Author Archives | umashankar

About umashankar

The question then is, am I a writer? It is true I wriggle a pen to colour my notepad, or tap at a keyboard to darken the pixels of my desktop screen. If the strings I weave paint a canvas to my readers, borrowing the hues of their own vision, maybe I am.

The Ungolden Ball

July 16, 2014

22 Comments

Lionel Messi

As Argentine football hung by a tenuous gossamer, clinging to the last few blinks of life, he stooped over the ball before the free-kick, aware of the cosmic weight of the moment. ‘It’s now or it’s never,’ intoned the commentator, and no one knew this better than Lionel Messi. Redemption was only a kick of […]

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He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Known

July 6, 2014

26 Comments

Sachin Tendulkar

As I hover metaphysically over Estádio Nacional de Brasília, along with the cameras that keep criss-crossing and snooping in the field, my daughter asks me a question in the middle of the simmering knockout fixture between La Albiceleste and Les Diables Rouges. She pops it innocuously enough while a troika of Belgians are busy stamping […]

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A Country Hanged

June 2, 2014

32 Comments

Somewhere in India

“The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation.” ~ Thomas Malthus I look at the sun and it is not the same. How does it look to those hanging in a tree, trampled and trudged, ploughed and pounded, gang raped by herds of savages? Perhaps a pale yellow something, choking on its […]

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A Glass of Ice Water

May 3, 2014

38 Comments

Steve Jobs

‘It’s like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.’ ~Steve Jobs, about iTunes on Windows computers. Perhaps you missed me in my period of quiet, or shall I say disquiet? Allow me to explain, though I may be rusty from disuse. I am a Linux bird — alright, a crow— not just […]

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Shakespeare’s Email

April 6, 2014

62 Comments

Mad

‘The evening is still, the birds silent, the wind dead like a tramp, flopped on a footpath. The sky is dressed in dust and dusk.’ (From my short story: End of Dusk) I look at my face in the mirror and a dung-cake with a frog at its centre for a nose stares back. It […]

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Sorting Out Sid –A Review

April 1, 2014

18 Comments

sorting-out-sid-

A man may put his foot in his mouth once in a while and then a man may stick it there forever. Can it get weirder than that? What if that lean, clean-cut, boyish man of 36, with carefully gelled hair and a Black Panther tattoo on his arm, is a blathering oaf? A henpecked […]

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Dancing in the Dark and a Dedication

March 23, 2014

24 Comments

Thank you, my friends!

Acknowledgements to More Than a Wisp of Fog Except when I was deep in the woods of ignorance as a young someone, and I was sure that some path will lead me unto the light someday, I have never made New Year promises to myself. It is another matter, however, that from the depths of […]

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The Scarecrow from East

March 18, 2014

36 Comments

Painting by Ryan Bourret

(It all began here. Read the previous part here.) They moved along a track in the grass to the north. A flock of ravens burst from a nearby tree, intent on killing one of their own, filling the air with a harsh war cry. She sat on a forlorn bench, watching the maddening fury of the night black […]

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The Killer in Alcatraz

March 11, 2014

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The Killer in Alcatraz

(It all began here. Read the previous part here.) A dense mass of tall cowboy hats bustled about the Embarcadero, just beyond the Ferry Building. The faces buried under the wide, panning brims, their hands waved towards him, many of them holding whiplashes. There were sharp hisses and cracks now and then as they whipped the air about […]

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Bridge of Sighs

March 2, 2014

30 Comments

BoSp

(It all began here. Read the previous part here.) ‘You are going to rue this, officer.’ Vernon’s voice was getting the reedy edge, a sign he was about to explode. ‘It’s my job to put aliens and saboteurs across the Bridge of Sighs. Never repented that,’ the policeman chewed out, leading them to a patrol car. ‘Please be […]

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Forbidden City

February 23, 2014

25 Comments

Fred Eng San Francisco Chinatown

(It all began here. Read the previous part here.) They entered The Presidio through Marina Gate and strolled down the road fragrant with eucalyptus trees, mixed with whiffs of fresh sea foam. The breeze blew soft, laced with salt, whispering moistly in the tall tree tops. The Letterman General Hospital stood primly on Lincoln Boulevard, with a quiet […]

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Under the Orange Bridge

February 16, 2014

39 Comments

underOB_1com - Copy

(It all began here. Read the previous part here.) Paul Barker came from a family of ranchers and cotton farmers, proud of its herd of quarter horses, from the South Plains of Texas. When the conscription act of 1917 came into force, Paul’s father, only twenty then, bluffed his age and registered for military service, in […]

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