The Idi Amin of Malleshwaram
Have any of you played a game of crazy crosses? You haven't? Come, let us play. What do you get if you cross the African Dictator Idi Amin and the Indian Scientist CV Raman? Well, the answer is..... The Idi Amin of Malleshwaram. What the hell is that now you may ask. To find the answer I shall have to ask you to step into this time machine with me and travel three decades back in time.

We are in a cozy little middle class locality in a city that was known as India' garden city or alternatively as the pensioner's paradise. Malleshwaram is the name of this locality. Let us zoom down further to one particular house in this locality. A house in the first floor. But let us not enter the house. For most of the events we shall witness are going to happen in the corridor outside the house. So let us just hang on in the corridor, shall we? However  let us go and find the one who we started out looking for - the Idi Amin of Malleshwaram. READ MORE

The Fluke Horse
Sumitra Miss – we used to call her – our class Upper Kindergarten class teacher. Somehow from the moment I saw her I had taken a dislike to her and her likewise. You know how it was in the first Potions class between Harry and Snape. Such was the feeling between us. Yes – she too had been acquainted with my parents from before like Snape had been with James and Lily. Not from ages back like in the case of Harry. But just a few months back she had got introduced to them. Not in the pleasantest of circumstances of course. There was this wealthy lady Mariamma who happened to own around 40 flats that she had begun to dispose off one by one. This Sumitra Miss of ours and her beloved husband had their heart set on one of the flats.  READ MORE

The strange incident of the boy in the craft class
Say you are an eight year old school girl. A good girl who attends classes diligently, listens attentively and pores over every word the teacher says. One day you are sitting in craft class, colored paper and glue on the table in front of you and a pair of scissors in hand intently watching the teacher demonstrate how to create an intricate work of art. Your attention is temporarily distracted by a snipping sound. You turn around and what do you see lying on the seat right next to you? Hair! Lots of hair! Imagine how you would feel in such a situation. How possibly could hair have made its way into the classroom right out of nowhere? Sounds right out of a spooky movie, doesn’t it? This was something that really happened. Close to three decades back. I don’t remember the name of the girl or how exactly she looked except maybe for the shocked expression on her face the moment she saw all the hair around her.  READ MORE

Of Dungeons, Spaceships and Motorcycle Diaries
“Come, Kothi, let us explore the dungeons?”


“Yes – the dungeons. I have found the path to a dungeon where we shall find wonderful treasures. But before that we have to fight all manner of monsters. But that is not something I am sure two heroes like you and me can't handle. Or rather a hero like me and a sidekick like you.”

Well – these are not lines from a fantasy novel. They were spoken right here in our real world. Many years back. With me at the receiving end. I was the Kothi being referred to in the dialogue. My name Karthik was shortened to Karthi by my parents which underwent a further transformation to Kothi when it emerged from my friend Gotham's lips. READ MORE

A Tearful Farewell

The hour had arrived. All her luggage was packed and kept read near the door. She was really going to leave. Leave for good! I felt a lump in my throat.

I tried to remember how it had been before she had come to stay with us. I could only vaguely remember – those days when it was just me and my mother at home. Mother’s moods were like the winds at sea – you never knew which way they would blow. One a sunny day, she would talk to me, play with me or even tell a story. But all I needed to do was to catch a cold to get her into a dark mood. And I being easily susceptible to the virus, those days used to occur all the time. Father, when he was not on tour would come home quite late in the evening, tired and worn out. So a lonely existence it had been for all practical purposes. Till that day when my mother had made the announcement. That her younger sister had finished college and got a job in Bangalore. She was coming to stay with us. That was a year and a half back. READ MORE

I too had a Pet Story
Have you had pets? I mean not a human pet as a boss or an teacher. I mean an animal or a bird. Have you had one? No? Sad. Yes? What was it? Dogs? Cats? Squirrels? I too once had a pet. Any guesses what was it? I am sure you won’t be able to guess. For they were something most exotic. I had them only for 6-8 months. But they were 6-8 happy months and they lived a full and wholesome life going through their entire journey from cradle to grave. At least some of them did.

Let me start where it all begun. If on a winter’s night a traveler…comes knocking at your doorstep? He did that just night - the traveler, was no stranger but my own father who used to work as a small scale industrial office – a traveler who used to travel the length and breadth of Karnataka and Kerala to audit businesses that had had sought funding from his bank. To check the viability of the project and suitability of the project for a loan.  READ MORE

The Mystery of the Missing Earrings
Have you read “Mystery of the Silver Spider"? No? You must. It is part of the “The Three Investigators” series, a series created by Robert Arden. The main character are three American boys Bob, Jupiter and Pete who solve crime. So, in this story “Mystery of the Silver Spider”, the main characters are involved in political intrigue happening in a small European Kingdom. Somehow this plot of royal kidnapping, usurpation of throne etc. seems to be a popular one with children’s writers. I can name at least four others – Circus of Adventures by Enid BlytonThe Secret of Spiggy Holes again by Enid BlytonA Princess at Chalet School by Elinor Brent Dyer and Eva Ibbotson’s Dragon Fly Pool. Coming back to the three investigators story, the silver spider is a royal artifact that gives the king the authority to rule. READ MORE

The Hunchback of Ernakulam
Some people are born great, some people become great, some people have greatness thrust upon them. Similarly some people are born hunchbacks like Quasimodo of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. Others through their exertions, taking greater and greater loads on their back, instead of achieving greatness, end up with broken backs. Still others get their backs broken for no fault of theirs. The hunchback in my story belongs to the third kind.

But hold on. Let us not jump straight to the hunchback. Let us start from where it all begins. I mean my story. Not life, the universe and everything. If that is what you want to read, I recommend you try the Old Testament book of genesis that describes how God went about creating the world over 6 days and before taking a day off on Sunday. Or if you are more scientifically inclined, maybe Stephen Hawking’s brief history of time may have the answer you’re looking for. READ MORE

Opening of a Magical Portal
The jackal was looking at him from the dark pink cover of the slim book. Next to it stood a large war drum almost twice its height. It was sitting on its haunches, its snout pointed up towards the sky, looking intently at the drum. A tree stood right next to the drum its branches hanging right over the drum. He opened the book and flipped through the pages. There were hardly any pictures. Only white pages cluttered with dark letters could be seen.

“Will you only flip through the pages or read as well?” said his father, a sparse man in his mid – thirties reclining on the chair in front of him. He opened the book and looked at the first page. A sea of letters swam in front his eyes. He tried to focus on the first line. But the cows and hens would not let him concentrate. They kept distracting him with their clucks and moos. Then his eyes moved towards the small pond where ducks were paddling lazily. He loved to watch the ducks. READ MORE