Rituals at Lajpat Nagar

Central Market

*Picture from http://im.hunt.in/

It was a ritual of sorts. They couldn’t return from Lajpat Nagar without a chocolate ice-cream and a pair of earrings. “How many earrings does your shop now have?” Onlookers and neighbours who came to visit them would often ask, putting on mock-serious faces. That was when she decided to keep an inventory though nothing could tempt her to let her possessions out on rent.

Continue reading


Counting Sparrows

She wondered what had made her laugh in the picture taken at India Gate, no less than ten years ago. She had visited more recently than that but then, the newest trend which she had failed to catch on to was selfies. He no longer bothered to click pictures of her. He no longer bothered to come along, really.

At a stone’s throw from India Gate was Children’s Park. This was where their son had got his first bruise. He wore a Band-Aid over the wound very proudly for a week, after which she had to cajole him with a chocolate to get rid of it. Like the other happy families, they would snack on sugar candies and sweetcorn on Sunday evenings at the park. Once, when their six-year old had fallen asleep in the car afterward, he held her close and kissed her.

Continue reading

The Sharmas in Karol Bagh

Roshan Di Kulfi

It was a white, wintry day. Mr Sharma and his wife stood outside Roshan Di Kulfi – the old, Karol Bagh restaurant – waiting for a table. They looked enviously at a group of college children, busy eating with plates in their hands. There was a time when Mr Sharma too could eat while standing. He would come along to the restaurant with his wife, then girlfriend, and order two plates of papdi chaat. It had come as a pleasant surprise the first time they visited, the fact that the place also served food other than kulfi. Now, however, his hands shook too much. Worse still in Delhi’s biting winter.

Continue reading

P&P Comes to Delhi


Pune is going through an especially scorching and unusually early summer. The mercury has been soaring; the cold-drink vendors have been doing roaring trade. The sun is beating down on the city like never before and if not for the calendar, you wouldn’t believe April only started. It is this city of her many wonders that I left behind yesterday. Yes, all over again.

Continue reading

Time for us to sing a new song

Saddi Delhi is moving

The streetlights are at work outside. They were recently put to task by authorities we had called and called until they gave in. And now what with their yellow glow against the darkening Delhi sky, it is quite a loaded picture. You know what I mean?

People are rushing home to waiting mothers, wives and children (oh, in no order of priority) and listening to Radio City. Some people have – what do you call them, woofers? – and the music blares. “Ek doosre ko hum sone na de.”* Considering the amount of noise, that, anyhow, is guaranteed.

Continue reading

Top Five Reasons I Miss Home

What do you call that feeling which makes you want to go back to that roseate, colourful time in your past when all things seemed big, bright and beautiful? It’s the same feeling which lends to old Eastman coloured photographs the inimitable charm that nothing can come close to equaling – just the right miscellany  in the magic saucer that makes those skies in the snapshots seem the loveliest shade of blue and the laughter on the faces the cheeriest in an eon.

Missing’ XYZ would be putting it too blandly for missing denotes something you did in the past and doing it again will nullify the void. But what I am feeling at the moment is a strange dizzy making yet pleasant plethora of emotions – a longing to watch the sun set on my terrace back home with exactly the same shades of yellow and orange as it did back when I was in standard Fifth and went up to the terrace in the evening to play Badminton with Mom. The shades would often acquire a deeper tint of carmine when I would stride up and down and fret about this mean old girl in school who thought she was the deer’s horn and the cat’s whiskers as well. But I digress.

To put some order to the pell mell my mind today is, let me enumerate the top ten reasons I, err, miss home this morning.

Continue reading

Of squabbles that stay and Delhi-less days

As I walked to office this morning, crossing the pebble laden lane that leads to the building, I was suddenly struck with the monotone life seems to have assumed. A long day at work and a subsequent return home – or ‘room’, with no one to go back to and the surety of the next day being much the same… sometimes it gets to you. In a new city, where the only people you know and talk to are your colleagues at work, it can get horribly lonely if there’s the slightest dent to those equations. A spat with someone, some bitter words, a handful of unexplained reactions and there, you have your spirits condemned to living hell. Pune, no matter how complete and pleasing a city, doesn’t offer me the solace that Delhi did. If I have to hear ‘Punneee ka Radio City… 91.1!” once more today, I am sure I will burst into tears.

Continue reading