Being a Mallu during my school days was considered a privilege. In spite of the heavily accented clan that we were, all puns on our intonation and our duskier membrane were relegated to backseat, the moment we came dressed in those satin knickers when even the noble class could afford only polyester; or when we sported that enviable Casio digital watch; or when we had at least one Hero fountain pen in our pencil box.

Certainly not the most affluent community, when compared to the Gujaratis and the Marvaris, what made Malayalis still stand apart rubbing shoulders with the prosperous was that every household from the pea-shaped state that we belonged to, had an Indian Diaspora.

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My wife had been pestering me to buy her a diamond ever since we got married. It’s been 24 long years but I couldn’t satiate her love for diamonds, which I realized over these years is much elevated in enormity to her love for me.

I had been dreading to go to bed with her every single night, lest she reminds me that yet another day having passed without me getting a diamond for her. This has been how I survived every single night in these over two decades of our togetherness.

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Nikhil tapped the table with his knuckles as his order arrived. The lady seated on the next table instantaneously turned her head and gave him a long gaze as if she had been intensely bothered from her rumination.

As the waiter placed the dish on his table, Nikhil could clearly notice the discomfort on his face. There were valid reasons for it too.

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