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Showing posts from June, 2015

When the #Emergency was clamped in India...25-06-1975

25th June, 1975. One of the darkest days in Indian democracy, when the Emergency was declared. Growing up, I was fed on a steady diet of anecdotes from those days.  Both my parents worked in Central government offices, so I have heard a million stories about the disciplinary action taken by authorities during the Emergency. Of office gates being closed, so people wouldn't leave before 5.30 pm etc. And stories of colleagues speaking against the government at bus-stops in hush-hush tones. Of the louder ones asked to keep the volume down. My parents recall how they'd have to take a day or half a day's leave even if they were late to work by a few minutes. They recall how union leaders would be put under suspension, and many people dismissed. Some were even demoted as part of disciplinary action.

They also talk of how it was when the Emergency was lifted eventually, and Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister lost the elections after that. My family loves talking about 'tho…

In conversation with Amitav Ghosh

I greatly admire Amitav Ghosh and his 'Ibis Trilogy'. So, when a good friend and editor asked me to interview him, I jumped at the opportunity. And what a wonderful experience it turned out to be,

Keep it simple, stupid

Every now and then, we all need to tell ourselves to be Rahul Dravids. Don't gun for glory. Get down to the basics, and do the simple things well. I have always tried to keep it simple: Keep your head down, just score the singles, keep the scoreboard ticking. This philosophy makes things easy. It is only when I act against my true motto that things tend to go wrong. A Rahul Dravid innings, the way he has conducted himself in his professional life has many lessons in there for us. In fact, 'Keep the scoreboard ticking' brings back many happy memories because it was my first ever blog. Back when no one had even heard of what a blog was. It was when I was a struggling journalist that I started to watch Dravid carefully. This was way back in 2002/03. The way he planned an innings was the way I was beginning to plan my years in the newspaper I worked for, back then. Keep it simple, and the big runs will come later, I would tell myself as I slogged on the moffusil desk, doing n…