They met for the first time over the glare of computer screens.

They met in a crowded room full of perverts, nymphomaniacs, and webcams pimping love for a fee. In this constant chatter of abuse and anonymity, he found her looking for the same thing.
He was GameBoyNariko, she SakuraChick84. They lied to each other about their names. They had to.Anonymity was a necessity, yet even more compelling was the comfort of conversation.

Soon they knew they had to meet and do it. He knew that she was the one; it was she he wanted to be with. …

A Rio 2016 special interview with Gagan Narang

An excerpt of the original story is shared here for better reading.

Q. On Rio 2016

Rio 2016 will probably not be my last; i am not going to retire yet. It will depend on how my motivation holds out going ahead. I could very well be back for a few more. And I am aware that for that I shall have to emulate Leander Paes’ fitness and energy levels to achieve that.

Q. Three unforgettable memories from the previous three Olympics that you would share.

London 2012 Olympics was the high point for me. My bronze in 10-m Air Rifle was a part of the avalanche of Indian…

How will you remember me?

Remember me as a friend. We shared more than just a few good laughs. We shared slices of our lives. With a few, it’s been a voyage exploring life. With others, more like a rowdy evening on a port after several months at sea. No matter what, we’re kindred. Remember me for the weight i pulled, not the burden i was.

Remember me as a team-mate. Know this, i’d disagree with you always. But never dissent. If we worked together, i probably was (too) critical. Not because i thought you couldn’t do any better, but…

Either Melpomene or Thalia, the muses of tragedy and comedy atop the Old Clarendon Building, Oxford.
It’s nice to just be comfortable in my own skin.

I like solitude. It allows me to be myself. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to be someone other than myself.

It’s nice to just be comfortable in my own skin. Because then, my thoughts can wander and meander as they like. No restrictions, no censorship. No distractions. I could live out weeks all by myself.

Or so I used to think.

Since the past few weeks, I miss being alone. I’m quarantined, of course. Under a lockdown. All public activity is put on hold and social distancing is enforced. …

I have this written down several times over in one of my many diaries.

I don’t recall the context in which this was written.

Looking at the pages and notes around it, it seems like a writing tip.

You know what writing tips are, right? Those bite-sized guidelines you follow to magically become good writers.

Good. Writers.

I’m not sure how that works.

If you know the meaning of this would you please make me understand?

All this while, I thought you do it the old-fashioned way — sit your ass down and write till it hurts.

And then more.

Poster design for an academic conference for National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR (June 2011)

Poster Design: Chaitanya Deshpande. Poem: Nihav Dhawale

There can be no disputing the importance of writing.

Image by

It is not enough to know grammar — to understand the power of words, the feelings they evoke, the different arcs, narratives and structures, the fanatic quest for the perfect plot.

To write, one must also learn to be able to observe people, their nuances, their follies and foibles.

And when we find ourselves unable to write, it is not our failure or inability to write or offer more perspectives.

What we are missing is simply more writing.

Or how a brilliant scientist’s dream to end world hunger did not fit into Socialist utopia. (Part 2/2)

Read Part 1/2 here.

Nikolai Vavilov was a man on a mission: to end hunger. A Russian plant geneticist, he was famous for establishing the world’s largest seedbank — a repository of seeds and plants that would help him conduct cross-species genetic experiments to yield new biological species that would help fight the war on famine, hunger, and starvation.

Nikolai’s master plan for improving Soviet crops was designed to work over decades, not a few years. There was no way he could meet Joseph Stalin’s impossible demands for immediate results.
Nikolai tried in vain to explain that his work would…

Or how a brilliant scientist’s dream to end world hunger did not fit into Socialist utopia. (Part 1/2)

Who is Nikolai Vavilov? A seed collector, plant hunter, botanist, and adventurer, he is also one of Soviet Russia’s greatest and most-wronged sons. The. man who wanted to end hunger, died of starvation under Stalin’s misguided regime.

Ravaged by recurring famines and decaying agricultural production, Soviet Russia’s hope lay on the science and vision of a brilliant botanist and agronomist, Nikolai Vavilov — the man who could have ended world hunger.
He spent his entire life trying to end the hunger problem.

Born November 25, 1887, into a merchant family, Nikolao was one generation past poverty. His grandfather was a…

In the long and tragic history of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, prudent Roald Amundsen and the tragic Robert Falcon Scott outshine everyone else.

The South Pole was the final frontier in the 19th century. During the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration many brave souls tried conquering the white wasteland of Antarctic. Buried in the frozen hell, none lived to tell the tale.

Then, Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian and an ardent explorer of the polar regions conquered it in 1911. Amundsen was five weeks ahead of his closest rival Robert Falcon Scott, a British Royal Navy office. This victory,however, came at a bitter cost overshadowed by the tragic deaths of Scott and his team.

‘The Race to the South Pole’ and the Scott-Amundsen rivalry…


I hoard books. I live in a perpetual state of denial. I’m always curious. I’m getting old. What do i write about?

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