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idhar udhar

I've always been ambivalent about blogging, about it's potential to make people take themselves too seriously, about everything in life becoming peformative, about the silent spaces being taken up by more noise. The generally trivial nature of this blog is a sort of testimony or response to that. Then Karan Bali expertly makes me agree to blog on upperstall. I feel that I must take other people seriously, I struggle to be serious therefore to write sensible things. The resulting contradictions end up paralysing me. I hardly update this blog - three months after going to Mexico not a single picture uploaded yet. I hardly update that one - as I'm often sternly reminded. What to do? I find it hard to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.

choli ke peechhe kya hai!

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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 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 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: http://screeningspace.blogspot.com/2009/05/vikalp-archive-screening-other-song-by.html 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

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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 .