Showing posts from 2021

'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Ways of Being Shahrukh

  'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Shah Rukh Khan As The Symbol Of Indianness SRK’s persona evokes the kind of Indianness that denies categorisation into singular, exclusive identities. And thrives on making others feel welcome.  This essay was originally published in Outlook magazine, here.     Illustration by Saahil.   01 November 2021  Following the arrest of Aryan Khan, as news and social media began churning out its toxic narrative of Shah Rukh Khan as a traitor and depraved parent, a poem by the poet Akhil Katyal went viral: “Wo kabhi Rahul hai, kabhi Raj/ Kabhi Charlie toh kabhi Max/ Surinder bhi wo, Harry bhi wo/ Devdas bhi our Veer bhi/ Ram, Mohan, Kabir bhi/ Wo Amar hai, Samar hai Rizwan, Raees, Jehangir bhi/ Shayad isliye kuch logon ke halak mein fasta hai/ Ki ek Shahrukh mein pura Hindu stan basta hai.” I too shared the poem on

Essay in Outlook: Tumhara Ishq Ishq....? The Double Meanings of Desire, Porn and Erotica

Tumhara Ishq Ishq…? The Double Meanings Of Desire, Porn And Erotica Not taste and aesthetics, but class and power draw the line between porn and erotica. Exploitation happens everywhere in the world of real-world sex—not just in porn. By Paromita Vohra August 16, 2021 The Other F Word Illustration by Akriti Sharma. Image courtesy Agents of Ishq. Follow them on Instagram @agentsofishq What are we really talking about when we talk about the division between porn and erotica? Why does this division keep returning to our conversations with slippery futility? Perhaps the most succinct essay on the topic can be found in the film Ishqiya (2010). The character Babban, played by Arshad Warsi, says to Khalu, the character played by Naseeruddin Shah: “ Y


 Since this article appears in a truncated form on the Mint website - it was first published in a special issue of the paper on the theme Going Home - I'm putting it down here in its full form. The anatomy of a hometown summary PAROMITA VOHRA grew up listening to her father talk about his Lahore. When she visited it for herself, she found the city had become hers too     Changing cityscape :  An old photo of Faletti’s Hotel; (top) one of Pakistan’s many painted trucks. photo-group text BP Print As an Indian Air Force kid, I spent my childhood changing cities, changing homes, changing schools. I studied in Kendriya Vidyalayas and convents, experimental and public schools. Across them all, one thing remained constant. Every year, you had to account for the delicious, elongated torpor of summer holidays, their voluptuous aimlessness, by writing an essay: “What I Did In My Summer Holidays”. Some children did the Heritage of India holiday of course:


I wrote this piece for Time Out when Himesh Reshammiya first became a thing - when he replaced Altaf Raja in my nightly auto rickshaw rides. It's a pity Time Out didn't keep its archives online, so if I want to share something I wrote for them I have to do it here. These were early writings on culture for me, and I think I was quite lucky to have the space to write about things other people thought were quite faltu - such as this piece on Rendezvous With Simi Garewal  (of which I was was an ardent fan ) and a new singer I heard on the radio called Rabbi Shergill :) I also wrote about my ongoing Himesh amusements on this blog at the time - about going to see Aap Ka Suroor and then! Meeting some people who had acted in the film in Stuttgart :D as well as seeing a fab docu on the Making of Aap Ka Suroor! Anyway the reason all this came back to me is that I just stumbled upon a truly genius instagram account called Himesh Doing Things , which I believe was #madeforme and well, Hi