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 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 …

Bread, Book and Candle

When Milo and Kirsten decided on a divorce, we all expected it to go smoothly. After all they had high-powered professional lives, were independently wealthy and blessed with good genes in the looks department. No kids. Milo was the son of globe trotting diplomats (tact flowed in his veins in place of blood) and Kirsten …

Maya’s Mantra

Maya looked at herself in the mirror and scrunched her eyes. No. Too much. People said she had a sad face. “What’s wrong Maya?” her room-mate Leela would say “why do you look so sad? Smile! You have such a beautiful smile.” Normally Maya ignored such remarks but today is different. She has an interview. …

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 …