How to get a bank loan in India

Or how to forge your own signature. Our NRI friend Pappu Patligali recently applied for a personal loan from a local bank. He was planning on applying to one of the swank new privately-operated banks, but was advised not to by his elderly patients. "All our lives we have only transacted with the Tropical Bank … Continue reading How to get a bank loan in India

How to make medical decisions based on Bollywood movies

A few days ago, I wrote a short medical article on how Bollywood was an excellent source of information on how to treat bullet wounds. Based on the excellent feedback I received, I decided to search for a suitable venue for publication in a scholarly medical journal. Physicians and life scientists generally use PubMed, a … Continue reading How to make medical decisions based on Bollywood movies

How to kill small animals for no good reason

The dissection. I stared in resignation at the pouch-like underbelly that contained all of the entrails of Rana, the unfortunate amphibian in front of me. It looked so fresh. No matter. Best to get this over with as soon as possible. Singh Sir had a zero-tolerance policy towards miscreants in his class and the orders … Continue reading How to kill small animals for no good reason

Will the real Nithyananda please stand up?

My fellow desi ladies and gentlemen: I stand here humbled by the historic significance of the moment. Last night from the chawls of Chennai to theĀ  burbs of Boston, from the galis of Gandhinagar to the gulleys of Galipoli, from the sarson fields of Sasaram to single-flats of Stratford-upon-Avon, we rose together in unison to … Continue reading Will the real Nithyananda please stand up?

How to write an application letter in Indian English

Pappu Patligali, our perennial hero, recently moved to India after spending years abroad working on various IT projects. Pappu studied in English-medium schools before completing his engineering degree from a state engineering college in Karnataka. In school, Pappu enjoyed reading novels written by Enid Blyton, but was not thrilled with studying English. He didn't know … Continue reading How to write an application letter in Indian English

Food at the cultural divide – the burrito and the salad sandwich

There is a very poignant scene in Mira Nair's cinematic adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, The Namesake. Having recently arrived in the United States, Ashima Ganguli, finds Rice Krispies in the cupboard and proceeds to eat it as she would the Bengali snack, jhalmuri. Watching the film again, the scene reminded me of a moment … Continue reading Food at the cultural divide – the burrito and the salad sandwich

Worst Valentine’s Day gifts in India

Valentine's Day is almost upon us. I know there is a big fuss in India over whether anyone should be allowed to celebrate it because it is a foreign import. Me? I personally draw the line at World Toilet Day (even though it is for a good cause). As a public service, I've gone out … Continue reading Worst Valentine’s Day gifts in India