choli ke peechhe kya hai!

Not exactly a case of saare bandhan todke dekho behnen aati hain but a victory against the forces that stigmatise the traditionally built nevertheless.. the link is too good to camouflage femail/article-1178499/BRA-VO- Victory-women-Mail-M-S-axes- big-bust-surcharge.html Becky didi aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain! Thanks to Nandini R for emailing with this breaking news :)

The Other Song - Vikalp screening @ Alliance

Vikalp is trying out a screening space in collaboration with Alliance Francaise at their auditorium. We're flagging off with a screening of Saba Dewan's new documentary of tawaifs. It's called The Other Song and is at 6.30, Friday, May 15. More details are at: Do come and let people know.

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

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

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.