The SACKING of Iraq

THE TV was breaking news. Bombs were going off on our screen. It was 2003. We were in Iraq. Homeless. Away from people we knew well. We were watching tanks and men in camouflage take over a country already in ruins. Live.

We were like warriors in a mad videogame.

We were also in Almora. At Khim's Guest House. Ron, the Brit, had a name for it: Crank's Ridge.

The dinner table at Khim's was like a slide. If you sat on the wrong side of the table, plates, cups, spoons were drawn to you. Sliding, in very slow motion, towards you.

Khim's was built on a hill. The hill had a fault. The fault was filled up with bricks, cement and self-taught masonry but all that could not level the fault. But you only felt it if you sat on the table's wrong side.

Somehow I was a regular at the wrong side.

People came to Khim's to mend themselves. The Banana Pancakes were part of the mending. Sundar, Khimda's son, was the magus of the kitchen. He made pancakes on his tava-pan.

He turned the tropical fruit and flour into white pigeons and said: voilĂ . And he served them with a bowl of mountain-fresh honey. Each pancake held in its tender-fried fold the smell of fresh banana, sliced neatly into coin-shapes.

Sundar's pancakes were our allowance during the sack of Iraq. We were prisoners of war without even knowing it.

Most of us were between destinations. Some others were breaking long painful journies to nowhere.



  1. I see you in a whole new light.


  2. Well er thanks... Nimbu

    Fingers... its actually a long account... so if you guys are upto it I can put it all down it.


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