Grandfather

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The Wooden God

The Wooden God

Bablu hated the ritual of prayer and fast that his family had been observing for as long as he could remember. The entire family had to wake at dawn and have a dip in the village pond, even if it was in the middle of the bitterest winter. A chilly winter day would find a shivering Bablu trying hard not to think of the million ice-cold needles that would pierce him when he entered the pond to bathe....

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival In 1854, the government of United States made an offer for a large area of Indian land and promised a ‘reservation’ for the Indian people. Chief Seattle’s reply is a most beautiful and profound statement on environment… How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?...

Excerpts from Snake Trouble

Excerpts from Snake Trouble

Grandmother was tolerant of most of his pets, but she drew the line at reptiles. Even a sweet-tempered lizard made her blood run cold. There was little chance that she would allow a python in the house. “It will strangle you to death!” she cried. “Nonsense,” said Grandfather. “He’s only a young fellow.” “He’ll soon get used to us,” I added, by way of support. “Lock that awful thing in the bathroom,” she said. Excerpts from Snake Trouble [Illustrations by Mickey Patel] “Go and find the man you bought it from, give him twenty rupees or twice as much, and get him to come here and collect it!...

How the Gorkhas Came to Dehradun

How the Gorkhas Came to Dehradun

Some time ago, Madhu Gurung wrote about her grandmother who was the best storyteller in the world. Once ‘Bajai’ as she was called, told a different kind of a story – a real story of how the Gorkha warriors of Nepal came to settle down in Dehradun. Among them was Bajai’s grandfather, the chieftain of a clan. Bajai told us that more than 200 years ago, when the British East India Company ruled parts of India, they attacked Nepal....

The Last of the Big Ones

The red-and-silver Dragonfly happily flitted across the pool: “Zim, Zim, Zim, Over the water I skim. Now dart in, Now dart out, Dash across And turn about.” The Last of the Big Ones [By Uma Anand] “Oh, bother,” croaked a hoarse voice as with a plop, a large Bullfrog settled himself on a lily pad. “A little less darting and dashing might be better all round. It’s hot and dusty enough without your hovering above my head....

Eid in Yusufpur

Eid in Yusufpur

Guess what guys?? My dad is taking me to his village for Eid this year. I am so excited that my tummy is all tied up in knots and I can hardly wait to get there. I haven’t yet enjoyed Eid the way papa says he used to when he was small. Well, I am hoping to do so this time. Let me start with the village first, the way my dad describes it. Yusufpur is a sleepy village in Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh....

Heading For Trouble!

Dadaji (grandfather) comes visiting during summer holidays. And stays on till Diwali, which makes it half a year of fun. I’ll tell you why. First, he arrives with bundles of gifts. Stuff that no one ever brings me. Homemade laddoos bumpy from fingers that shaped them, sticks of sugarcane that smell of his fields, papads rolled out in his courtyard. I never know which is more fun, opening the bundles or wolfing the stuff down!...

The Gift of Wonder

The Gift of Wonder

Eleven years ago, under the sequinned sky on a warm summer day, on the roof of his palatial home in the town of Vrindaban, my grandfather introduced me to wonder. As I lay on a mattress surrounded members of the family, my grandfather or “Nana” as I used to call him, asked me to look at the sky and try to spot the patterns and the constellations. “What does that look like?” he would ask, pointing to the Little Bear....

Squirrelling it Away

Squirrelling it Away

Chimpu and his grandfather had gone to the park for an evening walk. After Chimpu had played with his friends for over an hour, he came back sweating and tired, to sit beside his grandfather at the park bench. There he found his grandfather throwing peanuts, brought from home, to the scampering squirrels at his feet. In fact, bushy-tailed squirrels are a common sight in the city’s parks and gardens. This frisky little rodent is constantly scampering around, and it is indeed rare to come across one perfectly still....

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