“Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” — Alan Turing, The Imitation Game. (Photo by Falguni Bhat)

Exactly 80 years ago, in May 1941, British intelligence at Bletchley Park broke the German spy codes of Enigma. If ever there was a gay hero, it was Alan Turing.

Walking back after an evening out at the Gay Village we encountered his memorial by chance. A life size statue of a man sitting on a bench, holding an apple, in a small park. Just across the pubs, over the bridge at the end of the Canal Street.

Sackville Gardens is a small, square, tranquil garden in the middle of the city. The park is the perfect place for the…


Photo by Palashika

As we headed out of our self-quarantine to explore this city which has been home for the last 11 days, the streets of Manchester welcomed us with freezing rain and cold, gusty winds. Felt like kids as we splashed in the water puddles and gaped at the amazing architecture around us.

Our destination was planned. As we pushed open the doors, retreating from the high street clatter into the carpeted peacefulness, it felt like we were home. The warmth, the gentle jazz, the tables full of novels, the tall, dark shelves packed with paperbacks, yes, we were home.

At the…


Inspiration for the Taj Mahal … Maqbara-i Humayun (Photo by Falguni Bhat)

The year was 1565, squirrels were chasing each other up and down my trunk as I stood basking in the winter sun, on the banks of the Yamuna river, my leaves rustling in the afternoon breeze. Mirak Mirza Ghiyath and his son were there with the Begum and hundreds of men measuring, calculating, designing. There was going to be a grand mausoleum built for the last refuge of the second Mughal Emperor.

Soon the red sandstones started arriving from Agra and the white marble from Makrana. The geometric red and white structure slowly started taking shape before me. Calculations and…


January — Changing energies, new beginnings, new attitudes (Photo by Falguni Bhat)

January rain is not a Mumbai thing, I looked up at the sky with the clouds hanging low. Weeping gently and wetting the roads below. In the still of the night it felt like God was trying to wash away the dark memories of 2020.

Washing away the pain of friends we lost in the fight with Covid. Eight days is all it took to take away a healthy young man with no underlying issues. Just a broken shoulder and he was gone. Unexpectedly. Unbelievably.

Washing away the opportunities lost. The exams postponed. The projects delayed. The exodus of urban…


Hope

Twenty-twenty ends
One more spin around the sun
welcome twenty-one!


Say hello! … That’s Threetiya, Petey & Whitey (Photo by Falguni Bhat)

We’re still adapting to the new norm. The world is opening up, risks are being accepted, cautions are being repeatedly reminded. As Aladdin would say, “It’s a whole new world …” With so much changing outside we seek more and more solace inside our homes, our families, our feelings.

Over the last eight months I’ve slowly changed into a ‘Plant Person’. Pets & plants were always a big ‘no-no’ in our nomadic life. I’ve had one Pothos, my first and only green companion who has survived with us through our 5 job changes and 4 re-locations. I refused to give…


Glossy, rowdy, dark & mysterious … (Photo by sneha_snaps on unsplash.com)

There are few things spookier than being woken up by the loud, raspy, continuous cawing of half a dozen crows crowding on your bedroom balcony. The first instinct is that there is something wrong, something ominous happening or about to happen. Their reputation precedes the appearance of these urban scavengers. The black colour accentuating the superstitions passed down through folklore from generation to generation. The colour reference may not be the most ‘politically correct’ observation in these times, so for the record, I believe black birds matter!

I gingerly opened the balcony door to ascertain what the ruckus was about…


Pattering softly

Monsoon is magical in Mumbai. All year round we yearn for those few days when life stops in our city. When the incessant rain floods our streets, our railway tracks, our backyards and we are forced to take the day off.

For 2020, today was that day. When the sky decided to unleash millions of gallons of water on Mumbai. No lightning, no thunder, no scary unstoppable winds. Just a steady, continuous drizzle from dawn to dusk. Soft, soothing, unending Mumbai rain.

Waking up to this weather is a special feeling. The craving for cutting chai with hot pakodas. The…


Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Be still, be strong. Life is fragile.

Everybody leaves
Some because they had no hope,
some just had no choice.

When we kill ourselves, it’s not that we’re weak or that death seems easy. We fight, fight hard everyday to stay, to face life. But sometimes the demons inside are too strong. Our strength is not enough. No one knows how bravely we fought. Our successful suicide demanded a plan, the opportunity and a cool mind to go ahead. Yet even in death we are criticised. Called cowards so that everyone can avoid the soul searching, avoid the blame for everything endured.

When we die suddenly while…


When life hands us seeds & soil, let’s do our bit … plant

In the beginning of April, before the mangoes came home, we ate an organic papaya. The inner cavity had so many seeds that it almost triggered my trypophobia. A huge difference from the small, almost seedless ones that we normally get at the fruit vendor. This particular papaya was so delicious that it felt criminal trashing the seeds. So we threw them into a pot of mud. I didn’t expect results, but nature did its bit and the pot was filled with green sprouts in a couple of days. Two months later some of those sprouts have grown into small…

Falguni Bhat

A nomad with many more journeys

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