Arts/Literature

Earth Day 2021

Earth Day 2021

To care, Nurture and Cherish till Death do us part —   A day to celebrate the Fecundity Fertility and the Rites of the passage of Time.   Make the Earth Green again. In darkness bathed, Starlight speckles out a Welcome — to the distant Nebulae that stream across the skies   Celebrating the dimming of electric lights.   Today,[Read More…]

by April 22, 2021 Arts/Literature
Joji – A Brilliant Peek Across the Kerala Village Lives

Joji – A Brilliant Peek Across the Kerala Village Lives

Spending too much money on big-budget productions is not advisable when the film industry, by and large, sleeps as an after-effect of the present pandemic. As a result, micro-budget movies have been conceived, shot and released worldwide in different genres. That’s how the films like SEE YOU SOON, THE GREAT INDIAN KITCHEN, IRUL, WOLF etc came out in Malayalam through[Read More…]

by April 21, 2021 Arts/Literature
Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi cinema is not exactly known for any consistent contribution to human rights. Nevertheless some outstanding films have been made from time to time which have proved to be of enduring value for advancing various aspects of human rights and civil liberties. In V. Shantaram’s Do Ankhen Barah Hath the cause of jail reform is so important for an idealist[Read More…]

by April 20, 2021 Arts/Literature
Our Hearth

Our Hearth

Defaced by a virus, the Earth stands all alone. Humanity — will it survive the crackling of the coronal core? Write, write   of the masked men. Faces forgotten. Lipsticks abandoned. How long will it last? Few frightened haggard monied move towards an exodus   to Mars. Waterlogged, virus-worn stands the home, the hearth. Frightening in desolation, abandoned. But what[Read More…]

by April 20, 2021 Arts/Literature
Rising Garden Film Festival reaches wider audience virtually amidst pandemic

Rising Garden Film Festival reaches wider audience virtually amidst pandemic

When the fourth segment of the Rising Garden Film Festival, hosted by Sangat feminist network and the Kriti Film Club, as part of the One Billion Rising South Asia’s 2021 campaign, comes to an end on Monday, the filmmakers, organisers and viewers together say that the film fiesta became a global phenomenon, amidst pandemic. Gamze Ineceli, an active viewer of the festival[Read More…]

by April 18, 2021 Arts/Literature
 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film but not a classic with a social theme

 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film but not a classic with a social theme

 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film, directorial masterpiece and greatly entertaining movie but not a classic with a social theme  Without doubt Sholay was the most impactful film ever made in the history of Bollywood.No film ever influenced or penetrated the Indian psyche as much as ‘Sholay’  .Few scenes of films ever flash memories ,with such degree of intensity like ‘Sholay.’It[Read More…]

by April 18, 2021 Arts/Literature
Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

The social thriller movie can be a very effective and useful genre of cinema. Social thriller movies are those thriller films which make a more conscious and emphatic effort to raise some important issues of social concern or to convey a strong socially relevant message. These are an important means of taking socially relevant messages to film viewers. Unfortunately this[Read More…]

by April 16, 2021 Arts/Literature
POEM to the EARTH

POEM to the EARTH

  i have sought to love you unworthy that i am   i have sat in the tall grass looking out over water watching a setting sun   and i have sought to love you unworthy that i am   i have walked poetic the meadow a red tailed hawk circled above   i have traveled the narrow quiet path[Read More…]

by April 16, 2021 Arts/Literature
Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Many dacoit films have been made in Hindi cinema, against the background of Chambal region and also in other contexts. But most of these do not go beyond violence, revenge and romance. In fact some of these with the exaggerated importance these give to seeking revenge as well with long drawn-out violence sequences  can have quite a negative impact on[Read More…]

by April 15, 2021 Arts/Literature
A bird came down to rest

A bird came down to rest

A bird came down to rest on a rocky perch. Turned his head this way — that way. It looks familiar, he thought. the cerulean skies the trees with foliage on tall, slim trunks the large red flowers in bloom. The river gushed white roaring its way down from its birthplace. Through rocky mountains and green hills it cascaded unstoppably.[Read More…]

by April 6, 2021 Arts/Literature
Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

War films can easily degenerate into war propaganda and narrow nationalism. However there are other war films which vividly bring out the inherent pain and destructiveness of war in sensitive ways and hence, whatever their story content,  also convey a message of peace. It is true that war films made in any  country are often aimed at bringing out mainly[Read More…]

by April 6, 2021 Arts/Literature
Resistance in translation

Resistance in translation

India and the world has seen a lot in the recent past, and these poems from the past mirror the importance of resistance when the times are tough. The purpose behind translating these three different poets was a common underlying humanitarian theme of their work which believed in democratizing the political space. I personally feel that these three poems can[Read More…]

by April 6, 2021 Arts/Literature
Why you should see “Shtisel” Now

Why you should see “Shtisel” Now

The Pandemic has locked us in our homes for almost a year now. Most of us are bored, some have found one or the other vocations to spend at home. I resorted to my own- exploring Netflix to the point of exhaustion. There were plethora of movies and familiar sitcoms, until I came across a series, I thought I should[Read More…]

by April 5, 2021 Arts/Literature
Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Raj Kapoor is often called the greatest showman of Hindi cinema. This is of course meant to be a tribute, but this doesn’t quite do complete justice to the many-sided contributions of this great film-maker of exceptional talents. A very interesting aspect and important aspect of Hindi cinema is how within the constraints of commercialism, several film-makers could reach out[Read More…]

by April 5, 2021 Arts/Literature
Fifteen most realistic Hindi films in order of merit

Fifteen most realistic Hindi films in order of merit

I am here selecting my top fifteen Hindi movies in terms of portrayal of social reality. My criteria is not entertainment or idealism but level of doing justice to realism. I must particularly complement the likes of Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil for championing so many roles portraying realism. 1.DO BIGHA ZAMEEN In a most artistic manner it reveals the[Read More…]

by April 4, 2021 Arts/Literature
Do Bigha Zameen is the best Indian movie ever portraying social reality at the very core

Do Bigha Zameen is the best Indian movie ever portraying social reality at the very core

