Anagi is my granddaughter who is all of three and a bit. Her recent arrival with her brother Ruby (adventures with Ruby is a story for another day) has improved my self-awareness beyond belief. I know of men objectifying women. But, Anagi chooses to objectify her thatha (that’s me). She climbs onto my neck, using my shoulder as a ladder step to reach some portions of the whiteboard to gaw (draw). “Gaw me a girl!” Anagi commands. I recall my childhood drawing skills and draw one. “Gaw me a baby!” I start gawing — I mean drawing — a baby…


Are you a parent/ grandparent who is stumped when your child/ grandchild asks you for a story every night? If so, the post is just right for you. And I can tell you; it really works. I hit upon the idea of interactive stories one night when my son after seven straight nights of made-up stories wanted a new story and my muse was on vacation. “Once upon a time, (All my stories started with ‘once upon a time’. If I varied my opening hook, my son would complain, ’that’s not a story, Pa.’) there was this blue bird who…


(Conversations in a monastery)

(Scene in a monastery. Seated are PLATO, EINSTEIN, JOSHU, AN ONLOOKER, SANKARA, DISCIPLE1 and DISCIPLE2. DISCIPLE1 sits near JOSHU and ONLOOKER near PLATO)

DISCIPLE 1: (To JOSHU) Master JOSHU, I am confused by what you say. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

JOSHU: Come here. (DISCIPLE1 approaches. JOSHU slaps him hard.)

DISCIPLE1: (Holding his cheek) Ow! Ow! Master, what you have done?

JOSHU: Don’t you see?

PLATO: That was the sound of one hand slapping. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

ONLOOKER: At this point of time, you are supposed to be…


Croans are zen-like questions or statements concerning a crow. If you meditate on these every day for three days or one year, whichever is shorter, you will get enlightened.

  • What is the difference between a crow?
  • Would a crow by any other name caw as loudly?
  • All crows are crows, except others.
  • If you were the only crow in the world, would you still love other crows?
  • Can you remove the blackness from a crow?
  • If you killed a single crow, would it still be murder? What if it was married?
  • What is the smell of one wing flapping?
  • If a crow caws in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, would you still be suspicious?
  • If you meditate on a crow, will it get crushed?

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Stephen King advises the murder of your darlings — some of the best parts of your writing that may not resonate with your target audience. This is fantastic advice. At best, it will be a piece of self-indulgence that jerks the reader back from his immersion in your writing. At the worst, the reader may want to throw the book out.

Your darling is likely to fall under one or more of these categories: -Something clever, but inappropriate for your audience - Satire that will be taken literally by most readers - A piece of sublime dialogue that is simply…

Kalyanaraman Durgadas

Writes fiction. Fantasy, humour, mythology, history. Ex-serial entrepreneur, now mentors a few gullible startups. 1 Laptop, 1 wife, 3 sons, 2 book deals.

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