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sarees tell stories

in a pink nylon saree

it was my maternal uncle’s wedding. may 1966. i was six, my cousins between four and ten. we were five of us girls i think. we were all going to attend the wedding in calcutta and then go to delhi for the reception. my grandmother, always generous, fun, a bit over the top as grandmothers really ought to be, decided to get nearly identical lehengas and sarees made for us. the lehengas were in red silk with green cholis and…

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Espresso Shots

the decision

they started cutting the house the day after holi, so that they could finish before the monsoon came. she sat on her bed, legs crossed, staring at the zigzag of blue and dull pink on the fading green counterpane, almost meditative, as she heard the workers arrive. it was two minutes after nine. usually in calcutta, nothing happened on time. bini babu left for work at ten thirty every day, his office started at nine thirty. the cook rarely entered…

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Construction to Conservation

construction to conservation

“Once you are a civil engineer, you start seeing the world differently!” I read this quote on somebody’s t-shirt during my college days. I am a B.Tech in Civil Engineering and I still remember how I used to admire……. the winding roads laid out across the most challenging of terrains, the precision with which flyovers were aligned amongst the busiest of cities, the strength of the bearings that withstood the load on these grand bridges, the complex architecture of high-rise…

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road to singapore

time travel off hyderabad road

why is hyderabad road called hyderabad road? i couldn’t crack the puzzle. once upon a time, long long ago, that insanely rich man called the nizam of hyderabad may have owned property here… or he may not have. there is some mention of this in a newspaper – the hindu, published in india – from many years ago (net digs can bring up all sorts of things). anyway, i am not at all sure as to why the name of…

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Learning Tamil… Konjim konjim…

learning tamil

Taxi driver – “Engay, madam?” Me and my colleagues (not having a clue of what he just said) – “Bhaiya, we want to go to RS Puram, Forest College.” Taxi driver – “Aww-pposite GCT, madam?” Me – “RS Puram, bhaiya… State Forest College!” Taxi driver – “Wo-kay wo-kay, madam… wo-kay!” Join Writersbrew guest writer Yangchen Bhutia as she and her friends learn Tamil.. konjim konjim.. This was the first interaction we had with any “Anna”… well, we did not know we had to…

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Espresso Shots Now Brewing

a winter afternoon : a story

she stood on the third floor balcony, looking out at nothing actually. it was a bright day, there was a faint chill in the air even though everyone said winter was over. anyway, winter this year had not been that cold, she thought distractedly, although shurjo had as always worn his wool cap from the first day of november. every year, sometime in the middle of october, he pulled out his two balaclavas and had them washed. one was dull…

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sarees tell stories

patola dreams

the edges of the patterns are slightly blurred, the colours are shimmering, the silk flows. i am holding this darkly lovely saree at a boutique in bombay and quietly falling in love. the fabric is soft as it falls languidly to the floor, the base is black with a mesh of yellow and magenta and purple and red and on it, the borders are ganga jamna… one red, the other magenta, not too wide, not too narrow. everything about the…

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road to singapore

what’s that in the water… kranji way

have you ever stood at a beautiful spot, bright, calm, and scenic, feathery clouds drifting in a clear blue sky, waters rippling by, the green of the grass pure and lush, and then felt it all go absolutely eerie? can’t say exactly at what point it hit me, but as i looked at the lone man fishing out there, and my eyes followed the even waters of the johor straits all the way to malaysia on the other side, as…

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Espresso Shots

I just choose not to… : A Short Story

I just choose not to intellectual conversation short story

They sat on the uncomfortable high chairs in the sprawling lobby of a busy downtown building. They didn’t notice the men in suits of varying shades of grey in even more varying price range walk by. Their eyes were focused on the printouts spread out on the table. Meeting rooms got suffocating after a certain point in the day. They often moved to the noisy chaotic lobby and defying all logic managed to concentrate on work. Problem-solving. They were the…

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That howling sound – When Vardah struck Chennai

It has been ten days since the Cyclone Vardah ravaged the city of Chennai and its surroundings, but the howling sound that it came with, still resounds in many an ear. Chennai had been having less than normal rainfall this year, the year of 2016. Unlike last year when there were excessive rains, even causing floods; this year it had been the opposite. From mid October to December, Chennai usually gets rains from the North East monsoon winds. Sometimes, cyclones…

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