‘That fellow from Down Under’

The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, recently had the world in splits, embarrassingly so, with a stunningly casual throwaway line while addressing the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. It happened at a joint live video communique announcing the formation of an important defence strategic alliance between the United Kingdom, Australia and …

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are (not quite) dead

(A one-act play. With apologies to Tom Stoppard) The curtain rises and on stage are two beds in a nursing home. Lying on the beds are two very ill middle-aged males. At the foot of the beds hang two boards with the same bold legend on each, ‘Rosencrantz – Nil by mouth, Guildenstern – Nil …

A kingfisher’s tale

The former Indian business tycoon, Vijay Mallya, after protracted legal proceedings in the United Kingdom, has now been officially declared bankrupt, paving the way for a consortium of Indian banks to pursue a worldwide freezing order to seek repayment of debt owed by the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. News reports. A good friend of mine …

O! For a horse with wings

They sway’d about upon a rocking horse / And thought it Pegasus. John Keats, Sleep and Poetry. The three wise Gods of Asgard, in the Kingdom of Norse decided to get together at Valhalla to discuss a matter of great pith and moment. They were all double-masked to keep away a strange and unknown pestilence, …

Pleased as Punch

During the early 70s, when I was fortunate enough to land a job as an executive trainee in one of Calcutta’s leading advertising agencies, I had precious little idea of what I was letting myself in for. The hurly-burly, non-stop excitement of working shoulder to shoulder with bright-as-buttons creative copywriters and art directors; tough-as-nails, smooth-talking …