How I Became the Richest Person in the World

SHORT STORY/SATIRE – ‘Those were tough days. I had sold my scooter to loan money to a local businessman, Firki bhai. He put it in a business that eventually sank because, as it became apparent later, he knew nothing about that line of business! And when I asked for my money back, he avoided me! It’s not like he wasn’t rich already; he just wouldn’t return what he owed me!’

Leading the Lamb to the Slaughter

Free-market systems mimic nature. In that, the big fish will, naturally, eat the small fish. Because they can. If left to itself, the system will result in a power struggle of the economic kind, which also spills into the social domain. Those who gain power are, again naturally, inclined towards retaining it and growing itContinue reading “Leading the Lamb to the Slaughter”

How Readers Bought Fiction Titles—And the Non-fiction Books They Should’ve Bought Instead

At the General Book Fair of 2014, and again in 2019, people overwhelmingly chose to buy fiction titles. But now that we have a mortal crisis, people are clamouring for non-fiction titles to help them understand, manage, and cope. But the non-fiction titles are naturally out of stock because the merchant was remarkably successful atContinue reading “How Readers Bought Fiction Titles—And the Non-fiction Books They Should’ve Bought Instead”

I Miss Neighbourhoods

I miss neighbourhoods … where you could just pop into a friend\’s house uninvited, to chit chat or eat or drink something, or just yell your friend\’s name from outside his house, waiting for him to come out so that you can go to play, or gossip about another friend or talk random shit, orContinue reading “I Miss Neighbourhoods”

Faith versus Religion: How to Tell Them Apart

Faith will tell you that there is a god. Religion will tell you his name, address, contact details, food choices, fashion tastes, gender, and pet peeves. Faith tells you that your prayer will be answered. Religion tells you that your prayer will be answered only when you have performed a-b-c acts, donated x amount ofContinue reading “Faith versus Religion: How to Tell Them Apart”

Unfamiliar Entertainment

Before Netflix and Amazon Prime, before YouTube, before even cable TV, Indians\’ choice in television entertainment was limited. Severely limited. To two: Doordarshan and DD Metro. And before that, just one: DD. ALL Indians (who could afford a TV and had electricity) watched the same programme at the same time across the country. So, basically,Continue reading “Unfamiliar Entertainment”

Nature\’s Wrecking Ball: Cyclone Fani and Its Aftermath

It\’s a Monday evening in Delhi. The ugly, white-LED lights that show you the way while you drive back home don\’t soothe your discomfort at being stuck in traffic. But they\’re comforting in their predictability; they signal that you\’ll be back to the cool comfort of your air-conditioned home. I\’m currently sitting in a comfortableContinue reading “Nature\’s Wrecking Ball: Cyclone Fani and Its Aftermath”

When Disaster Strikes: Cyclone Fani

One cannot imagine the enormity of a natural disaster if one hasn\’t been in it. So it is difficult for me, or anyone who wasn\’t there, to fully empathise with the millions of Odias who were battered by 200 kilometres-per-hour-plus winds of Cyclone Fani, which has been categorised as Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm. Here\’s theContinue reading “When Disaster Strikes: Cyclone Fani”