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 …

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 …

The House With 12 Jamun Trees

For security reasons, the house we moved into was not considered a good location. It routinely got allocated to new incoming school masters with the understanding that in a couple of years you could trade up when another new master was hired. While located within a 30 acre boarding school campus of what used to …

The Small Red Sweater

Clara held his hand as they walked through Central Park. She felt so sorry for Sal. Over the years they had drifted apart but she flew into JFK right away when she heard about little Timothy. Wanting to distract him she said “look at the colors on that Maple. Yellow, orange, red – we don’t …

An Arrival at JFK

In the year 1970, when Maya got a full scholarship to graduate school in America it was considered special. They had no choice but to let her go. Her entire family, and then some, came to see her off at New Delhi airport. They carried garlands, sweets, books, cards and gifts. “Study hard and you …

A Blade of Grass, A Drop of Water

Room With a View My room is not a room at all – it is a vast open field, a sea of green; yet not a sea.  Unlike a water drop, every blade of grass is distinct, stands tall, invites you to come in. It is a soccer field where children play as a team and …