Our Children Who Are Not Trained to Suffer

YOU have moved up the social rungs if you do not know anyone who has made it to the Indian Institutes of Technology this year, or to the Indian Administrative Service. Once, this hypothesis was true only if you did not know a national-grade athlete personally, or a man who can bowl faster than 130 […]

An Optimistic Theory about Why the Death Toll of Israelis was Low that Day

If 2,000 heavily armed terrorists have a free rein inside a nation they despise, how many people do you imagine they would kill? On 7 October, nearly 2,000 Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel; they killed about 1,400. This points to the likelihood that some or many Hamas terrorists did not kill anyone that day. What did […]

Your Password Must Contain

Your password must contain  some letters, some numbers, and at least one special character.  Like me.  Yes I know your password must contain the names of people who matter.  Your child, for instance.  And her absurd year of birth.  Is there a child left in this world who is not a password? But how did […]

How People Behave After A Major Earthquake

By Manu Joseph In the aftermath of a huge natural disaster people behave in unpredictable ways. Especially after an earthquake, like the one that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, where the full scale of human tragedy unfolds slowly, in distinct phases, over days. There are times when you would think everything you knew […]

“IQ Tests Detect Mental Retardation Better Than Genius”

Many months ago, I had a chat in front of a live audience with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, or Venki as he likes to be called even by his foes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for revealing the structure of the Ribosome, which is a giant molecule in every living cell. The […]

The Trauma of the Old Year’s Night

For many years in Tamil cinema, an actor was considered supremely talented only if he had the ability to laugh and cry at the same time. Such a facial genius was usually expected when a character is dying in the end or bidding a long good-bye to his love, or when he confesses to his […]

Why Rich South Indians Are Austere

Almost all famous comedians, when they appear in public, look very serious. There can be several ordinary reasons for this. For instance, the default human face is grave. In fact, the face of joy itself is not a smile but an impassive face. Also, only bores and people with personality disorder try to be funny […]

The Reason Why India Cannot Be Kerala

Every time I see Malayalee women, including my mother, hold their stomachs and laugh, I imagine that someone has told them that Kerala is a “matriarchal” society. That Kerala is “a matriarchal society” is nonsense to such a degree that I have stopped believing even elephants are “matriarchal”.But many other exceptional qualities that Indians attribute […]

What Money Lenders Know About Life

IN THE book, ‘Ants Among Elephants’, which is a memoir of a Dalit about her “untouchable” impoverished family, Sujatha Gidla says that she grew up believing that all Indian Christians were “untouchables”, and poor and fated to “turn servile in the presence of Hindu”. One day, when she was fifteen, the truth struck her in […]

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