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Part of a Billion

Last week, a census taker visited us, and for the first time, included us in the National Census of India.

The only previous memory of being included in the census was in the 1981 census, when I was staying with my grandparents in Bangalore for the summer holidays. My grandmother was sitting on the stone step outside the front door, removing adulterants from rice, when the census taker visited. My grandmother being a teacher herself, she got into a conversation with the census taker, who was also a teacher. I was playing nearby, and remember being part of the conversation, though I doubt whether I made any insightful contributions, being all of six years old then. read more

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Crossword, Hyderabad – Ill-stocked, Ill-organized, Ill-run

It all started with a gift voucher from Crossword I got for something or the other. Deciding to take advantage of it, off we went to City Center, where, suitably fed and glowing, I went into the aforesaid bookshop (Vidya cleverly slipped into Max to look at clothes, well knowing my propensity to take an inordinately long time in bookshops!). So I started looking around, trying to decide what I would buy, and in the process discovered that Crossword (at least the one at City Center) is one of the most pathetic bookshops I have been to in any city.

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Artist’s Impression

These words have always held a certain fascination for me – the first I remember seeing this was in an encyclopedia for children at my maternal grandparents’ home. It was something like “An Artist’s Impression of a Space City” or some such. Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few examples – from celestial events to futuristic dreams to historical happenings. What has always struck me in all these is the kind of freedom enjoyed by an artist, and the kind of strait-jacket imposed by her (or his) ‘impression’. The two present a complex interplay, the manifestation of which is wide-ranging in its aesthetics as well as its representation of something. However, the final result is always fascinating when viewed in terms of the process that brought it forth.

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Rain!

One thing that never fails to move me is rain. And it has been raining – there have been all kinds of rain, from pouring bucketsful to a light misting rain that nevertheless manages to drench in a few minutes. What rain does to me is bring back an exact emotion, and when I think back to the most powerful memories it brings back, I can easily pinpoint two very powerful ones out of the uncountable numbers it seems to dig up.

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Forty Books!

Last Sunday found us on the pavements of Abids, accompanied by the adventurous Haritha, hunting for books among the hundreds of impromptou bookstalls that had sprung up everywhere. After about five hours, we found ourselves richer by forty books, for which we had paid a total of about four hundred rupees.

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Golconda!

Golconda seems to have been cursed for me – it is such a great place to get spectacular photographs, and yet the last three times I’ve been there, it has been only in the evening in the fading light. Finally, after a lot of planning we managed to get there during the day, only to have a rainy visit from which I managed to get a few decent pictures.

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Glorious Beer!

One good thing about Hyderabad is the variety of beer you get here. Of course, this is only in comparison with Chennai, but still, that’s saying a lot, seeing as how we keep complaining Hyderabad’s not as good.

There are two shops that sell beer within striking distance of where I live, and usually the choice is limited to whatever beer’s in the cooler.

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