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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

What a Fix!

This is the 19th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Two Villains

This is the 18th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

How This Nobel Has Redefined Literature

This piece was published today in the Times of India. It’s rare that when a prize is given to someone,…

To Defeat Pakistan’s Generals, Let’s Embrace Their Artists

This is a guest column published today in the Sunday Times of India edit page. I am a hawk when…

The Girl From Haryana

A slightly shorter version of this feature on Sakshi Malik was published in the October 2016 issue of Elle India.…

06 April, 2010

A Swelling in Her Brain

So the doorbell rings and it’s the cook. She walks into the kitchen and asks what I’d like today. I tell her, and then ask, ‘How’s your daughter?’ She hadn’t come yesterday because her daughter had a fall.

‘She’s not conscious yet,’ she says. ‘She’s got a swelling in her brain.’

‘What? She’s in hospital?’

‘Yes, but the doctor says that if she isn’t conscious by this evening, she’ll have to be shifted to another hospital. Chicken or mutton?’

Her tone is perfectly normal, like she’s telling me about her daughter’s school results or something. You’d never guess there was something wrong.

And that’s the life. Another maid, her husband was a drunkard who beat her everyday. You’d never guess there was something wrong.

We’re spoilt, and weak, the urban elite with household help. When life knocks us down we won’t have the fight in us. If someone close to me was unconscious with a swelling in her brain, I’d show it.

‘Chicken or mutton?’

Posted by Amit Varma in Personal | Small thoughts

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