Opened the lexicon,

prodded by a crossword clue

to check

what “pulchritude” meant.

“Beauty of face or form”

the entry read.

Eyes then lingered on


noted how it was pronounced

and then stopped at


amused that it was not the novelist

but a luxurious railway carriage.

Nudged by an unexplained force,

shifted to the left side

of the open pages and

checked out





when the cellphone pinged

at 10.33

to announce in Gmail

the arrival of

Maria Popova’s latest

Brain Pickings release.

An exciting journey began

by clicking links

from Ursula K Le Guin to

Hannah Arendt,

Adrienne Rich,

JD McClatchy,

Martha Nussbaum,

Richard Feynmann, and


Das Hammarskjold,

by which time

at 11.27

the sharp voice from

the kitchen

demanded to know:

“Have you paid the power bill?

Today is the last day for the

discounted amount.”


Feet on the ground,

now at 11.30,

the laptop opened,

the mouse on

the bank’s secure link,

when yet again

the cellphone pinged:

This was a TEDtalk link

sent to Whatsapp

by a dear friend

who urged  I should no longer miss

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

speaking about

The Danger of a Single Story.

Full eighteen minutes of

undivided attention

by which time lunch was laid out

and the question repeated:

“So you’ve paid the power bill?”

I answered only meekly,

“Let me do it after lunch.”

Had meanwhile made a mental note

to also check the playlist in TED

which had

Amy Cuddy,

Brene Brown and

Sir Ken Robinson.


Lunch, leisurely over at 12.30.

I am particular about

my schedule though:

need to have my siesta

for an hour at least.


Please do spare me from the question

when actually 

the power bill was paid.




p30 (c) pradeep gopalan



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