 To me ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ is the best movie ever made in India and the most relevant even today. In a most artistic manner it reveals the oppression of feudalism or capitalism, brilliantly weaving a set of characters into a plot. The film contains no  element of melodrama or fantasy but still hits the core of your soul. Enacting character[Read More…]

by April 3, 2021 Arts/Literature
Insha – Malayalam movie with an inspiring message

Insha – Malayalam movie with an inspiring message

Dr Siju Vijayan is passionate about his new film, Insha, which is a story that is true to this world that we live in. This is the reason why Insha is a trailblazer because stories about disabled people are not often told and are not often told with this much authenticity. Dr. Vijayan’s impetus of his debut film – Insha,[Read More…]

by April 3, 2021 Arts/Literature
Remembering Devika Rani for her iconic role of an untouchable girl in the movie Achhut Kanya

Remembering Devika Rani for her iconic role of an untouchable girl in the movie Achhut Kanya

Devika Rani is the name of that legendary figure who not only ruled Hindi cinema in the decades of 1930s and 1940s, but also gained fame as the first actress of Hindi cinema. She was not only a star or actress but the one who later became a filmmaker, gave legendary actors like Madhubala and Dalip Kumar to Hindi cinema.[Read More…]

by April 1, 2021 Arts/Literature
CHOICES (a partial list)

CHOICES (a partial list)

If we must choose between civilization and barbarity we must choose civilization. But only if the injustices and atrocities of civilization do not exceed those of barbarism.   If we must choose identity between eco and ego we must choose eco and celebrate the global planting of trees and enacting an end to forced mass extinctions.   If we must[Read More…]

by March 31, 2021 Arts/Literature
Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin is so relevant During the migrant crisis

Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin is so relevant During the migrant crisis

Bimal Roy is one of our most loved film directors and his legacy will continue to live on on the basis of his work. Luckily, we have amidst us his daughter Rinki Roy Bhattacharya who has done so much for us to further understand, appreciate his work by organizing numerous screenings of his films, running an active organization in his[Read More…]

by March 29, 2021 Arts/Literature
Holi

Holi

“…the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of this evil into what you call good…”  — The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov We play with the colours of dawn, spraying the world with spring, with happiness, with birds that are willing to   sing. Liturgies lace our lives with absolutes.[Read More…]

by March 29, 2021 Arts/Literature
The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The post-independence years are regarded by many as the golden age of Hindi cinema. The idealism of  the freedom movement was still alive and this was reflected well in the films of those days. Since many Hindi films tend to be more dominated by heroes or the male lead roles, the idealist film hero  figured significantly in many films and[Read More…]

by March 29, 2021 Arts/Literature
Social Myths, False Values and Commercial Cinema

Social Myths, False Values and Commercial Cinema

In any society myths play an important role. For various reasons a society and its many members have a tendency, a weakness or liking, for certain myths and want to cling on to these myths, in fact may feel a strong need to do so. Although the word myth generally has a negative connotation, to a limited extent  and in[Read More…]

by March 27, 2021 Arts/Literature
Enjoy Enjaami: A call for ecological and social justice

Enjoy Enjaami: A call for ecological and social justice

Enjoy Enjaami, a Tamil new music-video album released early March 2021, is gaining popularity on several fronts. A rap song by Dhee ft Arivu and music composed by Santhosh Narayan and directed by Amit Krishnan is a product of Maajja, a new platform for independent artists founded by A. R. Rahman and company. The power bank of the video is[Read More…]

by March 27, 2021 Arts/Literature
Is Hindi Cinema’s Creativity for Promoting Relevant Social Change Drying Up?

Is Hindi Cinema’s Creativity for Promoting Relevant Social Change Drying Up?

While surely the main concerns of the Hindi film industry have always related to entertainment as business, nevertheless there has been generally a significant space also for taking up and promoting issues of high social concern. Such a space may have been more in the early post-independence years and may have decreased with the passage of time, but surely such [Read More…]

by March 27, 2021 Arts/Literature
75

75

1. 75… and still alive! Just live to give; just yearn to learn! “To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.” But, can we be kind? Can we still build? Nourish… and flourish…. Take delight in a new insight? Recall old rhymes from childhood’s times? Can we be serious, not deleterious? Dialogue, not monologue? 2. 75 years Leak[Read More…]

by March 26, 2021 Arts/Literature
Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Idealist persons are a steadily decreasing component of the human species and in fact are  seen is such small numbers these days that  they can almost be called an endangered component of the human species. Nevertheless, and this  needs to be emphasized, even in their small numbers they retain their very important role in society as they keep reminding of[Read More…]

by March 24, 2021 Arts/Literature
Environmental Ethics II

Environmental Ethics II

The Peculiar Human Gnaw has overtaken all of life Or was it always to be so? In more Halcyon days Every hunger was checked by another Until Consumption reduced nature’s maw into a tiny red sack of paroxysmal fury The First Commandment: Feed Naked Ape Even the Sun must be brought down, ever closer For the warmth of Gaia only[Read More…]

by March 23, 2021 Arts/Literature
Picasso’s Early Years

Picasso’s Early Years

                       “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”                       –Pablo Picasso 1. First, he mastered the masters: From his earliest sketches at his father’s knees, Through Rembrandt, Velasquez and Goya. (El Greco and Goya he loved Almost as much as his father.) They stalked his[Read More…]

by March 19, 2021 Arts/Literature
Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

A Kingly creature; now creatureless King An Empire out of breath while breathless doing Air, water, land all three commanded to remain in place and serve They wilt under the lash of gentle commerce whilst jolly plenty stumbles along in filthy blindness All living things now cringe at the gross summons of Man Yet meanwhile Gaia gathers up her furious[Read More…]

by March 15, 2021 Arts/Literature
Tribute to late superstar Rajesh Khanna commemorating 50th anniversary of release of classic film ‘Anand’  today 

Tribute to late superstar Rajesh Khanna commemorating 50th anniversary of release of classic film ‘Anand’  today 

