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.

Sandhurst Road

March 23, 2015

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Sandhurst Road

As my decade long stay in this city draws to a close, a prescient thought sets in like an invisible mizzle. It will not leave me, this feeling, that I may never set foot on this turf again, but I am not sure what it means to me. Will I miss the mossy whiff of […]

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The Pentagon Down

February 1, 2015

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The Pentagon Down

The commander of the forces of associate provinces barged through the door of my tent two days before the clash of the legions. His chubby face was ashen with nothing less than volcanic fear; his fingers shook like peepal leaves in high winds. A deep guttural moan escaped his ample belly, suitably enough. “Senator,” he […]

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A Pony in a Carousel

January 28, 2015

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dream-steed

Like a pony fettered to a carousel, I’ve been travelling miles after circular miles and yet not have moved a millimetre from the pole I am suspended. I am not in charge of this motion, nor do I control this stasis. I cannot even choose the music or the riders that cling to my back […]

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The Bungalow by the Tracks

December 29, 2014

34 Comments

Image credit: Joshua Earle

Five years after she fled to Delhi in an unreserved coach of Lucknow Mail the evening of her marriage, Miranda returned to the town where she had grown to be a woman from a blob in a womb. She found an accommodation in the neighbourhood of the house that used to be home. Mrs Mukherjee […]

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The Naked and the Mad

November 23, 2014

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photograhy

“You can think clearly only with your clothes on.” ~Margaret Atwood Somewhere down the evolutionary hill, or up the vertigo inducing precipice if you rather have that, we lost the ability of thinking clearly in our birthday panoply. The moments are fraught with some latent reflex the instant we unsheathe our limbs. A yearning, a […]

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Unnameable Things

October 29, 2014

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unthimg2

Hailing from a childhood both untainted and unenlightened by television, I have fond memories of the whole bunch of siblings huddled up in the box room that our parents had converted to a common study, which also served as a hothouse of succulent stories, or an impromptu theatre. Best were the nights with electricity outage […]

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The Crusted Slice

October 3, 2014

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Lost

Always on Dussehra, my sister who is a rung up in the family ladder would remember the older one who lived with us briefly. She was not too old when she fell ill on a winter night that thundered and wept with rain. By the morning she was gone, a few days short of my […]

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The Palace of Illusions —A Review

September 20, 2014

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Panchali

‘Love comes like lightning, and disappears the same way. If you are lucky, it strikes you right. If not, you’ll spend your life yearning for a man you can’t have.’ ~ Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni  It has been raining stories set in historical and mythological pasts, retold in startling perspectives and flavours. Novel methods and innovations […]

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A Hunger Game of Books

September 4, 2014

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TBR

I have taken a vow of abstinence from the book market, which since the advent of blogging has begun resembling a fish market where everyone is hollering to sell his dreams and nightmares alike. The social media is bursting at the seams with ‘authors’ ready to slap in your face their hourly litter at the […]

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Reading The Forgotten Waltz

August 24, 2014

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Clown among commuters

The Saturday is melting away like an ice lolly in afternoon. Swift bursts of rain have given a washed look to mould-ridden walls and rooftops. Even the mounds of garbage look clean. It is a noisy old suburban rail coach, lurching and cruising towards Churchgate, coming to a halt with a shudder on stations, and […]

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A Scientist and a Philatelist

August 14, 2014

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Indian Antarctic Expedition —Philatelist’s Guide

Indian Antarctic Expedition —Philatelist’s Guide : A Review ‘When I saw the first iceberg, draped in the evening sun and glittering like gold on the vast expanse of water, I decided I will definitely write a memoir of my journey to the forbidden continent. It never happened.’ Abhai Mishra sums up the surge of emotions […]

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The Ungolden Ball

July 16, 2014

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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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