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Earlier this year, I spoke to the graduating batch of my university (Panjab University, Chandigarh), my department (School of Communication Studies); the place where I learnt how to write headlines, love fonts. The young boys and girls made for a wonderful audience to the little talk on the journey of starting The Indian Trumpet and beyond. Whilst I shared the fascinating and engaging themes of the Trumpet, a student, Garima Syal, asked me if I ever feel that I will reach a point where I’ll have no more ideas left. She perhaps was voicing a fear that many young writers and journalists have. What if this was my best story idea? What if… Where do I look for an original story idea, my next theme? Will we ever face a dead end? I too, ask myself the same question, each edition. And then, I simply look around, and within seconds I am flooded with ideas! Emotions and experiences, people and places, memories and moments. Wonderment is indeed a brilliant trait! Look around you, I told her. Whatever you see first will be the theme for our next edition. No surprises, she looked up and saw the ceiling fan! So here we are presenting to you a breezy Pankha edition.

editor’s note

When the maid sweeps the floor she switches off the fan and then she walks away without turning it back on! An everyday phenomena, a scene from the Indian home. Raise your hand if you’ve grown up hearing these words: Khana kha lo, thanda ho jayega (Eat your food, before it gets cold)! The role of mums is to ensure we eat hot (warm) food and hence on occasions they indeed ask us to switch off the fan. Siblings often fight over who’d fill water in the desert cooler! Who remembers the celebration around the purchase of the first AC? Brand names of the companies selling fans have a story to tell. In fact, each fan awaits to narrate a tale (Garima penned this one!). Listen closely. Now, who doesn’t like clean fans? But then whose responsibility is to make sure they stay dust-free? Discover with us. Bollywood too has romanced the wind. From carrying a lover’s message to calming an aching heart. An ode to Hawa as experienced on the big screen. In the end, we leave you with an old rhyme, a lullaby: Upar Pankha Chalta Hai, Neeche Baby Sota Hai… Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released four times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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Now, may I request you to manually rotate the ceiling fan regulator (of your fan) to maximum speed. If you (still) happen to own a pedestal fan, bring it out! Sit back and enjoy our ode to the good, ol’ Indian fan. P.S: Garima, this one is for you and all the young editors in making. Just look around, I promise there’ll never be a dearth of ideas. Till we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com


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pankha chalana!


Trumpet Blowers, As I write this, I am high on nostalgia. It was only recently that a friend introduced me to The Indian Trumpet, and it was my sheer luck that you had just released your Kolkata edition. What a pictorial ride it was. Each picture, coloured or black and white, took me to the streets of the home that though I’ve left behind, I carry in my heart. And it was this emotion that was echoed by your writers in the pieces. Very rarely do we sit down to pay tribute to the land that made us, defined us. For me, the Kolkata edition did exactly that. It served as a reminder to my childhood, my values, the foods I ate, the people I met. I hope you keep bringing out many such wonderful, colourful and nostalgic editions. Take care! Swaathi A Bengali at heart, staying in Mauritius now .............................................................. I love talking in my mother tongue, Bengali, and at times that is the one thing I miss the most about being away from home. Your Kolkata edition presented me with a perfect excuse to talk non-stop in my mother tongue! I thoroughly enjoyed the food stories. The differences in the tastes, preparation methods, etc. makes our food so delectable. Plus, the feature on DNA of a Bengali made for a perfect introduction to the Bengali clan! It was hilarious, descriptive and oh-so-true. Keep up the good work.

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likes on Facebook, facebook.com/TheIndianTrumpet

Riddhima, Reading, England ...............................................................

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Fan! The very word brings with it a whiff of breeze. It also brings with it a bunch of memories. Of summer breaks spent under a ceiling fan. Of grandfather’s pedestal fan. Of mothers asking us to eat our food quickly, lest the fan made it cold. Of maids switching off the fan to sweep the floor, and then leaving the room without turning it back on! Of fans making way for desert coolers, and the ACs! Of fights over whose turn is it to fill up water in the cooler. Of celebrations around the purchase and arrival of the first air-conditioner. Of remote controls lost and found. Of power cuts where one would watch the stars, gossip with the neighbours. Of days when fans were a luxury. Of moments that made the yesteryears so warm, so cosy.


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theindiantrumpet@gmail.com 70 MM. INDIAN BELLY. TRUMPET LEAD. FASHION FRY. DIARY OF AN INDIAN. DESI LIT. TAX-FREE ENTERTAINMENT. TRUMPET BAZAAR. THE GLOBE & THE GULLY. HORN OK PLEASE. OVER A CUP OF CHAI. TRUMPET TELLER. ANGRY TOOT. OUR SHABDKOSH. IDHAR UDHAR. LOUD TOOT. LAST WORD. TRUMPET TASTES.

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12 70MM JAB CHALI THANDI HAWA Bollywood’s romance with breeze: Think: Thandi Hawa Kaali Ghata from Mr & Mrs. 55, Jhonka Hawa Ka from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Hawa Hawa from Rockstar. 18

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KHANA THANDA HO JAYEGA! The only way to enjoy food is to eat it when hot, warm. Ask any mum and she’ll tell you so. She’d even go to the extent of switching off the fan until you’re ready to eat!

trumpet lead

SONS & FANS As a son, one is expected to perform certain tasks, which includes cleaning of fans as well! A son shares his rather unusual, hilarious experience.

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THE KAAMWAALI BAI & THE PANKHA! The maid switches off the fan to sweep the floor and doesn’t switch it back on! Basically, the story of every Indian home.

follow the noise

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FANS OF TIME Functional or ceremonial, the fan has an interesting history. Once a sign of royalty, the fan is now associated with everyday basics.

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THE SARKARI FAN In the good ol’ government offices in India, the fans run at a comfortable, lazy pace.

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ALWAYS JUDGE A HOUSE BY ITS FANS! There’s good housekeeping… then there’s blade mania. One father takes things a little too far…

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SPINNING TALES: THE DAY THE FANS SPOKE TO ME Do fans have a story to tell? If you listen carefully, you might be able to their voice.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME? Crompton Greaves: what was that? A ceiling fan that bore a rather unique name and persona. A remnant or our British past, or a fan that came suited & booted.

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CONDITIONED DRAMA We recall the excitement that followed the purchase and arrival of the first AC in Indian homes.

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JUST YESTERDAY What did your childhood look like? Here’s reliving a warm, warm yesterday.

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NARRATING FAN TALES Four different homes, four different readers. Yet, dust, nostalgia and more binds them all.

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THE DESERT COOLER The AC of the middle class Indian. The fights over whose turn is it to fill up water in the cooler. The incense added to the water to ensure aromatic, cool air. And more!

diary of an indian

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THE PANKHA BATTLE When family conflict gets heated, it’s time for the kids to dial things down.

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SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS… With a pedestal fan for company

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IN HOPE OF A RANDOM POWER CUT! Back in the ‘80s we had no fans, and unpredictable electricity. Frequent power cuts were our delightful exit into a world of fantasy and rhythm.

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UNTIL, WE SWITCH IT ON, AGAIN! In many homes in the hills, there aren’t any fans. In others, the fan stays still for a larger part of the year.

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over a cup of chai

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bharat darshan

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last word

THAND RAKH, LASSI PII! Monsieur Singh: romancing rich herbs and spiced lassi. OSCILLATING LOVE Nothing beats the magic of cool air on your face, especially after those terrible, hot flashes the tropical summer can bring. While one cant imagine life without AC (now)…deep within, we all know that ‘pankha bhi chalega – bas hawa achi dena chahiye!

follow the noise

UPAR PANKHA CHALTA HAI, NEECHE BABY SOTA HAI A popular & much loved nursery rhyme: In many Indian homes (until date), children sleep listening to this lullaby. Time to rewind.

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tc pyh BUMh gok ßgokÞ dks ysdj bruk laxhr fgUnh fQYeksa esa cuk gS fd jksekUl dks n’kkZus ds fy;s ge laxhr o xkuks esa gok dk lgkjk ysrs jgs gSaA lqgkuk ekSle o BUMh okfn;ksa esa izse gekjs ân; dks izHkkfor djrk gS vkSj ge laxhr ds ek/;e ls vius izse dks izdV djrs gaSA

70 mm

“kCn e`nqyk eksgu

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Hawa mein udta jaye. Mora laal dupatta malmal ka. Mora laal dupatta malmal ka ho ji, ho ji. Idhar udhar lehraye. Mora laal dupatta malmal ka. (Barsaat, 1949)

Thandi Hava, Kali Ghata, A Hi Gai Jhum Ke. Pyar Liye Dole Hansi Nache Jiya Ghum Ke. (Mr. and Mrs.’55 (1955). Thandi hawayen, lehra ke aaye. Rut hai jawaan, unko yahaan, kaise bulaaye. (Naujawan, 1951)

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San San San Woh Chali Hawa. Ruk Ruk Kan Mein Kuch Kaha. San San San Woh Chali Hawa. Ruk Ruk Kan Mein Kuch Kaha. (Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959)

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Bijli Giraane Main Hoon Aayi, Ho Bijli Giraane Main Hoon Aayi. Kehte Hain Mujhko Hawa Hawaii! (Mr.India, 1987)


Jhonka Hawa Ka Aaj Bhi, Julfein Udaata Hoga Na, Tera Dupatta Aaj Bhi Tere, Sar Se Sarakta Hoga Na. (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999)

Jaati kahaan hai woh. Khabri ne peechha kiya. Rani ko ghar se raaton ko‌. Dozakh me jaate dekha. Hava Hava..Hava Hava.. Hawa Hawa.. (Rockstar, 2011)

