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And then came Akhil… These developers are smart guys indeed! They have been in the business for so long that they know exactly where to stop. What I mean is that when these builders offer you an apartment in a semi-furnished state, they know the precise point after which the Queen of Sheba choices will...

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Pigments of Imagination Heartiest Congratulations Rishi Sunak on being appointed the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom! How I wish the headlines, comments and memes had stopped at just that. Instead, they all focused on how a ‘brown’ man had broken the glass ceiling to occupy a haloed seat which apparently not many in the...

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The Ravaged Queen Most of us must have come across the childhood tale of two friends, a bee and a worm. One day the bee invited the worm to his garden. “My friend, the worm, spends all his time in dung,” thought the bee. “It would be nice for him to smell some fragrant flowers...

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Vanity Fair Normally all fairy tales start with, ‘Once upon a time’ and so shall ours. Once upon a time, there was a very gifted and skilful cricketer who was the toast of the sporting fraternity. Stepping on every ladder of success, he rose to the topmost rankings in no time. Centuries after centuries in...

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Turning Two Dear Patrons  and Friends, We wish to share the good news with you that Seek Mediation has turned Two today! Exactly two years back, we set about a mission of “Conflict Resolution through Sharing of Perspectives”. To a large extent, we feel that we have been successful in promoting our guiding principles and...

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Sweet and Salty Genealogy in the hands of a 10-year old certainly puts you on the defensive at times. As my younger son asked me many years back, “What does ‘to savour’ mean?” To which I replied easily while putting on my overalls, “To taste and relish or enjoy to your heart’s content.” “And then...

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A Beautiful Wife. Immense amount of commotion was heard from outside the Mishra household today. Neighbours found that very odd because the Mishras were known to be the most gentle and peaceful family in the Moga neighbourhood. A peep inside and Oh God! The roof was intact but all hell was breaking loose. Jaikishen aka...

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The Missing Soul Year of the Lord 2005. Our younger son had just joined a local school during our posting abroad. We were a little amused that one of the compulsory subjects allocated to him was ‘Cooking’, although in retrospection today, it makes absolute sense as a life-skill. During one of the classes, he was...

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“Ragged Shots”  If you were to search the net for “ragged shots”, you might land up viewing some teenager in torn jeans having vodka shots in a downtown bar. Well, this phrase is far away from such a google-search result and probably unknown to many in the military as well. Lemme then take you back...

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‘On Being Heard’ Whenever the opportunity arises, my better half makes it a point to remark on my selective memory. While I very often forget birthdays (including hers which is a criminal act for sure!), anniversaries and shopping lists, I can very vividly recollect some incidents dating back to my adolescent age. Inexplicably, these occurrences...

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“Babe di Mehar” (Divine Blessings) Seated in the rear seat of a war-weary, rickety city taxy, I am witnessing the traffic exploits of my Michael Schumacher inspired taxy driver Surinder who has migrated from the Ludhiana race tracks to the Delhi bye lanes in search of greener pastures. Within less than seven minutes of our...

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“A Spirited Defence” There is a distinct difference between an ‘inquiry’ and an ‘inquisition’. While an inquiry is associated with a search for truth, the word ‘inquisition’ has its genesis in ancient Roman Catholic tribunals for the discovery and punishment of heresy. In modern understanding, it suggests a long and thorough investigation that involves extensive...

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4 Large Rum Early morning 5 AM, on detachment at a flying base somewhere in the South-Western sector. I was driving my official Gypsy towards the operations room. The Met Briefing was planned a bit early today for a 6:30 take off. It was rather dark and cloudy. As  there was no flying taking place...

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Contempt by Court I remember quite vividly that I was made the Library member for an Officers’ mess exactly four decades back. In my enthusiasm to infuse fresh blood into the academic arteries of a very antiquated and rather limited-collection library, I had gone to Hyderabad to pick up some new books which went beyond...

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With Greater Power Leadership is indisputably a challenging and tough task and more so when you are leading large organizations and institutions. Position bestows an element of power on the leader with which he is expected to deliver for the larger good of the ‘led’. For that, the leader has to constantly juggle between many...

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Flagging Faith The phrase “Wear your heart on your sleeve” is an English phrase implying showing our intimate and deepest emotions in an open and honest manner. The origins of this phrase dating back to the Middle Ages is probably to the “sleeve” which referred to a piece of armour for covering and protecting the arm. When...