   On March 12th today, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie Anand ,made in 1971.Without doubt the film was amongst the finest, most touching or soul searching movies ever to have flashed the Bollywood screen..In my view late Rajesh Khanna as ‘Anand’ gave one of the finest performances ever on the silver screen. His co-actor Amitabh Bachchan as[Read More…]

by March 12, 2021 Arts/Literature
The Witch Finder’s Army

The Witch Finder’s Army

Left and Right. The witch finder’s army hunts each night. In stealth, the army seeps   prowls, creeps under floorboards. The army, hooded and masked, takes tiny ants to task   when they bite. Each bite costs the ant its Life. The witch finder’s army parades, drills.   You better take sides. If you are not Left or Right, you[Read More…]

by March 10, 2021 Arts/Literature
Cartoon  by K.P. Sasi

Marx Goes To Hell

When Marx died, he went to hell. He started organising the suffering people in hell. They started revolting. It became a big problem for the Gods. The gate between the hell and heaven were very close. The security guards of Hell and Heaven used to exchange beedies (Ganesh Beedi) and share their views on Hell and Heaven. When the Gods[Read More…]

by March 7, 2021 Arts/Literature
JatiIndia Flag of Atrocities Caste, Present and Future: The Farmer We See and the Farmer We Don’t

JatiIndia Flag of Atrocities Caste, Present and Future: The Farmer We See and the Farmer We Don’t

The new farm laws will make it more difficult for farmers to earn an income, said R.S. Amaresh, a 65-year-old farmer from Renukapura village in Challakere taluk of Chitradurga district. ‘It is very difficult to survive as a farmer. There is no value for our crop. We have given up hope on agriculture. If it continues like this, a day[Read More…]

by March 6, 2021 Arts/Literature
Love Haikus: The Brass Ring

Love Haikus: The Brass Ring

  1 My world in your eyes Just a stirring inside me Finally we meet 2 Gentle spring breeze floats Open hand invites rest here Love blooms like a rose 3 Beginning to know There is something elusive Where are you hiding 4 Loving you is sweet Conning me is such great fun Laughing all the way Harriet Huddle grew[Read More…]

by March 3, 2021 Arts/Literature
Supreme Violations

Supreme Violations

Because they couldn’t kill me before I was born they try to throw me off every cliff, into flames and push me into deranged arms Blame me for straying too near the edge Praise me to high heavens when I am defeated/broken/ dead Decorate my rotting corpse with candlelight vigils Call me their favourite warrior names for losing the fight[Read More…]

by March 3, 2021 Arts/Literature
‘Final Solution’ by Rakesh Sharma is free for viewing until March 31 on Vimeo

‘Final Solution’ by Rakesh Sharma is free for viewing until March 31 on Vimeo

‘Final Solution’ – an award winning, must watch documentary film by Rakesh Sharma made in 2004 is streaming on Vimeo for free until March 31. The film is about 2002 Gujarat carnage and the rise of the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The film maker keeps this film open for public view at Vimeo at free of charge till March[Read More…]

Future

Future

The tree, shimmering in a puddle, ripples as a bird pauses for a drink. The sun peeps from behind the grey lined with silver.   The river mirrors the sky replete with clouds and sunshine. Water drifts over a lifetime spanning your story and mine —   narratives of our Times, of an eon that sweeps the Earth, mankind’s own[Read More…]

by March 1, 2021 Arts/Literature
Left Right Left

Left Right Left

You wave. The street splits into two The wrong turn is you An obsessed nostril sniffs out intentions Kisses are always political I want to stop and breathe out the years without you. The wind fleeing on a bird wing leaves me a feather The left is a body with an unwashed feel to it; It reeks of desire, of[Read More…]

by February 22, 2021 Arts/Literature
The Devil

The Devil

When I met the Devil last night I told him that `God is within you’ `I have no God,’ he said `I am the Devil’, said the words From his wisdom teeth `That’s ok, bro’, I said `We have something in common But you have God within you’. `What the F*#@*%&<?’. Jumped the angry Devil in front He tried to[Read More…]

by February 15, 2021 Arts/Literature
Love

Love

If I tell you that love is a reality, You may call me a romantic. If I tell you that love is an abstraction You may call me a confused idiot If I tell you that love is God You may call me immoral If I tell you that love is revolution You may call me an anti-communist If I[Read More…]

by February 12, 2021 Arts/Literature
Not my India

Not my India

Why is it so difficult? To be bold and fearless In a world which is cruel and vicious To speak against injustice To seek fairness, equality and peace To be aware of the governments games and tricks To state the facts as it is. To be an accomplice of the ‘anti-nationals’ To question the government and be rational To never[Read More…]

by February 8, 2021 Arts/Literature
Farming Memories

Farming Memories

If they are terrorists Then why do they feed us? If they are disruptors Then why do they make the world work? You might hit and insult You might tarnish and blur You might push them against a wall But before doing so Perhaps think of this- That you consume their toils That your dreams, they power That verdant life[Read More…]

by February 8, 2021 Arts/Literature
First, They Came For Our Masks

First, They Came For Our Masks

First, they came for our masks! Then they came for our muzzles! But… we’d been masked for so long We all felt naked without them! We’d been muzzled for so long, We couldn’t find our voices! Naked and voiceless, we wandered in darkness. “Didn’t there used to be a sun?” someone wondered, Pointing…. “Didn’t there used to be a moon?”[Read More…]

by January 31, 2021 Arts/Literature
The somnambulist

The somnambulist

not that i sleep and walk or walk and sleep or read and sleep or sleep and read not that my head nods when a tractor collides headlong with a police van parked beyond barbed wire not that i stand outside a tent and peep on a langar where slogans and rotis roast on a large griddle treat me as[Read More…]

by January 30, 2021 Arts/Literature
 Freedom

 Freedom

Freedom —   All the while, they talk of freedom. What has freedom rendered them?   Has it given them the ability to soar? To fly? Has it given voice to their inner souls?   Has it helped them rise? Has it got rid of diseases? Has it got rid of prisons that bar the mind — of human constructs[Read More…]

by January 23, 2021 Arts/Literature
Our Sister

Our Sister

Our sister has been taken Another sister taken Cruelly Violently She leaves behind Sadness Distress Anger She leaves behind Children Sisters, Brothers Friends All with work to do They will not let These feelings Take control and Overwhelm them They will harness them Employ them And with determined minds Continue her unfinished work In this way She will not be[Read More…]

by January 21, 2021 Arts/Literature
Photo by Ratan Luwangcha

Camels, Angels and Needle head of Cinema

The quest for the new and the undiscovered has driven mankind all through its existential evidence on the planet. At some point the discoveries and the load of knowledge going with them were categorized into different faculties such as science, arts, history and many more. Even the broader faculties had to be further sub-categorized into finer branches for the sheer[Read More…]

by January 20, 2021 Arts/Literature
Tunnel

Tunnel

In this journey through the dark tunnel Many beautiful people travelled with me Some took different lanes and disappeared Some landed up again in the same tunnel This love for a walk in darkness Kept us moving in a constant high All I know is that there is a light behind And a light in a distant front I know[Read More…]

by January 20, 2021 Arts/Literature
Budhan Theatre: Art As An Expression Against Oppression

