Morni Diaries

An evening with King Uncle

March 26, 20121 Comment

‘My naana-ji was a pehalwaan,’ he announced proudly, ‘Rustam-e-Punjab‘. This had us all in splits. Nobody comes to a post-grad hostel and talks about the physical prowess of his maternal grandfather.  Everybody just knows it without ever having been taught. But he somehow didn’t. He was a ready-witted, hard-core fauji kid who was born with […]

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Driving with Zorba

March 21, 20126 Comments

The movie, ‘Zorba the Greek,’ immortalized by Anthony Quinn’s characterization of the rustic, full-spirited Zorba, left quite an impression on me. I thought and talked about Zorba until I had my wife worried. ‘You are increasingly mistaking eccentricity for style,’ she complained, ‘ and I hope you are not nursing a secret desire to live […]

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The Lady with the Mastiff

December 21, 20110 Comments

The construction of the ‘Tikkar Cottage,’ our dream home in the Morni hills, was finally coming to an end. We had not realized the challenges involved in undertaking construction in the hills and our time schedule and budget projections had gone completely haywire. The plan was to have a cute little hill cottage with a […]

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Sherla Revisited

December 15, 20111 Comment

My appetite for Morni is insatiable. I can wander aimlessly in these hills without ever getting bored. We were into the second day of a weekend and I had managed to convince my pals to accompany me for a photography excursion to the hills. The ‘Doc’ had lost 25 pounds since our last misadventure with […]

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The Lady of Morni

December 12, 20113 Comments

‘Will these trees do well in Morni?’ I asked the dignified fauji owner of the beautiful nursery at the foot of the Morni hills. We were having tea in the Colonel’s breezy ‘field office,’ a modest wooden structure with a tin-roof. A tiny mouse peered at us inquisitively through a crack in the wooden false ceiling, […]

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The Mason of Tikkar

December 9, 20115 Comments

It was afternoon by the time I reached the Tikkar Cottage. I had a quick lunch. The usual dal makhni and aloo fry with paranthas that the cook of the next door cottage-hotel specializes in. I donned my biking shoes, slung my camera, strapped my helmet and thundered off to Tikkar Tal, my destination for […]

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The Journey Begins

December 8, 20111 Comment

‘It’s a monstrous waste of money,’ I beseeched my brother-in-law for the nth time. He was in the process of buying a ‘Thunderbird’, a jazzed up version of the Royal Enfield’s 350 cc motorcycle,  the classic ‘Bullet’. ‘A fuel-guzzling world war II relic that is bought only by the doodhwallahs (milkmen) for door-to-door delivery. An […]

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Good Wood

October 7, 20114 Comments

My father loved the hills. He could feel the romance of a hill station. He would have loved to own a little ivy-covered stone cottage on a pine hill. To have walked down its cobbled pathway through the morning mist, sporting a masculine overcoat, the broad brim of his stylish felt hat pulled low over […]

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