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Time to Soar Away   Does the name “Clive Branson” ring a bell? I am sure it won’t with a multitude of Indians today. Sent to India just before the Quit India movement, Branson was an ordinary British soldier but an extremely sensitive writer, poet and a painter. His letters published as the Book “British...

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A Matter of Choice “It’s been an exceptionally busy day, isn’t it Sister Sufia?”, remarked Dr Ramnathan, as he mopped the sweat off his brows and stretched himself on the crude recliner in his chamber His brief interval of rest was well-deserved indeed.  More fondly known to all his staff and patients in the hospital...

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The Abilene Paradox: A Trial by Fire If you were to do a Wiki search on “The Abilene Paradox”, you will get something like this: “When a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of many or all of the individuals in the group. It involves...

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VIDEO-2022-05-28-13-12-24 “Ad Nauseam”  A major part of my childhood went towards reading Louis L’Amour type Western novels and comics. The adventurous world of cowboys, their steeds, their Smith and Wessons, spurs, silver bullets and romantic interludes fascinated me to no end. Irrespective of the storyline, the revolvers and guns remained the centerpiece of attraction in...

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“Blood Money” Across the Western border, Masooma Begum* is in mourning. Her husband Asif Mian was brutally murdered in a family feud last week. The disagreements and semi-violent pinpricks between the two families had been going on for the last three decades. But it took a long-pending adverse High court judgement to be the last...

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“Culpable Homicide” The wailing siren of an ambulance is never a welcome sound. But in this case, the arrival of the ambulance van in record time in Kathputli Nagar, a slum dwelling in West Delhi was indeed a matter of great relief for Shyam’s neighbours. Hats off to the driving skills of the driver that...

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Truly Secular: A Worthy Response from Amit   Dear Sir, You have touched upon something which I never merely classify as a ‘topic’. Secularism forms the bedrock of the ethos of all progressive countries of the world. It is the life force of a nation that identifies itself with the fabric of its country as...

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“Truly Secular” Long before the Mohalla clinics came into vogue, the annual Ramlila played out in almost every alternate street of the capital used to be the most popular mohalla activity half a century back. What a social event it used to be with families from all walks of life, irrespective of caste, creed or...

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“The Original Sin” The Original Sin is a part of the Catholic Christian “Doctrine of the Fall” wherein it is believed that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they fell from a state of perfection and brought evil into a perfect world. The sin per se was disobedience to God when they ate a forbidden...

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From Afar (A Beautiful and Sensitive poem by Agnieszka Zbieranska)   As the red power unleashes Across fertile lands of green I can’t help but be brought back To the hell and pain once seen   You ask me, why is my grief so deep For Ukrainian people Those still fighting proud And those who won’t ever...

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“Know when to fold ’em” Ever since I was exposed to reading the classics, the Mahabharata has always been my all-time favourite. Fascinatingly close to life and its frailties, it exposes the best and the worst on offer. Each chapter brings forth a different level or genre of excitement as you are spellbound to this...

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“A Quest for Purpose” A very common theme which surfaces in many forums that I interact on is “Purpose” or more often the perceived lack of it. This refrain comes invariably from people who have obviously transcended the bottom two layers of Maslow’s hierarchy. They talk about emptiness and a feeling of hollowness in spite...

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Alea iacta est – ‘The dice is cast’ (A worthy response received from friend Amit to our earlier post) Sir, Thank you for penning a ‘from the heart’ post given the geo-political crisis gripping the world now. The question that surfaces from the reading – has anything changed since Tennyson wrote his poem ‘The Charge...

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“The Charge of the Light Brigade”  Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death  Rode the six hundred. (Alfred Tennyson 1854)   As the war clouds grow thicker in Europe with an understandable ripple effect all over the world, the Western media-machinery...

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“Conflict is Inevitable……….Combat is not!” (Perspectives to share)    “The prophecy that, in time, humans are bound to fight each other is liable to be self-fulfilling.” (Bateson,1989)   “Conflicts are necessary for change in human society since they help to build relationships in groups, establish a group’s identity, build internal cohesion in groups and can...

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“SAFER SKIES”  Dear Mr Chandrasekaran, Greetings! At the very outset, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and compliments to you and the Tata group for boldly venturing towards reclaiming Air India’s lost glory. Undoubtedly, a very challenging task which the entire nation is confident that you will be successful in undertaking. I have personally been following...

