Living with angry skin and a constant itch is no cakewalk

By Nivriti Butalia

There was burnt coffee, chilled water, a massive cheese platter and warm cookies outside the auditorium. Inside, we were a crew of journalists from emerging markets — at the office of a bio technology company in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, spread across blue cushioned seats in what Wikipedia calls “the most innovative square mile on the planet.”

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When I was a kid, festivals were this whole other ball game

By Suresh Pattali

Growing up in the 70-80s in the country’s south, India was merely a concept we read about in text books. The patriotic pledge that we chanted at the school assembly, especially on Independence and Republic Day, stated: “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.” It was a reminder that we are links in the long chain of a great system that everyone called democratic, secular and federal.

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When you’re unwell, alone, and can’t roll out of bed

By Sushmita Bose

In the everyday good-kilter context, I don’t fall ill too easily. Occasional bouts of coughing or feeling mildly feverish or nursing a nagging headache are all par for the course; all I need to do is call in sick for a day (if I can help it), pop a Panadol, put away the phone in a different room, and surrender to sleep.

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Don’t shoot! New York had its safest weekend in 25 years

By Nivriti Butalia

No shootings took place last weekend in New York, a  city of 8.6 million people. That’s because I was in the city, I thought, deluding myself as a mascot of peace. I don’t know why it should matter to me, but I like that the place was the safest it’s been in 25 years (according to CNN) the weekend that I was in town. I see myself harping on this fact.

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When will I have a baby? Don’t know, but stop asking, thanks

By Deepthi Nair

So, I have been happily married for over five years — even though I don’t have kids to prove my conjugal bliss. But, increasingly, I have found this lack of proof to have turned into a topic of discussion, something people feel entitled to ask me about, no qualms, no hesitation, no respect for personal space, or even basic courtesy.

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Why growing up I had to rinse my plate but my brother didn’t

By Dhanusha Gokulan

Normalising gender stereotypes begins at home. When I was 11, my mother was steadfast about me washing the dishes after I’d finished my meal. I had to wash, rinse, and leave my plate and glass to dry near the kitchen sink. She drilled the habit so deep into my head that when I turned 13 I almost took a plate in a restaurant to the washroom. Mom instilled the same values into my sister when she turned 11.

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