Digital Sparks

It is often not about the possibility of sparks but about their inevitability. We all love to observe human nature and the impact of social media on our daily lives. Last few weeks have however been quite a revelation for me. Two WhatsApp groups of whom I am a member, are going through their acrimonious...

In High Spirits!

 Everyone knew that Rathore’s sweatband would come off only when the job was finally completed. A Kamikaze like Hachimaki bandana, with a commitment to match! “Stop, stop the car!”, I instructed my driver. The car came to an abrupt and squeaky halt. I queried from my open car window, “Rathore Saab, what are you doing...

Rejoice my Countrymen!

Coalitions may be criticized for sluggishness but also reflect best-possible convergence of mandates. What an amazing democracy and what an astonishing election result! A day before the D-Day, no punter could have predicted this outcome. The RP (Ruling Party) was supposed to have crossed 400 but are gasping short of even 300. Without a doubt,...

Pounds and Pennies

Their unapologetic philosophy is straight forward, “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” Many years back, a rather funny cartoon in an English daily became quite famous. The cartoon depicted an Indian family visiting the NASA Space centre and having a look at their latest rocket. The father is shown inquisitively asking the official in charge,...

Merry Valhalla

Why do I get a feeling that valiant heroes are getting scarcer these days? The song “Laga Chunari Mein Daag” sung by the legendary singer, Manna Day is an extremely melodious and deeply philosophical composition. The metaphorical ‘chunari’ is the soul,  ‘daag’ refers to sin and the word ‘ghar’ is used for God’s abode upstairs....

A Matter of Time

A fighter pilot’s reflexive wit to the rescue, Sri knew he had survived one more time! Making the ‘Time over Target’ or TOT, is almost like religion in a strike squadron. It sure has to be, given the fact that almost every other day, lives depend on getting it right. For those who may be...

Good, Better, Best

“As a result, he came across as a fellow human being on a common journey with similar struggles, predicaments and tribulations.” My earliest memory of a politician is that of Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and that goes back to 1967. He had come down to a smaller version of the Ramlila grounds in our...

License to Kill

In the wake of his unexpected accomplishment, YT didn’t quite mind the sporadic curses emanating from the pillion quarters. A Kalbaishakhi (KB) developing silently on a North Eastern horizon and thereafter taking over the entire sky with vengeance within minutes, is a sight to see and experience. These squall-like storms generally strike in the late...

Truly Secular

“Sahib, bhookh ka kya dharam?” Meaning hunger has no religion, as he hangs his head down low. Now this is 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...

The Business of War

One should always be wary about falling into the trap of claiming corelation to be causal.  Having witnessed many a street fights in a Punjabi neighbourhood, I can vouch that there is no greater pleasure than observing how it all started. The quintessential bully would first push the underdog. Thereafter at the first hint of...

A Man without Love

 “One can live with the reality that no one is around but not with a feeling that no one cares. That is true loneliness.” “Son, there are only two things you need to worry about in life. Poverty of food and poverty of companionship. And in fact, the latter more.” said old man Madhav. To...

Making Up: A Holi Special

A small little voice of our conscience often murmurs gently that it is not worth holding on to the grudge. Holi is different for different people. For some it is bathing in merry colours, for others it is indulgence in boisterous revelry.  As I look back to my childhood days, my most treasured Holi memory...

Something for Something

But why do they need to propagate their achievements in a ‘yell and tell’ mode? I can’t understand this Electoral Bond stuff, man. Is he a new kid on the block? No, not really. The concept has been around for quite some time now. Well, the only Bond that I have ever known is James...

Saying without Saying

Akin to being excluded from a gully cricket match, an aggrieved party complains, “Are we children of a lesser God?” At the very outset, we will lay down two acronyms for this post. We will call the political party in power as PnP and the opposing parties as OP. It should not go unnoticed that...

A Lesson in Humility

‘I realized that I had gone to motivate but was coming back with a lesson in humility.……’ Latur. The name of this city in Maratha land evokes two memories in recent times. One is of the water trains which are often sent to this drought prone region during the summers. The second is of the...

Breaking the Code

“Happiness is not a reward; it is a consequence.” Notwithstanding his Oscar outburst, Will Smith remains one of my favourite actors. And out of all his movies, I find the‘Pursuit of Happyness’ exceptionally endearing. A story plot about making it in life despite struggles and disappointments. It makes the movie very uplifting even if it...