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izd`fr us gesa ,sls cgqr ls migkj fn;s gS ftlls fd ge viuh laons ukvks dks ,d nwljs rd igq¡pkus esa leFkZ gksrs gSA ;s ek/;e gS pk¡n] lwjt] ikuh] gok] igkM+ vkSj ckny] ftudh miek nsdj ge viuh Hkkoukvksa dks O;Dr dj ldrs gSA gok vius vki esa ,d e/kqj Li”kZ gSA ftlds vkus ij u dsoy euq’;] i”kq] i{kh] isM+] ikS/ks lHkh vkufUnr gks mBrs gSA gok] ikuh vkSj ckny budh viuh gh /ofu gksrh gS tks dkuks dks cgqr fiz; gksrh gSA gok dh ljljkgV] cknyksa dk xjtuk vkSj ikuh dh fVi&fVi vkokt] muds gksus dk vkHkkl fnykrh gSA ÞBUMh gokß ftlds vkus ls eu dh mnklh vkSj ihM+k nwj gksrh gSA lqgkuh lqUnj gok ls eu jksekfpr gks tkrk gS vkSj ge vius fiz; tuks dh ;knksa esa [kks tkrs gS] fdruh izHkkfor djrh gS fd ;g izd`fr gesaA flusek txr esa ge ns[krs fd tc 40 ds n”kd esa fQYEkksa dk fuekZ.k gqvk Fkk] rc ge izd`fr ds lk/kuksa ds ek/;e ls vius izes vkSj laonsuk dks vius izes h rd xhr vkSj laxhr }kjk igq¡pkus esa leFkZ gksrs FksA ckny] pk¡n] rkjs ;g lc izes ds izrhd ekus tkrs FksA Þgokß dks ysdj bruk laxhr fgUnh fQYeksa esa cuk gS fd jksekUl dks n”kkZus ds fy;s ge laxhr o xkuks esa gok dk lgkjk ysrs jgs gSAa lqgkuk ekSle o BUMh okfn;ksa esa izes gekjs ân; dks izHkkfor djrk gS vkSj ge laxhr ds ek/;e ls vius izes dks izdV djrs gaSA tSlk fd flusek txr esa 1951 esa ÞBUMh gok;sa ygjk ds vk;sßa ukStoku fQYe dk gS] blesa izd`fr dk lgkjk ysdj izes h ;k izfs edk viuh Hkkouk;s O;Dr djrs gSAa Þ;s lck muls dgns tjkß ;g laxhr 1954 dh fQYe dk gS blesa Hkh Þgokß ds ek/;e ls vius izes dk lan’s k Hkstk tk jgk gS bu laxhr dks lqu dj ge vkt Hkh jksekfUpr gksrs gSa Þlu&lu oks pyh gokß ;gka ij e/kqj vkokt djrh gqbZ gok py jgh gS vkSj gekjs eu ds vUnj laons u “khy fopkjksa dks izdV dj jgh gS ,sls laxhr dks lqu dj gekjh euks fLFkfr esa Hkh cnyko vkrk gSA

70 mm

ÞBUMh gok;sa pk¡nuh lqgkuhß ;gk¡ ij fQj ls Þgokß vkSj lqgkuk ekSle] ml le; ds n”kd esa fQYeksa ds laxhr esa izd`fr dks gh vk/kkj ekurs FksA Þtc pyh BUMh gokß fQYeh nqfu;ka es laxhr fuekZrkvksa Þgokß ds ek/;e ls laxhr dks e/kqj cukus dh dksf”k”k u tkus fdrus xkus mUgksua s cuk Mkys vkSj og vius le; ds pfpZr xkuks ds Js.kh es vk;sA tSls ÞBUMh gok;sa ygjk ds vk;sßa iRrksa dh ljljkgV vkSj cknyksa ij gok dk izHkko gksuk] ;g lc laxhrdkjksa us viuh dYiuk ls vius xhrksa esa Hkjiwj n’kkZ;k gSA Þtoka toka

gok Hkh joka jokaß fdl rjg fQYe fudkg esa de ls de ,fDVax ls ukf;dk us vius I;kj dks xkus ls O;Dr fd;k gSA Þlck ls dgnks fd dfy;ka fcNk;sßa ;gka ij Hkh Þgokß ds ek/;e ls dfy;ksa ds fcNkus dk ftØ gSA bl izdkj 40 ds n”kd ls 70 ds n”kd rd yxkrkj fQYe m|ksx esa Þgokß dks izes dk izrhd eku dj laxhr dh jpuk dhA uk;d vkSj ukf;dk ds jksekUl dks fn[kkus ds fy;s Þgokß ds laxhr dk bLrseky fd;k ÞBUMh gok dkyh ?kVkß 1955 dk laxhr gS blesa fQj xhrdkjksa gok vkSj ckny dk lgkjk fy;kA bl izdkj 40 ds n”kd ls vkt 20oha lnh rd Þgokß dks ÞckSyh oqMß ds laxhrdkjksa us viuh jpuk esa n’kkZ;kA ysfdu vkt ds vk/kqfud ;qx esa xhrdkjksa vkSj laxhrdkjksa us Þgokß dks lan”s k u eku dj laxhr dh rky esa tksMu+ s dk iz;kl fd;k gS tSlk fd geus fQYe ÞjkSd LVkjß esa ns[kk gS Þgok gokß chp&chp esa ,d fjn~e ds :i essa fn;k gSA Þge fny ns pqds lueß esa Þ>ksd a k gok dkß fQj ls uk;d ls ukf;d dks ;kn djds Þgokß dk lgkjk fy;k gS bl izdkj ge dgsx a s fd Þgokß izd`fr dh ,d ,slh nsu gS fd ftls laxhrdkj vkSj fQYe fuekZrkvksa us viuk;k gS ukf;dk ds ygjkrs oL=ksa esa gok dk n”kkZuk] ukf;dk ds yEcksa ckyksa dk mM+uk fQj ls uk;d dks vkdf”kZr djrk gSA Þgokß dk mxz :i ,d rwQku vkSj vkdfLed nq?kZVuk dk ladrs nsrk gS Þgokß ,d ,slk fodYi gS ftldk bLrseky fQYe m|ksx esa lnk gksrk jgsxkA dqN midj.k ,sls gS tks dsoy Þgokß Hkjus ls gh /ofu djrs gS tSls ckalqjh] gkjeksfu;e] ekmFkZxu vkSj ÞfoUM pkbElß tks fd gok pyus ij ,d e/kqj vkokt djrk gSA vkt ds vk/kqfudj.k ds i”pkr~ laxhr esa cnyko vk;k gSA ik’pkR; laxhr dk vkxeu gks jgk gSA xhrdkj vkSj laxhrdkjksa us xkus esa Þgokß dk lgkjk ysdj gekjh laons ukvksa dks cgqr lqUnj rjhds ls n’kkZ;k gS ftlesa fd ge vidksa Hkkoukvksa dks xhrksa ds :i esa ,d nwljs ds le{k j[krs gSAa fQYe fuekZrkvksa us viuh fQYEkksa es mM+rs ckny rst gok ds pyus] ikuh dh ckSNkj vkSj jksekUl ds jaxhu utkjs Þgokß ds }kjk gesa jksekfUpr fd;k gS bl izdkj ckSyh oqM esa xhrks vkSj laxhr esa Þgokß dk pksyh nkeu dk lkFk jgsxkA fdruk Hkh ik’pkR; laxhr vk;s ysfdu gekjs fgUnh laxhr esa izd`fr dh nsu Þgokß ls lnk izHkkfor jgsxkA vk/kqfud laxhr ckny jgk gS ysfdu fQj Hkh gekjs iqjkus laxhrdkjksa us laxhr dk ,d [ktkuk gekjs fy;s NksM+ fn;k gs tks fd gekjs fnyks dks Nwrk jgsxkA

Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of three) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days she’s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her life’s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at mridulamohan404@gmail.com

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o

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For advertisement queries write to us at theindiantrumpet@gmail.com


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words PRACHI GROVER

khana

thanda

ho jayega! .19

theindiantrumpet.com

KHANA THANDA HO JAYEGA! THE ONLY WAY TO ENJOY FOOD IS TO EAT IT WHEN HOT, WARM. ASK ANY MUM AND SHE’LL TELL YOU SO. SHE’D EVEN GO TO THE EXTENT OF SWITCHING OFF THE FAN UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO EAT! LISTEN TO HER, ESPECIALLY, IF YOU DREAD THE SIGHT OF MALAI ATOP YOUR GLASS OF MILK, OR KHEER!


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I am sitting in the dining room, back home (Having been married for more than a decade, home is and will always be my parent’s house; one where I grew up with my little sister and one where my little girl spends her summer vacations each year).

existence! After having spent decades in India we moved to Dubai some years back. With just a three-hour flight between Delhi and Dubai it is comforting to know you can be home when you want.

My little chefling is enjoying the makhane ki kheer her nani made for her to try and I am looking at both of them enjoying each other’s company with a cup of coffee in my hand. My parents don’t drink coffee but always make sure they have a jar ready for me when we visit.

Infact, being in Dubai is very similar to being in Delhi. With a huge Indian population, we celebrate all our festivals, wear our salwars and sarees with pride, and basmati rice, vegetables, spices, even soaps are all a phone call away! Yes, it a home away from home.

I like to savour my coffee. It is one of those things that keep the mother in me sane during the vacations when you hear “I am bored”, “I am hungry” and “Can you play with me?” multiple times a day.

But we don’t have fans. There is only central air conditioning in most of our homes. Ours too.

Not too rushed. Not disrespecting the beverage I have a lot of regard for. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just perfect. I pick up my cup and take a sip. I almost puke.

Oh how I hated it! And how I had forgotten its very

So in the last few years I had kind of forgotten how the combination of a ceiling fan running over your head and a cup of coffee kept under it could make you gag. I muster some courage and dip my finger into the coffee and push away the rest of the malai on to the sides of the cup. Just like my sister and I would do when my mum would give us our big glass of Horlicks each evening, before we headed out to the park to play. We hated it and mum would say you take so long to come that the milk gets cold and malai forms. Drink when it’s hot. Also, why can’t

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And I realise it is that thin layer of clingy malai floating on top that has made its way to my mouth and was now clung to tongue coating it with its slimy texture.

But.


