J S Raghavan

The devotee who threatened her God

Devotees have myriad ways of worship. Some do puja as a marathon from sunup to sundown without even sipping water, busy chanting mantras or slokas.

14 Apr 2020

Virus dos and don’ts that my elders practised

The sprawling backyard of the house in our native town had a big banyan tree. It housed a colony of creatures, ranging from squirrels to sparrows.

03 Apr 2020

The curious case of the missing toilets

My personal stenographer that day came with a blanched face, proffering a duff envelope. To her, it was a letter bomb, a summons to me from a magistrate court in a dusty Andhra town.

18 Mar 2020

Ferry me across the water, do boatman do

The year: 1964. Place: Cochin Marine Drive. My heart was going pit-a-pat as I was about to take my maiden boat ride in the Kerala backwaters. 

12 Feb 2020

Giving the used books a fair deal

Due to reasons attributable to physical infirmity, I could not visit the recent Chennai Book Fair. Sadanand, who dropped in one night recently, looked woebegone.

24 Jan 2020

Why did the bus stop there daily?

During the early sixties, the private Madras buses in which I commuted from Poonamallee to Guindy, where I boarded the electric train to my college opposite the Madras aerodrome, were on the dot.

11 Jan 2020

The singers for special occasions

The husband and wife combo can be spotted in any wedding in our family, even if the groom or bride is a distant relative or a cousin twice or several times removed.

28 Dec 2019

My grandparents and their clothes

Like many of his ilk, my grandfather used to wash his clothes himself, drawing water laboriously from the cavernous well in the backyard.

10 Dec 2019

When I discommoded a Bengali professor

Modesty forbids, but when my friends in Calcutta wanted some help to be arranged in Madras when they visited, they chose only me, for they found in me a person who will bend backwards to help.

16 Nov 2019

Flowers that bloom just once each year

Malars are a clever blend of reading matter and advertisements, the latter sought so that the till in the newspaper/magazine office will ring, bringing music to the ears of the proprietors.

26 Oct 2019

The skeleton in the school cupboard

In the higher secondary school where I studied way back in the fifties, its headmaster, a confirmed bachelor, taught us science.

17 Oct 2019

A heady concoction and its sweet ally

Indeed, coffee had been the driving force of most adults as toffee is that of children.

20 Sep 2019

When punkhawallah stole the limelight

This generation may not have seen a punkha, since electric fans, and more luxurious items like air conditioners are widely available.

30 Aug 2019

Fined for violating neighbour’s airspace

The same person also preached that one must love his enemy. However, there are times in our lives when the neighbour turns out to be the enemy.

17 Aug 2019

The crazy thief who stole many hearts

Crazy’ Mohan, a jokesmith par excellence and a protégé of P G Wodehouse and Devan, could effortlessly keep his audience tied to their seats.

11 Jul 2019

When a funeral gave life to a dead Test

The principal one carried a pot with curls of smoke spiralling out.

20 Jun 2019

Sweet blunders of my youthful days

Some have wanderlust, with wheels under their feet or wings on their backs. Varyingly,  some have blunder lust, ones who specialise in making blunders, though without conscious volition.

25 May 2019

Watching out for bomb blasts in Lanka

Serendip, the old name of Sri Lanka, before Ceylon, was the word that gave the English language ‘serendipity’.

23 Apr 2019

Whirlwind visit to a wedding reception

There was a time when you had to set aside three days to attend a Tamil Brahmin wedding. On day one, you reach the venue in time for lunch and meet lots of new people. 

06 Apr 2019

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