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Freekick: The Day My Wife Almost Divorced Me

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“Manu chetta, please sit!” “What?” “Please sit down.” “What’s the matter?” I sat on the other end of the bed, facing my wife (I kept that distance, because I had a sudden hunch something was coming). “Please tell me the truth. Why did you go to Ponmudi with your friends, last Wednesday?” Hell! For a moment, I didn’t understand anything. An interrogation of any sort is not usual at my home. We folks trust each other, and she knows how … Continue reading

Personal Essay: Trips to Childhood

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Surreal pictures, reports from parents, voices from the dark, smells that singe, and touches that soothe — someday you saw a pattern, connected the dots and carved out a childhood from them. Once you decide to believe a story the first thing you do is to sweep the broken links and white bones that jut out under the carpet. You did it smoothly. A kiss here, a pat there, the aroma of vermilion mixed with Cuticura of my mother’s face, … Continue reading

The Legend of the Green Fairy

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First published in ‘The Economic Times.’ It is a storm that the high court of Kerala has kicked up recently when it observed why the government should consider banning toddy, a traditional beverage of the state, given the kind of spurious liquor that flows galore by its name. Can a drink be wiped off with the swish of a wand? Have we ever witch-hunted any other drink like this before? That Green Fairy A pair of green eyes peers us … Continue reading

A rendezvous with a Kovilakam

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Suddenly I want to know how my daughter reacts to this, how skewed the corner of her mouth is, and how dark her cheeks have turned into. I turn and find that I was wrong. Instead of the customary sullenness I catch an eager light flashing across her wide eyes. Must do something. I call her by my side just to bail myself out from an inevitable tragedy. “You don’t understand. This will take quite some time. You’d be bored … Continue reading