The Readers Digest

When I look back over the years, some of the most memorable gifts that my brother and I have received were the annual subscriptions to Readers Digest.  These were gifts from our uncle Vijumam and they extended for probably a period of 5 years in the mid to late...

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Running Blues

It’s May.  The mornings are cool, temperatures are still in the 40s, the air is nippy but the sun shines brightly.  The trees that were gaunt and barren until a few days ago are covered with fresh, bright green leaves.  And there are people jogging on the side of...

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Taco Bell

Taco Bell is the sole surviving fast food joint in the dystopian world of the movie “Demolition Man”.  As much as audiences groaned, I really wouldn’t mind that.  Taco Bell holds a special place in my heart.  Due to a quirk, I did not receive my I-20 from Clemson...

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Jallianwala Bagh

It’s April 13, 1919. It is the festival of Baisakhi, a harvest festival in Punjab celebrated by people of all faiths. You are perhaps a Sikh farmer from the hinterlands of Punjab and you have come to Amritsar to visit the Harmandar Sahib. Your visit to the holy site...

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The Children’s Encyclopedia

If I was to conduct a census of the population of books residing in our cupboard in the late seventies and early eighties, I would find an interesting mix of books.  There were a few permanent residents, chiefly books that we had bought or had been gifted.  A few...

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The Ties that Bind

On my recent trip home, a good friend of mine who was a classmate in high school presented me with a necktie.  This was no ordinary tie, it was the tie that we wore on special occasions when I was in high school.  In keeping with my school’s colors,...

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The Lonely Mughal

As a subject in high school, History was a seemingly limitless study of various dynasties of yore.  The lessons focussed largely on dates of events, conquests, administrative reforms and either largesses or depredations of the ruler in question.  The Mughal dynasty, given its prominence, spanned a few chapters.  Akbar enjoyed...

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Coming to America – Part 3

Hari was at the station to pick me up.  Wait there were three others.  Brief, quick introductions – Bipin, Vish and Manish.  Bipin and Hari, my new roommates, walked home in the rain, while I settled myself at the rear of Manish’s 2 door sedan with my luggage.  A...

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Nagraj

We were introduced by a mutual friend in the bus on my way to school.  I was probably in 8th grade and the boy introduced to me shook hands with a firm handshake.  He was alert, fit and the corners of his mouth appeared as if they would break...

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Coming to America – Part 2

“There are a few things to remember in this country”, said my cousin.  We were walking along the banks of the Mississippi.  I had risen in the morning, the effects of jet lag if any, didn’t show on me.  We had an omelet for brunch.  The onion, that I sliced,...

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