Since this seems to be the season of open letters, I thought I'd write one to you too. Especially since we went to the same college: as a fellow Xavierite, I feel we share a bond, and as a senior alumni, might even dare to offer some advise. This morning when I woke up, I was feeling bright and cheery: October's bracing weather can do that to you in Delhi. And then, I returned home and switched on the TV only to plunge back into depression. The screaming breaking news was that Sudheendra Kulkarni, former BJP national executive member and a former aide to both LK Advani and Atal Behari Vajpayee, had been attacked with black ink. His crime? He had organised a discussion in Mumbai on former Pakistan foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri's book. The Shiv Sena we were told was angry with the presence of a Pakistani on Indian soil and wanted to register their protest. So, ink had to be spilled on the streets of Mumbai yet again. Last week Ghulam Ali, this week Kasuri: the Sena is back in the news.

'Non-locals must not own businesses': the Sunday headlines in one of Imphal's prominent newspapers aren't a pretty sight. Much like the Kashmir valley, the Imphal valley is also best described as 'tortured beauty': surrounded by verdant hills and a rich history, but wrestling with dark demons within. It's a land which has produced great writers, artists, sportspersons, film-makers, but one where an entire generation is being pushed into an abyss of hopelessness.

'So, what do you know about missiles!' It was a question asked with a directness that disarmed me completely. We were travelling with President Kalam to Bihar and I was attempting to profile India's new president. As a student of economics and law, I knew very little about missiles, a fact which I readily confessed to the president. 'Don't worry, I will teach you!' he said with typical enthusiasm.

Like millions across the world, the Wimbledon men's singles final had me transfixed with rising emotional fervour. It's been a bit of a ritual stretching back to the late 1970s: watching the finals with family and friends. Remember those glorious Borg vs McEnroe finals in black and white on Doordarshan where suddenly in the middle of a tense moment the TV signal would go on blink with a 'rukavat ke liye khed hai' plastered on your screen? We are now in the age of 60 inch mega screen TVs with HD sound and much more. They even take you into the players' locker rooms (well, almost) and the camera is able to catch every grin and grimace in close-up.

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