Author Archives | umashankar

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I am just a watcher then. Sometimes I watch life. Sometimes I watch death. Many times I watch in between...

Bombastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

November 21, 2016



All right, that is a shameless rip off from the latest opus of J. K. Rowling, also churned into a movie by Warner Bros. But isn’t this the joy of being a nobody on the Internet, that you can pilfer and filch from the mighty and live to tell the tale? I mean, like, the […]

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Surgical Slights, etc.

October 23, 2016



I’ve been trying to wiggle a lot this past month. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, till my face is blue in the corner one-seater as apoplectic debaters fume and combust the television over the carnage of nineteen soldiers in Uri by Pak grown terrorists. The moon over the window remains as pale as ever though. Worse, I […]

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Haruki Murakami’s Well

September 14, 2016



Recently, an old friend of mine who also is under the bondage of a commercial bank, confessed to me he has been contemplating digging a well in the backyard of his house. The gushing fool that I am, I broke into an impromptu lecture about the deteriorating quality of underground water in the cities, advising […]

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The Same Night

August 18, 2016



“The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same.” ~Pablo Neruda I was young when I first read those lines by Pablo Neruda, from a poem that I still hold as one of the best I have ever read in my life, and probably ever will, I had […]

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A Byte of Moonshine

July 10, 2016



  Clouds germinate on the zephyrs from wet hills The heart leaps windward with the kite of moonshine. I count my blessings over the timeline of Facebook Waiting in the tunnels for a byte of moonshine. You have dug out ghosts from the debris of centuries The upper crust of yore lose the right of […]

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Open Your Eyes, Muslims!

July 3, 2016



The problem of Muslims is poverty, not infidels. The tentacles of penury that keep charging the vortex further are primarily fed by unbridled procreation, generation after generation, stretching the flimsy rubber of resources further and further, till life is in tatters for  units after units of the society. It eventually leads to poor or no […]

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A Dewdrop Ghazal

June 27, 2016



The mirror is in youth, the jasmine in bloom, Smoky is the kohl like the moon in a dewdrop. Someone chiselled a solitaire on the finger of my beloved, I will dance with her shadow on the rims of a dewdrop. A pack of wolves ravaged a blossom last darkness, The ocean of law has […]

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The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan

June 5, 2016



 “Those who can really represent China are digging dirt and paving roads with their bare hands.” ~Mo Yan But can they? Sidestepping the polemic surrounding the Nobel citation of Mo Yan, and the seeming incompatibility of the Chinese tongue with English hoes and spades, I prefer to take the stance of the reader who is […]

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Nightfall of Blogging

June 3, 2016



As the nightfall of blogging closes in on me, I am more inclined to exhaling in private than gasping online, more willing to navigate through the bushes and backwaters than honking in the perpetual crescendo of the world wide web. The Internet of Things has taken over, but I am the prodigal come home to […]

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With the Cicadas

May 14, 2016



  The evening is long with shadows of the afternoon chopped and spent at the edges of green black leaves of pubescent jackfruit trees. With the cicadas I pause and creek. With the cicadas I smile and shrink. A blackbird took flight sideways in the ballooning miles of dirt, White blood dripped from the petiole […]

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

April 16, 2016



Somewhere in the pages of his unforgettable autobiography, Paul Kalanithi alludes to the concept of areté, the ability achieved through a confluence of human faculties at their peak, to describe neurosurgery’s unforgiving call to perfection. Neurosurgery, where a scalpel’s journey a millimetre up or down, or to the right or left, in the labyrinths of […]

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Three Tamarind Trees -Part II

March 1, 2016



*The beginning It was half past six in the morning as I trod the bridge over the moat to the looming entrance. My heart matched the pitter-patter of my hastening steps. Unlike the stolid façade I had come upon in my midday visits, the fort stood brooding in the soft morning light. A group of […]

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