Budhan Theatre: Art As An Expression Against Oppression

Founded in 1998 by Prof. Ganesh Devy, a well-known critic and linguist and Smt. Mahasweta Devi, a Magsaysay awardee and noted Bangla Author, Budhan Theatre is an Indian Theatre Group that is composed of members of the Chhara tribe. The name of the theatre is taken from Budhan Sabar, a tribal man who was labelled a criminal and murdered by[Read More…]

by January 20, 2021 Arts/Literature
Why Albert Einstein Went to Meet Mahatma Gandhi in Heaven?

Why Albert Einstein Went to Meet Mahatma Gandhi in Heaven?

This is the third in a series of heaven-based stories, written as fantasy but very relevant to our times. The first story titled Mahatma Gandhi Returns to Earth was published in Countercurrents.org on December 11 2020 while the second story titled Mahatma Gandhi Meets Shahid Bhagat Singh was published in Countercurrents.org on January 16 2021. It was a nice relaxed[Read More…]

by January 17, 2021 Arts/Literature
Premature Death

Premature Death

Crossing the street A brush with death A thousand times Alive A door held A waiting elevator Stop Signs Back then front A stopped heart With sirens Beating again No papers exchanged Breath Deadly breath Turn away Thank you, Please, Sorry A set table Four chairs Three pieces The knife’s busy Romi Mahajan is an Author, Marketer, Investor, and Activist[Read More…]

by January 17, 2021 Arts/Literature
The Light That Fell On The Finger

The Light That Fell On The Finger

India; It’s true.   I draw you with my toeless feet. My fingers fell out as I passed your skin. Drops of blood became your body. Parliament ; Taj Mahal; Charminar; Rashtrapati Bhavan Everything in your pride is my bloodstain. I cannot explain it without fingers. But a poem can do.     Dispassionately I closed my eyes. The divided[Read More…]

by January 16, 2021 Arts/Literature
Covid-19 lockdown: Confronted with hardships, 15-year-old Sania chose to rap

Covid-19 lockdown: Confronted with hardships, 15-year-old Sania chose to rap

Written by Arun Kumar & Jonita Colaco   ‘Will there be singing in the times of darkness Yes there will be singing about the darkness’                                            — Bertolt Brecht   Par kabhi socha hai Jo Govandi mein rehete hain Unka kya hota hai Vote dene wala Har ghareeb rota hai, kyun? This is an excerpt from 15-year-old Sania Mistree’s rap[Read More…]

by January 8, 2021 Arts/Literature
Give Praise Whenever You Can

Give Praise Whenever You Can

“A constant sacrament of praise….”             –Wallace Stevens Give praise whenever you can! Praise: Sunrise on snow-capped mountains; Sunsets on marigold fields; Every act of kindness and solicitude; Children smiling in beneficence. Praise: The hard-earned wisdom of the old; Every great artist who ever lived; The almost-great who failed to fulfill their dreams The color green; amber; bees making honey;[Read More…]

by January 7, 2021 Arts/Literature
 The Mexican Wall

 The Mexican Wall

The breaking news of the day was that Carlos Lopez, the notorious Mexican drug dealer, was under United States Border Patrol custody. Carlos was reportedly picked up from an orange orchard near the Rio Grande, which serves as a section of the Mexican-American border. They come across extremely hazardous conditions by swimming by swimming across. Many families, including children are[Read More…]

by January 5, 2021 Arts/Literature
C.R. Park, Delhi: Winter

C.R. Park, Delhi: Winter

A girl walks on her house terrace In the transient sunlight in winter Talking to a bird. On the border, an old peasant in the make-shift camp Shivers in the wind’s chill. A cloud climbs down to cover him with a white blanket.   The light green of the new-born leaves of a lemon tree Asks the breeze to whistle[Read More…]

by January 2, 2021 Arts/Literature
Ram Aur Shyam

Ram Aur Shyam

Farmers on tractors and battalions behind barbed wire shoot “nayi saal mubarak ho” at the stroke of midnight while nursing their injuries and preparing for the first battle of 2021.   Langars are aflame with the heat of the protests as women cook with men for the foot soldiers of rebellion. Makki ki roti and sarson ka saag heal tired[Read More…]

by January 1, 2021 Arts/Literature
A Dalit and a Brahmin

A Dalit and a Brahmin

“I hear the lower castes are finding this lack of monsoons rather difficult for their crops,” droned Aashka’s father at their lavish supper (as usual), in the midst of her father’s normal dull conversing with the other Brahmins. The table was long and elegant and filled every night with rich Brahmins, such as Aashka’s family.  Most of them were reserved[Read More…]

by December 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
50th anniversary of Raj Kapoor classic ‘Mera Naam Joker’

50th anniversary of Raj Kapoor classic ‘Mera Naam Joker’

Epic movie that resurrected Charlie Chaplin and immortalised the Joker who made the world laugh while weeping within Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of the epic classic of Raj Kapoor,’, ‘Mera Naam Joker. ‘Arguably it was the most defining or touching film ever directed or enacted by the legendary Raj Kapoor.Raj Kapoor enacts the character of[Read More…]

by December 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
Farmers In The Short Run And The Long Run

Farmers In The Short Run And The Long Run

K.P. Sasi is a film maker, Cartoonist and a writer SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER  

by December 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
In Conversation with Aruna Chakravarti

In Conversation with Aruna Chakravarti

A woman who weaves stories from the past, from history, from what has been and makes them so real that they become a part of ones’ own existence – this has been my experience of Dr Aruna Chakravarti and her writing. A winner of the Sahitya Akademi award for her translation of Sarat Chandra’s Srikanta, Vaitalik award and Sarat Puraskar, Chakravarti was[Read More…]

by December 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Oh! These kisans!!!