ONCE THE FAN WAS SPINNING, THERE WERE REMINDERS TO EAT AS FAST AS WE COULD KYUNKI KHANA THANDA HO JAYEGA AUR PURI GARAM GARAM HI ACHI LAGTI HAI!! you both simply gulp it down along with the malai, would be her next statement. We can’t! We just can’t! Both of us would say in a chorus and she would shrug her shoulders and go back to what she was doing. Don’t take me wrong I love cream. But in a Paneer Makhni or a Butter Chicken or on a Shahi Tukra. Just not the kind that forms in my glass of milk. The malai on coffee took me straight back to my childhood.

indian belly

Khana thanda ho jayega was something we all grew up with, I guess. Much as we treasured the running fan, lunch and dinner hours were times when mum would switch it off while we helped her set the table and it would remain like that till everyone had joined. Once the fan was spinning, there were reminders to eat as fast as we could kyunki khana thanda ho jayega aur puri garam garam hi achi lagti hai!! Sunday mornings were always special. No school. No mad rush to get ready or to have breakfast. My sister and I would get up late and mum being the Indian mum (All “good children” must have a glass of milk with Horlicks first thing in the morning) would give us a tall glass of milk each. However, this time there wasn’t any rush to gulp it down. We would get the big blue “Brite” box that had rusks for me and the yellow “Brite” oval one that had Parle-G for my sister to dip in our milk. Along with that was the Sunday newspaper and the supplements to give us company. But enjoying this experience required some strategic planning. The rusk dabba had to be kept on one corner of the paper and on the other side stood the glass of milk precariously balancing itself on the mattress. Ditto for my sister with her Parle G dabba and her glass of milk. Why you ask! Because of the fan that made the

newspaper fly in all the directions possible and prevented us from enjoying our dunking and reading ritual! Our mum of course would warn us each time she passed by our room that the glass of milk of would land on the bed and why we couldn’t sit on the dining table and read and drink!! Thanks to our dexterity it never did. Such lovely and beautiful memories of childhood came back as I sat under the ceiling fan and watched the blades of the fan rotating over my head. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you sit under a ceiling fan? I’d love to hear.

Mum to her little chefling | Cookbook Addict | DIY Obsessed. Prachi believes that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours, respect their food, respect where the food they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. Food is always a part of her & her little chefling’s celebrations and conversations. She writes at Orange Kitchens, where she shares recipes that the both of them have tried and appreciated, cooking victories and failures, kitchen and food related DIY projects that they are working on. She divides her time between playing food consultant, writing for food publications, developing recipes, conducting food workshops and blogging. She is also the Food Revolution Ambassador for Dubai & one of the fifteen Super Ambassadors across the globe for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution initiative. She can be found at orangekitchens.net. Follow her here: instagram.com/orangekitchens

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Being the only son in the family is enough reason to have to clean all the fans in the house, time and again, especially when Diwali’s round the corner. There are other duties that sons don’t really mind, like fetching stuff from the market, but they’re always going to be less willing to do anything that involves standing on rickety chairs and cleaning unstable machinery. Here are some tips on cleaning fans, straight out of mother’s rulebook: 1. First, use a dry cloth to wipe off the dust. 2. Mix detergent in water or ‘Colin’, squeeze a cloth in it then wipe the blades with that. 3. The ends of the blades must be spot free (almost impossible if the fan is old). 4. Don’t press the blades too hard as this can distort the blades and affect the fan’s performance (that’s science for you). 5. Next, wipe the fan over with a clean, dry cloth.

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6. Finish the job by cleaning the middle part of the fan and the caps, where your hands always struggle to reach. One fan isn’t too much of a problem; the real trouble starts when your mother wants all the fans cleaned at once. There’s no rushing it: the blades have to shine bright like a bald man’s head in the sun. I’m always delaying (read: ‘in denial about’) this huge task. Just how do these fans get so filthy? And why do they have to be cleaned so thoroughly? They work just fine as they are! Believe it or not, every son genuinely has these questions.

Ishrat Singh Banwait, 23. An unwilling engineer, he is now pursuing a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. A jack of all, he’s also worked as an actor, an assistant director and an independent Punjabi rapper. He’s always loved writing: poems, haikus, sonnets, articles, songs... For him, it’s about doing all you can in this short life.

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sons & fans words ISHRAT S. BANWAIT

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AS A SON, ONE IS EXPECTED TO PERFORM CERTAIN TASKS, WHICH INCLUDES CLEANING OF FANS AS WELL! A SON SHARES HIS RATHER UNUSUAL, HILARIOUS EXPERIENCE.


the kaamwaali bai

& the pankha! THE MAID SWITCHES OFF THE FAN TO SWEEP THE FLOOR AND DOESN’T SWITCH IT BACK ON! BASICALLY, THE STORY OF EVERY INDIAN HOME.

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words VIREN PAREKH

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Image courtesy: Garbage Bin Studios (facebook.com/garbagebin)

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THE SECONDS CRAWLED ON AS THE MAID SWEPT THE FLOOR IT WAS ALMOST AS IF SOMEONE HAD HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON UNIVERSE & EVERYTHING LAY SUSPENDED AS SHE PAINSTAK FLOOR, LIFTED EACH OBJECT, CLEANED UNDER IT & DUSTED T

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R, DUSTED THE ROOM. N ON THE ENTIRE KINGLY CLEANED THE THE FURNITURE.

The blissful, lazy Sunday sleep had just been disturbed. I was feeling distinctly warm. The room was quiet and I instantly knew that the fan had been switched off. The soft, comforting whirring of the fan had stopped and with my eyes still closed, the hearing sense took over. Diagonally across my bed to the left, I could hear the slow jingling of the maid’s bangles as she swept the floor. A decision had to be made: should I just keep my eyes closed and fall asleep again? Or should I open my eyes and investigate? Sensing that she just switched off the fan to sweep the floor, I decided to keep my eyes closed and wait it out; there still was a chance of falling asleep again. The seconds crawled on as the maid swept the floor and dusted the room. It was almost as if someone had hit the pause button on the entire universe and everything lay suspended as she painstakingly cleaned the floor, lifted each object, cleaned under it and dusted each piece of furniture. I could hear the bed creaking with my impatient shifting. I could hear the window being opened and I could hear the breeze outside, rustling some dry leaves somewhere. I still kept my eyes closed, waiting for this unexpected and untimely ordeal to get over. But it seemed to be taking forever... To get some respite, I quickly raised

my head a little and flipped the pillow and the coolness of the other side of the pillow was amazing! This too didn’t last long and I was getting increasingly irritable. With my eyes still closed, the sense of smell too, had become acute. I could smell the soft fragrance of her gajra (flower garland worn in the hair) as she moved about in the room. In the kitchen, I could smell the ginger, which was being pounded for the early morning tea. And then suddenly, there was nothing. I couldn’t hear her bangles, the flower fragrance was gone. Despair took over and I opened my eyes to see the fan, completely still, and the maid, disappeared. “Ushaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” I bellowed. My voice still had the early-morninggrudgingly-woke-up grimace to it and within moments I saw Usha stepping into the room meekly. She had a very disarming smile as she looked at me, gauged my expression, looked at the fan and turned on the fan and I couldn’t help but break into an irritated, almost frustrated laugh. There she was, my Sunday sleep adversary! I had now lost count of the number of times, this exact thing had happened. How she came into the room, turned off the fan and left me in the suffocating, irritating clutches of the quiet, tepid room! And how each time we both grinned about it, she cheekily and I, completely upset!

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Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.


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FANS OF TIME FUNCTIONAL OR CEREMONIAL, THE FAN HAS AN INTERESTING HISTORY. ONCE A SIGN OF ROYALTY, THE FAN IS NOW ASSOCIATED WITH EVERYDAY BASICS. AND YET, THE POETRY OF THESE FANS, THEIR CHARM AND BEAUTY, HANDHELD OR NOT, CONTINUE TO ENCHANT. words NASRIN MODAK SIDDIQI

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Bamboo. Grass. Retro. Palm fronds. Feathers. Silk. Cotton. Electric Motor. Hand-held. Chandeliers. Pedestal. Silver. Royal.

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THE WORD PUNKAH ORIGINATED FROM THE WINGS OF A BIRD THAT PRODUCE A DRAFT WHEN FLAPPED.

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There is archeological proof that 1,000 of centuries ago the Greeks, Romans, Japanese, Indians and the Chinese used fans, both as cooling and ceremonial device. I am not surprised. With our humid climate, one cannot imagine life without it. On quiet evenings, lying on the bed and staring endlessly at the ceiling, I nonchalantly notice the swift set of spinning shadows left by the rotating blades. There isn’t a day it remains still. Even on cooler days. Except maybe when the maid is sweeping. Those two-unbearable minutes in this sweltering heat are brutal and even before she finishes sweeping the last tile on the floor, all eyes are on her to turn the fan back on. Fan or pankah as we lovingly call is an indispensable part of our urban lives. Going back in the days when fans were a sign of royalty and life was simpler, one remembers those beautiful screen and folding ones used by the elite Indians, Japanese and Chinese. The West was quick to adopt them. The variety of shapes, the different sizes, each with their own materials and techniques are interesting to note. In those times, each province claimed a certain style of a fan singular to itself. From intricately woven bamboo, and grass to feathers, to the ones handcrafted on silk, and cotton. Every fan had a story. First was the chauri! In India, fans came in the shape of a flying whisk that existed as early as the 3rd century BC. These chauris were often made of cotton threads, silver wires or animal hairs (mostly yak). The earliest shape of a welldefined pankah though, is noticed in the numerous 18th and 19th century miniature paintings of Rajasthan, Mughal or Deccani schools. These were handheld fans made from a single frond of palm or a woven square of bamboo strips, rattan or other plant fibre made into various size and shapes. Fixed on an axis, it could be easily rotated to be fanned and had a complete personal charm to it. The more ornate ones were made of silk fabric, and were heavily embroidered with zari threads, and silver sequels. They came with elaborate silver handles (some were gold or gold plated too). The entire arrangement and decoration was (is) very interesting. Another vintage gem was the ornamental Indian repousse silver pankah. Beautifully decorated with an intricate Mughal period design, the daasis used

to fan the Maharanis and the Maharajas with these large handheld cloth pankhas. In a more romantic and personal account, wives used to fan their husbands while they devoured their meals! Then came the swing… In the colonial era, the fan got a bit sophisticated in the tropical and subtropical world. The British Raj in India wasn’t far behind. During the hot weather (one they couldn’t bear), a large swinging fan, fixed to the ceiling, was pulled by a coolie, called the punkawallah. His job was to sit (and sometimes stand) and pull the chord so that the fans waved back and forth, sometimes infinitely. While these existed even during the Mughal period and in the courthouse, they became more common in office areas where, a number of punkahs could be connected together by strings so that they would swing in unison. The thing to notice here was the material used for the fans. It could range from something as simple as a utilitarian rattan to rich, expensive fabrics, depending on who you were. In the 18th century, fans reached a high degree of artistry and were made by skilled craftsmen. Many were imported from China by the East India Companies. In fact, they were a huge part of the fashion amongst the wives of British officers posted in India. Down the winding road Around the middle 18th century, mechanical fans came into the picture. Wind-up fans became popular, followed by the electric fan. Adapted from the windmill, six pie shaped flat leafs of brass were attached to an electric motor. These were on direct current, with all exposed workings. These early fans were a novelty, used in large offices or wealthy homes. Until the mid-20th century, fans were still a major appliance. Most came with light or a chandelier under it and chain and pull chords for light and speed control. Merging the beauty of a fine chandelier with the cooling function of a fan, these were an elegant and useful addition to homes. These are now making a huge comeback and have a majestic retro feel to them, a kind respite from the omnipresent commercial offerings that have plagued the Indian ceilings for more than four decades now.

