Opinion | Off the Cuff

  • Wednesday Jul 30

    Retribution and its softer face

    It had been an ‘autorickshaw’ since British times and though Shakespeare Sarani is now called Gownda Veethi, an autorickshaw it has remained

  • Thursday Jul 24

    A slight laundering of reality

    After some years of making do, we found mobile laundrymen surfacing on the road with carts on which a huge iron reposed

  • Tuesday Jul 22

    Life is not life without the World Cup

    I too wanted to stay up the whole night as some of the matches started at an unearthly hour

  • Monday Jul 21

    Home is where the bark is

    Journeys are simple — we leave one place and arrive at another

  • Friday Jul 18

    Will the power run dry?

    Then, somewhere in that blink of an eye of about ten years or so, between the lovely time when a son is a little boy and the startling realisation that the same son is a grown man, the powder ran dry for him

  • Thursday Jul 17

    Driving myself and others crazy

    There is an unbelievable sense of lightness when I jump into a taxi and am taken to my destination without the hassle of trying to be in control

  • Wednesday Jul 16

    The discreet art of snail tossing

    The same people you nod and smile at and exchange a pleasantry or two with on the sidewalk, when crouched low behind their colour bond fences engage in the act of tossing you a snail

  • Tuesday Jul 15

    Not a good idea to fast and then feast

    Fasting is to do more with your soul than your body

  • Monday Jul 14

    ‘Many happy returns of the Saturday’

    I would not forget that Saturday night because every time I needed to turn, I had to nudge him and seek his permission. He also did the same! That is how all of us spent the night

  • Sunday Jul 13

    On being the only one who doesn’t fast

    Perhaps it’s just that one evasive tear that refuses to fall from my eye or that one suppressed supplication that hasn’t yet escaped my lips that will make this Ramadan even better than the last

  • Saturday Jul 12

    What the Dickinson!

    For a second, I imagined the ghost of Emily Dickinson crying out on stage with a single spotlight trained on her eyes

  • Friday Jul 11

    Not the kind of summer we are used to

    Even rustling up our meals, the biggest bugbear of our Indian summers, seemed like child’s play in Dubai’s conditions

  • Thursday Jul 10

    Feeling the pinch but putting one’s best foot forward

    These adornment for the feet can also be used as missiles to express disgust at someone’s policies or behaviour

  • Wednesday Jul 9

    Is there sense in anticipating a moment?

    You give up so you can get; then you get and you find in the process what you’ve given up can possibly never be attained

  • Tuesday Jul 8

    Patience is a great virtue when fasting

    The scene on the roads becomes a variation of the Hunger Games as motorists rev up, dreaming of the iftar repast waiting at home

  • Monday Jul 7

    When ‘Small-Dog Walking Eye Scratcher’ got angry

    What a humanistic lesson it is, accepting responsibility for one’s emotions

  • Sunday Jul 6

    The wedding invitation

    It would be hypocritical to say that we long for the simplicity of the past, at least as far as wedding invites go

  • Friday Jul 4

    Taking in the change when travelling abroad

    I have never ceased to marvel at fellow travellers who, from the moment they land on foreign soil, start thinking and acting in euros or dollars or dirhams without blinking

  • Thursday Jul 3

    The great Dutch football tradition

    Dutch football was not any good until 1965, when the semi-professional Amsterdam club Ajax hired a coach named Rinus Michels

  • Wednesday Jul 2

    Music, moods and its myriad colours

    Two lines from a popular song by a band that continues to redefine longevity

  • Tuesday Jul 1

    Driving down memory lane

    You need nerves of steel to manoeuvre the flimsy vehicles through the chaotic traffic and killer buses of Delhi

  • Monday Jun 30

    When a bunch of wasps taught me a lesson

    Our woes seemed to have compounded, but there was no question of disturbing them, for it would have led to an unequal war

  • Sunday Jun 29

    Backpacking the old fashioned way

    When life was all about leg warmers and Duran Duran

  • Saturday Jun 28

    Buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo

    To unpack that a bit — ‘The kind of dogs that other dogs dog (or pester, or hound, we may say) themselves dog (or pester or bother) other dogs’

  • Friday Jun 27

    The glue that binds cousins

    Cousins came with their parents and the deluge of people meant that we had to give up our rooms and / or our beds and bunk