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“Dumba’s Fault” Every year, Muslims around the world celebrate the festival of sacrifice called Eid al-Adha. Incidentally, this festival is considered even holier than Eid ul-fitr. Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Eid al-adha, is celebrated to honour Ibrahim’s obedience to God’s command and his willingness to sacrifice...

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A REPUBLIC DAY SMILE Returning home in my staff car, after having presided over the Republic Day activities of my formation, I was in a kind of reflective mood. Well, this was my fortieth year in uniform and the day had not been any different from the previous versions. The flag hoisting, the parade, the...

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Zero to Hero Bloody Moth****ers! Bas**rds! Why can’t they hear me? MV’s voice came booming through the RT. All of us in the ATC Tower including me suddenly awakened to the fact that a solo student pilot was in some kind of trouble and letting his frustration out on the radio. I was the Duty...

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Games People Play by Horax (Casper) (A bit of jest from an archival war-chest) I remember my two-year stint with the Army with an extreme amount of nostalgia. Apart from the many superlative friendships struck for a lifetime, what has fondly stayed with me are the unforgettable memories of the numerous War Games I attended...

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“The Shawl and Mundri” “Can you please get Mataji’s Shawl and Mundri (Ring) now?” asked the family priest Radheshyam towards the end of the elaborate wedding ceremony he was conducting for the Kapoor household. As if this was the cue people were waiting for, almost the entire family came closer to the mandap so as...

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The Last Laugh Adam and Eve are I guess passé. A parallel story however exists about God trying to make a perfect living being. After having exhausted all permutations and combinations towards creating such a creature, he finally hit upon the right formula. And that is how God conceived the idea of a ‘human being’, the perfect...

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Of Bananas and Hunger Pangs In today’s polarized world, we are split in dozens of affinities and kinships. However, I have always thought that the simplest distinction lies between two elementary categories. They are: Those who have to worry where their next meal is going to come from and the other lot who have no...

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Factory Reset  “That will be your last drink Arvind” stated Jaya as a matter of fact, as she finished laying out the dinner on the table. Arvind detested this daily reminder, the tone being a fine mix of a reprimand, an increased level of ‘given-up’ and an element of concern. The story was not new...

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 She Only Can! The ‘end time’ or the ‘dooms day’ scenario is a future described in most of the religions that world events will reach a climax one day. A great number of defence officers, both serving and retired however have already reached that conclusion with the Supreme Court ruling in favour of girls joining...

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‘A Decision to Divert’ I woke up early in the morning as is my wont and opened my laptop to soak in my daily dose of Google news before the rest of the family woke up. ‘I am sorry, I am tired’ NEET aspirant dies by suicide in Madurai.  Screamed the morning headlines: Jyothi is...

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‘The Perfect Match’  “There was this guy who went to the marriage bureau to find a girl as a life partner. The bureau was housed in a ten-storey building. As he entered the foyer on the ground floor, there was a notice on a prominent door, “If you want a beautiful wife, please climb to...

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Memento Mori Although I am not at all politically inclined, like most of us, I would like to believe that I understand politics a fair bit However, the happenings a few days back outside the precincts of the Delhi airport left me a bit baffled and fairly entertained. The occurrence was actually quite mundane and...

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A (S)troll in the Park Although I am not a great church goer, I have a confession to make. In my four decades of uniformed service, there was not a single class, lecture or conference in which I did not sleep for some time or at least catch a wink…and all that without feeling guilty...

“No Lesser” One of the most age-old philosophical questions that has been posed is: Why do bad things happen to good people? Undeniably, this question is loaded with subjectivity and would not stand technical scrutiny at all. What can be defined as good and bad itself is a debatable starting point. The answers surely have...

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Fuzed Bulb: No way! Came across this WhatsApp forward a few days ago, which I am sure many of us might have also come across:  A Senior Executive retired and shifted from his palatial official quarters to the Housing Society, where he owned a flat. He considered himself big and never talked to anyone. Even...

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A Glass Half Full Every Independence day like today, my inbox gets flooded with dozens of congratulatory messages. These messages are more often than not, ‘forwards’ emerging  from the efforts of some digital artist and propagated across social media by the press of a single button at the bottom of a WhatsApp broadcast list. So,...

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CELEBRATION BY AFFILIATION  “Stellar performance by the Indian Men’s Hockey team at #TokyoOlympics to beat Great Britain by 3-1 & entering Olympic top 4 after 41 years. Happy to note that all 3 goals were scored by Punjab players Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh & Hardik Singh. Congratulations…go for Gold!,” tweeted the Punjab CM. The tweet...