Oh! These kisans!!!

These kisans are an ungracious lot. What a bunch of ignorant fools! We give them concessions. They say they need rights. We offer Ambani’s bazaar. They prefer mandis. We offer Adani warehouses. They prefer MSP. We pass bills without asking. They pass resolutions that jolt us. We praise Kisans are good for country. They troll us in wedding songs. We[Read More…]

by December 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

In less than a few weeks since the celebrated Argentine filmmaker Fernando Ezequiel Solanas—a legendary figure in Latin American cinema—died of coronavirus in Paris, another internationally admired filmmaker, Kim Ki-Duk, fell prey to the rage of the pandemic in Latvia. The South Korean ‘new wave’ fame Kim was reported to have arrived in the Baltic state a few weeks ago[Read More…]

by December 13, 2020 Arts/Literature, Life/Philosophy
De-housed for Me

De-housed for Me

You did not know did you? That my house gives me rights. You did not know did you? That my house gives me virtue. Food, Clothing, Shelter I demand that you are not naked But not full or warm I won’t offer you sleep Not on my lawn Or even in a park Not here, I say Brooms and authorities[Read More…]

by December 13, 2020 Arts/Literature
Partly Truth and Partly Fiction – Totally Genius: Kris Kristofferson

Partly Truth and Partly Fiction – Totally Genius: Kris Kristofferson

“He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”          – William Blake, Eternity Great songwriters, like great poets, are possessed by a passionate melancholic sensibility that gives them joy in the telling.  They seem always to be homesick for a home they can’t define[Read More…]

by December 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
I Proudly Say My Roots Are In The Farms

I Proudly Say My Roots Are In The Farms

They didn’t raise their voice And we called them under privileged By our own choice Do you eat food? Of course, from when you were born But today you are being unjust With the ones that provide. A doctor, a teacher and even a parent, We need them but not all the time, A farmer, we just cannot do without.[Read More…]

by December 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
Listening to the Silence with Don DeLillo

Listening to the Silence with Don DeLillo

In 1997, Don DeLillo, the author of seventeen novels, published what many consider his masterpiece, Underworld.  It was a prophetic book in many ways, especially with its focus on the World Trade Towers and the way the book’s cover, front and back, pictured the towers shrouded in smoke or clouds with what seemed like a large bird approaching it at[Read More…]

by December 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome

This is a six-part novella about the struggles of young people to save their endangered housing complex, symbolic of the much bigger efforts needed to protect the badly endangered life nurturing conditions of our planet. Here fact and fantasy are combined  to create interesting situations which are  symbolic of the  wider critical issues of our times.  1 The Inspector from[Read More…]

by December 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
his and his

his and his

A journey is forgotten once it is made, these days the journey goes on, continuously on like seasonless serials on internet tv journeys his and his theirs, same these men who come to us in photographs as moments of their worlds, captured in reel, more than one cared to know, now it sends a chill down our spines, now real[Read More…]

by December 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
We, the farmers of this country…

We, the farmers of this country…

You shove us, you beat us, you bury us alive. Yet we, the farmers of this country are reborn like that one resolute corn plant. You cringe, you grin, you plead for our votes and notes. If WE made you win, WE can make you fall too! We’re the fields, we, the crops, then why are we the prisoners of[Read More…]

by December 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
 A Day in 2071 –  Chapter- 5 :  Dream

 A Day in 2071 –  Chapter- 5 :  Dream

A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Why we need a Bunker Roy in Literature?

Why we need a Bunker Roy in Literature?

With the farmers marching out to demand their rights in India, with more consciousness of the need to close gaps between the privileged and non-privileged worldwide, with climate crisis becoming a major force to redefine our thinking, perhaps the time has come to rethink how literature can be moulded to serve the needs of the masses. That we wake up[Read More…]

by December 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Day in 2071 – Chapter 4: Battle

A Day in 2071 – Chapter 4: Battle

 A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 3- Revolt

 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 3- Revolt

A novelette by Bharat Dogra Introduction–How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by December 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Day in 2071 – Chapter 2- Conflict

A Day in 2071 – Chapter 2- Conflict

A novelette by Bharat Dogra How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope?[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Apu, Ekshan, Ikebana and being Bengali- Renaissance, uninterrupted – Remembering Soumitra Chatterjee

Apu, Ekshan, Ikebana and being Bengali- Renaissance, uninterrupted – Remembering Soumitra Chatterjee

I was then 14, maybe 15, between studying English and science Spending seemingly interminable days waiting for the variety Of Puja Varshikis; back on our 3rd floor, waiting for that magic Moment for the day’s Ananda Bazar to drop in a corner Of the verandah, launched from the street.  And no sooner than The thud was heard, rushing to get[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 1

 A Day in 2071 – Chapter 1

Introduction How different will be the world 50 years from now? If the tendencies of domination and exploitation which are a major cause of distress even today get aggravated greatly in the future conditions of escalating climate change and other serious threats, how will life shape up then, and where will humanity then search for hope? This is a day[Read More…]

by November 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
For an Artist

For an Artist

Behind a screen of pastel petals That seem to make A dreamy, windchimes’ sound, She finds herself emerging in a world Where clashing cymbals echo all around, And yet… in peace, she stands her ground. Within this world of dissolutions, She holds vast secrets in her well-like eyes; Beyond the realm of disappearance, She abides; And, more than that, hides[Read More…]

by November 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Fear–A Parable For Our Times

Fear–A Parable For Our Times

Once upon a time there was a village called Jaampur. This  village was dominated by a few powerful persons, the headman and some moneylenders who took away a big part of the produce of the hard work of people. Whether it was farming or forests or quarries , these few big men were dominant everywhere. However more recently people fed[Read More…]

by November 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
I’m the beggar

I’m the beggar

I was simply down the street. The broken stones of the road whisper unspoken messages, of how many human feet have crossed the road. Of how many broken wings would have fallen off this road; Babies crying for milk people starving at the signal stories of so many people stretched before my eyes. I’m the beggar who owns the flute[Read More…]

by November 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
I Am Greta isn’t about climate change. It’s about the elusiveness of sanity in an insane world

I Am Greta isn’t about climate change. It’s about the elusiveness of sanity in an insane world