Of Faith and Afterlife

If my faith is undoubtedly the strongest, then why do I need to defend it? It surely can defend itself. I really don’t know if you have noticed that some of our matrimonial ads go like, “Manglik*** years old girl, *** God fearing, homely girl** etc”. Essentially, you can easily spot a co-relation being made...

A Moving Experience

A party of absolute strangers brought together miles away from home by a stroke of luck. “I am never going to complain about Indian bureaucracy from now onwards.” These ‘pleasing in a way’ words came from an old man abreast of me in a rather serpentine queue. And guess which part of the world were we crossing paths?...

Date with a Legend

As I bade him farewell that evening, I kind of understood the true meaning of indomitable spirit and courage. “No Rajeeev, I do not want a wall calendar. I just wanted a small desk calendar”. The tone was emphatic and in no mood to take a ‘No’ for an answer. No one had ever stretched...

Freedom of Thought

Beware the thoughts that are thrust on you, because they are going to become yours very soon. 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...

The Times They Are a-Changin’..

And Sir, even the Gods do not stand a chance against the steely determination of a Jat…. “Hey, Ankit is a very fine name. In fact, when our elder son was about to be born, this was one of the names that we had shortlisted. You see it was pretty convenient. If the child turned...

“What are my Orders?” OMG!

I am not advocating foolish bravado but sometimes in life, it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Dear General Naravane, As I pen down this second open letter to you, inwardly I am getting a bit amused. During my training days, the only letter I wrote back home was just about once a...

Guilty or Not?

“In case we ever come across a situation which challenges the core of our ethical/ moral fibre (even if it is legally right), we should not hesitate to unbutton the left pocket.” Dear General Naravane, Greetings from a fellow veteran! Today I write to you about the excerpts from your waiting in the wings book,...

Ostrich on a Spin

Ostrich on a Spin Resilience, hope and immunity of the flightless bird to the fore? Flightless birds are the ones which have lost the ability to fly, primarily due to evolution. It is believed that about 60 such species are still surviving. Out of these, the ostrich and the penguins have gained a fair deal...

Veni, Vedi, Vici!

“Veni, Vedi, Vici!” “I came, I saw, I conquered!” After all, in this ever-changing word, the only constant is human nature and the refusal to learn from history……. Veni, Vedi, Vici! These famous words are attributed to Julius Caesar after his surprisingly swift and complete victory in the Battle of Zela, somewhere in Asia minor...

The Belt & Road Initiative

Both my next rank and reputation in simultaneous jeopardy, I had to act fast to break the deteriorating imbroglio…. Back in the mid 1980s, the wait for purchase of a Bajaj chetak could extend to 2-3 years. You could however bypass the waiting line, if your booking had been done using foreign exchange. My elder...

A Man’s Worth

It is not where the person stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge. Sometimes it is very amusing and extremely illuminating to go through thoughts and writings of small children. When instructed to spell out their ambition in life, a tiny-tot gathering listed many commonly known professions....

Till the Cows Come Home

  A recent high profile domestic speech focussed around an aspiration to soon become the third largest economy in the world. And why not?  We have recently bought a new car since the previous one became due for extinction. Ever since, I love my morning half an hour drive to work. The traffic is low...

Memento Mori

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...

A Slice of the Military

“Sir, you will not believe it but I have waited all these years to meet you at least once.” Pilot Officer rank of the Air Force, equivalent to a 2nd lieutenant in the Army has sadly been removed from the  tree of hierarchy. The ‘Piloo’ pip used to be so thin that sometimes you had...

A ‘Feenish’ Encounter

 “The family should have stopped him when he was treading dangerously Sahib.” “Sahib, our state has changed quite a bit. There are no communal riots here, although  geographically we are bigger than many countries.  All credit goes to our CM.” Seated behind in a taxy to Bijnor, I am enjoying my chat with the taxy...

An Ever Grateful Chicken!

It all sounded like a “chicken soup recipe” to me.. and I was the chicken being cooked…! On the occasion of *World Plastic Surgery Day* I would like to express my gratitude towards the Surgeons who operated on me and gave me a new life. Dr. Amresh Baliyarsigh (Plastic Surgeon), Dr. Jayesh Vahanwala (Maxillofacial surgeon)...

On Purpose

Purpose need not be sought only in the dramatic or heroic but can be found even in the mundane….. A rather simple, apparently profound but actually quite fundamental question had many stumped in a gathering of intellectuals the other day with generic answers like spreading happiness, do good to others, look after my family etc...