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Enough is Enough The other day my good friend Suresh asked me a simple question, “ How much money is enough?” He himself being a very wise man knew the answer perfectly well that money is probably never enough. He just wanted to read my thoughts on the subject, that’s all. I guess, the question...

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A False Smile “Bro, I have had enough!” Ramesh declared emphatically to his buddy Ronnie, “It is just impossible for us to stay together.” Ronnie put down his drink at the bar table and looked up quizzically at Ramesh, aka Ramsy for all his friends. “Ronnie, to be honest, actually it is the other way...

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The Family Doctor “Look, look, he is waking up, it is a wonder!,” someone yelled as Sohan Lal tended to his first official patient lying comatose in bed. Dr Sohan Lal to be technically correct, had just come back home after graduating from a medical college in Lahore. An urgent distress call had him rushing...

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Poles Apart One evening at the bar and the next day gone! What a terrible introduction to squadron life it was for my buddy Saks and me. We both had landed up as freshly-minted pilot officers in a fighter squadron in early 1985. Filled with excitement at having our dreams finally realized, we had hesitatingly...

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A Drop in the Ocean I do not personally consider myself a reformist or activist of any sort. However, I have always attached a very strong sense of immorality and unfairness to the patriarchal practice of Dowry in our country. So, as a part of what I jokingly call my ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, I used...

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The Ultimate Adhesive “Actually I liked the three bedroom one better, how I wish I had gone for it”. I couldn’t but help overhear the lady with her husband in tow, complaining patronizingly to the Real Estate dealer after moving into a 4-bhk house worth approximately 4 Crore Rupees. To which, the dealer, fully cognizant...

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‘Win or Lose’ I don’t like momentary pauses from the other end when I am in conversation with my better half. Invariably they tell me that something is not quite right. And so it was when I asked her this time after getting into the car, “Honey, quite enjoyed the show, eh?”. The dreaded pause...

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The Ride of His Life “Sir, can I ask you a question?”, Jassi asked very hesitatingly as we were rolling down Runway 02 after landing. “Yeah, you sure can Jassi” I replied. “Sir, with the kind of performance I have just shown you, do you think I can go solo?” he queried rather sheepishly with...

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Father-Sons: Along the Way Father: We need to have a chat son. Son: Sure Papa. Father: Your mom and I have just come back from the Parent-Teachers meeting. Son: Hmm. Father: Your teacher is pretty happy with your grades, but she has one observation. Son: Hmm Father: I believe you spend a lot of time...

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0H DEAR: A QUEST FOR JEST (Dedicated to the dearest of my friends. I know for sure where all your energy comes from) Oh Dear, It all started with a confirmed rumour from an untrustworthy source. It has been unreliably learnt that Whattsapp has engaged a leading Data Analytics company to determine the co- relation...

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Silver Coins……..a true story. Newspapers in the last few days have been awash with Mehul Choksi’s potboiler exploits which appear to give the James Bond franchise a run for their money. Not that earlier episodes of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi were any less exciting but Season 3 of ‘India’s Most Wanted Fugitives’ takes it...

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Freedom of Thought While we often espouse freedom of speech, expression and religion, we seldom talk about the overarching ‘freedom of thought’ from which all our choices and other freedoms flow. I often joke that we are a family of four with six different views. In the same vein, we are a 1.3 billion nation with...

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The Battle Within A lot is happening out there. Quite an understatement I agree. The world is going through unexpected and tumultuous changes, the likes of which have probably never been witnessed before. At the same time, a daily unceasing battle rages within all of us. The die-hard optimist in me believes that the good...

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Love Yourself We very often talk about loving our dear ones and making them happy. In fact, for some of us, this endeavour becomes a full-time activity and a lifetime chore. However, somewhere down the line, while we become engrossed in looking and caring after others, we tend to overlook the fact that we need...

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THE STONE AGES (From the archives of 2003 when such practices were rampant) Caution: Please don’t feel remorseful after reading. Take heart, most of us are probably guilty of similar transgressions.  Scientists believe and mythology propagates that a number of phenomenon repeat themselves at preordained intervals of time. One such epoch making happening or era...

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An Open Letter to Major General Vasu Vardhan, ex Comdt, Base Hospital New Delhi Dear General Vardhan, Your recent posting to RR Hospital claimed by the corridors of power as a ‘de-stress’ measure, must have come as a rude shock not only to you but also the troops you commanded so uprightly and the patients...

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