Writer

Akhil Katyal

18 posts

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Which song of bravery knows

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Akhil Katyal Which song of bravery knows that mother, who, when she sees him pick up the gun, says “don’t come back a hero, just come back as my son.” via TOI Blog More »

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Should I mourn a little longer?

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Akhil Katyal Should I mourn a little longer how he nursed a broken dream how much he nursed a broken dream should I touch his night with words should my lament be stronger how those who craved autumn’s last night were exiled by the spring how those in spring’s... More »

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Taj Mahal

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Akhil Katyal Three rivers north of his home, the inlayer placed red jasperin white marble, as the calligrapherhad ordered, it read “wad duhaa”— “by the glorious morning light” —keep the faith, the Surah says,be it day or night, so like him,twenty thousand work... More »

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We know how to grow a crop, but also how to cut it

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Akhil Katyal At Ramlila Maidan, when the journalist asks her, “Why have you farmers come all the way to Delhi? What if the Sarkar still doesn’t listen,”  for a second she smirks, the question amuses her before it irks, she tells the city-guy, “Hamko yahan aana... More »

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Nusrat was theirs

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Akhil Katyal He was born in 1948, so he’s straight-up Pakistani, not some pre-Partition guy we can claim as our own. Now the trouble is, how do I wipe clean all those evenings, growing up, when drunk on his voice, we heard “Afreen Afreen”, losing all our cares... More »

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When Farida Khanum sings now

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Akhil Katyal When Farida Khanumsings now she does not hide the agein her voice she wraps it in paisleysinstead and for a momentholds it in both of her hands beforedrowning it in our sky. When she sings nowshe knows at the end of that notewhen her voice breaks ... More »

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Namesakes

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Akhil Katyal On the second date, he asked, “What does your name mean?” “It means the whole universe, all of it, the whole damned thing,” I said, quite tipsy, and elated, but found myself very soon deflated,… via TOI Blog More »

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The Incredible India J&K tourism video

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Akhil Katyal I suppose the most crucial role here is the editor’s; so damn difficult to keep the dead out. To keep the green of the hills, the blue of the lake, the white of the snow,… via TOI Blog More »

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Before Allahabad

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Akhil Katyal ‘Gurgaon’ became ‘Gurugram’ The idea, again, was BJP’s They said it’s for Guru Dronacharya Eklavya was like “B****, please!” via TOI Blog More »

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Poetic Licence

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Akhil Katyal Before Allahabad ‘Gurgaon’ became ‘Gurugram’ The idea, again, was BJP’s They said it’s for Guru Dronacharya Eklavya was like “B****, please!” via TOI Blog More »

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On days such as these

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Akhil Katyal Early morningsky, a no-man’s blue Wagahnot yet hostageto its evening clamouris quiet, laburnumed with hope on days such as theseacross an unsolved skythe azaan at Badshahiand the ardaas atHarmandir Sahibcan hear each other. DISCLAIMER : Views expr... More »

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Grief

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Akhil Katyal Grief is the least biodegradable of objects. Do not bury it. Stash it between your fingers and in those inconsolable hours let it run. There will be nights when even steel dissolves with your touch. DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the autho... More »