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller, and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.


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the sarkari fan IN THE GOOD OL’ GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN INDIA, THE FANS RUN AT A COMFORTABLE, LAZY PACE. PERHAPS, DIRTY AND EVEN TIRED OF DOING THEIR JOB, THEY HOWEVER NEVER FAIL TO CAST THEIR CHARM! words DEVAYANI VIJAYAN

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Ever been to a government office in India? Especially those in dusty, not pretty, one in a few thousand towns across the nation? Where living is a simple business, governing is almost nonexistent. Intricacies of administration are less and extended conversations on daily predictable mishaps are more the norm. “Why is the chai less sweet today?” “There was more cow dung to avoid on the road today, too much of a nuisance, I tell you!’’ There is an element of ennui that is all pervading. Plenty of tables, weighed down heavily by very dusty brown files, any movement to the desk causing the mini dust storms to rise.

the tap nearby. Swoop, whoosh, swoop. The fan is over 30-years-old, having seen the same tables and chairs for decades. Not an official day when it has stopped running. Of course, respite coming from the power cuts. More so in the summer. The time when it feels wanted the most. Almost reverential are the looks that the minions below give it. God like status achieved by being present but not being able to enforce its presence. Swoop, whoosh, swoop.

The one thing that keeps time with the inactivity in these offices is the ubiquitous fan. High up in the ceiling, rotating endlessly. Lazy sweeps of its blades taking in the view from above. Through the maze of creaking tables and metal chairs, watching the chipped ceramic tea cups with muddy tea idling on the tables.

Round and round, ever watchful. Look at that watchman dozing and almost falling off his stool sitting outside the office. The fresh faced newbie joining the old guns, full of enthusiasm, looking up scornfully at the old dusty fan, full of smugness of the city bred. Oh and how that smugness turns into a sense of placid directionless life but more importantly how the fan then ends up being a thing of longing, as a vestige of a past life.

Swoop, whoosh, swoop.

Swoop, whoosh, swoop.

The occasional scurry of activity when someone senior walks in, the fan sees the shiny bald head of the official, sweat beads evaporating in the cooler air of the room.

Whispers, rushed furtive whispers. The men on either side of the table look all around to ensure no one is listening. But they forget the fan above. Holder of secrets, of activities not unknown and definitely not uncommon, and absolutely not honest. The rustle of paper money, of scratching pens used for signing. The escaped sigh of relief on either side, muted by fan.

Aiding in mid meeting siestas, watching the subordinates move from passive watchfulness to nodding off. It works like a metronome, keeping rhythm with the office going. Only matched for rhythmic company by the ticking of the clock. The continuity of the harmony only broken by the irregular annoying dripping of

Swoosh, whoop, swoosh. Endless, constant.

If Devayani was forced to describe herself in 3 sentences, it would be to this: She is a woman. She is her parents’ daughter. She is an Indian, with the world as her home. She is a classically trained singer, intuitive writer, and overzealous working professional. She currently lives in Dubai, but calls India, Milan and Amsterdam her other homes. Many homes, many lives, many experiences- always exploring.

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There’s good housekeeping… then there’s blade mania. One father takes things a little too far…


ALWAYS JUDGE A

HOUSE BY HOW

A F NS

HOW CLEAN ITS

ARE!

words DELNA PRAKASHAN

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The room is filled with hysterical laughter, fast chitchat and meandering commentary. We’re at a social ‘catch up’ gathering hosted by a family friend, where we hear: “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen you.” Over and over again, like a scratched record. I make my way from one conversation, to a giggle, to picking up a samosa from a platter being passed around. I turn to ask my dad if he’d care to take one and catch him staring at the ceiling fan. Some might think he’s bored, or simply mesmerised. But if you knew dad well you could tell by his peculiar halfpensive, half-annoyed expression that he was thinking only one thing: “I want to clean that fan. I want to fetch a ladder with a wet cloth and clean that fan. Yes, that fan will be gleaming by next weekend’s we-need-to-catch-upagain type gathering”. Sigh. That’s my dad and his fan obsession. Dad has a favourite saying: “Always judge a house by its fans”. That’s how he evaluates a household’s standards. So it’s no surprise that every weekend he’d spend an hour or two religiously cleaning our own ceiling fans. A mundane job, but dad had it mastered and took pride in the whole routine, involving a bucket of water, two cloths, and a ladder. The ascent looked perilous, but in a Rajinikanth move, he’d flick his dhoti, tuck it in, grab a dry cloth, and climb one step at a time till he had a close-up view of the accumulated dust. “Hmm, you should see the dust here! Why doesn’t anyone clean the fans? No one’s interested in the fans!” Having assessed the levels of dust and grime he’d begin to swipe the fan blades, slowly and steadily. Once satisfied, he’d go down the ladder, wet the second cloth and climb the steps again. Then, almost in stealth mode and with utmost care, he’d swipe each blade like a samurai polishing his sword. It didn’t end there. The moment he entered a neighbour’s home, dad would start checking out their ceiling fans and forming instant opinions. They could be the top of your game but if their fans were dusty…

ouch! Bless them for what was about to come up. “How often do you clean your fans? They’re quite dirty”, he’d say with a confident smile. “Why don’t I come over and clean your fans some day? In fact, why don’t we do it now?” Oh, those were priceless moments: when someone kindly invited us over for a cup of chai and in return received a Ramu-kaka favour but in a more dignified, English-speaking style. “No problem, don’t feel shy! I do it for everyone: you’re not the first. Do you have a bucket, two cloths and a ladder?” So what had been intended as a friendly family gettogether would turn into a community housework session. Along the way, there’d be free tips on fan cleaning, homilies on the connection between clean fans and health, and even recommendations for cleaning products. What’s more, if dad liked the family, they might even receive another day of fan cleaning if they were too stumped to absorb what was happening in their home the first time round. That was dad’s obsession in full effect. So when we moved apartments after 17 years, we secretly chose one with no ceiling fans. No more weekend routines; we hoped dad would move on to more meaningful activities. Months later I walked into my bedroom to find dad gazing at my floor fan. “When did you buy this fan?” he asks. “Two days back, it gets pretty stuffy in my room and I needed some air circulation. Plus I got it on a deal, dad.” “Hmmmm, it’s so dusty. Go get a cloth and a bucket of water. Let’s get this thing cleaned…” I’m tempted to ask my dad why he’s obsessed with fans, but in my mind I can only imagine him responding with the famous line from Shah Rukh Khan’s latest movie ‘Fan’: “Tu Nahin Samjhega!”

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Indian in origin, Delna was born and raised in Dubai. A true vagabond by nature she loves experiencing world cultures through food and travel. She is a World Food Travel Association (USA) Certified Culinary Travel Professional (CCTP). Visiting Antarctica and publishing her own book are both on her bucket list. “My life isn’t perfect – but I’m grateful!” is her mantra. Meet Delna as she blogs at discoverspice.net and thenomadthinks. wordpress.com.


spinning tales the day the fans spoke to me DO FANS HAVE A STORY TO TELL? IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO HEAR THEIR VOICES.

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words THE DIFFERENTLY WIRED

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Working on a class project - recording senior citizens’ attitudes to the Internet - I tiptoed into my uncle’s place, unsure how to proceed. The reason was as simple and complicated as the task at hand: I believed that my camera didn’t like me much. It coyly contrived to make me look bad. As did my editing software: I think they despised me for using them to appear sensible. Waiting for uncle to arrive, I looked around, awestruck by his exquisite taste in art. Paintings from the brush of Picasso burst into life as the sun relentlessly raked across the living room. Then I was smitten by the sheer elegance exuded by the furniture. The white marble floor was like a mirror, reflecting the silent, seemingly effortless beauty of the bladed ceiling fan. Fans like these, it dawned on me, can be absolutely quiet yet say so much. A mere glance told me it was a rich man’s fan, trained in subtle etiquette. It didn’t need to make its presence boisterously felt.

After the interview, I left uncle’s home intrigued; I wanted to find out if all fans communicated in the same way. On my way home, I happened to cross a slum: a long chain of shacks inhabited by labourers, domestic helps, plumbers and other members of the ‘troubled clan’. It was late afternoon, but the sun was still firmly resolved to melt everything touched by its rays. A woman hobbled out of a shack, struggled to balance as she failed to wipe the sweat from her forehead, and sat under a tree. The absence of a functioning fan in her dwelling spoke of impoverished survival. More people left the shack, seeking shade. I caught sight of the motionless fan; like its master, it lacked selfreliance. All it could do was wait fatalistically for help from a greater power.

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My intrigue grew; I was determined to feed it. So I decided to visit a hosiery factory in an under-


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“IT WAS REVELATORY FOR ME TO DWELL ON THE FAN-DOMS OF THE RICH, THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE POOR. THE RICH CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE FAN IN THE SAME ROOM, THE MIDDLE CLASSES HAVE THEIR FAIR SHARE OF AIR, AND THE POOR STRUGGLE TO DECIDE WHO SHOULD RECEIVE RESPITE.”

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populated area at the edge of the city. This huge unit had innumerable industrial fans that were so noisy I could barely hear myself think. These ‘commercial’ fans didn’t want workers listening to their own inner voices: employees could only churn out goods in a moribund, mechanical manner. My mind was abuzz with ideas; I thought I’d visit a supermarket nearby to see as many kinds of fans as possible. I wanted all of them to talk to me in their own voices: share their little anecdotes. That’s when my phone buzzed; competing with my mind. Mother wanted me back before dark. Forced to drop my trip to the market I headed home. I can’t lie: it had been a tiring day. The sun refused to have mercy and so did my teachers, whose sole pursuit seemed to be to drain me of energy. It’s at moments like these that I feel like a cog in a big machine. It was revelatory for me to dwell on the fan-doms

of the rich, the middle class and the poor. The rich can have more than one fan in the same room, the middle classes have their fair share of air, and the poor struggle to decide who should receive respite. I sat back on the couch, famished, waiting for my mother to bring me some lemonade. Aaaaah... lemonade! That would be the best part of the day, other than the fan-tastic experience I’d had. Little did I know, it wasn’t over: at that moment I looked up at the fan in my living room and realised it was a classic middle class fan: neither too fancy nor fitfully deprived of electricity. It had an air of confidence; it was headstrong and content whichever way its master chose to keep it. It was cleaned every few months and whenever rich guests were invited over. They’d admire its clean functionality. It was a bit like its mistress: its beauty wouldn’t bowl anyone over, it was scarcely noticed, but it was certainly valuable. No one could do without it.