Perma Fragrance

And then probably out of sheer pity, the driver had an incredible change of heart….. “But we will miss the ferry back to Ibiza!”, both of us exclaimed in loud unison laced with panic. “And that’s not all, our cruise ship berthed there might sail away without us!” The impending catastrophe was all too obvious....

The Sky is Blue

The coup de grâce was delivered when the entire roof of a hangar rolled up like a carpet and flew off! I love discovering interoperable idioms in Hindi and English. However, there is no classic equivalent for “सिर मुंडाते ही ओले पड़ना”. In simple terms, it means, “Misfortune in the very first adventure.” The Hindi...

As The Sun Goes Westerly

As The Sun Goes Westerly… The pervasive conviction of the living is that our time is distant and far away. This is something that happens to others. We generally feel that we are immortal till the time our parents are alive. Such is life that we subconsciously tend to think that nature will follow the...

No Laughing Matter

Given that extra moment to contemplate, the best of man comes to the fore like a shield to prevent his worst from getting exposed. George Bernard Shaw, one of the greatest playwrights of his time was considered an irrepressible wit. But the devilish Shaw was outwitted by actress Cornelia Otis Skinner in an exchange after...

Monumental Choices

Like bubbles of water, the fickleness of life and fame stared at me at that instant… 26th January is normally a day of celebrations all over the country. However for a great number of Kutch inhabitants in 2001, it turned out to be their worst nightmare. Yes, I am talking about the massive intra-plate earthquake...

LETTER TO A DEAR FRIEND

  Dear Ashok,  I remember our parting discussion on mediation and conflict resolution. If you recollect, I had opined that mediation is considered successful if it leads to an acceptable solution although it may not be a fair one. You had probably a slightly different opinion on the subject wherein you felt that outcomes need...

BY GOD

BY GOD When I was a small kid, ‘By God’ used to be a swear word signifying that I had now rid myself of all lies, clutter and pretences and now stand before you in absolute truth, in sync with my inner conscience. Of course some of us had learnt the fine art of lying...

The First Step

The First Step 2020 has finally made way to a New Year full of hope. The year gone by may be best forgotten by many, especially those who have lost dear ones or had narrow escapes themselves. It has also been immensely distressing for those who have lost jobs, livelihood and even roofs over their...

DIGITAL SINS

Digital embraces can be fatal since privacy is not private any more and security is just a relative concept. A week back, a young Indian girl was the toast of her native country with her being selected as the first Woman President of the Oxford Student Union in the UK. The accolade may not have...

A Rich Man and His Poor God

He was a living legend and his exploits the stuff fairy tales are made of. A superstar for even those who were born much after he retired from the game. 1983 was a turbulent year with the rise in tensions surrounding nuclear weapons. The Cold War occupied everybody’s minds. Nuclear cruise missiles owned by America...

The Fighter Jockey

During combat, it was always the second attacker we were more bothered about. He was the one who would conceal his entry and creep in unspotted. However strong may be the urge, there are a few things you should never do. One of them is to ask a retired fighter pilot about his combat exploits...

Lateral Titbits

Lateral thinking solutions are always fun to read with a regretful feeling of, “Why couldn’t I think of it?” The internet is an absolute jungle. You enter its confines looking for blue berries for the evening dessert and somehow you land up reading about an automated device for sorting out pili fruit. Now Bicol is...

Broken Windows

If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. Broken window panes have for long, stood out as a symbol of apathy and dispiritedness. Whenever you see a broken window in the neighbourhood, no one wants to own responsibility for the delinquent...

High Time Revisited: Overtime by Amit

Dear Sir, This letter of mine took a longish journey to you. I read with interest and earnestness your post ‘High Time’. In response I will request you through a flight in the past (time). Our waypoints will be a few minuscule samples of events which had a profound effect on shaping the society we...

Trust me why?

“Sir, when I put trust in someone, it is actually an investment. We thus create a possibility and an opportunity for someone to become a better version of his original self.” To be fair, it would be absolutely wrong to stereotype 30 million people living in a particular city. Yet, every metropolis appears to have...

Take my Breath Away

Even “If I were a rich man” as Tevye wished to be, so much was out there to “Take my breath away”. There are some memories which just refuse to fade away. Watching “Fiddler on the Roof” in an open-air theatre at Ghorpuri on a wet Saturday evening is one of them. My course-mate Govila...

