Being Miss Babu

“You guys think I am a naive piece of shit, don’t you?” Babu screamed adjusting his spectacles and grooming his non-existent moustache. We didn’t know how to react. Of all the guys in the gang, we knew only Babu could be convinced to do it. Dilip Nair, consummate salesman and super star of Tata Press […]

I Hate Sachin

An edited version of this story appears in ESPNcricinfo 1989. “Yaaru pethha puallayo! Punyam panna vairu!” my late granny remarked upon hearing about Sachin’s debut and subsequent exploits. She looked at her sons (my uncles) and said “Yenakkum vandhu porandhudhu paaru!” She was paying a glowing tribute to Sachin Tendulkar’s mom and lamenting over her […]

Mr. Chari’s First Flight

“Did you try Tatkal?” He said. For the 476th time. I wished I could explain to him. How making our PM speak was a possibility as compared to getting a Tatkal ticket on IRCTC. About how I woke up for the first time in years at 6:30 A.M and was staring at the clock to […]

A South-Indian Classical Music Fan Speaks

Dilli Babu, for as long as I have known him, swore by classical music. “In the cruel summer nights, when walking around the house butt naked and taking a shower every 7 minutes also didn’t help, I listen to this composition in Jagan Kalyan. And, I sleep like a baby post that!” He said, wiping […]

Anna Podi: That killer powder from Andhra

Anna Podi is an Andhra Chetty recipe. It is a powder that you mix with steamed rice and eat. My mother picked this recipe up from her Komiti Chetty friends in Chittoor. Ingredients Peanuts: 2 cups Roasted Gram Dal (pottu kadalai): 2 cups Red chillies: about 15 (but depends on how spicy you want it […]

Note to indie man

An indie movie maker said this It’s easy to make a film (comparatively) when you have a posh office set up, Nescafe counter at every alley of it, assistants with iPhones, ‘whatever’ attitude and a man on a big roller chair telling you what to do next. It’s quite easy in my opinion because when […]


She waited to die in his lap. She waited for three whole weeks. And when my father returned to find that he didn’t get his usual welcome at the door, I saw his eyes well up with tears. I knew something had changed in my home forever. We would never be the same again without […]

Raghava Reddy’s Turtle

An exaggerated version of a true story, as told to me by a friend who chose to remain anonymous. Yeah. You’ll know why he did so after you have read this story. He threw our clothes, splashed some kerosene on them, and set them on fire. We stood there, standing by the edge of the […]

Wanted: UX Researcher for ESPN Digital Media

We’re looking for a Contractor for 6 months (extendable). You get to work on various sports portals from the ESPN network of sites, including,, and If you have a passion for sports and your profile matches the criteria below, write to sumank/gmail Essential functions: Play a role in developing the information architecture […]

The Legend of Elikunji

Mothers spoke about him in hushed whispers. When they fed their babies. “If you don’t finish your lunch, Elikunji will take you away.” We debated “Does he exist? Or is it just a maternal conspiracy to make the babies eat?” But, somewhere in the dark corners of our minds, a nagging question kept us on […]