George N Netto

Christmas cheer for a lonely Scotsman

Spending Christmas alone is unthinkable to most of us since togetherness is the essence of the celebrations.

14 Dec 2018

The highs of hiking in the hills of Munnar

To me, nothing is more pleasurable than trekking in the hills of Munnar, either solo or with company—something I’ve been doing regularly since boyhood.

24 Nov 2018

The padre who sprang a surprise on us

To take care of our spiritual needs, Padre Marian once visited our isolated tea estate near Munnar in the 1950s.

02 Nov 2018

A memorable bus ride into the past

It was our only link with Munnar—25 km from the remote, mist-shrouded tea estate where we grew up in the 1950s.

06 Oct 2018

Warm memories brewed in a teacup

Nothing is more soothing to my eyes than the panorama of vast expanses of manicured tea fields, interspersed with stately silver oaks, carpeting (nay, warmly hugging) the hillsides of Munnar.

24 Sep 2018

Hunting and fishing for compliments

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ was an axiom Munnar’s former British tea planters took seriously.

11 Sep 2018

The snipers in our boarding school

In the 1950s, pranks in educational institutions never ever descended to the vicious levels one sometimes hears of today.

07 Aug 2018

Smoky memories from the distant past

The dangers of smoking are well known today thanks to widespread awareness. But this wasn’t so in the 1960s and 70s when I was a smoker.

18 Jul 2018

A trip to the church and a dumpling stew

As a kid growing up with three brothers in Tiruchy in the 1950s, preparing to go to the church on Sunday was as much a ritual as the religious service itself. The memory remains etched in my mind.

10 Jul 2018

Hobnobbing with the queen of crime

I have been an Agatha Christie fan for well over 60 years, having read one of her gripping whodunnits, A Murder Is Announced, for the first time at the age of 14.

20 Jun 2018

What did the baby octopus tell its mom?

Addicted to cartoons, I never skip any I come across and usually end up chuckling over its wit. Sometimes I wonder why political cartoons aren’t given the prominence they enjoyed earlier when they were front-paged by most newspapers.

24 May 2018

Laughing one’s way through existence

As one who thrives on a daily dose of wit and humour, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live in a world totally devoid of these indispensables. I

14 Apr 2018

Laughter is always the best medicine

Nothing boosts drooping spirits like a shot of humour just as nothing dispels gloom like an infusion of wit.

27 Mar 2018

Ghosts on horsebacks and talking urns

In Munnar, ghost stories have a ‘planting’ flavour of their own. Passed down over the years, these have enhanced the aura of spookiness that halos some of the old colonial bungalows and clubs in the t

26 Feb 2018

A white Christmas in Kerala’s hills

It was Christmas day in 1966 and I and my colleague Ivan—young bachelors sharing a quarters in a remote tea estate far from Munnar— were having a guest for lunch. Hugh Muir, a young freckled-faced Scottish lad, had recently joined the estate as an assistant manager.

25 Dec 2017