Memorial Day is for Moms

Matt and Priya were classmates. I met Mrs. Manoukian for the first time when she came to drop Matt off for a birthday party. She rang the doorbell. "Can we stay too?" Matt ran in without pause. I saw Matt's brother looking up at me. His chubby palm circled mommy's manicured finger. His look was …

How I Became an Organic Chemist

We were only 20 students, but our science classroom could easily have seated 200. It was on the second floor: a 3 stories high cavernous room, with wide windows that overlooked the school gardens down below. To sit we had benches with tables. Each row was raised a few feet every row so you could …

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 …