The Autumn of Hypocrisy

Those opposed to Srinagar’s Harud litfest have only strengthened radical voices in Kashmir. In the name of a ‘cause’, they have silenced those whose stories must be told

Indonesia’s Uncle Pai

His comics bear an uncanny resemblance to the signature Amar Chitra Katha style. And yet, Raden Ahmed Kosasih, the father of the Indonesian comic, was doing this many years before Pai began his own epic effort.

Joke Studio India

The UN project-like earnestness with which popular singers like Sunidhi Chauhan are made to collaborate with not-so-famous talent from across the country makes for spectacularly unmoving performances

A Paean to the Paan

My father’s affair with paan introduced me early to the delicate temptations of the green leaf. And left me a lifelong lover and connoisseur, unmindful of mild stains on my reputation

My Friend Guru

Upon a chance meeting, a first-time hero and an assistant director made a lofty promise to each other. That promise culminated in a noir-styled movie, Baazi, in 1951. Its inimitable hero, Dev Anand, remembers his troubled and only true friend Guru Dutt

Of Scrubs and Girls

Still new to the West, Atreyee Majumder wonders what it is that so affects her when a maid bends under her chair at home in India to scrub out a speck of dust, while a janitor in uniform evokes no feeling at all

My Grand Uncle Sálim

The grand old bird man of India had no problem eating chicken, or any fowl for that matter. And even when he was well into his eighties, he would take a rifle into his garden to shoot crows. Rauf Ali introduces his grand uncle Sálim Ali the way he knew him, a man who was completely deaf in one ear, yet mortified by snorers

Kalari and I

Tired of the silk and jewellery of Bharatanatyam, Gitanjali Kolanad discovered the martial art Kalaripayat in her thirties, a little late in life. Yet, once in the pit, soaked in sweat, she found herself absorbed by it. And years later, when a man groped her, she had the retributive satisfaction of landing a blow at a perfect marma point

Where’s the Great Indian Novel?

A novel written in English can never really become a ‘Great Indian Novel’. Such a book in English can only be a translation of an Indian novel, rather than one originally written even in His Salmanness’ sparkling prose

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