Gautam – Superman for a day

We locked him up on the roof once. No idea why. We were six, all under the age of 10 and I guess before internet, this is how we had fun. I suppose you could consider it equivalent to posting silly nonsense on someone’s FB wall.(Lavoonie: reference)

Anyway I digress. We locked him up and shouted out from below – ‘Haha, you can’t come down!’

Gautam looked aghast from the roof. He scurried down the steps to find that the door at the bottom of the stairs really was locked.

So he did what only a 4 year old would do. He jumped.

And as he jumped, he said ‘I don’t need the stairs, I am superman, I can fly!’ 6 kids saw him fly from the roof and land with a thud on the ground below.

Mouths and eyes wide open. With Respect.

I cannot recall exactly what happened afterwards. Ofcourse he fractured his ankle and there must have been parents, and hospitals and casts and punishments. All I remember is the jump.


His belief that six kids were not going to stop him was far stronger than the necessity to succomb to circumstance. I cannot say if that was a smart thing to do or not, but I am all set to test this logic in 2012.

If I end up with a cast, I hear you can get it in color now.


Like a lizard

My sister, her best friend, a lizard and I shared a room during college. We had the beds and it had the walls. My sister and friend were human size, the lizard was the size of my hand in length.

It was beige, skinny with big black eyes and a longish tail. Sometimes it had a friend for company, and sometimes they did things. But most of the time it was on its own – just stuck to the walls and doing its best to keep them from falling.

Unlike my other two roommates, this lizard was quite un-demanding. I didn’t have to feed it or talk to it or love it or be nice to it (smirk;). It was just there.

Yesterday I was painting mugs at an art shop. I painted the the lizard on one of the mugs.I wanted a reminder that sometimes its okay to do nothing and just be there – lizard-like and undemanding.

ps: To make it stand out on a white mug, I painted it green rather than beige. Added a little more meat around its middle and shortened its tail.

Let the truths parade in disguise
Left to fend for themselves
the truths just look like lies


When my father bought my mother a cow (Animal series part 8)

The milkman used to deliver milk every evening at 7 PM. One day my mother made him an offer. She offered to pay him as much as he liked if he stopped mixing in water to the milk he delivered.

The milkman contemplated this for a second and then shook his the Indian way. You know – so it could mean one of three things: Yes, no or maybe. He really just meant no – the temptation to mix in water would be too high.

My mother, in response, shook her head in HER special way that meant ‘”¤#”%¤#%¤#&&’. And that in any language means only one thing.

So to make sure that their four children got decent milk to drink, my father bought my mother a cow. It was a terribly exciting time.

The cow came with a man, who came in twice a day to take care of her. He let me (try) to milk her once – and I still remember the kick I got. I remember her being brown and warm – but not very huggable. Mostly I remember the mooing and her looking as if she had something else on her mind than me, while all I did for the first few days was think about her. Early lesson in unrequited love.

Anyway, the cow in the house didn’t quite work. It’s a lot of work, even with a cow man.

Soon she was sold or donated or something I don’t remember.

Now my mother buys milk from the supermarket. The skimmed, watered down kind.



I called my mother yesterday and asked ‘How is the weather today in Dehradun?’.

She said it’s picture perfect.

There is a cool breeze blowing and the sky is bright blue. You can see the white peaks of Mussourie in the distance.The trees are full of ripe red lychees, your favourite berries are growing all over the backyard and we are having watermelon for dinner.

And I say to myself – what a wonderful world 🙂


The 2nd happy thing

When you leave a country, you leave a lot of real life people behind and their life changes and your life changes. Its all very distressing and leads to a sense of displacement.

Somethings however stay the same. NewYorkTimes is just as good a read in Oslo as it is in London.

Mr Paul Krugman
Nicholas D Kristoff
Gail Collins
Sunday magazine
and to the lovely Modern Love column I love waking up to.

Thank you for the continuity you provide to my Saturday mornings – no matter which time zone.

Annoying update: Who had the bright idea to charge for NYTimes???!


For the love of Oslo – Part 0.2 of 1.

(Preemptively and profusely apologize for the all the superlatives used in the following articles but..) I cannot simply leave without letting you know how much I will miss this city.

If you are ever here, you must go to ‘Mat og Mer’ in Sagene and admire their most attractive servers and chef. The burgers ( which they serve only until 1600) are the best you will ever have. It also has music that can make anyone fall in love. Perfect to go on dates:).

After a nice meal, you can walk down the beautiful Akerselva river until you reach the little ‘Godt Brød’ cafe in Nydalen for dessert. This cafe serves brownies with white chocolate. Disregarding any weight issues, do have one of those brownies. In addition, you must remember to pack one and take it home as well. You will wake up in the middle of the night wanting another bite of the little piece of heaven, and then as you have packed one, it will be alright.

If instead you are in the mood for something French, instead of going down, simply walk up the river instead. You will discover this tiny little shop that serves french crepes next to the Birkulunden church. It can only seat 4 people, but it is just so pretty and so French, its impossible not to love it. It smells good too.

I also want to tell you about some lovely Italian places, a hidden Mexican gem, a fantastic Tapas place and the best Indian food you’ll ever taste before I leave … just assure me that you will keep giving them your business, so nothing ever changes?


Fly a kite

Yesterday I looked up at the sky and realized something. The answer to life, universe and everything is not 42. It is flying a kite.

The blue sky was dotted with several – two yellow ones, a blue and a red. They were trying to cut each other. I so wanted to fly with them but I couldn’t get mine high enough. Then my dad taught me how. And after several failed attempts my kite touched the sky. The thread ran out all together and it soared high in the wind. I tell you, it was almost like I touched the sky.

They sky was blue
The sun was bright
My kite, it flew
And made everything alright.