Those were the days my friend

You know your age has passed the half¬way house and it is all downhill from now on when: People tell you to take it easy, slow down, you are not getting any younger, lean back a bit - and you hate them for saying it. Everyone has advic

Breast cancer and reproductive rights

Research across the globe on the risk factors that cause breast cancer has noted lifestyle as the key explanation. WHO also recognises that increasing urbanisation and adoption of western lifestyle contribute to the increasing incidence of breast

How RTI amendment bill was stopped

It is indeed “Sweet September” for an enthusiast of Right to Information. The struggle and sustained advocacy paid off when the government decided to refer the RTI amendment bill to the parliamentary standing committee on personal, pub

India`s rupee woes and the governance deficit

The free fall that the rupee experienced in the last couple of months spooked the markets, the investors and the government. The government constantly kept assuring the markets that it was only an aberration but the reality is different. It defini

In NY, another Indo-Pak talk therapy

September 29 marks another day in the ‘frosty’ Indo-Pak relations. Frosty, in fact, has been the state of the weather on both the line of control (LoC) and the line of communication, despite the change of venues over the years (primari

An officer and a writer: beyond mundane bureaucratic notes

Shubha Sarma, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, is inspired by Tolstoy, Chekov, O Henry and Indian literary greats like Premchand and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Like these literary greats, Sarma has woven compelling narrative of sh

A week soaked in blood and gore

This week the sun went down and the night came riding in. The world went crazy. Madmen attacked a US naval base in the capital. Terrorists from Somalia mowed down nearly 70 people in a Nairobi mall even as crack troops prepared to launch an attack

World Gratitude Day? Er, come again?

Today is World Gratitude day. Seriously, I kid you not. Bet you had no idea. And why should we seeing as how we are generally so ungrateful and while we keep rabbiting on about counting our blessings we never really do that…until things go

Birthday of a leader

I am on a visit to Singapore. September 16 was the 90th birthday of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, considered the Founding Father of Singapore. He was the first prime minister when Singapore became independent in 1965 and stepped down in 1994, making way for yo

All you wanted to know about Syria - and some more

As portentous war clouds loom over the Arab belt, as global markets tumble on febrile fears over petroleum and as a sweaty world sits at the precipice of yet another potential calamity, in the US of A many sensitive and sensible folks must be rack

Indians miss the point about Miss America: She`s not us!

What’s the big fuss about? An American has won the Miss America title. So good. I am happy for Nina Davuluri whose first statement on being crowned was, “I am an American.” Right on, lady, you are. So why are all t

Dear Miss America, no offences but little reason to blame Bollywood if it doesn`t want to cast you

By becoming Miss America, Nina Davuluri, an American woman of Indian descent and who wants to ostensibly become a cardiologist, has inadvertently set a thousand tongues and twitter handles rolling, and set the media – both the social and pre

Muzaffarnagar riots: is state passing buck by blaming social media?

Is social media responsible for aggravating communal tension in Muzaffarnagar, leading to killing of over 50 people? If you go by the opinion of the state government, the answer is an unambiguous ‘yes’. Though this was t

How Tripura became India`s top literate state

On September 8, Tripura’s unassuming chief minister Manik Sarkar announced that the tiny northeast Indian state is India’s most literate state. At 94.65 percent (based on final assessments by all districts), literacy r

Pandianaattu Pulav!

Recently there was a ‘Festival of Madurai Cuisine’ at a swanky hotel here in Chennai, and as a Madurai person myself my first reaction was one of immense happiness, primarily over the fact that someone had managed to put Madurai and cu

10 steps needed to revive growth

On August 31, Dollar-Rupee and Pound- Rupee parity were 66.6 and 103.3 respectively. In between the rupee reached 68.85 against the dollar necessitating RBI intervention. Since May 22 when the US hinted at tightening liquidity, the rupee has depre

Bhatkal arrest and conspiracy theories

As news channels and online services flashed the news ‘Yasin Bhatkal arrested’ early Thursday (Aug 29) morning, there were murmurs of excitement in quite a few war rooms across the country, it is learnt. By afternoon, as

Erm, did we nab the right rapists?

Okay, you are smarter than I am so you tell me. Why do the Indian police always hold hands with the suspects after arresting them? You often get this picture of five cops holding a palm and a shoulder or an arm and an elbow and then

Mumbai, please don`t ever change!

I moved back to Delhi after a two-year stay in Mumbai in 2010. In two years, the city broke many myths for me which I had begun to believe as hard truths while growing up in Lucknow and then studying and working in Delhi. The first one was that wo

Mamata sees allergy in red but doesn`t green denote jealousy?

Move aside ‘Mirakkel’. You are no competition to Mamata Banerjee’s whole new range of comedy series. Gone are the days of stand-up comedians with their prepared acts. As Mamata-didi plays out her fears and insecurities as chief m


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