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The Differently Wired is a pen name that’s driven Garima Syal to write decent pieces. Otherwise, Garima, a writer in the making, is selectively conversant. She is creative but highly critical of her own work. She likes to be cheerful and goofy but only with those close to her. Everyone knows her as a hardworking, articulate, intelligent, topper girl who knows what she wants in life and will get it, no matter what. Yeah, she’s all that, but at times she can be just as lost as the next person, who peeps into her written world. She believes that if you can give somebody hope, you’ve given them everything.


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WHAT’S IN

CROMPTON GREAVES: WHAT WAS THAT? A CEILING FAN THAT BORE A RATHER UNIQUE N CAME SUITED & BOOTED. words DEVAYANI VIJAYAN

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NAME AND PERSONA. A REMNANT OR OUR BRITISH PAST, OR A FAN THAT

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A NAME?


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(Clockwise): Crompton Greaves with the suit and tie. Usha, the humble one. Khaitan, the wind & sound. Khaitan, the manly one.

Usha: a fairly common woman’s name in India.

her lips.

Bajaj: a well-known family business; my father rode one of their scooters for many years.

The Khaitan, on the other hand, was dark brown, loud and full of blustering rumble.

Khaitan: a name that resonates with noise and wind: manly, somehow.

The Usha was nondescript: white-Ish, dull. Went round and round without any of us caring much.

But Crompton Greaves: what was that? CROMPTON GREAVES: in a suit and tie.

Crompton Greaves: there it was again. Gently going about its business of lifting the breeze and sending it down on us without so much as a crinkle in the airwaves. Perfection.

I often wondered whether it was some facet of our British past that we preferred to hold on to: like an heirloom that might disappear completely if we let it go. Oh, the Crompton Greaves ceiling fan in our house! It was pristine white with a delicate gold trim, like cutlery saved for special occasions. It would have blended beautifully into a genteel diorama of a lady’s lacegloved, manicured fingers, modestly tilting a teacup to

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“What’s in a name?” one might ask. “And what’s in a ceiling fan’s name, and why all this fuss?” one could add. To me, Crompton Greaves sounds as if it belongs in the world of Bertie Wooster, Ukridge, Lord Sidcup, Jeeves et al. It could have served splendidly well in the world of Wodehouse. By Jove! Crompton Greaves,


(L-R) Crompton Greaves, pristine white with a delicate gold trim! Usha, the nondescript. white-Ish, dull one of the lot!

sanguinely circulating air over Edwardian admonitions and farfetched frolic.

name somehow seemed to manifest itself in the fan’s behaviour.

It’s a glorious vestige of British rule, a distinct legacy of the Raj: not as profound as the postal system or railway network, but still resonant.

Crompton Greaves as a brand was established in the late 1800’s: it’s been around for over a century. Whether the name stood for a set of unique values then, one doesn’t know, but here and now, it definitely lends an air of gravitas.

Growing up in India, one knew that any astute home keeper, while visiting another’s house, would discreetly look for two things: cobwebs in ceiling corners and dust on fan blades. In the race for housekeeping supremacy, none brought the stakes down as much as these. And remarkably, the Crompton Greaves never seemed to gather dust. It played its distinguished part in keeping its owner’s status intact. The dignity of the

The fan still runs smoothly in our house, with a slight, but well-earned smugness over the Khaitan and the Usha. Those have aged significantly, rumbling even louder, becoming wobbly at times. But Crompton, Crompton Greaves, with the suit and tie, maintains its dominion of room cooling to perfection.

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If Devayani was forced to describe herself in 3 sentences, it would be to this: She is a woman. She is her parents’ daughter. She is an Indian, with the world as her home. She is a classically trained singer, intuitive writer, and overzealous working professional. She currently lives in Dubai, but calls India, Milan and Amsterdam her other homes. Many homes, many lives, many experiences- always exploring.


CONDITIONE

FIRST OF ANYTHING IS ALWAYS SPECIAL. AND WHEN IT’S AN AIR CONDITIONER (AC), THI FOLLOWED THE PURCHASE AND ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST AC IN INDIAN HOMES.

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words NASRIN MODAK SIDDIQI

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ED DRAMA

INGS GET ‘COOLER’ AUTOMATICALLY. WE RECALL THE EXCITEMENT THAT

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I still remember the day when the AC was first installed at our home. Long before global warming was the ‘it’ thing and the temperatures of Bombay didn’t melt plastic, people, and plastic people; like it does now. The heat clubbed with humidity had begun to get unbearable, especially for top-floor residents like us. It was a surprise purchase by mum and happily surprised we were! What followed next was total theatre because no one wanted to leave the bedroom of our humble 1BHK apartment. No one. Not even the nosy neighbour aunty who found every possible excuse to ‘drop in’ to comment on the weather of the world.

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Those days, life was simpler. There weren’t too many options. No split, not the ones with inverter, no eco models – just the plain simple noisy, bulky window ACs. That bump seen in the window was considered as a prize, only the fortunate few had it. And when we had our own prize, the scientist in me did one of the things I always wanted to do. I tried to bring the temperatures down to a freezing four or five to see if it snowed in the room. Of course my foolish attempt was futile. And I beg your pardon, but don’t judge me on this. It was one of those crazy things I think! Remotes… oh they were a totally different story. I don’t think any of us

were as possessive of the AC remote as we were of the TV one (Set top boxes came much later). ‘TV remote replicas are cheaper and the AC ones are hard to find,’ said the installation guy slyly. That made it even more of a prized possession. And did we manage to lose it – oh yes we all do, don’t we? All remotes are meant to be lost, at least five times. Adding to the crisis were fights on who held it last and who messed up the settings from cool to dry. And because the bills had to be under check, I don’t think we ever ran it all night. The AC was supposed to cool the room for an hour or two, then the fan took over. Mum’s voice still runs in my head when we now run the AC for longer periods: “AC band karo – warna bill bohot ayega!!!” (Shut the AC or we’ll get a huge bill). However, what takes the cake of the entire euphoria around the air conditioner is mum yelling from the kitchen to shut the bedroom’s sliding door. “AC ki cooling bahar ja rahi hai”. This was crime, a serious one. Our modest 1 ton AC has served us for a good two decades. It still runs. It died several times but was always pumped back to life by the repair guys. Oh and every time it undergoes service, the mechanic gives us a rude look and hands a rupee coin or two that he fishes from the vent. I wonder who puts it there?

Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller, and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot. com.

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TO HAVE AN AIR-CONDITIONED CAR WAS ANOTHER LUXURY, ONLY A FEW COULD AFFORD IT! THE GOOD OL’ MARUTI 800 WAS THE RICH INDIAN’S CHOICE FOR AN AIR-CONDITIONED VEHICLE!

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yesterd just

words SANGEETHA BHASKARAN

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day

A HOUSE FULL OF GRANDCHILDREN. TINY, SWEATY HANDS. ICE-LOLLIES AND BUCKETS FULL OF COLD WATER. A POWER CUT! AN INVERTER THAT CAN RUN JUST ONE FAN. WHAT DID YOUR CHILDHOOD LOOK LIKE? HERE’S US RE-LIVING A WARM, WARM YESTERDAY.


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A Chennai summer could be the closest thing one conjures in their mind if they had to picture what ‘hell’ feels like. The blistering sun, lack of trees around and the geographical factor of being close to the equator AND by the sea basically adds to the whole “hot and humid” package of this city. But as children, we had somehow always survived this dreadful tropical inferno that dehydrated and drained us. There were twelve of us cousins, who were transported from different parts of the world and deposited at our ancestral home during the summer break in July. The parents renounced their official responsibilities over us and permitted us to frolic about like chimps who’d escaped from a zoo. We had our own weapons to tackle the heat. A freezer constantly stacked with five rupee grape ice-lollies, buckets of cold water dunked over each other’s heads serving the dual purpose of temperature control and entertainment, riding the giant wooden swing in the garden to build our own breeze that would cool the beads of sweat gliding over our scrawny (and some

tubby) bodies. It was like a battle, us against this monstrous devil that thrived by sapping us of our energy. We’d beat it, beat it, and then it would pull out its trump card, power cut! Now even though the house had four bedrooms, whenever there was no electricity, the power inverter would kick-start and only two appliances would function, the tube light in the hall and the fan in one of the bedrooms. Which is why whenever we heard the Tamil-serial-blasting television go mute abruptly, we’d all scramble to the room boasting the only functional fan, destined to be our saviour. We had our own version of ‘The Hunger Games’, shoving and maiming each other to make it to the right spots on the king-size bed, the corners. Those who didn’t make it in time there, would have to squeeze their way to the middle and right beneath the fan. The youngest of the pack would inevitably wind up on the floor. There was no mercy shown, the hierarchy of survival had to be followed. Sometimes the power would go out for half an hour, sometimes two. We’d lie there together like sardines in

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a tin, drenched in humid suffocation, blowing air onto our sweaty arm-pits and listening to the fan above us whirring as we talked and giggled. If it was dark, we would take turns to freak the little ones out by narrating haunting tales of a dead woman in the neighbourhood, the sound of her anklets that someone heard when they went for a drink of water at 2am, visions of her materialising smile reflected in the mirror of her once used bathroom. The fluctuating voltage would cause the fan to spin slower and faster, adding to the spook factor. The poor things would end up screaming and running out of the room, deciding that dealing with a sticky fan-less outside was better than being with us. The month would fly by and suddenly it’d be time for goodbyes. Tears, hugs, promises. “I’ll see you next year okay?” “Okay.”

