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 Naked and the Mad

November 23, 2014



“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



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



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



‘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



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


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


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


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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July 6, 2014


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


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


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



‘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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