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It’s easy to ask for a war, but whose loss is it ultimately? Life or a War Widow (Forces India cover story)

went inside and started putting things in order when someone rang the bell and a stream of people started coming in. I still didn’t have a clue and kept smiling to myself, now sure of the good news I was going to get.

Then two ladies made me sit on the sofa and then sitting on either side of me, they held my shoulder and asked me when I last spoke to my husband. I told them it was two days ago and he had told me he was going to some jungles. I was going on and on proudly about how he had caught militants a few days back. And then they said, listen, your husband is no more. Continue reading »

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My gypsy life as an Army brat

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Women who rock the boat without a care (Mint Lounge)

Love In The Time Of Affluenza is a story about an ostensibly happily married woman belonging to the upper crust of Mumbai society, who discovers to her horror that her best friend is having an affair. She expects the very worst, and in a way wants the very worst for her, but when it happens, the outcome is far from what she expected. Continue reading »

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When everything is a story (HT Brunch)

But my most pleasing discovery during the lockdown has been my ability to sit still without the distraction of a book, a child, a dog or the phone for longer than I thought possible. What’s more, I can hear inanimate things speak to me and take me on exciting journeys without having to leave the couch. In other words, I have become the old woman I was meant to be one day in the distant future, the sort that hates domestic chores preferring instead, to sit around all day smiling to herself. This I can tell you isn’t a bad experience, especially given the circumstances and in the knowledge that one-day when the confinement ends, my precious youth (read midlife) will be returned to me. Continue reading »

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My love letter to Mumbai (The Quint)

The city of Siddhivinayak, the land of Mumbra Devi, our beloved mothership, your keepers should have kept you better, for you cannot get by on faith alone. That beautiful vinyl that has been used to hide all your ugliness behind it has but come apart. And what lies beneath is the debris of fear and hopelessness.

In your slums, where life thrived against all odds, there is nothing but heartbreak today. COVID-19 may be contained in your various zones, but neglect and disparity that have grown in your womb since the day you were born, who can contain that?
We, who have looked away from those blue plastic thatched roofs of your slums every time our planes have touched down, we are scared for our lives today because we had forgotten that the lives of those dwelling inside those shanties inevitably bleed into ours. We had overlooked the fact that when those who live on the margins die, we die as well.

Continue reading »

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Coronavirus outbreak has ruined my appetite for dystopian stories (article in The Quint)

While good dystopian fiction reflects some truth about our world, the reason we find it engaging is that we know that there is only a slim chance of it ever becoming a reality. Since the past few weeks, however, all of it seems like a cautionary tale that we should have paid heed to.

As early as 1826, Mary Shelly wrote about a global pandemic in her novel The Last Man. The plague that devours nearly all of the human population in her book is assisted by human nature and the politics of the British aristocracy in its spread. Continue reading »

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“Patriarchy is not just men versus women, but also women versus women”

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On watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (or watching Americans weeping over clothes) [published in the Quint – January 24th, 2019]

I would find it easy to follow her methods – if she didn’t insist that I communicate with my house while tidying up.:

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The new mid-life crisis and how I came to accept it. (HT Brunch, January 27, 2019)

At first the prospect of being an old lady did not seem terribly daunting to me, perhaps because of how distant it seemed. In my mind, old age was grace and beauty and calm sunsets (think Maharani Gayatri Devi, think Waheeda Rehman). And given that the only thing worse than being old was dying, and death was always a very likely possibility for the elderly, it all seemed like a decent deal as long as one wasn’t infirm.

So here I was, thinking of life as something where you went from being young for a reasonably long period to being like Dame Judi Dench overnight, blithely oblivious of the transitional, somewhat hideous, and protracted interval of mid-life in between. Continue reading »

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Open letter to PETA from a dog

I am a five-year-old dog, reaching out to you because I believe my human is a murderess. Continue reading »

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