• Photograph of 1950s India village women dressed in traditional clothes collecting water at the village well.

    Daddy occasionally takes longer trips away from home, lasting a few days. Rohtak, a small town close to Delhi, offered a unique experience. A village Headman extends an exclusive invitation as part of the trip. The only transportation option to that remote location is an unreliable private bus service, far from Rohtak. The old farmer ...
  • Taj Mahal as seen through the main entry gate

    Visiting Mathura is another memorable trip with three siblings and our parents. I am ten, Sudhir is two years younger, and Munna is a toddler. The year-end exams are over, and the winter vacation has begun. Daddy is to leave on one of his trips to the rural countryside. He had run into an old ...
  • Tall sugarcane fields

    It is getting close to the end of our summer vacation. Daddy works in remote villages. We will be accompanying him to the Rohtak area for a few days. Mummy warns us we will stay in a rest-house with no electricity or running water in the middle of nowhere. We are not discouraged-it does not ...
  • Daddy & Sudhir around the time of the Rajdoot

    The transition to Bangalore is epic. All our furnishings and heavy household items are to be sold. Even then, a moving company moves heavy trunks and boxes. The thought of having new furniture in a new city excites us. But first, we have to reach Bangalore. Daddy describes the train journey to us. It will ...
  • Pages 11-12 of Fixing a Broken Zipper. In the first picture, Jimmy is looking sadly at the broken zipper. In the second picture, Jimmy's mother is showing him the zipper now works.

      “Yes, Daddy, yes! That’s the book the teacher read in class.” Daddy is turning pages of a children’s book entitled Fix it, Please. We are in a children’s bookstore. My teacher, Miss Beri, had read that book to the class this morning at school. She displayed it to the kids so they could see ...
  • Bridal Party Departure

    I was ten when Daddy put me on a train to Ambala. Alone and unsupervised for the first time, feeling quite grown up, I hope I am hiding my fears. Daddy sent a telegram to his older brother, Har Narain saying, “Sunita is coming–please receive.” An immediate response comes back, “Who is Sunita?” I am ...
  • Sudhir on his Rajdoot mobike i965

    In the hushed, soft-lit room, Sudhir lies in a pine coffin draped with a white cloth. Munna, my younger sister, and I arrange white gladiolas on either end with peace lilies along the length. Deep red roses lie in the middle. Mummy enters with Juji (my youngest sister). The priest prepares the thali for the ...
  • Jamuna Dai's great grandsons, Fateh and Subir (my nephews), at our first meeting ever.

    “Good grades lead to scholarships for higher education. A meaningful degree leads to well-paying jobs with opportunities to advance.” This message is drummed incessantly by Grandfather. His children picked up the refrain and beat it into their children (i.e., my generation). We continued the tradition. After their mother’s passing, grandfather demanded all his children finish ...
  • Dan Gruden and Lindsey Gruden, Ohio State Vs Michigan State 2015

    I hate football. The fans lose their minds and endure crowded stadiums to watch their teams run back and forth on a field. My first experience with the sport was in the high school marching band. Being forced to perform at halftime shows for my small town was not what I enjoyed doing on a ...
  • Scattered tree branches, coconuts, and other debris on the backdrop of damaged cars and trucks.

    It took only a few hours to obliterate the country. Then the skies cleared, and we crawled out of our houses on shaky limbs, fearful of what awaited us. The year was 2004, and our tiny island had been safe from catastrophe for over fifty years. One of the most destructive storms to cross the ...