The Anthropological Taxonomy of Mumbaikars

Mumbai map 1933

[Originally posted on The South Reports, now defunct] Abstract: As a Mumbaikar, born in Matunga and raised in military cantonments, I have had both an indsider's and an outsider's perspective of this city in which I have made (and unmade) my destiny. This has given me a unique (and unenviable) chance to observe the denizens… Continue reading The Anthropological Taxonomy of Mumbaikars

No One Stalked Varnika

A film by my friend Arvinder Kaur. More on the #BekhaufAzaadi march:

Depression and the brain

Far too much of how we see our bodies had been influenced by religion and spiritualism. While we may slowly come to accept that there is nothing such as a soul, we still think that there is something such as the mind, somewhat detached from the corporeal self. Too many otherwise rational people think so… Continue reading Depression and the brain

Narrow Road Submission Guidelines

Narrow Road Literary Magazine is a triannual journal published in April, August and December. It focusses on flash fiction, poetry and haibun. The first edition of the journal, was invite only. However, from the second edition we are open to unsolicited submissions and will read your works during the following periods: June 1 - July… Continue reading Narrow Road Submission Guidelines

On tiffins

Tiffin – a word that belonged to Victorian England, but which has now been completely annexed by Indians. And especially South Indians at that, who have given it its rich, nuanced meanings. A word that immediately summons daydreams of crisp vadai, ambade, dosai, bajji, paper roast, maddur vade, mysore bonda, with sambar or rasam or… Continue reading On tiffins

Haiku in India

Haiku has sometimes (OK make that often) been called poetry’s step-child. Too short, too matter-of-fact, too objective to convey the complex emotions that can be conveyed by a 17,000-line dirge. But because it is short and matter-of-fact, it has been catching on in a big way in India – among poets who don’t have time!… Continue reading Haiku in India

Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Who?

In Maharashtra, it is mandatory to sing the National Anthem before and after cinema performances. When one has attended a fairly nondescript movie, it is the fairly rousing anthem that one remembers. But who is the ‘jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka’ to whom our national anthem is a paean? Have you given thought to whose praises are being sung,… Continue reading Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Who?

An old childhood memory

(This was originally written for The South Reports on May 18, 2012)Some interesting developments led me to dredge this thing up from fading memories of a childhood spent on the Indo-Pak frontier.This was a doggerel that we kids used to recite in recess and generally have fun. There are many versions, mostly harmless. But this… Continue reading An old childhood memory

The Bangladeshification of India

This was originally written on The South Reports on Aug 31, 2012 (Spoiler Alert: This post is not about Bangladeshi immigrants, illegal or otherwise. So if you were looking for a rant on those lines, sorry) Question: What party has initials that begin with a B and end in P, has a narrow and religious… Continue reading The Bangladeshification of India