Bal Thackeray, discharged from hospital early this week, has expressed a desire to campaign at the coming Assembly elections. The last time that he appeared in public, at the Shiv Sena’s annual Dassera rally last October, it was almost painful to see him slowly brought up to the stage, supported by innumerable attendants, gasping for breath and slow in his speech and thoughts, needing prompting off and on again. I am not looking forward to a repeat performance. For I would like to remember him as his fiery old self, blustery and unrepentant at all times. Read more

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Like my colleague Kushalrani Gulab, I am all set for the monsoon, too – but the rains just haven’t come.

Monsoon in Mumbai always puts me in a benign mood about the city’s cops – no, don’t laugh. They are a much maligned lot but where would we be, or rather where would I have been one really rainy day — make that two – had it not been for the humble havaldar? Read more

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“I am Gokhale. She is Iyer. What are you?” a politician close to former Prime Minister V P Singh once asked me in the decade when the star of the so-called socialist parties, led by Singh, was on the ascendant.

“I am Anandan,” I replied.

“That I know. But you have to have a surname, surely?” Read more

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I have always been ambivalent about the clamour for a 33 per cent reservation for women in parliament that has been the subject of so much fire and opposition for years. It is my view that such reservations will help only the wives/mothers/daughters/sisters/aunts/nieces/daughters-in-law et al of men in power or even powerful men out of, well, power and wishing to keep it all in the family. Read more

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