The Best of What They Said

One of Spark’s core defining factors has been the columns and interviews we have published in all our issues over the last two years. This exercise has been an immensely rewarding and a spectacular learning experience for us in many ways, including but definitely not limited to gaining a deeper understanding of how people approach their areas of expertise, realising that it is their passion, intelligence, persistence and a certain humility that has taken them to where they are today, and of course, receiving our biggest reward—that of Wisdom – that’s something we have received in copious amounts during our interactions. We felt nothing would be a more befitting tribute to all the wonderful people who agreed to share their thoughts with us than bringing out a compilation of the best of our conversations. Not to mention, a small gift to all our dear readers who have read and supported us through the last two years. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting joyfully —the best of what they said.

Terrific 25!

It’s Spark’s second anniversary edition and the 25th issue – a very proud moment for us. Anupama Krishnakumar chronicles the journey of this creative pursuit over the last two years and tells you what it feels like to have run an effort like this along with a wonderful co-editor and a super-talented team. Anupama’s piece is a reflection of the January 2012 edition, the 25th issue’s theme, ‘Celebrating 25 Issues of Spark’.

Tapioca and Toothpaste

You may wonder what people in villages do when they need dental help. People from remote, far-flung villages, a good few hours from civilization (i.e., towns or villages with dentists). This is the story of one such village. And remember this happened some 20 years ago, and the author doesn’t profess knowledge of what happens these days. Vani Viswanathan writes a story laced with humour to celebrate the concept of the first ever issue of Spark – the January 2010 issue themed, ‘New Beginnings’.

Hence the Disco Lights

Anshika returns to her office after a shoot and there’s a surprise waiting for her. We bet you would want to know more. Shreya Ramachandran pens a love story representing the February 2010 theme, ‘Romance’.

A Journey through Pages

Bijesh Krishnadas traces his journey as a book lover, right from the time when it all began. Join him in his journey down memory lane, as he pays a tribute to the March 2010 issue themed, ‘Down the Memory Lane’.

Butter, Sugar and Imagination

What began as an effort to divert the mind that was tired of routine cooking is now Ramya Shankar’s favourite hobby. In a piece that conveys the essence of the April 2010 issue, ‘Food and Travel’, Ramya shares the joys of baking and the many incidents that have marked her baking journey.

The Colours of Fall

See the colours of Fall come alive with Vivekananth Gurumoorthy’s brilliant photographs. His pictures are a tribute to the May 2010 theme ‘Seasons’.


For Latha Prem Sakhya, her dreams are about elves or goblins. The sleeping mind is the stage for dreams, she says. Latha lends a poetic touch to the June 2010 theme, ‘Dreams Unlimited’.

The Written Word

The joy of experiencing the beauty of the well-written word is priceless. P.R.Viswanathan describes the experience poetically, most apt for a piece celebrating the July 2010 theme, ‘The Written Word’.

India through My Lens

India is the land of many things. Here’s a splendid photo essay by Jai Chabria, rightfully representing the August 2010 theme, ‘India Decoded’.

Role Reversal

Do you think teachers are always the ones who impart knowledge? If you do, think again. Priya Gopal feels that there’s a lot to learn from children too and these are lessons for life. In a tribute to the September 2010 issue themed ‘Learning and Life’s Lessons’, Priya lists 10 important lessons she has learnt from children including her own students.

Pork is Good

Pork – that’s the clue to the funny piece that you are going to read. Be sure to laugh a bit as Anuj Agarwal sets out to narrate some incidents from a travel experience. His piece reflects the essence of the October 2010 theme, ‘Fun’.


Five-year-old Tashu is a worried girl and there are enough reasons for her worry including her two slightly older cousins who are enjoying all the fun that comes from scaring her. Parvathi Jayamohan writes a story to celebrate the spirit of the November 2010 issue themed ‘A Tribute to Childhood’.

Memory Keepers

Even memories are a shadow of what they once were, says Swetha Ramachandran, as they try to cling on to inanimate things. Swetha Ramachandran pens a poem to represent the December 2010 theme, ‘The Past and the Future’.

When my Chai Spilled

Sandhya Ramachandran gives the perfect tribute to the first anniversary issue theme, ‘Celebrating Creativity and Creation.’ See creativity oozing out of sketches that Sandhya pencils around spilt chai.

The Illusion

Vishruthi is waiting for someone as the waves go about their business in the busy city of Mumbai. Who is she waiting for and what’s the meeting going to be all about? Parth Pandya writes a story to convey the essence of the February 2011 theme, ‘Exploring Relationships’.

My Dress My Bane

The way a woman is dressed almost decides her personality and fate. A woman’s dressing sense is seen as the reason for sparking sexual harassment from eve teasing to rape. Why does it have to be so? Meera Sundararajan explores this serious issue from different perspectives. Her write-up is in line with the March 2011 theme, ‘A Tribute to Womanhood’.

From Right Above!

Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy decided to give us some lovely portraits in response to our theme suggestion—’As You Like It’. So here he is, making a tribute to the April 2011 issue.


When you have lived in a place that has touched your soul in ways more than one, your writing of that sublime experience will be nothing less than divine. Balaji Iyer celebrates the spirit of Bangalore, a city that has shown him many things magical. The write-up is a tribute to the May 2011 issue themed ‘My Place, My Soul’.

Revisiting a Popular Film

We sure are not going to play spoilsport by saying what film Yayaati Joshi has picked to revisit and share his personal view. Since we say film, you may have already guessed which theme this piece has set out to honour. Yayaati’s article is written to celebrate the spirit of the June 2011 issue, ‘Movie Magic’.