Finlandia – Glacier Bottled

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Can you stand long months without a sun, with the temperature dipping below minus 30, with every vista out there laminated by an unnatural sheen thrown in by auroras, those fluorescent solar waves peculiar to polar skies, followed by long months without any hope of a pitch dark night when we could slough off our worries and bitterness gathered over a day, leap into cozy beds, and gravitate slowly down into the cushy bosom of slumber? In short, can you live in Finland? … Continue reading

Beefeaters of Kerala

holycow

The cows and incidents depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to real cows alive or dead is purely coincidental and not intentional. I regarded her face again, and then slowly, without giving her any clue, walked across the meadow to steal a look at her from the other side. Sleepy eyes. Large ears. Long muzzle with nostrils flared. She stood there re-chewing the cud from last day’s meal she very thoughtfully stashed away in her rumen. ‘Amme’, I called her … Continue reading

Why I Never Became a Poet After My Father

poet reading

Why don’t you write poems, sir? You write well. Whenever people ask me, I clear my throat, look away and pipe the easy answer: I have good friends as poets – Sabin Iqbal, Arun Prasad, Ajayaghosh sir, Babitha Justin, Meera Nair etc. Can’t write a line without cadging a few fans off them. I don’t like to spoil relationships, you know eh? “So you never wrote poems in your life?” My student asks. “Are you Pradeep? You come from him?” I … Continue reading

Nectar of the Gods – Ice Wine

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The long wait that began from autumn finally comes to an end. Amidst all apprehensions, the temperature finally hits -8 degree Celsius at night. The men sigh, rise from their benches, emerge out of the building and begin to shuffle unhurriedly towards the vineyard along an earth now plastered in thick wads of December snow. The vineyard covered in net – to dissuade the birds of autumn to dip their beaks into grapes – is buffed to an ethereal white … Continue reading