the blues and those cycles of losing and gaining weight. (Click the picture above to read more...)


‘Challenges’ in social media are hugely popular in current times, grabbing our collective eyeballs, leaving none for that wheel-chaired guy who conquered a mountain peak, or the gentleman with the genetically malformed cochlea who won a Grammy. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Jarring notes

Saying it musically has almost always been a foolproof strategy. Whether it’s serenading a beloved, conveying a political agenda, or trying to communicate with aliens, music is the sureshot solution(Click the picture above to read more...)

Saugandh spell

While wading through waist-deep rainwater on a road or while being showered with toxic foam bubbling out of a nearby lake, and on seeing a bridge come crumbling like it were made of semolina, we often ask why the government does not keep its promises. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Touch & Go

As soon the parting of my hair was secured with vermillion, my frequent flights to assorted feet began. It’s a touching story! Literally. All older folk in the family including those who claimed to be younger had to suck it up and fasten pyjama-belts for a bahu-landing. The bahu, in the meantime, had to practise the perfect landing and immediately thereafter, a successful retraction of all gear and preparation for next landing. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Saree State of Affairs

We, women, have two problems — one is that we don’t have enough sarees, and two, we don’t have enough occasions to wear those sarees. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Lost and Found

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there, said Lewis Carol. Our family has taken this quote to the next level. Even when we know where we are going, we tend to take the wrong road. Why? That will need half some research costing half of the Modi-Choksi money, so let’s ignore that question. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Dog without bark

I have a deep sense of compassion for most four-legged creatures, including the squashed frogs that I regularly spot in my community.

Especially, dogs: even a mention of one or a distant spotting makes me break into babyglese. I shower all my love and affection in language neither dog nor man follow. In fact, while growing up, we had a bark-load of dogs: the beautiful lady, the crack-pot terrier, the ever-smiling stray (or, was it just a jaw deformity?), the obese nutcase and, yes, that puppy we stole from our neighbours. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Sultans of offspring

My daughter leaves for college next year. College = Boys. So, I have these long, imaginary interview sessions with imaginary college boys. I begin with pleasantries and polite inquiries. But, those don’t last. The phrases that get shortlisted for the actual conversation are, ‘I will kill you’ (number 1), ‘I will powder your bones’ (number 2) and ‘What’s your father’s number? (tied at number 2). (Click the picture above to read more...)

‘Son’dry Sports

My eleven-year-old brat is a sportsman with a million dreams. The only problem is that he pursues one sport per dream. With that, we are running out of sports commonly known to mankind. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Artistic distress

Since I had long fingers like my artist-uncle, I was proclaimed the artist of the family.  That is when my torturous artistic journey began. As my co-bencher Poonam sketched plump, pretty lotuses, I produced ones that had rickets. Their stems looked like the tendons of unidentifiable road kill (Click the picture above to read more...)

Cold is the shoulder

Bambie hated wearing clothes. She felt so trapped in that dumb velvet jacket. One day, while chasing a rat, her prayers were answered – the buttons got undone – she wriggled out of it and pushed it with her nose towards the neighbour’s fence. Who discovered it the next morning and shrieked, ‘Oh wow... a plush purple velvet damask-print top!’ (Click the picture above to read more...)


Now, the girls had not gone missing. They were JUST fine. They were not to be seen because they were in the malls — it’s the S.A.L.E. 

Dodo Parents: Are we close to extinction?

There are so many poems and songs out there to tell us how amazing parents are. It’s been drilled into us so much that if we, for once, even, fleetingly, think otherwise, we feel more guilty the dog who broke the cookie jar.

Marriage is like a Paani Puri treat.

You dream about it, you drool, you lust. Finally, the time comes. You spot the opportunity. You walk up, the anticipation, the eagerness of a lioness on prowl.

Here are the Holi truths

Every year, I plan (and hope) that I will be the chunar-waali during Holi. I dream of a white salwar kameez, a long, jasmine-adorned plait and a delicate dupatta tucked round my slender waist.

Romeos on the Run

While it has been known as the land of the bhaiyyas, being a brother is hardly on the minds of men. Growing up in Uttar Pradesh meant an unlimited supply of samosas, milch animals and roadside romeos.

Those Civil Lines Girls

Growing up in Allahabad in the 80s meant being in perpetual awe of those Civil Lines girls. They were the pretty ones — with chic haircuts, well-styled clothes and perfect strokes/dabs of kajal and lip gloss.


Festivals are stressful. Buying gifts that are cheap but look expensive. Cleaning the house with the help of ‘Deep Clean’ professional cleaners who clean up beyond their brief.

The Karva Chauth Eve

Bangles. Check. Vermillion. Check. Chunni. Check. Toe ring. Check. Husband. Oh ya, him too…Check.

Glance a few more articles below on “Deccan Herald”

Throw pillows & the catch

Did you know Baba Ramdev has a face cream that can help you get rid of both ‘pimpals’ and ‘rinkals’? Little confused. At what age would one have pimples and wrinkles at the same time? Beats me. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Indeed, a part to play

Life came a full circle when last year, my son bagged a pivotal role in a school play called Circle of Life — he was a tree. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Freedom struggle flashpoint

Every year, I approach Independence Day with a great deal of respect and fear. Respect, for our brave freedom fighters. And fear, at the thought of having to dress up my kids as ‘freedom fighters’, as per the standard I-Day celebration protocol in residential communities. One August 15 morning, I ask my children, “So which freedom fighter do you want to be?” I decide to be democratic in the true spirit of the nation. “Sonia Gandhi!” “Ben Ten!” (Click the picture above to read more...)

Problems by a strand

When God created man, he intended everyone to live peacefully. He tried to ensure people stayed out of each other’s hair by telling them to be nice to each other, not covet wives or steal asses of neighbours. I guess that worked for some time. We danced in the garden of life with childlike abandon. Till Lily noticed that Shirlie’s butt was perkier. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Death by school work

If you have kids, it is understood their school projects are your projects. From CEOs to clerks, all are afflicted with school projects if they are afflicted with kids. And whatever you do, you can never beat other parents whose projects will always be better than yours. When you are bent over, personally licking foliage on to a mini cardboard hut, your little one will inform you: (Click the picture above to read more...)

Here are the Holi truths

Every year, I plan (and hope) that I will be the chunar-waali during Holi. I dream of a white salwar kameez, a long, jasmine-adorned plait and a delicate dupatta tucked round my slender waist. But, year after year, my diet plans fail. And, I have no option but to be Sanjeev Kumar. Or the dholak he plays. (Click the picture above to read more...)

Examination mummies

They are loaded with water bottles, pills, towels and food to feed a small refugee colony.

Dadabhai Naoroji is asking me to solve quadratic equations. Lord Curzon brandishes his sword, threatening me, but Portia reminds him that the ‘quality of mercy is not strained’. I feel like a stone tied to a string being rotated in a circular speed. I pass out before I can figure out the structural formula of ethanoic acid. Yes, it’s board exam time. And, I am a mother. (Click the picture above to read more...)