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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!...

The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

April 21: Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah entertains guests in the celebrated Awadhi style of his forefathers. The nawab (title of former rulers of princely states), hosts elaborate traditional dinners for foreign tourists at his grand palace called Sheeshmahal (glass palace), in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow flourished in the 18th century as the capital of the nawabs of the principality of Awadh. It became an important cultural centre for art, music, crafts and etiquette based on the idea of graciousness that may seem excessively laidback today....

Marriage in Prison

Marriage in Prison

July 15: He was a prisoner in Model Jail in Lucknow and she was the warden of the jail. The fell in love. And got married. Sounds like a filmi story? It happened in real life. And the story just goes on to show that prisoners are human beings too. And wardens are not villains who keep prisoners under lock and key. The warden, Ranjana, met the prisoner, Santosh, three years ago in Lucknow jail....

Taming the Boors

Taming the Boors

October 28: Regulars at the Lucknow University campus in Lucknow, are familiar with the site of a tall, well-built young woman, in police uniform, zipping past on a powerful motorbike. The young woman is Lakshmi Singh, a police sub-inspector who has recently taken charge of Lucknow University’s outpost. And she is on a mission – to curb the spiralling violence against girls studying in the University. The Lucknow University campus, is supposedly one of the most notorious campuses in India....

Couch pet-atoes

Couch pet-atoes

Where: Lucknow, India July 18, 2007: First it was kids. Now, it’s the dogs. Middle class families across India are plagued by obesity. In other words, from the master to his pooch, everyone is fat, and very likely sick. According to a report in The Times of India, doctors at the Government Veterinary Hospital (GVH) in Lucknow estimate that nearly one in every three pet dogs in the city is falling sick because of the kind of lives their owners lead....

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