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Gone. Everyone back to school, back to life moving on. Now we’re all adults. That home is long gone, demolished and dissolved into dust and wind. We now live in houses, which have air conditioners and generators. Power cuts don’t bother us too much. And yet whenever I sleep beneath a ceiling fan, feeling cool and comforted, watching it spinning madly above me, its blades chopping the air mechanically; if I blink hard and inhale, I can hear the quiet echoes of laughter and screaming from a warm yesterday. Sangeetha is a 31-year-old mummy who lives in Dubai, but with her heart in India, and a mind that wanders everywhere else. After pursuing a career in finance for about eight years, she decided to walk away and do something whimsical, chase her dream of writing. She currently writes and manages a parenting blog called ‘No Time To Moisturize’ that describes her bumbling adventures as a mother. Her hobbies are singing, drinking wine, telling people what to do & reading lots and lots and lots of books whenever she finds the time. She loves to blame the universe for everything that goes wrong, laugh at her own jokes, and ponder over the meaning of life once she’s done updating herself with all the celebrity gossip online. Follow her adventurous journey here: facebook.com/notimetomoisturize

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narrating fan tales

Four different homes, yet four similar tales. Four readers look back at the days spent under the fan. Dust, nostalgia, cool air and more binds them all.

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as told to VISHAL BHEERO

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Devangini Chauhan

Akanksha Dureja

In Indian homes, fan is the most favourite summer companion. It was no different in our home. Though I would often look at it and wonder why it couldn’t move faster! And when the power cut hit us, it was the hum of the fan I missed the most. My mother and I would fan ourselves with newspapers in those hours. However, there were times when we would voluntarily switch off the fan like while playing video games so that the sound didn’t interrupt our playing. When we’d return home after playing in the sun, we’d fight with our siblings for the best spot under the fan. It was a permanent fixture of our lives, keeping us cool. Over time, the fans have changed: slimmer blades and minimal sound motors: but I miss the good old days, the chugging of old fans is still fresh in my mind and I almost wait for the sound when I switch it on, even now. That’s the power of nostalgia that hits you unaware every single day.

Summer is my favourite time of the year. Yes, it gets hot, but it is also the time when I begin to look forward to the rains. For me, the fan stands for a multitude of human emotions and beauties associated with life. As for the summer, it means mangoes, colourful & comfortable clothes, and bright long days, plus the Rajnigandha flowers that usher the new season. A fresh bunch of flowers adorn my room, every couple of days. The fan has a character of its own, it spreads with it cool air and the fragrance of flowers. Thankfully, I was never asked to dust the fans! My brother or father would take care of it. I would, however, sit and watch the ritual being performed every few weeks. A long broom would be brought out for the task. A special ‘fan’ memory stems from the college days I spent with my grandparents. During daytime, they’d keep the windows open and the fan would run on a high speed. It was enough to keep all of us cool. If it got cold, I would take the extra sheet lying around on the bed to wrap myself and at that moment granny would be quick to reduce the speed of the fan or switch it off. Plus, she would switch off the fan to ensure I got out of bed and didn’t sleep extra, and hence not miss my classes.

Mansi Fadnavis When we were kids, there were no smartphones. We would gather under the fan and stay up all night! We’d talk non-stop about our teachers, homework and exams. Of course, the next morning, we would want to sleep until late but mum would come and switch off the fan, and we had no choice but to wake up. It was quite funny. I remember we also owned a decorative fan, it had a golden ring in the centre. Table fans were a rage too, short and stout, they served the purpose. During pre-Diwali days, I’d work my way to earn a prize from my parents - an ice-cream or a gola - by offering to clean the fans. It was part of my Diwali task, taking a wet cloth and doing the cleaning.

Vidya Suri

We lived in a palatial estate house in Mumbai, a home that had no electrical fans! We didn’t feel the need for any, for the estate was in the midst of a lot of trees with an abundance of fresh breeze. This was during the 1960s, the times when refrigerators and cooking ranges were a luxury too. We’d fan ourselves with palm leaves or use the cardboard from our old notebooks. All of us knew, how to fold the cardboard like an accordion. Years later, when we purchased an imported table fan, it got the whole house excited. It would be kept covered! When it was switched on, I would stand in front of it and enjoy the cool blast on my face, and watch my hair fly in all directions. Who would have known that something we take for granted today was a luxury once upon a time!

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Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.


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the desert ßdwyjÞ

;g ,d Vhu ds fMCcs dh '‘ksi esa gksrk Fkk] ij u tkus blus fdrus yksxksa dks xjeh ls NqVdkjk fnyok;kA words MRIDULA MOHAN images PRACHI GROVER

Þdwyjß ftlds uke ls Li’V gS fd dwy djus okyk ;U=A ;g ,d Vhu ds fMCcs dh “ksi esa gksrk Fkk] ij u tkus blus fdrus yksxksa dks xjeh ls NqVdkjk fnyok;kA vkt ls pkj ik¡p n”kd igys bldk cgqr pyu FkkA ?kjksa vkSj vkWf¶lksa esa blds pyus ij ?kM+?kM+kV dh vkokt ls blds gksus dk vkHkkl gksrk FkkA tSls gh xjeh dk ekSle “kq: gksrk Fkk bldh lQkbZ o blds vUnj lw[kh ?kkl cnyokbZ tkrh Fkh vkSj blds vUnj ikuh Hkjk tkrk FkkA ;g fctyh ls pyus okyk midj.k gS tSls ;g pyrk gS ikuh BUMh ?kkl ls xqtjrk gqvk dwyj ds vUnj fxjrk gS vkSj gok Qad s rk gS dqN gh le; ckn cgqr tYnh gh lkjk dejk BUMk gks tkrk gSA

cgqr igys ifjokjksa es ,d dwyj ds lehi lc cSB tkrs Fks vkSj mldh BUMd dk vkuUn ysrs FksA /khjs&/khjs le; dk fodkl gqvk vkSj ogh dwyj vyx&vyx “ksi vkSj vk/kqfudj.k ds dkj.k mldh “kDy vkSj vkdkj cny x;kA ,d gh ifjokj esa vyx&vyx dejs esa bldk bLrseky gksus yxkA tc dHkh ge ckgj ls yw vkSj xjeh ds yiVksa ds dkj.k ?kj esa izo”s k djrs Fks rc ml dwyj dh gok fdlh tUur ls de ugha yxrh Fkh ,d NksVs ls dwyj ls lkjk ifjokj mldh BUMd dk yq¶r ysrk FkkA eq>s ;kn vkrk gS pkj&ikap n”kd igys yksx dwyj esa Hkjs ikuh esa b= feyk fn;k djrs Fks] ftlls lkjk ?kj mldh gok dh lqxU/kh ls egd mBrk FkkA ml le; ogh lcdh theindiantrumpet.com

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cgqr igys ifjokjksa es ,d dwyj ds lehi lc cSB tkrs Fks vkSj mldh BUMd dk vkuUn ysrs FksA

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[kq”kh o vkuUn dk Lrj Fkk /khjs&/khjs le; us djoV yh vkSj fodkl us dbZ u;s midj.k xehZ nwj djus ds fy;s cuk fn;sA ,;j dUMh”kuj us tUe fy;k vkSj mldh c<+rh gqbZ ekax us Þdwyjß dks yq¶r dj fn;kA ysfdu ,;j dUMh”kuj lekt dk gj dksbZ oxZ mldks miyC/k djus esa vleFkZ gS] blfy;s dwyj dh “kDy esa cnyko vk;kA og Vhu ds cnys IykfLVd o Qkbcj dk cuus yxk vkSj mldh yksdfiz;rk fQj ls c< xbZA vkt ?kj&?kj esa dwyj ds vk/kqfudj.k vkSj fodkl us mls cgqr [kwclwjr cuk fn;k] ftlds dkj.k og ?kj esa j[kk gqvk] ,d ltkoVh midj.k yxus yxkA mlds uhps yxs NksV& s NksVs ifg;ksa }kjk og ,d dejs ls nwljs dejs esa lqfo/kkuqlkj vklkuh ls ?kqek;k tk ldrk gSA bldh dher bldh “kDy vkSj vkdkj ds vuqlkj vk¡dh tkrh gS vkSj vyx&vyx lqfo/kkvksa ds dkj.k bldh dher cnyrh jgrh gS lekt esa jgus okys xjhc yksx o ek/;e oxZ bls vklkuh ls [kjhn ldrk gS vktdy gj ?kj esa bldk gksuk ,d t:jr cu pqdh gSA ge ns[krs gS fd xjhcksa dh cLrh esa Hkh iqjkuk Vhu dk dwyj ?kM+&?kM+ vkokt djrk gqvk pyrk jgrk gSA dHkh og [kjhn ysrs gS vkSj dHkh dksbZ mUgsa migkj es ns nsrk gS ysfdu og mlesa Hkh [kq”kh <wM ¡a + ysrs gSA ;g dwyj uke dk ;U= bruk oQknkj gS fd mls ;g ugha Kkr gS fd og fdlh /kuh ifjokj ;k fu/kZu ds ;gka py jgk gS og rks dsoy BUMh gok gh ysrk gSA bl izdkj ;g dwyj uke dk ;U= ,;j dUMh”kuj tSlh e”khu ds lkFk cjkcjh dk ntkZ gkfly djus dh gksM+ esa yxk gqvk gSA gk¡ lqfo/kk ds vuqlkj ;g cM+h&cM+h bekjrksa dh f[kM+fd;ks esa vklkuh ls fQDl fd;k tk ldrk gS ;g vkfFkZd n`f’V ls ns[ks rks ;g cgqr de nke esa miyC/k gks tkrk gSA gk¡ gok pkgs dwyj dh gks ;k ,;j dUMh”kj dh og dsoy BUMh gh gksuh pkfg;s] ;gh mldk mn~n’s ; gSA bl izdkj dwyj vf/kdrj yksx bLrseky dj ldrs gS] gj oxZ

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bls [kjhn ldrk gS ;g vkt ds ;qx essa lcdh vko”;drk cu x;k gSA /khjs&/khjs fo”o esa xeZ ns”kks es i;kZoj.k esa cnyko gksus ds dkj.k xehZ dk Lrj fnu izfrfnu c<+ jgk gSA tSl& s tSls euq’; dh tula[;k c<+ jgh gS mldh vko”;drk Hkh c< jgh gSA vkt ge dg ldrs gS fd Þdwyjß ds vkfLrRo cuk;sa j[kus ds fy;s mlds fuekZrk Hkjiwj iz;Ru dj jgs gS fd dwyj bl ;qx esa ,d ÞfcUVst ekWMyß cu dj u jg tk;sA u;s&u;s fMtkbuks ls bldks vkd’kZd cukus ds iz;Ru es yxs gSA vUr esa ge dgsx a s fd Þdwyß ls cuk Þdwyjß lnk BUMd nsdj viuh lsok esa ges nsrk jgsxk vkSj Js’Brk izkIr djrk jgsxkA

