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Mumbai - 2025

Mumbai - 2025
I am wandering through the lanes of my place of birth, Dadar, getting nostalgic about the days gone by. Hindu colony and my school, IES... Nearby are the iconic colleges, Ruia and Poddar. The main road in Hindu colony, running parallel to the now defunct railway line, was once lined with huge rain trees... Alas! These trees died off due to some life consuming meallybugs, some 15-20 years back...around 2005-2015. During my school days and upto 2005, these trees were the cause of envy of my friends, who were not lucky enough to stay in Hindu colony... So many birds species, from the common crow to the pretty parrots, had their home in these very trees. Lots of squirrels bounded along from one branch to another and from one tree to another, chirruping along with gay abondon. During my childhood, I remember a few monkeys too, in these very trees. Especially from 2010 onwards and by 2020, must of these gentle giants were reduced to stumps... Turned into canvasses for the art…

Boris Becker

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It was a game of tennis like nobody had seen before. The flamboyant German teenager was dominating the play like no one else before him. His opponent was an American, whose countrymen had dominated the Championship for many years in the past. After all, the American had defeated two other American Champions, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, to reach the finals. The teenager’s serves boomed across the stadium, such was the strength he exhibited. Soon he had ran away with the first set, winning it comfortably, 6 games to three. But then the American showed just why his countrymen had dominated the sport for so long as he came back strongly in the second set, winning it, 7 games to 6. But still, the teenager had run him close. The teenager was young but he played mental games with his opponent, as he sent hostile stares to him, before and after points. And the moment arrived, which changed the entire tenor of the match. The American was leading 3-2, when he sent down an unplayable cross …

The Mind Readers

Research says “Women are very good at mind reading”. I am surprised this required research at all. After all, it is such a common occurrence, why waste money on research. Any husband will tell you how his wife reads his mind perfectly.
But why should I write about other people. I will share my own experiences.
Starting with an innocuous but regular occurrence, whenever I take up some extra domestic work, that too on a weekend, my wife reads my mind with mind boggling accuracy, “Which cricket/football match on TV today?”. I used to be surprised in the beginning, but now I am used to it.
Returning home with my wife, the slightest of slowing down of the car, is detected on the radar of my wife's brain. “You should not buy beer today, today is so and so festival”. Wow! How does she do it. In the time spent together so far, I have now come to know of the unknown festivals of India, which she uses to deny me my single can of beer. I may be having it only once in two-three weeks but for…

The Extortionist

Sam runs a big ticket extortion racket along with his other clan members. And the victims are usually tourists. Tourists who like to move around with all their valuables and useful things everywhere. In this SouthEast Asian country, Sam is king. The country has a lot of tourism attractions to attract tourists to explore the natural beauty as well as great ancient heritage places. No wonder the tourists flock to its shores.
But in the good old times, it was never like this. The tourists came then too, enjoyed their stay to the fullest, visiting the verdant sunny beaches, the beautiful eye catching temples and experiencing the rich culture of the island nation. And these tourists enjoyed feeding their simian cousins as an added attraction. For many years, it was a routine during the peak holiday season, year after year. Then things started changing.
The change of the millennium brought about many changes for the human species. Their lives became faster, their machines became smarter an…

Brush strokes of God

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Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking!! A dreaded word indeed. A prominent Indian Star says he would like to learn how to multi-task from his steady girlfriend of many years, and one of the top stars today. But alas! He doesn't know that he is not wired for it. And no other male of the same species is. After all there is some chemical ‘locha’ which was programmed by the ‘Vidhata’, when the male was created. After all, the male was an experiment of the Lord which was then improved upon drastically, when he created a female. And then there were millions of years of evolution, during which time the chores taken up by the male and female of the human species, reinforced and reiterated, what characteristics are being shown by them now.
From times pre-historic, the man took up the role of a provider. For this role, he had to go into deep jungle, with the weapons he developed, to hunt and kill animals for his and his family’s daily food. Since the animals were more better endowed in terms of strength, speed an…

The dabaang girls

The dabaang girls


The neighbourhood toughie is known as a Bhai in Bharat. I don't know why or how this nomenclature came about. After all, why should a bad boy be addressed by terms of endearment. To put it simply, ‘bhai’ means brother. But here is my theory. When the neighbourhood people were disturbed by the antics of the toughie, and desired to be left alone, they started addressing him as a bhai, just to get into his good books, that is, if he had any. They hoped that by calling him a ‘bhai’, his filial feelings were woken up, and directed towards them. It also was an attempt to massage the ego of the tough one.
Nowadays, the neighbourhood girls are giving the neighbourhood bhai’s a run for their money. Or so it seems, going by three small news articles in the corner of the inner pages of this week’s newspapers. One was in Kanpur and the other one, in Pune and the last one, in Kerala.
The city of Kanpur. The Khamaria household is happy and celebrating the long drawn out marri…

Dapoli

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Dapoli
My first visit to Dapoli was about 6 years after my marriage. It so happens that my wife’s native place is near Dapoli, due to which our visits started.  Dapoli is in Ratnagiri district which lies in Kokan area of Maharashtra. As most of you are aware, the Kokan is one of the most picturesque places in Maharashtra, blessed as it is, with miles of  beaches, greenery of the top order, and an undulating landscape. Dapoli is known as the Mahabaleshwar of the Kokan, since it is blessed with a mild climate and situated at a height. It was very popular with the British, who had their army camp here. Let's go on a tour of Dapoli and the surrounding towns and places of interest. Join me!

Let's go in the same order as I visited them. The first town is the beach facing, Murud. Please note that this Murud is different from Murud-Janjira. We had stayed in one of the beach facing resorts where the waves almost lap at your legs. If you want to spend your holidays lazing at the beach,…