Fireworks behind the Scenes

Fireworks Behind the Scenes  Act I: Scene I ‘Patakha’, a colloquial word for fireworks is a very unusual nickname. Often used in a rather different sense, the Mayor’s trusted secretary had been christened with it since his childhood. When queried about it, he had a rather amusing explanation for it, “I was born on a...

Lipstick, Powder and Paint

Lipstick, Powder and Paint Whenever you are posted to a new station, you do look forward to making friends and acquaintances amongst the locals. More so if you get any information about any relatives, however distant they may be, it can be a real bonus. So here it was in the good old eighties when...

Distressed Genes

Distressed Genes The other day I got stuck in Ambience Mall waiting for a friend to join me for lunch. Since our luncheon appointment had got postponed by a couple of hours, I decided to while away my time at the movie theatre. Much against my own wishes, I walked into the ‘Pathaan’ matinee show....

Take it by the Horn

Take it by the Horn Loosing weight they say is more about what you eat and seldom about how much you eat. Nutritionists therefore strictly advise against starving. So through a very carefully designed food chart, they change your dietary habits. The carbs and sugars go out of the window and the fibre comes in...

Beyond the Raybans

Beyond the Raybans The Indian Air Force lost two fighter aircraft in a horrific accident a few days back. The accident probably was the result of a mid-air collision although the same needs to be confirmatively established by a Court of Inquiry. The most tragic part was the unfortunate death of a Mirage-2000 pilot who...

High Time

High Time As if the French Charlie Hebdo cartoon fiasco two years back was not enough. In April, Far-right Danish politician Paludan’s announcement of a Quran-burning “tour” during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan sparked riots across Sweden. Even this Saturday, he went ahead and burnt a copy of the holy book in front of...

A Long Way to Go

 Good Samaritan saves Life: Fined by Motorway Patrol Year of the Lord 2006. The eye-catching news headline graced the front page of an East Yorkshire newspaper in the UK. The incident related to a car crash on a certain motorway in Yorkshire. The crash had been an ugly one as the car had apparently spun...

The Legend of Bankura

The Legend of Bankura “And then what happened Papa?” queried Jatin who had come down for the winter break, midway through his MBA program. Well it was not the first time, Jatin was listening to his father Raghav relating to him the story about his ‘birth’day. Yet he never tired listening to it for obvious...

Well Worth the Effort

Well Worth the Effort ‘Faith is taking the first step even if you can’t see the staircase’. What happened to the ‘Look before you leap’ stuff? ‘Surrender yourself to whatever is pre-defined for you’. I did that when I got married. ‘Practice Zero judgement, zero complaint and no criticism’. Is anyone announcing a layoff or pay cut...

The Shoe Pinches

Shashi Tharoor @ShashiTharoor When you need to enter Parliament in a wheelchair, there’s only one entrance with a ramp, at door 9, a good four minute trip (with the assistance of helpers) to the Lok Sabha. This temporary disability has taught me how poorly equipped we are to support people with disabilities.   Dear Mr...

For the Love of God

For the Love of God The Bhakti movement was a significant religious movement of medieval India. It sought to bring religious reforms by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation. Reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century, the movement defined an individualistic loving relationship with a personally defined God. The “love for...

Hijacking the Soap

 “Princess Diana was never meant to wear the revenge dress.” A sensational news item claimed the revelation while another one mentioned that the same garment had recently been sold for £ 65000. So essentially, a salacious gossip created and sustained over 28 years enabled the sale of a second-hand dress for probably more than 100...

Redemption Court

Redemption Court (Inspired by True Events) The sonnet is one of the most famous forms in English poetry. Traditionally, it has fourteen lines which are linked by an intricate rhyme scheme. It is often an expression of some kind of ‘desire or love’. In a similar vein, Advocate Seth’s love for English literature was only...

And Then Came Akhil…

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...

Pigments of Imagination

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...

The Ravaged Queen

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...

Vanity Fair

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...

Turning Two!

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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We just cannot believe it.  Our family dispute had been lingering for the last one decade. Got resolved in four sessions!

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I have worked with mediation consultants before, but I have never seen a group which is so dedicated and committed to their cause. Very professional indeed.

Kamaldeep

I never knew disputes could be resolved so easily and economically. At the end of the day, it was win-win for all of us.

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