‘May you live in interesting times’

The more observant and eagle-eyed amongst you, dear readers, would be asking yourselves why the innocuous headline to this essay is bookended by single quotation marks. The simple answer to that is because it is a quotation, the provenance of which is shrouded in some doubt. The best explanation I was able to glean from …

Bruised, Battered, Bloody but Unbowed

The on-going cricket Test series between India and Australia, being played Down Under has reached its apogee. The series stands at one all, one match heroically drawn and the deciding Test to be played at Brisbane over the coming weekend. Unlike match-ups between these two proud cricketing nations over several decades, when the Aussies ruled …

Looking back with Limericks

Edward Lear (1812-1888) was an English artist, illustrator, poet and musician. However, he will be best remembered as the man who introduced the world to a new poetic form, to wit, the limerick. A simple definition of a limerick would run thus, ‘a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second …

Keenan and Shakespeare tread the boards

The interminable wait for the Covid19 vaccine seems almost over, the United Kingdom leading the pack, while other nations are hot on their heels playing catch-up. 90-year-old Margaret Keenan was the first to receive this long-awaited shot in the arm at her local hospital in Coventry on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Mark this day and …

Separating the wheat from the chaff

Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together. Jonathan Swift. The recently introduced farm bills passed by voice-vote in Parliament has expectedly stirred up a …

When Lutyens became an adjective

Those amongst you who are glued to a specific set of television news channels or read only a couple of newspapers that lean towards a particular side of the Indian political divide, will have frequently come across the term ‘the Lutyens lobby.’ The expression is usually employed in a distinctly pejorative manner, and on television, …