Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Dear Friends,

three days back, a message by Prathmesh Patil from Pune-based Indie Journal popped-up in my inbox seeking my mobile phone number. I shared it thinking they want a comment on the ongoing protests by farmers in Panjab against the draconian Farm Laws.

Pradeep Biradar spoke to me on the issue and the context. The Marathi story came out a few days back but I am now glad the magazine has decided to put out parts of the interview as well. Especially, on the state’s way of using the term ‘Khalistan’ for everything it does not want to address – an avoidance tactic.

Thank you! Please read here…


Punjab Today: Bihar Elections

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Dear Friends,

last night I stayed up late following Bihar election results. At around 2.30 pm, finally tired, I wanted to go to sleep. Yet, I could not. So, I wrote a post on what I understood about the results.

Punjab Today has been kind to make an article out of the post. Thank you.

Please read here…

Dear Friends,

early November, Chandigarh based Nosheen Kapoor invited poet and academic Parvinder Kaur Mehta and me for a session on Mehta’s poems and life.

Please see the session here…

Dear Friends,

late in October, Preeti Gill invited me to participate on a session on Mental Health and Illness titled Let the Light In.  Nirupama Dutt, Gayatri Gill and me discuss mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ravi Singh, Speaking Tiger Books.

Please listen here …

Dear Friends,

upon nudge from Jaswant Kaur, thank you, I wrote on the implications of the three Farm Bills – the reasons behind the huge Bharat Bandh yesterday by farmers, labourers, trade unions and political parties. In the essay I try to sketch a brief context in which the Bills were presented and dubiously passed by the Parliament.

Please read here …

Dear Friends,

a few days back Sabin Iqbal very kindly invited me to write for a Times of India supplement on Onam. I got a chance to assert my Malayali connection and make a prayer that like Mahabali returns to Kerala, Shaheen comes out of his cage. He did! The supplement appeared on August 27.

Here is the piece:

About a quarter century ago, I first saw Onam celebrations at the University of Hyderabad. The whole Malayali community on campus, irrespective of religion, had put up a show. A friend told me the Mahabali story. I was impressed. Then there was sadya -a joint meal to which all of us were invited.

Then I did not know that one day I would become an honorary Malayali through marriage. I would enjoy not only my Onam sadyas but the warmth and love my wife, her parents and through them Kerala has showered over me through the years.

Just before the lockdown a kitten adopted us and enslaved us. Yes, there is no other way to name the relationship. Through the lockdown restrictions, for many weeks, at home a budding new life helped us negotiate the time. A month and a half back, the kitten broke its leg. It was a comminuted fracture, needing a titanium rod insertion and six weeks of cage time for the kitten.

During the lockdown, the cat in the cage, looking out of the window, reminding me of all of us. The fact is that the virus has put all of us in cages. Since God exists in every atom and serving a caged kitten is akin to worship, my prayer this Onam is like Mahabali returns to Kerala, our kitten comes out of his cage.

Who knows? The kitten might be actually either Mahabali or the God in disguise? For the people of Kerala, for all celebrating this festival beyond the barriers of religion, my hope is that the coronavirus threat is mitigated, an effective vaccine is available soon, and we get together next year for celebrations.

Onam Ashamsakal!



The Hindu: Lockdown Reading List

   Posted by: aman Tags: , , ,

Dear Friends,

Senior journalist Soma Basu from The Hindu recently asked me to name a few books I was reading in these COVID times. Here is a brief mention including works by Hoshang Merchant and Manjul Bajaj.

Please see my selection here …

Dear Friends,

you are aware about my interest in mental health and concern for caregivers. On August 22, at 4 pm, Supreet Dhiman has very kindly invited me to make opening remarks at a meeting of caregivers. It will be a safe space.

In the conversation titled Pyramid of Mental Health – A Caregiver’s Perspective, for a change, there will be no hard line between the speaker and the audience. All of us will speak and all of us will listen.

Since the session was in time and audience shared vulnerabilities, we did not record the session. Here is wishing we have more such sessions. We need them.

Dear Friends,

Here is a short author interview by Amazon to go with the recent essay available as an e-Book: Bravado to Fear to Abandonment: Mental Health and the COVID-19 Lockdown

It tells us the reason I wrote the piece: ‘As someone who was clinically diagnosed with depression twice, Mr. Sandhu is no stranger to mental illness. He has also been a caregiver to mental illness sufferers, and that has prompted him to center his next story on the mental health aspects of the current pandemic.’

Please read more here …

Dear Friends,

A few months back when the longest lockdown in the world was imposed on India, it disrupted all our lives, jobs, social securities. While the economic devastation would be a sphere many would look at from various angles, I was interested in how the lockdown affected our mindscapes. What does the lockdown augur for us as individuals and as a society? Here is my essay as an e-Book available on Kindle for India users. It will be available for foreign readers in the coming weeks.

Bravado to Fear to Abandonment: Mental Health and the COVID-19 Lockdown