Erich Fromm, the renowned German-Jewish social psychologist who was forced to flee his homeland in the early 1930s as the Nazis came to power, offered a disturbing insight later in life on the relationship between society and the individual. In the mid-1950s, his book The Sane Society suggested that insanity referred not simply to the failure by specific individuals to[Read More…]

by November 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘Rekhankit Maifilee’ And ‘Patchwork Paintings’ By Shripad Shankar Savale

‘Rekhankit Maifilee’ And ‘Patchwork Paintings’ By Shripad Shankar Savale

 Music Concerts Captured in Lines- A case study of – Creative Artist and Process of ‘Positive Transference’. ‘Rekhanit Maifili’, literally it means “Live concerts of Artists captured in Sketches or in Lines”. The first sight of the Book made me curious since pages after pages of the Book; exhibited classical beauty and Modeling of Characters captured in sketches and more[Read More…]

by November 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Food, Touch and Desire: ‘Aamis’ through my Gastronomical Lens

Food, Touch and Desire: ‘Aamis’ through my Gastronomical Lens

Food stories have always attracted me, be they about the everyday available homely food, meat barbeque by a group of friends en route an adventurous camping or exquisite high-class dining. I believe each of these stories has its own share of bitter-sweet plots and characters. Motivated by my love for food and themes around it, I decided to write about[Read More…]

by November 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Suitable Boy: Mira Nair’s chronicle of the 1950s

A Suitable Boy: Mira Nair’s chronicle of the 1950s

In the history of Indian societies ‘marriage’ as an institution has garnered a special place and has been ubiquitous in all sections and classes of the society. Within this finding a groom is a very seasoned activity. Mira Nair’s newest web series ‘A suitable boy’ is an adaptation of a novel by the same name authored by Vikram Seth in[Read More…]

by November 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Razak Kottakkal: A Walk Through The Memory Lane

Razak Kottakkal: A Walk Through The Memory Lane

Razak Kottakkal is identified with artistic photographs. Almost everyone ~ living or otherwise ~ connected with Malayalam literature insisted on accompanying their works with photographs taken by Razak. Writers grew old but they continued to use pictures taken in their youth. Their age was frozen by Razak forever. Razak’s black-and-white pictures of the greatest Malayalam writer (according to me), Vaikkom[Read More…]

by November 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Annabhau Sathe – The Organic Intellectual of Oppressed And Enslaved: Birth Anniversary – 2020

Annabhau Sathe – The Organic Intellectual of Oppressed And Enslaved: Birth Anniversary – 2020

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment.  Tukaram, alias, Annabhau Sathe is known to us as a Dalit Literati, mass awakener and Working class activist from Mumbai. It was he, who discovered Folk poetry as the[Read More…]

by November 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Artist In Forlorn Terrritories: Ghatak 95

The Artist In Forlorn Terrritories: Ghatak 95

Ritwik Ghatak was born in 1925 in Dhaka and died in 1976 in Calcutta. Almost his entire adult life was spent working for the stage or the screen in some capacity or the other. It is perhaps inevitable that success – as most of us understand it – should have refused to come to him, considering the kind of man[Read More…]

by November 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – II

“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – II

My feeling that a poet, who called cinema a sycophant of literature would have approved Aravindan, a director who explored the medium’s possibilities, lends courage to me. This is uncannily similar to the feeling that Tagore, for a moment was stunned by what Wilfred Owen’s mother had revealed to him. I’m sure Tagore would have dumped the NBT calendar. It[Read More…]

by October 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
Widowhood revisited in a television drama

Widowhood revisited in a television drama

During recent Durga Puja celebrations, RTV drama special titled Shada Megher Mon (A silver lining in the cloud), revisited the widowhood of a young woman in the context of Bangladesh since independence. Though some of the key components of the television are changing, it is still perceived as a social medium. Television always plays a social function as viewing of[Read More…]

by October 30, 2020 Arts/Literature, Patriarchy
Film & Family – Partition & Thereafter

Film & Family – Partition & Thereafter

The idea of ‘return’ holds different meanings for different people caught in different circumstances. Calcutta-based Supriyo Sen’s Abar Ashibo Phirey (Way Back Home, Bangla with English sub-titles, video, colour, 120 mins, 2002) is a wrenching and liberating journey into the heart and soul of an elderly Bengali couple – the director’s parents – as they go back in time, space[Read More…]

by October 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Purple Poem

A Purple Poem

there is a purple poem on my mother’s neck that my father writes for her every full moon night instead, most poets write on paper but my father writes on mother’s skin she smiles, she says she doesn’t mind says, the purple poem is truly a thing of pride and beauty yet, she keeps it covered, carefully with the ends[Read More…]

by October 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Sugar Bones” - Original painting by Luke Spooner

“Sugar”

Sweet apocalypse in the blood! Stephen-King nightmare in the brain! Mortar rounds at synapses! Invader of our personal stash! SweetSweet as Delilah’s lips!   Cooing with the voice of Mom— Bubela, Bambino, come home, come home To peaches and cream and castles of fructose, To sugared hot cocoa and honeycombed words In hives of endearments buzzing on eardrums; To plaudits[Read More…]

by October 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
Innocence Lynched

Innocence Lynched

Oh God! End this, the young man begged, As he lay on earth covered in mud, Streaks of hot blood pouring down his form And limbs that lay battered and numb.   He knew he had done nothing wrong, He hadn’t snubbed or brought disdain. Yet they called him a “filthy sinner” As they struck his head with intense wrath.[Read More…]

by October 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Film & Family–Woman As Provider, Men As Parasites

