Essays & Reviews

Reviews: One Point Two Billion: Stories

“He had fifteen blue silk ties, each a slightly different shade of cerulean.”
It is a simple little sentence, offset nicely with paragraph breaks above and below. It stands by itself. It conjures up an image of a fastidious man, a professional (in this case, a lawyer), careful – even painstakingly so – about things, including his appearance and image. Perhaps a bit of a narcissist. Is he a narcissist ?


ESSAYS: Slow Learner

Thoughts on a sort-of career as a magazine editor. For Seminar magazine


ESSAYS: Chasing Fireflies

About what Punjabis on either side of the international border share (Seminar / April 2012) Pervaiz Elahi, Chief Minister of Pakistani Punjab, gave Capt. Amarinder Singh, his sarhad-paar counterpart, a horse. The good Captain reciprocated a few months later with a tractor. In the interim, a World Punjabi Conference was held, East and West Punjab games announced and a general atmosphere of cordiality and bonhomie prevailed. A reporter asked the Pakistani CM whether he felt he’d been one-upped by the […]


ESSAYS: Control and Aspiration

On my parents’ Delhi, and mine (Seminar / December 2011) OLD Mr Gupta is resolute. ‘Down that road,’ he motions. ‘Past our godown. Jungle.’ I’m sitting in his lumber shop in Bhogal, where he holds court and dispenses advice. The wood is market price. Counsel is free. I am, as are many people in this booming New Delhi, a supplicant at the altar of home improvement. My carpenter Irshad sits beside me as we suck down Guptaji’s tea and memories. […]


ESSAYS: Memory’s Savour

The link between my mother’s memories and my own (The Indian Quarterly (IQ) / January 2015) Eggs.Not just any eggs, but telor balado. A dish of hardboiled eggs served in chilli paste. Served with chicken satay and peanut sauce, a pork dish we called babi kong, a salad of fresh greens and perhaps cucumbers and onions in a sweetish vinegar relish. But always the eggs. That’s how I remember lunch at home, when I was growing up Read more…


ESSAYS: The Road to Mai Jio Ji

A trip back to my family’s village in Punjab (Man’s World India / February 2002 / [Pdf , 395 KB])


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