Vacation planning

This is happening right now in many Indian families.  The NRIs want to plan months in advance and the Indians cannot even plan the next week.  It all depends on whether the plumber shows up 🙂 We aren’t a commitment phobic people.  We are just interdependent on multiple moving parts.
In the Abilene Paradox, a group does something that nobody wants to do because each person thinks that everyone else wants to do it!

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Summer pleasures

Come summer and I think of the time my grandmother and I got drunk together. Our libation was the sap of the palmyra tree and it appeared like clockwork this time of year. Called padaneer in Tamil and neera up North, this sap of the Borassus flabellifer tree tasted of jaggery, coconut, and water. The men who sold it to us insisted that it had “no kick,” but was full of “strength and vitamins.”

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Role reversal

When do you become an adult? People have different answers for this. Some say that they become adults when they leave home for college, when they make decisions on their own. Others link it to their first kiss, or more prosaically, their first paycheck. One friend said that she became an adult when her parents died.
My parents’ relationship is beyond the realm of words or date nights or flowers on anniversaries. Their bond is primal.

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Vanity Phone numbers for HT Brunch

What should you do when you can pick the digits of your phone number? Ask the astrologer of course!

To get her new SIM card, my mother called up our family astrologer to pick the number accordingly

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This Indian Life: new column for HT Brunch

Every generation thinks of itself as the sandwich generation: caught between parents and children.  This generation however is different, I believe.  Because of advances in medical science, our parents are living longer.  These are some of the things I write about in this new column.

What unites today’s India besides a love of spicy food, film songs, cricket and big fat weddings? I would say that many of us are parenting our parents – and an assortment of uncles, aunts, and random elders whose children live beyond our shores. It is equal parts frustration and comedy livened with moments of tenderness that borders on the sublime.

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New column in HT Brunch

So excited for my new column in HT Brunch. My new editor, Jamal Shaikh, doesn’t do shortcuts or half measures. He flew down one of their star photographers from Mumbai to Bangalore to shoot my columnist photo at home. Here is Prabhat Shetty, the photographer and his assistant, Santosh, setting up for the shot that eventually made the cut. Beginning, Sunday, February 18th in HT Brunch.

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