Film & Family–Woman As Provider, Men As Parasites

In 2014, Joshy Joseph directed a long documentary called A Poet, A City & A Footballer which won him the Special Jury Prize at the national awards. The film is about juxtapositions, like night and day, abundant life and impending death, energy amidst decay, and silence that shouts to be heard. The film is a meditation on death, but it[Read More…]

by October 25, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – I

“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – I

The Symphony  No 5 was inside Beethovan’s brain, when he first conceived it. A group of musicians invoke that experience, aurally, from the atmosphere every time they meet to perform. And a sound, non-existent before, suddenly acquires tones of flesh and blood. The cinema, like music, is an art of time, film makers have said. Rabindranath Tagore called it an[Read More…]

by October 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
Redemption Song

Redemption Song

Through the panic, through the fear. I felt you there, you were near. Every message, every call. Every time I hit a wall. Every time the road would bend, Every time it was the end. I heard your voice through the noise. I heard you say that I would rise. Some drove by, left me to die. Some jumped in[Read More…]

by October 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Woman in Me

The Woman in Me

Don’t tell me You’re ‘like’ A mother to me A sister to me A daughter to me  Or compare me To a deity Like Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi   My heart beats Because of me Because I am my own Identity   Shailaja Rao, Core Member, Dhanak of Humanity (NGO) SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER  

by October 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
Sex & The City – Two Shorts, Long On Meaning

Sex & The City – Two Shorts, Long On Meaning

Laal Juto (Red Shoes, Bangla, 23 minutes, 35 mm, colour), adapted from a short story by the iconic Bengali writer, artist and intellectual Kamal Kumar Majumdar, is about 15-year-old Nitish who goes to a shoe shop to buy shoes for himself. What Nitish had not bargained for is a self-discovery leading to a change in his feelings towards Gouri, his[Read More…]

by October 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
Erasure

Erasure

The untouchable body is touched until it can be touched no more, touched so often and in so many ways, just to purge you of fears She is powerful for she is woman, you make of her an anthem, her breasts are in mourning, her tortured cries haunt your ripped manhood’s Her sisters are bodies draped over mango trees, gargoyles[Read More…]

by October 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
Between Marx and Christ

Between Marx and Christ

This essay is dedicated to the example of Father Stan Swamy, S. J. Briefly and simply put, Liberation Theology is a school of thinking which proclaims that methods of direct action are at times necessary for the material and spiritual liberation of the poor and powerless; that prayer and persuasion have to be occasionally accompanied by frontal assault to produce[Read More…]

by October 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
Prof M N Vijayan

 In cinema, naked feet are not assigned sounds, but they gain them in poems

It’s better to stay away from poetics to present in prose someone who wrote in verse that his poems have no forewords, critical studies or words of adulation. My patron saint in this endeavour is Malayalam writer N S Madhavan, who dribbles with words when he writes on football,a style interspersed with quotes and blows of vuvuzela. One can take[Read More…]

by October 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Akkitham: An Exemplar of humanist-aesthetic

Akkitham: An Exemplar of humanist-aesthetic

When once for my fellowmen I shed a drop of tear, The hale of a thousand suns Arises in my soul When once for my fellowmen I expend a hearty smile, A full –blown moon of purest ray Forever floods my heart But all these days I knew it not, This ineffable Joy; And brooding over that heavy loss I[Read More…]

by October 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Film& Family-Making The Face

Film& Family-Making The Face

From the life and times of the State executioner, Nata Mullick (which was the subject of an earlier documentary, One Day From A Hangman’s Life), the Calcutta-based Films Division filmmaker, Joshy Joseph, transported us to the life and times of a young Manipuri named Tom Sharma, by means of Making The Face, a shorter film but which nonetheless took a[Read More…]

by October 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Back on the Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

Back on the Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Wins Over Spirit

In March, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeal upheld an original jury finding that Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven did not infringe copyright in Spirit’s 1968 song Taurus.  Michael Skidmore, who had filed the suit in 2014 as trustee of the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe, was hoping that the US Supreme Court would take time[Read More…]

by October 11, 2020 Arts/Literature
Unemployment

Unemployment

meditation preparing for unemployment what I would say to anyone who asks me what I say to myself thoughts on Louise Glueck’s short speech on being congratulated for receiving the Nobel Prize for her poetry she said the driver is waiting, he has to earn his living, let me go — preparing for unemployment prepares us for unemployment provided we[Read More…]

by October 11, 2020 Arts/Literature
God’s Own Fools

God’s Own Fools

These are all very Kolkatan in nature and you really won’t get to see or hear them in any other parts of the country. What? Some years back a national daily carried an interesting photograph in their ‘City Lights’ column. It said that at Bowbazar police station, some paintings of Pablo Picasso were replicated and some of the painter’s quotations[Read More…]

by October 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
Migrants

Migrants

The mass migrants to Mars stood poised to take their first step. The Red Planet crimsoned further by the blood of scientists who realised the vision of a musky monied man odoured with fame, made into godhead. Out of deep freeze, led by the god who saved them, stood more monied men.   They had left a planet in turmoil.[Read More…]

by October 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
Remembering Edward Van Halen

Remembering Edward Van Halen

Edward Van Halen (EVH) was my favorite guitarist of all-time. As a disciple of what is now called “classic rock,” it’s disconcerting for me to be living through this current time period when the guitar is not a major factor in popular music. After all, I can still play note-for-note air guitar to all of EVH’s solos. The following collection[Read More…]

by October 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Film & Family-Revisiting Thampu

Film & Family-Revisiting Thampu

“I planned Thampu as a documentary feature. It was shot in Thirunnavaya on the banks of the Bharathapuzha. I came to this village with ten to fifteen circus artistes who had already left their circus company. We did not have a script and we shot the incidents as they happened. What we did on the first day was to call[Read More…]

by October 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
To A Young Woman Who Will Not Become Old

To A Young Woman Who Will Not Become Old

Your dreams won’t die They can’t kill them They killed you They brutalized you They lied But your dreams won’t die   A people Who pride themselves On their spirituality… What spirits indeed Invade their Addled brains?   What opiate Suggests such acts? What sickness Can endure? Their bodies, their limbs Are what’s really aflame   Your dreams won’t die[Read More…]

by October 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
It is the caste, silly

It is the caste, silly

Why we Indians are so different, Why we still follow tradition, In looking for a spouse Why is horoscope-matching so important, It is our culture, you say But it is the caste, silly   Why is love-marriage still taboo Why is honour-killing still practiced When all over the world no marriage gets ‘arranged’ It is our tradition, you say But[Read More…]

by October 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Photo by John Vetterli

For the freedom of every girl

Though corona is born Though earth revived. Though nature gained it power Though families are together. Though schools are closed Though markets are shut. Though we are at home Though we are free. But I am still the same The same girl, Covering my head with a burqa or a dupatta Only able to see my curious eyes. When will I get freedom?[Read More…]

by October 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mistaking Cut-Glass For Diamond

