Slumdogs and sentences: The unique attention to India at the Oscars

As the Oscar fever abates, we visit some of the issues related to the portrayal of Indians in cinema: documentaries and feature films, to ask whether filmmakers in other parts of the world can simply walk into neighbourhoods, classrooms and homes to confront people with a camera and ask invasive questions? Have we failed, as a society, to preserve the dignity of our people? Some of the shots in the documentary film 'Period etc.' and this featured interview with Rubina Ali (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) certainly seem to indicate that.

Breaking news?

No. Binding news, an evening bulletin. Two young children converse in gibberish and screech joyously when they stumble upon each other in a hide and seek game. A young girl invites me to join her in basketball practice as her coach has failed to appear. We play for a bit after which she cheekily tells... Continue Reading →

About love

We were finalising a post about love, but hate got in the way. So for this week, we will stay silent in memory of the CRPF jawans who laid down their lives so we may be safe.

Cupboards, Refrigerators and a Baby’s Love

“The Master and his Emissary”, The Hedgehog, the Fox and the Magister’s Pox”, “The Turning Point”, “The Emperor of All Maladies”, “When Breath Becomes Air”, “The Old Ways”, “The Mind’s Eye”, “The Past as Present” and also, my most favourite title ever, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat”. These is just a... Continue Reading →

A smile that broke my heart

Looking straight at me with this wide, glorious and happy smile was this little baby, she was attempting to engage with me in a visual exchange! Her face had erupted into this beatific smile, characteristic of a baby who had not yet developed any fear of strange faces, 'stranger anxiety' as I knew it was called. A developmental stage where an infant is open and friendly with anything resembling an animated human face, but in this instance, I was unable to smile back, I felt heartbroken by this unexpected encounter, not knowing whether to fulfill the expectation of a friendly smile or burst into tears at the tragedy of her innocence. I resigned to my own inadequacy and impotence at dealing with the situation and withdrew, deeply humbled. I knew I could neither understand, nor intervene, nor assist seriously enough to find a solution here. The smile had broken our conversation, and my heart, and I couldn’t bear anymore.

Cutting Chai: Before Sunrise

A lot can happen before sunrise. For those who wake up early, there is a range of special experiences that seem specially created. The earth is in the process of taking its turn towards the day, a karvat, as it would be called in Hindi. The word is packed with meaning and is used widely... Continue Reading →

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