“Is this your handiwork?” I angrily pointed to the hole in the ground.”
“No.”
“Who did it?”
“Left-wing anarchists with a design to destabilize the neighborhood.”
“Why?”
“It’s their fundamental right.”
“Who says so?”
“The First Amendment of the American constitution.”
I was confused. “The first amendment says that digging holes is a fundamental right?”
“No, you simpleton,” Brewski smirked. “The first amendment gives American citizens a right to violently protest anywhere, anytime, and turn a peaceful gathering into a ravaging mob.”

“You are playing fast and loose with the facts.” I protested. “The first amendment gives citizens the right…


“That was some dogfight,” Brewski exclaimed while chewing on a bone.
“Yes,” I replied. “This debate was nasty, man.”
“I could do a better job in the debate.” Brewski dug deeper into the bone.
“It’s a dog eat dog world in Washington,” I replied. “You think you can run with the big dogs?”
“Are you making fun of my small stature?” Brewski looked up.
“You are taking me too literally, my friend,” I replied.
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” …


Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The car veered off the icy road and continued sliding. As the vehicle approached the guardrail, the young lady at the wheel calmly steered the car back to the road. The event took all of two seconds while I braced for an impact. It was NOT a near-death experience, and no, my whole life didn’t flash before my eyes in that instant. But my grip on the Pizza box tightened. There were still two slices left, and I was not letting them go.

Impressive recovery, I thought but kept my mouth shut.

It was late in the evening. The ice…


The Uber driver looked old and withered. Not old enough to present a security risk at the wheel. But old enough to be enjoying his golden years in a sunnier place, not hustling as an Uber driver.

“What brings you out of the house, Grandpa?” I said, “You could be rocking in your armchair reading your newspaper “ I continued

I quickly reminded him that “Grandpa” was a joke, and I am no young gun myself.

“Boredom. Making a little money.” The old gentleman said. “But primarily the wife.”

“Every time she has an errand for me, I get out and do a few rides.” The driver continued. “Get back home in the evening with the goods.”

“She would forget what she asked for by the time you get home.”

“She doesn’t forget.” the driver. “Let me tell you a story.”

Photo by Nani Chavez on Unsplash

Once upon a time, an old couple lived together. As so happens with being together for so long, things fell in a predictable routine. No big conflicts. Minor skirmishes on how to keep the gears of daily life moving but peaceful in general.

One day, as the heavy snow covered the ground, and the wind whistled around the frozen landscape, the wife started feeling cold. The wife wanted some more firewood.

“But there is firewood in the house.” The old man protested.
“We might run out.” The wife replied. “And then we will freeze.”

The man knew enough not to protest. He picked his ax, braced himself for the bitter cold, and silently walked out in the white fog that shrouded the landscape.

He walked along the edge of the forest, circled back to the frozen lake, and aimlessly wandered a little more. He came upon the local tavern. The fire crackled with warmth, and the place was aglow with the laughter of friends.

By the time he got home, it was dark. The fire was out, and the old lady was sitting all wrapped up in blankets.

“I missed you.” The old man said with a feeling that hadn’t surfaced for many years.

“Did you get the firewood?” The old lady asked, and then continued without missing a beat. “I missed you too.”


“What are your hours?”
‘I normally drive from 8 to 5.” Edmundo said. “And then head over to my girlfriend’s house.
“Play with my baby boy, cook with my girlfriend, and spend some time together.” He continued. “I am a lucky guy.”
“That sounds cool,” I said encouragingly. “And then back to work tomorrow, huh?”
“Nah, My wife wanted me to take her to the mall tomorrow.” Edmundo looked around before making the turn. “She hardly takes a day off.”
“You mean your girlfriend.”
“No, my wife.”
Silence while I tried to sort this through.

“Does your wife know about…


“Where are you from?”

“Kirgeestaahn.”

“Kir-gee-staahn, huh?” I intoned slowly, trying to emphasize the ‘gee.’ “I have heard about Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

“But not Kirgeestaahn.” I continued, “Where is this.”

“Central Asia.”

“Close to the Middle East?” I asked casually.

“Not Really.” He said helpfully after a brief pause. “It’s on the border with China.”

“China is a large country with a large border, man.” I let out a small laugh. “Which border would that be?”

“The central Asian border.”

That is not telling me much.

“What’s the nearest country?”

“Tajikistan.”

That didn’t ring any bells. I dug deep into…


Photo by Alexander on Unsplash

Here he is. My Uber driver in crimson robes. Sporting horn-rimmed glasses, just like Dalai Llama. Clean-shaven head. And smiling ever so peacefully as the mad Houston traffic whizzed by.

“Going to a costume party?”

Dorze threw his head back and laughed uproariously.

“I am training to be a Buddhist Monk.” he calmly replied. “Working through my final vows.”

“But gotta pay the bills, Man.”

“You have a Texan drawl?”

“I was born here, but my parents are practicing Buddhists from Tibet,” Dorze clarified. “I asked a lot of questions about God when I was young. …


Photo by Augustin de Montesquiou on Unsplash

“I am from Koo-bah.”

“Quba (Cuba), you mean?” I said quickly.

“No, Koo-bah.” She gave a tired smile, wondering if getting language lessons in her mother tongue came as part of the driving an Uber.

“That’s how we say it in Spanish.” She explained.

I quickly pulled out my Google Translator app, clicked on the pronunciation, and sure enough, it is Koo-bah. This lady from Koo-bah (Cuba) must know that her country is called Koo-bah.

https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/Cuba?langFrom=en

She heard that and laughed. “You didn’t believe me.”

And not for the first time, I had played Mr-Know-it-all and had a little egg…


“Where are you from?”
“Colorado Springs.”
“What are you doing in Texas?”
“Jobs, Jobs and Jobs”
I heartily agreed with my driver on the job situation.
“But the Rockies.” I inquired. “Don’t you miss them?”
“Kind of.”
“I spent some time in Denver. “ I said. “Tried a few hikes, but I couldn’t handle being alone in all that wilderness. Very worried about the Bears.

Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

“Bears?” Jared smiled. “They are gentle souls. You can handle them easily.” “Easily??” “Depends upon the situation.’’ Jared paused, looking over his shoulder into the blind spot. “You can either run or play dead when…


Even the Caveman did Selfies!!

A picture is worth a 1,000 likes!!!

Humanity, in general, has always been self-absorbed. I don’t mean it in a wrong way; we all concentrate on ourselves a lot. Narcissism is organic. There is a lot of self-adoration out there.

A Caveman painting a Self-Portrait on his cave wall; Sketch done by budding artist Trisha Vedula

I will not play Darwin here and get into the evolutionary imperative to love oneself. But I can picture Joe the caveman feverishly scratching the cave walls with his likeness that he saw in the water today morning. And then making minor tweaks — Make the jawline stronger, slope the forehead a little, broaden the nose a little bit. …

Rakesh Gambhir

Pretender; Help me find my TRUE SELF…

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