Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Friends, on Sunday namma Bengaluru demonstrated our joint voice from our own locations. The scale of the number of sites, people participation, our own agency was an example in itself for urban landscapes.

Arundhati Ghosh and I try to articulate our combined protest and experiment for which each of us was an organizer, mobilizer and participant. Thank you The News Minute for carrying the piece.

Please read here …


Last summer I was in Munich and went to see the The Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum. It was here I found a whole room dedicated to Nazi Art. The accompanying write up talked about how the Nazi’s had tried to build their own culture of art at variance with the trends in the world at that time. They banned Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, and encouraged their own set of artists.

It reminded me of how the ISIS destroyed the ancient archaeological sites at Palmyra, Aleppo in Syria. How it destroyed Mosul, Nimrud, Nineveh in Iraq. How the Taliban destroyed the Bahamian Buddhas. How the rebels torched the library at Timbuktu. It reminded me of how the right wing everywhere destroys legacies but does not build new ones. It is the same with Nazi artists, they perished from memory.

Yesterday, on the eve of the Hindi movie Padmaavat release, I made a post on FaceBook. Please see …

Dear friend, excellent writer, sensitive Abhishek Srivastava translated it into Hindi. Please see …

Friends, this Tuesday I was humbled to speak at the annual Prof. R Narendra Prasad memorial lecture at the School of Letters, MG University, Kottayam, Kerala. Thank you Saji Mathew for the invitation. In keeping with Prasad Sir’s lifetime work in theatre and films, I named my talk: Panjab – a tragic hero on the stage of Indian nationalism.

The talk was covered in local newspapers.

Friends, I put up a Facebook post on the right wing move to rename the Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia college in Delhi. A news and views website I refer to often, run by Kanwar Manjit Singh, decided to choose it for the website.

Thank you. Please see here…


Friends, ‘prominent’ I am not but thankful that Nikhil Varma from The Hindu chose to talk to me for this short piece on belonging in Bengaluru.

‘The Bull temple is another location where I love to take people, mostly friends from abroad, and they wonder how the huge bull got into the temple. It is my private practical joke.’

Please read to see me become a little philosophical about active/passive voice and what it means today in the city.

Friends, upon being tired of getting repeat notifications from the mobile service provider, I finally wrote to them seeking the government notification and the court order number which mandates that all customers link their mobile phones with their Aadhar number. My fear is data piracy and misuse. I finally received completely ambiguous information from them amounting to: everyone is doing it, why not you?

To me, this is not how a service provider of 17 years should behave. In any case, after the Supreme Court order on Right to Privacy, all such notifications are due for hearing in November 2017. We shall know only after the court decides.

Placing here a few of the social media messages that went viral and Nandini Krishnan’s coverage of the issue.  Please read the coverage.

The social media message 1.

The social media message 2.

Airtel has, for now, got off my back but I see here the government too has been irresponsible. Why has it not issued interim orders to suspend all these linking activities until the court decides?

My friend Sreemoyee Piu Kundu has opened a whole discourse on sexuality in Indian literature. I love her writings on issues to do with women. This time she turned her gaze on the unspoken but terrible horrors of violence in the male sexual world. She decided to interview some of her male friends, including me. I feel honoured.

Thank you Piu, a much needed intervention. For until this is addressed we do not deal fully with feminism.

Please read here … 

Recently when a woman was chased by two men in Chandigarh, I responded on social media with a post elaborating the stalking culture in Chandigarh and North India. It became a rallying point for activism which led to an uproar by the women against a social horror that is sadly normalized. High time it changed.

The post is here: Geri Route

The activism is here: Deeptha Vivekanand

Read the Hindustan Times report.

Read The Tribune report.

Then there was a satire piece by the Hindustan Times in the voice of one of the Kakaji’s. Read here.


Friends, I recently reviewed US Indian writer Hirsh Sawhney’s debut novel South Haven for The Hindu.

‘The novel depicts the hypocritical underside of an Indian migrant family in the U.S. who has benefited from its liberal ideas, but cannot abandon its own regressive thoughts.’

Please read …

Friends, recently the White Swan Foundation for Mental Health – which is doing great work in the field of information and communication related to mental health – gave me noted Odia writer Susmita Bagchi’s first novel in English language to review.

Beneath A Rougher Sea fills an important space in discourse around mental health by portraying professionals who remain largely unspoken in the increasing narratives we now encounter.

Please read …