Category life and politics

Just say no

A very talented (and generous) friend was asked by an acquaintance to help advance her career. My friend agreed to help. Said she’d be glad to. “No!” I said. “You are too kind to everyone and become over-burdened. I will be your ‘No’ manager and tell people no for you.” I don’t say: So you […]

When you despair of our species

Consider the multitudes volunteering to care for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Consider the first responders who run towards trouble rather than away from it. Consider Malala Yousafzai who, at 15, despite being shot for advocating for female education, persists. Consider Kailash Satyarthi who campaigns to end child labour (we’re not talking about […]

Why he works so hard

I was recently introduced to a very accomplished man. We talked about his wonky career path and why he loves what he does. He’s open about the fact that he was adopted from India at age 8 by a Canadian family. As soon as he could, he got jobs, working three paper-routes when he was 13 years old […]

You know there’s a problem when…

You return to the Consulate General of India with a complete list of documents as instructed by the staff person the day before. She gives you a smile of recognition and says, “Let me check if the officer will accept these documents and issue the attestation.” You respond: “I was here yesterday and you confirmed […]

Loving Diaspora Dialogues

What’s not to love. At Diaspora Dialogues – Readings from the Underground on Saturday, May 24, authors read from the work of a banned writer followed by an excerpt from their own writing. The ever-engaging Garvia Bailey of the CBC hosted the first half of the program. The readings were part of year-round programming by Diaspora Dialogues which supports: […]

How small a world is it?

Early in 2014, a friend invited me to join her and some South Asian friends for a monthly dinner. At our fourth get-together, I overheard one of the women talking about visiting Bombay (where she grew up) annually. Long story short, I hear mention of Malabar Hill. I know exactly one person in Bombay (an old and […]

Down with inter-marriage?

Full-disclosure: I’m the product of inter-marriage – a Bengali-Hindu woman married a Jewish-Californian man of Lithuanian descent and voila! Just in time for Valentine’s Day earlier this year, there was a report that the Israeli Prime Minister’s son was dating a non-jew: Why is it anybody’s business who the young man’s dating? Well, because. After […]

Dosa to die for

For lovers of dosa, a delectable crisp crêpe made from fermented rice flour, few things compare to a masala dosa from Saravana Bhavan. The dosa’s flavour and texture, the potato filling, the sambar, the tomato chutney, and the coconut chutney (which separates the wannabes from the real thing). Delish. And pure veg if you care about such […]

Birth day

We congratulate the birthday girl/boy/wo/man but never the woman who gave birth (and we know Labour Day is not about that either). As my child’s birthday approaches, I think of the last days of pregnancy, of friends visiting us in hospital and making us laugh till we cried, of labour, of the hours after our baby took her first breath […]


Spring has arrived desperately late this year. Winter in Toronto has been long and cold and miserable. The daffodils in my garden bloomed only last week. And that got me thinking of having to memorise William Wordsworth’s poetry at St. Joseph’s High School in Poona, India, in the 1970s. I wandered lonely as a cloud […]

Body by Basch

Living & Loving My Life


Many physicists today postulate the existence of multiple universes, even when sober. We used to live in a world of infinite possibilities. Now we live in an infinite number of worlds. India shines. Democracy thrives. The economy booms. A hundred flyovers bloom. This is not that India. If you see your picture here one day, don’t worry. That’s not you.

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