Shillong

A fidget spinner spins in ball-bearing carts sliding down Shillong slopes

Ball bearing cart

The fidget spinner is easily the toy of the year 2017. And with a 5-year-old who keeps abreast of all the latest toy trends via YouTube Kids, it becomes difficult evading any such toy craze. While pondering about what to get for Googool (my son, aka Advay) at an airport duty free shop, noticed the [Read more]

APJ Abdul Kalam: The unofficial Google doodle

APJ Abdul Kalam: The unofficial Google doodle

The ‘People’s President’ Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam died of a heart attack in my hometown Shillong. He was 83. A blackboard sketch featuring his signature hairstyle and the different facets of his person. Black to signify loss and blackboard to stress on his focus on education.

Adieu Hindustan Ambassador. An unofficial (and animated) Google doodle

Ambassador local taxi with red beacon

The good ol’ Amby has finally shuddered to a halt. And here’s an unofficial Google doodle (albeit a little late) honking in honour of the grand old lady of Indian roads. In the hills, where I come from, the incline is steep and the load is heavy some Mark IIIs and IVs still ply – [Read more]

1962: Newspaper front page from 50 years ago when China attacked India

It’s been 50 years since the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unexpectedly rampaged into Indian territory and reached the outskirts of Tezpur in Assam before making an unexpected retreat. The war was fought much before I was born, but being born into North East India, I heard a lot of [Read more]

Vintage photographs of Shillong from 1948 (also Vallabhbhai Patel calling people of Assam lazy)

Assembly House, Shillong (1948)

64 years later, Shillong is virtually unrecognisable. I could only recognise the Governor House on Bivar Road, then known as Government House, the characteristic Ward’s Lake and the Assembly House (destroyed in a fire on January 9, 2001). These photographs from Government of India’s Photo Division were taken when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was on a [Read more]

16 years since that summer of 2001: What ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ meant to me

Akshaye Khanna, Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan in a still from Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

(Dil Chahta Hai was released on August 10, 2001. This post was first published in 2011 and I still feel the same about the movie in 2017)   Summer of 2001. Bhopal. Bharat Talkies. Dil Chahta Hai. A decade later the experience is still as fresh. On that overcast afternoon, I stepped out of the [Read more]

How to speak on the telephone, the right way

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

It was an altogether different age, when having a telephone at home was a status symbol. And the waiting list for a new phone connection was sometimes years long. It was also the time when there was no pulse for local calls (at least in Shillong), it didn’t matter how long the call was, you [Read more]

Mahalaya: The Advent of Autumn

Today is Mahalaya, the day of invocation of goddess Durga in her Mahisasurmardini form (the slayer of the demon Mahisasur). The beginning of the ten days of festivity.