Swipe-N-Wipe?

The Internet can solve a lot of problems, but not this one. Spotted this sign in heavy traffic on the stretch between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai proper. Never did spot the facility itself as promised, 100 meters on. Or was that the place where all the cyborgs were lined up, that most human of all … Continue reading Swipe-N-Wipe?

It Rains, It Pours

Tuesday I flew to Delhi, this kitchen knife concealed in my shoulder bag. Security missed the 5-½” blade. Wednesday my phone blew up during a seminar I was conducting with 90 colleagues, a deluge of messages from Mumbai, much of the city underwater, including the 5km stretch between my son’s elementary school and home. A … Continue reading It Rains, It Pours

Ganesh Chaturthi

Today marks the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Witness his creation! Part man, part elephant, Lord Ganesh is made of plaster from the inside out. Finally he's painted and draped in finery. Behold his glory! For the next ten days, he'll be paraded through the streets of Mumbai to be immersed into the Arabian Sea. Happy Ganesh … Continue reading Ganesh Chaturthi

Rain

The monsoon retains a grip on Mumbai. Heavy storms blow in today, sideways, slashing bellows of water from the sky. Socked in on the 14th floor, we overlook only mist and cloud, the teeming city obscured. Twenty-five million people hunker beneath this umbrella of rain. Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain storms … Continue reading Rain

Death Star

We call this project the Death Star. The Death Star is going up across from my flat. Just outside our bedroom window, as a matter of fact. Here's an eyewitness account of how they build the Death Star: After fielding an unusual duty call at midnight last night, I returned to bed at 01:00, badly … Continue reading Death Star

Mumbai Halloween Posse

Posin' not posers, trick-o-treaters for life! Copper, Pirate, Scoundrel... Jolly Rancher. No candy? Step back!         ##

Ozymandias and the Alter Ego

Dunking Ganpati into the sea is all about dissolution (more). Even so, witnessing his mortal remains embedded in the mud tonight brought to mind the enormous ego of past Lords: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, … Continue reading Ozymandias and the Alter Ego

Ganpati Visarjan

Toward sunset ahead of a near-full moon, the tide far out on the Arabian Sea, Ganpati marches shoreward. Carried through the streets on trucks surrounded by throbbing drums, hoisted at the beachhead on a multitude of shoulders, carted across the sand to the edge, then towed, bobbing on the waves, by Zodiac. Ganpati topples into … Continue reading Ganpati Visarjan

Mumbai Standstill

Who owns this day? This town? Nobody. The rains come across the bay, halt awhile, move along. They leave behind a soaked humanity, anonymous. The brightest among us are alien. Forbidding.         ##  

Writing for Children

HarperCollins India, Avid Learning, and Mumbai children's book promoter Lubaina Tyebji Bandukwala put together an informative workshop on writing children's literature this weekend. As I begin the search for a home to publish my own middle grade novels, I thought I'd confirm my take on the genre with people who actually know what they're talking about. A … Continue reading Writing for Children