Chess diplomacy. Making the right moves.

Chess is in the air. More to the point, the game of chess has been pervading the city of Chennai, as this great cultural and sporting centre has just been hosting the 44th Chess Olympiad, popularly referred to as the Chennai Chess Olympiad. By definition, chess is not a game calculated to get the adrenalin …

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

‘Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we’re not poets. Dudley Moore. It has always been a matter of wonderment to me why, in the overall realm of things, poetry has invariably been placed a notch above prose in the pantheon of English Literature. I grant you that this is more …

Are we ‘Ready for Rishi?’

When Joe Biden assumed office as President of the United States on January 20, 2021, here in India there was much excitement. Not because anyone in India gave a toss about Joe Biden. The appeal of American Presidents to the Indian public, both domestic as well as the diaspora, depends largely on whether they are …

Music that shakes and stirs

I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it. Igor Stravinsky. Monty Norman died earlier this week at the age of 94. I am sure most of you are going, ‘Monty who?’ Which is hardly surprising. My reaction was no different. Then again, on reading his obituary and discovering …

The Office Secretary – a vanishing breed

No one needs a word processor if he has an efficient secretary. Robertson Davies. Let me declare at the very outset I had no idea who Robertson Davies (1913-95) was, when I came across that quote, and like any diligent writer I looked him up. Evidently one of the foremost novelists, playwrights, journalists and poets …

The premiums are killing me

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? Woody Allen. By any yardstick, insurance is a sound concept, predicated on the principle that should any misfortune befall one, be it health, life, property, accident, theft, fire – in fact, pretty much anything that you possess …