Memories

It was late afternoon here in Canada when I received a call from a very dear friend “A”, who is currently visiting family in India.  “What are you doing up at this hour?  Its well past midnight, is it not?” I inquired.  “Yes, it is late.  I just got back to the flat after dinner …

Thankfully yours

India, invaded by various races – Mongols, Afghans, Turks, Iranians and the British – to name a few, was always able to absorb and enrich not just itself but also the occupying forces over the centuries through an assimilation of each others cultures, cuisines, languages and customs. For instance, the profound influence of Persian poet …

Children’s Day

National Child Day is celebrated on November 20 by most countries. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was very fond of children and in the 1950s dedicated his birthday, November 14 as Children’s Day to emphasize the need to care for, educate and protect children. Kids affectionately addressed him as “Chacha” (Uncle, typically father’s younger …

Homing in

Homing pigeons must provide a cue to us immigrants. These birds have an innate ability to find their way back home over long distances. Or, perhaps just like salmon – that, having migrated to the ocean, travel back to the riverbed where they were spawned – we immigrants retain a latent urge (in Hindi we …

Photographic memory

There was a time when shopping for a product we would “Let our fingers do the walking”, as popularized in this famous British Telecom advertisement for Yellow Pages from the 1980s. The process of searching for a product, the visits to different retailers for inspecting the quality of goods before selecting and eventually buying an …

Squirrelling around

Out for a walk on a crisp Fall morning this week, my attention was drawn to the large number of squirrels that have taken over the neighborhood streets. I see plump black ones suddenly stopping to stand erect on their hind legs, clutching and ravenously nibbling on a tidbit tightly clasped in their front paws, …

Indian Summer

Earlier this week there were a few days when it felt like we had gone back to summer. In fact, as we stepped out into a balmy 30+ degrees C evening at the conclusion of our yoga class our instructor (who is from India) quipped, “My Italian neighbor told me today that we are experiencing …