What’s in a name

Two weeks ago I was peacefully watching TV when the phone rang. It was a 1-800 number. Usually I do not pick up marketing calls. That day I was indulgent. I took the call. "Hello", I put on my booming, deep, scary voice. A female voice spoke back to me in a high...

This business of marriage

As a prank, my friends published a classified ad in the newspaper [That was the eighties!]. The ad gave my skinny profile and postal address under the title, 'Wife wanted'. Over the next couple of weeks, I received many letters. Most said the same thing, "You can take...

Mistress of my soul

On the night of last thanksgiving I woke up at three in the morning with palpitations. My heart was pounding. I was gasping for breath. I could feel the acidity in my mouth. My hands were clammy. There was a thin film of sweat on my forehead. My body was on fire. That...

Holiday blues!

The day I was invited to four Christmas parties may go down in history as the day my weighing scale broke down and cried. That night I stood over OhMy!, the weighing scale in my bathroom, for a long time thinking "should I take its taunt and step up to the challenge?"...

What’s bugging me?

The flu virus! Physically not yet. The quandary began with the onset of the flu season and advertisements that flustered even the most resolute. This constant bombarding triggered the fear factor which I had, over decades, hidden under layers of positive thoughts....

OneWalk for Cancer

On 12th September 2015, I will be taking part in the Shoppers Drug Mart® OneWalk™ to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto. Every day, over 500 Canadians are diagnosed with various forms of cancer. They hear variations of “I am sorry,...

I am sorry, it is cancer

Initially it was a search for answers, trying to find the strength to comfort my wife, and coming to terms with what we thought usually happened to someone else. The earliest signs appeared in October 2014 amidst the packing, booking tickets within the sub-continent,...

Lotteries. A worthy cause!

I feel good today. Hopefully, my contribution of $100 towards the research of a deadly disease will save someone's life. That's the best part. On the other side, research into my lottery buying habits has begun. If an electronic tracker got hold of my life record and...

Thanksgiving

I first heard about Thanksgiving eight years back. Of course, I was familiar with the literal word, but never gave it much thought. What I knew of Thanksgiving till then was in bits of conversation and stories. And, till recently I presumed Thanksgiving was a...

Silver Streak

Summer time. Managers at a popular car franchise wilted under the constant pressure of trying to sell their inventory and promote next year’s stock. After much deliberation they hit upon a plan to target new immigrants. They began scouring the countryside for a...

Kissed by a dolphin

The day started early, a few sunrays before six. The sun peeped, ran an eye over Holguin beach, looked up, parted the curtains of our resort room, and summoned me to the window. Our third-floor room offered a fabulous view of the resort and nature: thick vegetation to...

Oh, Man!

There is no woman in sight. If a man stands in the middle of a forest and says something, is he still wrong? [A quote I borrowed from a speaker in TED.com who in turn took it off a T-shirt which passed him on the street.] The wife is always right. She reminds me every...

Keep that smile!

First thing every morning, I look at myself in the mirror and smile. Then I wash my face, brush my teeth, look at the mirror, and smile again. I can feel the smile spread across my face lighting up my eyes. That warms my heart and prepares me for the day ahead....

Music of the rain

I opened my eyes and saw nothing. First the sounds of rain reached me, then the spray from a water drop. Lightning made the room bright for a blink of an eye. I reached down and pulled the blanket over my head ready for the sound. The deafening thunder made me still...

Freedom at 10

Women think way far ahead. They plan, plot, and gently let their men loose in a maze that resembles their mind! And those pour souls believe they are getting away with ‘It’. It could be anything from an iPad to an unsupervised visit to Costco or Best Buy. These...

An eye for an eye

Pupilary distance. Not the distance between two students in a classroom…what with the rule against students hugging climbing the illegal activities in school charts. Pupilary distance is the distance between the pupils of your eyes. Two weeks after Chitra turned 50,...

This business of marriage

Shortly before I got married, a few of my colleagues put a classified ad in the newspapers. The ad gave my address and family background under the title, ‘Wife wanted’. Over the next couple of weeks, I received a hundred letters. All of them said the same thing,...

99% Canadian

My journey to become Canadian started 15 years ago. I was told Canadians are very nice people. The same person told me, in Canada there are people from all over the world. So, before I reached Canada, I decided to find out about the different forms of greeting people....

Sleep Clinic

What comes to mind when you hear the words, ‘sleep’ or ‘a good night’s sleep’? A cozy bedroom with a high four poster bed. Crisp clean sheets. A pocket coil mattress. A warm duvet pulled up to your chin. Then you turn to your side. Supported by a fluffy...