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Mridula Mohan has played the so-called innings of her life and now sits happily on the fence soaking in new experiences and mulling over old ones. A mother of two (grandmom of three) and an Army wife, Mridula has been a teacher most of her life and these days she’s back to indulging in her first love,writing. She writes both prose and poetry and derives her inspirations from her life’s travels and the impressions along the way. You can reach her at mridulamohan404@gmail.com.


the pankha battle

WHEN FAMILY CONFLICT GETS HEATED, IT’S TIME FOR THE KIDS TO DIAL THINGS DOWN words VANEESHA JAIN Learning how to walk has its advantages for parents as well as offspring. After the grown-ups have cooed and cajoled the little ones into walking, then celebrated their grand achievement, there’s a realisation that these newfound abilities can be adapted for small but extremely significant domestic tasks. And so it goes, in every family: the walkingenabled child is deployed for ‘getting the door’, ‘fetching something from the kitchen’, and, of course, ‘going and switching on the pankha (fan)’.

diary of an indian

Marriage can be a beautiful thing. It can also be where those itsy-bitsy battles between fragile egos find space to break out. And no one knows this better than children. I have this great idea for a coffee table book (look out, it’s ready) entitled ‘Why Parents Have Kids’. “The Pankha Battle” is one example. Let me explain. Mom (from under 3 layers of chaddar covering her head and ears) – “Slow that fan down! I’m freezing!” - Child walks dutifully to the fan regulator, turns the dial anti-clockwise. When the fan’s at speed 1, she walks back to bed and settles in with the feeling of a job well done. Dad (two minutes later, just when the child is comfortable) – “Are you trying to kill me?! I’m melting! Can someone please speed up the fan?” - The child - clearly the ‘someone’ dad has referred

to - leaves her nice cosy spot and walks back to the regulator. Turning the dial clockwise, she measures, tickby-tick, dad’s pleasure versus mom’s annoyance, and tries to strike that elusive balance. And so it goes, awn and awn, until one day, the child, then her younger sibling, leave home for college and the world. The big farewell is accompanied by much drama, but it takes a while to notice the minor changes that ensue after the house feels emptier. Who’ll get that pankha now? New plans are devised; the carpenter and the electrician are summoned. The regulator is dismantled and installed closer to the bed, within reach of lazy limbs too tired to reach all the way to the other wall. According to my personal calculations, the spouse on the side of the bed closest to the regulator wins the marriage. P. S: For couples married after the 1980s, for ‘pankha regulator’ read ‘AC remote’. P.P.S: My mom tells me that the power dynamics around the pankha have been trumped by biology: apparently post-menopausal mom wants the fan at higher speed than AC-dependant dad. While I’m duty-bound to make a note of this, I’ll admit that my conditioned brain finds it difficult to wrap its head around this amusing concept.

Vaneesha Jain is a lawyer based in New Delhi with an interest in policy issues. She’s interested in writing, music, art and hiking. She thrives in the outdoors, and enjoys making connections with people from diverse backgrounds. She thinks the best antidote to angst is to look skywards and think about the nature and scale of the uni/multi-verse.

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sleeping under the stars… with a pedestal fan for company

I grew up in Mohali in the early ‘80s and ‘90s. Most of the residents in my town were from village backgrounds. There was a real sense of brotherhood and community between all of us. My parents were new to the place and had rented a two-room unit in an ex-service man’s kothi. Landlord Bapu ji assumed the role of patriarch, and our extended family included the residents of other six-seven houses in the neighbourhood. Summers were really beautiful back then. We’d spend long evenings sitting in the front yard, listening to Bapu ji’s tales about his Army adventures, and discussing issues like terrorism, religion, and the weather. Neighbours would join in too, with anecdotes and memories from the village lives they’d left behind. People brought moorhas (stools) and folding chairs for extended sessions of tea and Peepe Wale biscuits. The mehfils usually went way past sunset, only dispersing at dinnertime. After dinner, folding beds would be carried into the backyard, and the grown-ups would arrange our beds as per silent agreements, around a strategically mounted table fan and Farrata (pedestal fan) to ensure comfort through the night. Pakkhis (hand-held fans) were kept handy in case of power cuts: there were no inverters then. Tubes of Odomos changed hands and glasses of milk were downed while Biji (our landlady) narrated stories to the kids. One by one we’d fall into slumber under the clear night skies. I never imagined growing up to be the insomniac I am today. Life was really simple and lovely: we never craved bigger luxuries. Those days were the best of my childhood, and I still retain emotional bonds with the friends I made. There’s no denying that people have very comfortable existences now, but somewhere down the line the richness of shared culture has been lost.

Anuraj Sandhu has a post-graduate degree in zoology and mass communication, but IT and finance turned out to be her calling. So now, she works as an Oracle Apps Financial Expert based in Calgary and Delhi. When not designing business solutions, she love digging into history, kdaramas, planning trips abroad, learning about new cuisines, exploring her spiritual side and indulging in her guilty pleasure: Single Malts! Her regrets? She is not a hands-on mom! She tries to cultivate her kids with patience, and hopes to be a reasonably good mother a few years down the line…!

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words ANURAJ SANDHU


diary of an indian

IN HOPE OF A

RANDOM POWER CUT! I GREW UP IN A SMALL TOWN IN HIMACHAL PRADESH. BACK IN THE ‘80S WE HAD NO FANS, AND UNPREDICTABLE ELECTRICITY. FREQUENT POWER CUTS WERE OUR DELIGHTFUL EXIT INTO A WORLD OF FANTASY AND RHYTHM. HERE’S A PEEK INTO MY CHILDHOOD. words AANANDIKA SOOD

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“Oh, when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever And if I had the choice Ya - I’d always wanna be there Those were the best days of my life” When I see my eight-year-old daughter with her nose deep in an electronic gadget I can only sigh. It’s so difficult now to persuade kids to step away from their air-conditioned comfort zones and plush mattresses. Maybe it was always like that; maybe my parents faced resistance when they asked me to set my books aside and go for a hop, skip and jump in the fresh air. Maybe I’m being paid back in kind! Thirty years ago, living in Palampur had a lot of pros and cons, some of which still remain, like mandatory power cuts on Monday: no electricity from 9am to 5pm. These days there’s a pressing need to charge phones and laptops so they’ll last through the next day. But when I was growing up, times without electricity offered way more fun than TV and gaming. There were also unscheduled power cuts: you could be sure of one if the clouds thundered and roared. Having been born with an easy nature, and not inclined to the rigours of life, I looked forward to these heavenly gifts with gratitude. I was often saved from homework, preparation for tests or other mental exertions that could prove taxing to a child of 8-9 years old.

So, on to some major revelations, eh? When the power was down I willingly stepped outdoors (Ya, that was the only time I would do so of my own accord). There was a long patch of grass – my own piece of paradise on earth - right out to our beautiful wooden gate. It was marked out by maroon bricks lined up at a slant: sort of standing shoulder to shoulder together. My father, a hard working man, made sure that this little lawn was well-manicured at all times. Whenever the electricity went down and our mohalla reverberated with the disappointed sighs of important tasks stalled midway, I’d lie on the grass and stare at the skies, counting stars, trying to recognise

WHENEVER THE ELECTRICITY WENT DOWN AND OUR MOHALLA REVERBERATED WITH THE DISAPPOINTED SIGHS OF IMPORTANT TASKS STALLED MIDWAY, I’D LIE ON THE GRASS AND STARE AT THE SKIES, COUNTING STARS, TRYING TO RECOGNISE CONSTELLATIONS HALF-REMEMBERED FROM RANDOM BOOKS, OR JUST WEAVING FANTASTICAL TALE

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You’re probably wondering what I did when there was no electricity. And if you’re a millennial kid then the whole thing might seem quite outlandish because the activities I’m about to mention may well have never passed into your consciousness. It’s not us, it’s the times that are to blame.


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constellations half-remembered from random books, or just weaving fantastical tales. That cool summer breeze.... ah... I can still feel it brushing against my cheeks and ruffling my hair, carrying the sweet scents of deodar and pine. In the rare absence of that breeze, or a means of ventilation even as meagre as a hand fan, can you hazard a guess what we did to cool ourselves? We’d flap our notebooks. If time progressed in the absence of flowing current and it began to get a little hot indoors, people would start gathering in the common space at the centre of the mohalla. Ours had a broad raised pedestal, flanked by stairs leading to further dwellings from which the whole space was gradually filled with bickering kids, chattering aunts, gossiping elders and men folding the sleeves of their white kurtas. The air would ring with laughter and plans for dinner together. What a treat it would turn out to be! If the skies turned orchestral, the melodies playing on the tin-roofed houses were mesmerising. You could stop everything and sit enthralled as nature poured out to its heart’s content. The main advantage of no electricity or gadgets was the fact that one could whole-heartedly devote oneself to such idle pursuits.

In summers when the use of hand fans was necessary, there was no need for additional electronics. We’d rush out unhindered to play in the white summer heat without giving a hoot about the sun’s glaring intensity. I don’t think my mother was ever bothered that my tan deepened to resemble the underside of an iron griddle. With the passage of time we moved from that lovely little house in an area called the Mission Compound to our own house in a village. By then, global warming was making the climate more extreme, even in our valley. Summers began to make themselves felt, and first pedestal fans then ceiling fans gained entry into the household. Even though the power cuts made me break into a sweat, they still offered welcome breaks and lovely opportunities to gaze at the clouds, discerning the shapes of all kinds of creatures. Sadly, the fans no longer provide much relief and air conditioners prevail. Yet I still hope for random power cuts. “And now the times are changin’ Look at everything that’s come and gone Sometimes when I play that old six-string Think about you wonder what went wrong”

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Aanandika Sood aspires to be the rolling stone that gathers a lot of moss. After 8 years of writing copies and columns, editing and scripting stories and honing her PR skills, she is now playing the part of a freelance writer and a mommie. She lives in Kolkata, blogs at aanandika.blogspot.in and writes on anything that stimulates her mind and merits comment.


