A Cup of Restraint

At the dawn of civilization, Omar Khayyam said something to the effect of- a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou beside me – his portrayal of heaven on earth. We lapped it up. But I ask you, does this scenario have merit today in a civilization when we all must rush about …

A Walk in the Wetlands

The wetlands behind Shoreline Park, just a short distance from Highway 101 but a whole world apart, are magical today. Finally, after a year of severe drought we have had a month of rain, hard rain; enough to bring the water level back up to the edge of the walking trail. Water has been pouring …

Garden of People

My father leans over the balustrade to look at his garden. He is making sure plants that need protection from frost have been tended to. There is a chill in the evening air and a good chance that temperatures will dip below freezing tonight. I stand on my tippy toes, bolstered up by my elbows, chin …

The Case of the Missing Coat

Lucy entered the hospital through a side entrance to avoid passing the front desk receptionist who might recognize her. She had waited in the dark alley and when the old man entered she briskly tailgated in. She overtook him with a brief nod keeping her face averted. Lucy wore the white coat she had stolen earlier. It looks enough like a doctor’s …

My New Friend

My day started as it usually does. I half opened my eyes: clear, sunny morning with a cool breeze in our loft, in my city, Dilli; you know the one – if there be heaven on earth, this is it, this is it – penned by a Mughal emperor who I guess fancied himself a poet too. Well I agree …

My First Friend

His name is Mahmoud. I don’t think anything of it even though I know no one else by that name. True, my mother’s name is Prakash and I have another aunt by that name. My father has a brother in law with the same name as his. So does uncle Sheel. But then, my name …

Holiday Thievery

Recent reports of robberies in the ritzy Union Square shopping district have left me intrigued. For example, Chanel on tony Maiden Lane reported the loss of a 40 thousand dollar bag! The police say a group of girls called the Rainbow Girls (no relation to another group) are responsible for that and many other such …

Closet Communications

When John and Mira went looking for a place to live in suburban San Francisco the first thing Mira wanted to check out were the closets. And she would laugh “this is not a closet, not even close!” Growing up, Mira’s favorite place was the closet in her house. Besides being the place where she …

Murder in the Mansion

John stared out the window, hands behind his back, stiff, tense, bored. The rain had steadied to a drizzle but the atmosphere remained gloomy. A dull dark grey sky seemed to want to push through the big bay window into the room. John sighed. It was as if the greyness outside mirrored his mind. He hadn’t …