Family Time: Gap Year Week 44

I can tell, from the tone-shift towards timbres of mourning, that my mother’s conversation with a friend has reached its inevitable terminus at Problems with This Day’s Generation. Continue reading “Family Time: Gap Year Week 44”

Trusting Wild Ideas: Gap Year Week 43

“We’ve made a wrong turn,” says my aunt for the fifth time in five minutes. Sprawled in the backseat, I stay quiet, but cannot help but agree. We’re four hours out from Bangalore and have spun along the highway to Tamil Nadu for hundreds of kilometres before turning off onto what is, undeniably, a plain dirt road. Continue reading “Trusting Wild Ideas: Gap Year Week 43”

Communi-tea: Gap Year Week 39

When the last group of students left, we sat and read the reflections we had them write in the last hours, lazy on the grass, waiting for lunch. Continue reading “Communi-tea: Gap Year Week 39”

Rosary: Gap Year Week 38

Note: you might be more confused than usual if you haven’t read last week’s post.

My flips and rotations, all mid-air, reached a complexity far beyond my two months of gymnastics in second grade. Simone Biles would be jealous of the contortions I tried. With the greatest precision, I executed one final twist; breathing hard, I waited for the sound of success. Continue reading “Rosary: Gap Year Week 38”

The Truth About JLF: Gap Year Week 27

Everything they say about the Jaipur Literature Festival is true. It’s crowded, sticky with people with minimal interest in books. Many speakers are hit-and-miss. And it’s the greatest literary show on earth. Continue reading “The Truth About JLF: Gap Year Week 27”

Roots: Gap Year Week 26

My grandparents live in Vizag, or Vishakapatnam, a small coastal town in Andhra Pradesh. At least I’ve been introducing it that way for the last eighteen years.  Continue reading “Roots: Gap Year Week 26”

Andamans Again: Gap Year Week 25

This time when I landed in Port Blair, the crowds didn’t come as a surprise. I was prepared for the crush around the luggage belt, the humid chaos of the taxi stand, and knew to relish the distance as we left the city behind us, the paddy fields rolling out further and further. My room, open-windowed to green around, felt on the verge of tumbling into forest, and taking me with it. Continue reading “Andamans Again: Gap Year Week 25”

Burning Bright: Gap Year Week 24

For the last eight years now, my family and I have rung in every new rotation of the sun in Bangalore. New Year’s Eve there is not just a tradition—it’s a certainty, and to suggest anywhere else for the celebration feels vaguely blasphemous. Continue reading “Burning Bright: Gap Year Week 24”

Curlews of Stone

great thickknee

Great thick-knees are distinctly odd birds – a combination of a shoebill stork, a sandpiper, an ostrich, a bustard, with a hint of a brief, scandalous dalliance with a chessboard around the eyes. They move stiffly and slowly through the days, breaking out into short runs if hurried, moving deliberately, as if trying to hold all the different pieces of themself together.

The IUCN lists them as near-threatened due to the rapid disappearance of their riverside habitat. This one appeared on the bank like a ghost, landing silently, staring at us carefully for moments as we drifted away across the river.