Breaking the ice

I resemble an ice carving; silent, apparently lacking human emotions. With persistent global warming it would be a matter of time before I melted away without a trace. So I borrowed a page from Barack Obama and decided to “change”; become more human. Make history...

Carrots, anyone?

Chitra is mean. It all started with that stupid carrom board*. One fine evening Chitra and I had the urge to go and eat at Gerrard St. [Indian street downtown]. So, with Parvathiammal [our Tamilian friend who has a strong opinion about everything and everyone] in tow,...

On making dosa

Dosa is another heavenly food item from India - the land of mystery and more recently, outsourcing! The humble dosa originated in Kerala (South India). Dosas are very thin and crisp and is usually the size of a plate. There are bigger chattis which can produce dosas...

Eat my son!

The following account took place in early September. The place: New York, New York. The event: The wedding reception of a dear friend. “Eat, my son. By the time you go back to Toronto, I want you to gain two pounds.” This shocking start to conversation stemmed,...

Home is where the heart is!

I like going home. If possible once every year. My home is far away. Roughly 8,500 miles away, across the Atlantic, past the gulf countries, across the Arabian sea, in a tiny state called Kerala at the southernmost tip of India. Going home is always a memorable event....

Basic rules of driving

Some drivers break rules most of the time; they dismiss road signs, crisscross lane markings, and threaten human beings in other vehicles. Today I will introduce the two basic rules of driving with specific examples, one as a passenger and the other as the driver....

Creative imagination

I read this story and it stayed in my mind. A young teacher was conducting a drawing class for six year olds. At the far end of the class a girl in pig tails sat with her arms around the paper totally engrossed. The teacher asked her what she was drawing. The child...

Tech-no-logic

A dear friend of mine received a new Blackberry. Till then she had a simple flip phone to receive and make calls. When the phone rang, she’d flip it open and start talking. If she had to make a call all she had to do was punch the numbers on the oversized keypad,...

Kathakali

Celestial Dances I - For Arun, the weekend started with Kathakali, followed by nature’s dance in tornado alley, and dancing on the streets in Little India celebrating India’s cricket win. All in one weekend. Kathakali. Arun’s first memory of this story-play from...

The Butterfly Effect

At the bottom of the bridge over Welland Canal, the overhead sign flashed once. “30 minutes to 1 hour wait at the Peace Bridge Crossing.” On cue, butterflies in Arun’s stomach emerged from their cocoons. The first time, Arun and his family crossed the border to...

Don’t take it personally

I was brought up with the habit of sharing. In school there were the textbooks, the bench we sat on, the pencils and erasers, teasing the teachers. At home I had to share the last piece of chicken. As kids we rarely received gifts. On the ethnic new year’s day the...

Peep. Mum’s the word!

The highlight of Chitra’s New York trip was lunch. Hunger pangs dug in when her car entered Holland Tunnel on the way to a rain-soaked Big Apple. Though it was Saturday afternoon, guide and cousin Shalini found a parking spot on Thomson St. She flipped out her...

Breaking the iceberg

I broke the ice in my first speech. Many of us do not see or connect with the iceberg beneath. I am talking about our inner feelings, our subconscious, who we are, and how we become the people we become. These are thoughts that continue to haunt us for most of our...

On making dosa

Dosa is another heavenly food item from India - the land of mystery and more recently, outsourcing! The humble dosa originated in Kerala (South India). Dosas are very thin and crisp and is usually the size of a plate. There are bigger chattis which can produce dosas...
Read More

Basic rules of driving

Some drivers break rules most of the time; they dismiss road signs, crisscross lane markings, and threaten human beings in other vehicles. Today I will introduce the two basic rules of driving with specific examples, one as a passenger and the other as the driver....
Read More

An eye for an eye

Pupilary distance. Not the distance between two students in a classroom…what with the rule against students hugging climbing the illegal activities in school charts. Pupilary distance is the distance between the pupils of your eyes. Two weeks after Chitra turned 50,...
Read More

Sleep Clinic

What comes to mind when you hear the words, ‘sleep’ or ‘a good night’s sleep’? A cozy bedroom with a high four poster bed. Crisp clean sheets. A pocket coil mattress. A warm duvet pulled up to your chin. Then you turn to your side. Supported by a fluffy...
Read More

Home is where the heart is!

I like going home. If possible once every year. My home is far away. Roughly 8,500 miles away, across the Atlantic, past the gulf countries, across the Arabian sea, in a tiny state called Kerala at the southernmost tip of India. Going home is always a memorable event....
Read More
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