Personal


The Final Argument Personal

As a 14-year-old it was beyond me as to why my father wanted my presence when Kailash — a drunkard rickshaw-puller employed for small chores at the hotel owned and run by my father for better part of his life — requested my father to talk his daughter into abandoning her abusive husband for good. Even today I can only speculate, for I never asked...

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Starline Cricket Club – III: The Team Personal

Finally, the Paper Team comes of age Our desire to give our best stemmed from no grand sense of duty or purpose, but simply from there being no option. The truth was that we were bad players and while the good players could play for any team, we could play only for ‘our’ team. It was this shutting out that bound us together. All outcasts...

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Starline Cricket Club – II: The Code Personal

The new 12-year-old Captain was all set to lead a team that had neither been ‘led’ before, nor had the concept of being led. Every single player in the team knew what each one of them was supposed to do, and they did it automatically without even looking at the Captain. Who bowled the first five overs, who came in after that, who bowled the...

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Children play cricket near the Wagah border crossing with India, near Lahore, in Pakistan, where the English cricket team paid a visit, 6 December 2005. REUTERS/ Jason O'Brien. Personal

We were an odd bunch of children in seventh or eighth standard playing cricket in a small, triangular park with no walls amidst small houses in a government colony. What the people living in those small houses did not know was that these children had a written Code of Conduct drafted by one of them – a 13-year-old kid. And that they followed the Code...

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Why Serial Killers Interest Me Crime File / Personal

“Why do you write about serial killers?” The question has been put to me in various ways by more than a handful people, colleagues and non-colleagues. What surprises me is that ‘serial killers’ is just one of the many, many other subjects that I write and have written about, yet it comes up for a fleeting discussion every now and then. I wonder why. Why...

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Eroding Trust, Rising Anger Personal

The best thing about the newspapers is that they look fresh and new every morning without fail. May be that’s why they are called ‘newspapers’. But on that front I was a bit disappointed when I visited my hometown – Kanpur – this time after an interval of two months. The newspapers looked and read remarkably similar to what they looked and read like two...

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From Bus Conductor to Civil Judge: The Arrival* Personal

And there I was – an undergraduate teenager – amidst a group of 6 or 7 Civil Services aspirants, around 5 of which aspired for PCS (Judicial). Mishra Bhaiya was among the senior-most in the group, my senior by 8 or 9 years. We three – I, Mishra Bhaiya and Pushpendra Bhaisaab – shared a flat. The others also lived in close vicinity. Being amidst...

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From Bus Conductor to Civil Judge: The beginning* Personal

More than old, it was old-fashioned, that old chair. It remains fixed in my mind perhaps because despite not being all that strong, it radiated stability, longevity and relentless perseverance. It, in many ways, reflected the character of the man who sat in it. Like the chair, he was astonishingly simple and poised. But chairs are not methodical, focused or determined; he was. However, that...

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Gujarat 2002: The Unforgettable Personal / Philosophy / Politics

Let me start off by admitting that no matter how hard I try I just can’t forget Gujarat 2002. No, I was not personally affected by the pogrom; not even remotely. And, no, I am not a Muslim behind a Hindu pseudonym, in case you are wondering. I am a normal Indian. An average Indian who believes in simple things, and has simple – almost...

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The ‘Idiotic’ Method Personal

“Sir, some of the students ask useless questions and waste time.” “Sir, it was difficult to follow.” These are some of the statements that I invariably get to hear after my first lecture to nearly every batch. Of course, there have been many who found the first lecture ‘very interesting’ and ‘very different’. And then, there have also been students who felt that nothing ‘useful’...

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