Thand Rakh, Lassi Pii! MONSIEUR SINGH: ROMANCING RICH HERBS AND SPICED LASSI words VISHAL BHEERO

Paris meets Punjab! Not in the lush fields of a quintessential Yash Chopra movie, but chilling out heartily. Meet Karan Gera, the New York based ‘Lassi Man’ who’s stirred up a storm with his buttermilkbased blends.

over a cup of chai

Most smoothies and yoghurts mix dairy and fruit, an incompatible combination the body struggles to process. But in Karan’s frozen lassis they’re harmoniously wedded together with digestive herbs and spices straight from Ayurveda: 5,000 years of desi nutritional balance and wellness. What inspired you to roll out the concept? “I created the recipe with honesty and love for my nine-month-old daughter, to give her something healthy to relish and enjoy. At the time, I was consulting for a major dairy company as a brand strategist, and learnt a lot about the benefits of yoghurt. But when I presented the idea of frozen lassi to the company, I faced a lot of bureaucracy. So I started ‘Monsieur Singh’ myself: frozen yoghurts for a healthier lifestyle.” Walk down the streets of New York and you’ll spot Karan’s lassi carts emblazoned with the tag line ‘Endorsed Daily by a Billion Indians’. The good ‘ol lassi of Punjab has charmed the American crowd! “Many of my customers in the US want to avoid ice-cream and fruitbased frozen yoghurts. Both products are high in sugar and fat, paving the way for indigestion, obesity and diabetes, especially in kids, who don’t exercise much these days. By contrast, Monsieur Singh is low fat, low sugar and probiotic: it doesn’t sit in the stomach undigested, giving out toxins. The natural warmth of its herbs and spices helps our bodies absorb the chilled yoghurt and the fruit. ”

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Images Courtesy: Social Media channels, Monsieur Singh

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KARAN GERA, THE NEW YORK BASED ‘LASSI MAN’ WHO’S STIRRED UP A STORM WITH HIS BUTTERMILK-BASED BLENDS!


How about the Monsieur Singh brand name and imagery? “I learned about Ayurveda in Kapurthula, the ‘Paris of Punjab’.” There was a Francophile king there: he left a lot of French-style buildings. And Singh is the big local surname. As it says on the website: ‘For added authenticity, read in a French-Indian accent.’ Moustache-twirling Monsieur Singh is joined by another character on the packaging: a Swami, sat cross-legged in a state of Nirvana, surrounded by Om symbols. “The Swami signifies knowledge and the legacy of Ayurveda. Our frozen lassi is rich in wisdom but light-hearted: in Punjab when someone gets angry we say: “Thand Rakh, Lassi Pii (keep calm and have lassi).” Which could have been a retort to the New Yorker who took offence at the Swami image. Karan muses: “We’re proud of our culture and didn’t demean any belief systems. I’m happy to hail from India… maybe the gentleman isn’t proud of our heritage that boasts lassi by way of Ayurveda.” And the future? Karan has big plans for Monsieur Singh and is looking for tie-ups with reliable partners in India. “We want to do it right. We’re also eyeing markets in the Emirates and England.”

over a cup of chai

With a range of fruit flavours – mango, pineapple / banana and honey / lemon - Karan is winning hearts the world over. Monsieur Singh has received rave reviews from Martha Stewart, chef Marcus Samuelson, Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi and pop star Prita Chabbra. A little French, totally Indian and truly global!

Vishal Bheeroo worked as a journalist for three years in an English newspaper based out of Mauritius. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of Mauritius but has plans of returning home, someday soon.

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H C T I W S E W , L I T , UN N O IT

! N I A AG

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EN’T HERE AR R A T , S L L I FO THE H YS STILL D IN MES IN A T O S H N Y A N LIVE THE F IN MA THERS, HAVING O IS R E N I T . F S A ELL, TH R. A W E S Y A E ANY FAN A H I T ND EL PART OF LLS OF I ’T HELP BUT FE LARGER NS AND THE HI N I COULD E SHORT A H T L T P N A & E T H E I T AB TAT N! YAN INH HE IGNORED S F THE FA RA O ’ E R HIMALA A T F H HANA LUT AT BOTH ERESTING ‘FAN words IS T AMUSED N I UT LIVED B


No matter how enticing the words: Fan-Full Tale or Fanfare, sound like, the life of a fan in a mountain home is like a hoarding on the highway – ignored, dust-worthy and a mute spectator to seemingly indifferent people.

pine leaves will invite rains to cool down the area. This belief with some mythological background and limited scientific logic engulfs large stretches of forests in fire each year. And it only adds to the heat, really!

Just when summer begins to knock on North India’s door in early March, TV channels are flocked by commercials of fans and air conditioners. And people in the Himalayan regions are particularly baffled with the importance given to fans on TV. They just can’t comprehend the significance of such devices.

And then there is more panic. The tea-stalls suddenly become empty as compared to the otherwise overcrowded benches. Villagers finish most work in the fields by 9 am, because they are just not made for a 30°C day. And local shops would keep fans in their main displays. Don’t be surprised to know that many fan-shoppers here are first-time buyers also. Suddenly the not-so-important fan gets due importance, all in a span of a month. Sooner or later the rains do arrive. And the very first spell cools the dry and thirsty hills by almost 10°C. The nights become breezy, and the fan speed goes down!

diary of an indian

I found this quite amusing until I moved to a Himalayan abode myself. When in mid-April you sit around a bonfire, a moving fan is the last thought on your mind. I too, was perplexed with such commercials on TV, but reminded myself of the heat in the plains each time. Most mountain dwellers support a thin jacket throughout the year. They just don’t take chances with the ever-changing weather here. By mid-May, when the mercury touches 24°C, they begin to panic. The day the fans are switched on; it’s almost like breaking news. Evening strollers in the local market would sip tea and discuss how hot it’s become. And no discussion is complete until somebody mentions, “The fans have been switched on!” A working fan is a milestone to measure the extent of summer here. With some homes with no fans at all, will have their residents sleeping in the open quite often. After 11-months of somewhat winter, I personally embrace summer in the hills. There are multiple local beliefs about summer here. Most forest fires are created by the natives. They believe that burning dried

With the rains cooling the area each day, the firsttime fan buyers begin to complain. They call their fan-purchases a result of impulsive shopping! I’ve had a tough time hiding my giggles on such occasions. Ha! The onset of monsoon brings great joy to the inhabitants. When they adorn their thin jackets again, after a fan-full month, the nip in the air makes them feel at home. They would indulge in cleaning their fans on such rainy days. This marking the end of their summer is almost like a hilarious thanksgiving to the fan! And then they switch them-off for good 11-months again. I’d never thought, a fan in the mountains would catch my fancy so much. I do pity its stand-still life here. But the great adulation it receives here for thirty-odd days in a year is beyond words.

Ishana Luthra is a marketing writer, digital strategist and an incurable case of wanderlust. This IIM-Bangalore alumnus runs a content and digital marketing firm called Pattraco, which designs responsive online marketing strategies for businesses. An experimental cook at heart, she adores her mountain dwelling and craves beaches. She embraces the company of family and friends alike! She can be reached at ishana.luthra@gmail.com.

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OSCILLATING

bharat darshan

LOVE! NOTHING BEATS THE MAGIC OF COOL AIR ON YOUR FACE, ESPECIALLY AFTER THOSE TERRIBLE, HOT FLASHES THE TROPICAL SUMMER CAN BRING. WHILE ONE CANT IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT AC (NOW)…DEEP WITHIN, WE ALL KNOW THAT ‘PANKHA BHI CHALEGA – BAS HAWA ACHI DENA CHAHIYE! artwork SONU SULTANIA words NASRIN MODAK-SIDDDIQI

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Thoda sa rumani ho jayeâ&#x20AC;Ś Kuch teri, kuch meriâ&#x20AC;Ś Kahani ho jaye... theindiantrumpet.com

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WALLS OF GOLD

bharat darshan

A cooling tower of respite of hot summer days and sultry nights. This tapestry of solace was a glamourous possession. These walls were once made of gold. Now they are so everyday!

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F D

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bharat darshan

Tapti chubhti garmi se ab rahat milegi Pasino ki lehar ab bilkul na bahegi. Ab pados wale Sharma ji ki tarah, Hum bhi khidki bandh rakha karenge Dasiyo baar: Hamare ghar naya AC aya haiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;! Is ka jap bhi aksar kiya karenge!

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Tu chale, toh jahan hai Tu ruke toh jeena dushwar hai Aisi bhi kya mohabbat tujhse Ki tere bina jiya na jaye humse!

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Those tiny droplets of water that showered on morning joggers and ‘groundfloor wali’ aunty! Irking them. Vexing them. But you never got it fixed. Until one Sunday, when it made a pool and your baby brother could swim in it! And that’s how the fight started... theindiantrumpet.com

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RET


The lil joys of whirling airâ&#x20AC;Ś Personalised. Vintage. Retro. Brings back memories of those subtle fights and long waitsâ&#x20AC;Ś For it to revolve on your side. And secretly hope for it, to stay a lil longer. Just one bit longer.

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TRO


bharat darshan

THANDA THANDA Baraf ki tray, isi ke liye mummy bharwati thi, Papa ke gusse ko thanda yahi karwaa tha, Iske samne, jam kar baithe bhaiya se woh khoob ladna... Hum middle class wale ise hi AC kehlate the!

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bharat darshan

A meshwork of 3-D boxes of air Slots of memorabilia On violet, pinks and blue walls that scream... Welcome to my PARADISE!

Powered by vivid imagination and aesthetic vision Sonu Sultania uses her brush to experiment and put her thoughts on canvas. Colours and textures have always been her best companions. She works primarily in concept based and expressive paintings around the themes of women: their journeys and emotions. She has participated in many UAE exhibitions; at Pro Art Gallery, DUCTAC, e Dhabi Art Hub and so on. Her works can be found here: facebook.com/SonuSultania

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller, and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.


उपर पंखा चलता है, नीचे बेबी सोता है

last word

A POPULAR & MUCH LOVED NURSERY RHYME: IN MANY INDIAN HOMES (UNTIL DATE), CHILDREN SLEEP LISTENING TO THIS LULLABY. TIME TO REWIND.

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August, 2016: Fall Edition, The Indian FAN special.  

Presenting to you a breezy Pankha edition, the Indian Fan special. When the maid sweeps the floor she switches off the fan and then she walk...

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