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Diya Kohli
Monday , September 03, 2012

Nostalgia Over a Phase of the Moon


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If life were a beach I'd wear cockle shells in my ear I'd douse my hair in yesterday's leftover beer. I'd love the smell of spiced pig blood Every newcomer in my square foot of sandy paradise would be a long lost bud I'd wake every morning wondering which crustacean to skewer And go to bed dreaming about a pink and juicy porker. This is the tale of Shushanto which took place in the winter of 2008. But before we meet him, we have a courtship, a wedding and a voyage. As I fell hook, line and sinker for the artful poesy of a romance stolen from Woody Allen and Satyajit Ray involving country boats, rainy days, shared umbrellas and stolen moments under bright city lights, there was little that could stop the deal from being sealed. And so a whirlwind followed and....


Thursday , August 30, 2012

Nostalgia over a phase of the moon


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If life were a beach I'd wear cockle shells in my ear I'd douse my hair in yesterday's leftover beer. I'd love the smell of spiced pig blood Every newcomer in my square foot of sandy paradise would be a long lost bud I'd wake every morning wondering which crustacean to skewer And go to bed dreaming about a pink and juicy porker. This is the tale of Shushanto which took place in the winter of 2008. But before we meet him, we have a courtship, a wedding and a voyage. As I fell hook, line and sinker for the artful poesy of a romance stolen from Woody Allen and Satyajit Ray involving country boats, rainy days, shared umbrellas and stolen moments under bright city lights, there was little that could stop the deal from being sealed. And so a whirlwind followed and the....


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Goan Monsoon


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If life was a beach dotted with crabs, cocktail umbrellas and drinks smelling of plum and peach I'd begin my day with a seafood stew I'd wash it down with some pungent coconutty local brew I'd splash about in the waters till lunch To sate my belly with a lobster brunch But well, life rarely lets you sunbathe in peace and so it is only on rare occasions that one trades the computer mouse for a bright yellow toy spade and thus armed embarks on a journey to search for the perfectly sunny clime, the perfect stretch of unbroken white sands and the sweetest grilled crab in butter garlic sauce there could be. With such humble ambitions the husband and I embarked on our longest vacation till date to explore Goa in all its lovely rain-washed splendour. The fact that....


Tuesday , July 19, 2011

Life loves the liver of it!


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LIVER, n. A large red organ thoughtfully provided by nature to be bilious with. The sentiments and emotions which every literary anatomist now knows to haunt the heart were anciently believed to infest the liver; and even Gascoygne, speaking of the emotional side of human nature, calls it "our hepaticall parte." It was at one time considered the seat of life; hence its name - liver, the thing we live with. Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary My earliest memories of Liver were bitter - they were of cod liver oil capsules Then I remember liver being spicy. It was my grandfather's favourite Sunday afternoon nosh and wound up on our tables ever so often without any preamble unlike the fussy mutton curry and rice which announced its arrival hours before it made its way into our bellies. Spiced and fried into a delicious kosha alu mete....


Monday , May 16, 2011

The shop around the corner


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It started with a rat. Albeit it was a small, grey, possibly-cute-in-a-parallel-universe kind of rat. Yet, when this creature jumped out of a shelf full of wilted spinach, I couldn't help thinking that this signaled my entrance into the circles of retail hell. This story actually begins about a decade ago in the leafy neigbourhoods of a shiny-as-a- new-nickel India where our home-grown retailers opened the first supermarkets selling everything from Kissan jam to Bata shoes. The first customers gingerly stepped in lured by the promise of convenience and super deals ('Buy five kgs atta get one kg besan FREE) and the rest as they say was retail history. When I entered this story, things had already started to go a little bad. The recession had hit the retail world. Potato/onion/tomato prices had sky rocketed and global warming had led to....


Thursday , March 17, 2011

No Blight on this Potato


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The hint of smoky sweetness wafts over the dusty smog of the city As I carry my Monday morning hangover face to work. It carries with it a portent Of a benevolent sun warming up my patch of checked gingham Amid yowling dogs and bawling kids in my neighborhood park This sweet potato on a stand beguiles you into believing That there might be a cherry blossom That will break out of the concrete jungle This winter. The misshapen body cased in brown Yields a tender kernel of surprise. Worn hands with a single perfectly manicured fingernail painted fire-engine red Cajole the creamy whiteness out of its charred skin They flick some magic powder out of an old plastic tin, That had enjoyed its moment of glory under the spotlights at a department store Many summers ago. A fine dust Covers the naked tuber in new clothes. ....


Thursday , March 17, 2011

A Devil and a Crab


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Prologue: My earliest crab memory dates back to when I was a wee child who woke up in the middle of the night to a strange rustling sound. I awoke from my stupor and swung my legs over the side of the bed only to land on something hard, scaly... and moving... Too young to know about the critters and too old to believe that the ground had turned into a hungry monster, curiosity made me flip the switch of the night lamp. And there... scurrying away from the warm yellow spotlight...on the purple tiled floor of my parent's 1st floor apartment in a respectable neighbourhood... was a red crab the size of my fist. I quickly yanked my foot away from the ground... only to see another cheeky creature dashing under my bed. I remember yelling like a banshee. I remember jumping up....


Thursday , March 17, 2011

Keep Truckin - like the Doodah Man


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A never-ending stretch of asphalt and the growl of an overloaded truck with a Haryana number plate and a witty saying to avert the evil eye fills up the mid morning air in March. Dappled with sun, infused with diesel fumes, this is an ordinary day on the NH1 in Haryana. Yet, if you turn your head for a split second, right off this busy highway there is a sea of yellow filling up the once empty acres of brown earth. Bobbing their heads merrily in the light morning breeze, the mustard flowers are a herald of change. Right by these fields of yellow gold stands a colourful canopy with a few tables with cheap laminates. Weaving his way through a sea of bright red plastic chairs is a little boy who cajoles every passerby with a wave. He tempts with his little plate....


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