Posts

just an old recurring irritation

My constantly cool friend Bishakha Datta has interviewed Nisha Susan for Tank magazine. Do read. I was most intrigued by how many progressives made false case against the Pink Chaddi campaign. I wasn' t in the country at the time so at first when I read about it I thought only, right on! But then when I read these spurious articles, I wondered for a second or two. In the end I have to say the secular elites are always trying to maintain their own well-to-do activism and creating a discrimination of classiness and class (conflated in the term "dignified") in which there is no "vulgarity." Why? Don't they know vulgarity means of the people? Sort of anyway. Anger is vulgar, sex is vulgar, wanting more is vulgar. The feminine/feminist is always getting corsetted. No sex, no anger, only beatitude. Do we wonder then that women enthusiastically join up right wing groups which allow them to be angry? Because at least they allow them to be angry against oth

Macbeth: The Sequel - or, Hamari Bahu Maanyata

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From today's Bombay Times, my favourite clever lady keeps writing scene after brilliant scene of her sparkling script. Kindly note: "I love to make a cup of tea for him when he comes home. Or just listen to him tell me about his day. I’ve more of an identity than a lot of women do with their so-called individuality." I want Trishala to come back: Maanyata "If you thought Maanyata Dutt had retired in a sulk and was licking her wounds after being “denied” the opportunity to contest the Lucknowparliamentary constituency election in husband Sanjay Dutt’s place, think again. The spunky woman has put politics out of her mind and is thinking in terms of building up her family instead. “I’m 30, my husband is almost 50, if we don’t have a baby now it will only get more difficult. We’re trying very hard to become parents,” she admitted. “Once I’m a mother I will have no more ambitions left. If this means being in my husband’s shadow, then so be it. I’m happy being Mrs S

Lapsing into Seriousness

So, to not be flippant in these parts for a change... I have an essay in an online magazine called Phalanx which is here I've been kvetching for a long time about how, while there is an increasingly sophisticated discussion about mainstream art and politics, the space to discuss the alternative seems to be amorphous at best. Blogs about books and literature are an exception - to an extent only though. So it's quite nice that there are some initiatives that are serious about this other space - like Pratilipi for example, which has been running a series on the Indian documentary along with various pieces on other arts. After all without a serious, vibrant critical culture, how are we going to make better work?

Arms and the Man (or dinga dinga dinga dinga dee)

Well, when The Man wants to sell Arms he too must advertise - and use all the predictable gender tropes advertisers are accused of, keeping textual analysis academic types in ecstasy for at least a year. I got this in the email from my friend Sanjay Kak, as a Holi greeting. You cannot fault it for not having colour. And read more from those who think it deserves an award .

F-words, F-thoughts

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March 8 is women’s day. I didn’t know this till maybe 1990 when I started working for a documentary filmmaker and through the political activist friends I made in that context, went along to a Women’s Day celebration. I was embarrassed that I didn’t know about it, even though I considered myself a feminist ever since I knew the term. For them all it seemed like such obvious knowledge, 15 August – Independence Day; 2nd October – Gandhi Jayanti, 8 March – International Women’s Day. But how could I have known? It was not a National Holiday as it had been declared say, in Soviet Russia in 1965. It wasn’t common knowledge, a popular event, in the papers like say Nov. 2nd is (Shahrukh Khan’s birthday – you mean you didn’t know?!). I don’t remember it being observed even in my rather feminist English lit. department in Miranda House (I’m sure they considered it frivolous – or maybe they considered us frivolous and didn’t bother to tell us only). Now look what a long way we’ve come baby.

yeh ILU ILU kya hai

So while it snows outside and I drink my espresso at Cup of Joe in Pennington, while my friend has some sort of meeting with other farm moms (don't ask).. this is just the sort of news from home you want. "Just a fortnight ahead of Valentine’s Day, guess, who among the top Indian politicians went romantic. Well, it is railway minister Lalu Prasad, who in his inimitable style, said “I love you” in public. No, it was not his wife Rabri Devi, but one of his innumerable female fan’s who recently expressed her ‘true love’ for the railway minister in the latter’s blog." Of course Laluji hastens to clarify - although he manages to do it without sounding too moralistic. " spirited man that he is, Lalu took the gesture of his fan quite jestfully. “She loves me, I love her,” Lalu conveyed to his fan in English, in front of the TV camera. The spontaneous comment from Lalu left newsmen in peels of laughter, but the railway minister was quick to admonish them saying “that his

in the Mood for Macbeth anyone?

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Manyata Dutt fascinates me. I'm bummed I'll be missing her on that totally, hilariously camp Abu Jani show First Ladies, next week. But I'd love to be a fly on the wall for a couple days in this household. Now that'd be material for another Maqbool..