Mistaking Cut-Glass For Diamond

Sairat(2016) was a huge commercial success that is still being much talked about. But, whichever way you look at it, Sairat is a far cry from Nagraj Manjule’s debut film, Fandry, which deservedly enjoyed much critical support. Sairat is tailor-made to seduce the younger generation of viewers, meaning roughly those in the age-bracket of 15 to 30. The film’s mounting[Read More…]

by October 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Dalit lives matter

Dalit lives matter

For generations have we suffered Without any meaningful change in our lives Humiliation and oppression Which has seen no end The world has changed And adopted equality as its universal value Yet a world divided on caste Continues to be the world determined by you An oppressed population rising up Is the thing you do not want A population living[Read More…]

by October 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
Image courtesy: The Statesman

Let the country awake from enemies

When the demolishers go scot-free And a demolition is celebrated When the inflictors are adored And the victims are hated Where violence is celebrated In the name of the majority And resistance is suppressed In the name of minority Where marginal lives are crushed And upper lives uplifted Where highs only rise further high Where lows only dip further low[Read More…]

by October 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
Exiled: A Prose-poem

Exiled: A Prose-poem

It is a miracle, isn’t it? In a cluttered space with books, with the marijuana of remembrances, with misplaced rage, the exiled poet keeps birthing poems. Worn-torn memories reopen their scarred flesh. They bleed raw with coagulated chunks of rape, maiming, bombing in a motherland fresh with familiar faces, and recycled anguish. The heart races back in time, all those[Read More…]

by October 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only half the story

Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only half the story

If you’re wondering what the hell is going on right now – the “Why is the world turning to shit?” thought – you may find Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma a good starting point for clarifying your thinking. I say “starting point” because, as we shall see, the film suffers from two major limitations: one in its analysis and[Read More…]

by October 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
World Translation Day

World Translation Day

Today, September 30 is celebrated as World Translation Day. Translators can be called unsung heroes and heroines of communication. Even when people enjoy reading translations of great works in foreign languages, we rarely notice the translator’s name and even when we do it is rarer still we register them or know anything about them. So it is good to celebrate[Read More…]

by October 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Slash & Burn

 Slash & Burn

I watch with my lips sealed Watch each girl burn burn the stains of Predators’ Hands till their life is done   I watch with my ears closed Watch rancid hands leap and lustfully Immolate last night’s Fun Clear the mess. The job is done.   Unemployed, porn-ridden mobiles watch, watch with closed eyes the horror, horror of a life[Read More…]

by September 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Imagining a Different World – For Andre Vltchek- 1962-2020

Imagining a Different World – For Andre Vltchek- 1962-2020

[ I received the news late last night from Counterpunch- one of my favorite columnists- activist, visionary, poet, philosopher, friend of the downtrodden, Andre Vltchek, had slumped into the seat of a taxicab, his wife next to him, while traveling somewhere in Turkey, and never woke up.  I truly did not want to believe it- in a worldwide desert terrain[Read More…]

by September 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
The tomato field

The tomato field

There is a tomato field that is sorrowful to the universe unable to lament though it doesn’t yet know that the farmer is dead.   The dust on the field grew wings in the wind and looking for its owner settled down across the river and the mountain valley.   The ripe tomatoes that incite the outer reaches of the[Read More…]

by September 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Tribute to S P Balasubrahmanyam : Music and art transcends regions and boundaries

Tribute to S P Balasubrahmanyam : Music and art transcends regions and boundaries

S P Balasubrahmanyam who had the world record of singing more than 40000 songs in 16 different languages of India represented the idea of ‘India’, very much under attack. The film Industry in Bombay was actually Hindustani and not really Hindi, because I believe it was build mostly by those whose mother tongue was neither Hindi nor is the cities[Read More…]

by September 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Cinema of Insurrection – Rebels, Gentlemen and Other Players

Cinema of Insurrection – Rebels, Gentlemen and Other Players

“Ritwik Ghatak’s stint as Vice-Principal of FTII left something of him in his students. A John Abraham would never have happened were it not for the tutelage of Ghatak. John did what he did because Ghatak validated his angst. Similar was the case with his other protégés, but besides these few men, the legacy of Ghatak seems to have terminated.[Read More…]

by September 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Andrei Tarkovsky, Satyajit Ray And Mani Kaul

Andrei Tarkovsky, Satyajit Ray And Mani Kaul

Endurance of pain is an idea directly drawn from Christianity. However, in the Indian context, historically, endurance of pain is regarded as un-knowledge, avidya (in Sanskrit an antonym of knowledge, but not ignorance) and nonexistent. It is just not there, here, or anywhere. When the “I, myself” does not exist, who is left to endure pain?  This is how the[Read More…]

by September 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Older!” … “Not: Old!”

“Older!” … “Not: Old!”

1. Crackling Aging is like a multitude of doors, closing in back alleys—sunless… (or lit by a lamppost in a film noir script). You think you see a beautiful face—gas-lit, in a secret chamber— hair with a halo around it. You think you know the name of that face…. But… you have forgotten all names. And the face smiles back[Read More…]

by September 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
You Can Ask Me….But

You Can Ask Me….But

Ask me How I’m doing What I’m thinking about But Ask me What the future holds Where I’ll be But Ask me About the pain About the sadness But Ask me Why I’m hurting Why I can’t move But Ask me About my parents About my kids But It isn’t like The Weather The Game The Show So You Don’t[Read More…]

by September 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Caged Bird and the Free Bird

The Caged Bird and the Free Bird

Rabindranath Tagore’s Lyrical Ballad on Freedom and Confinement [Here is a recent performance of this ballad by Lopamudra Mitra and Iman from YouTube: The caged bird was in the gilded cage, the free bird in the wood Perchance, once, the twain met each other, perhaps a quirk in the Maker’s mood. Said the free bird, “Caged bird, dear, come to[Read More…]

by September 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
Something’s Rotten About The Republic Of Reaction

Something’s Rotten About The Republic Of Reaction

(This essay was written in 2015,but remained unpublished. The thing to note is that practically everything it says holds good five years later.) At least three subjects of continuing public interest are on many lips these days – namely, the 40th anniversary this year of the Emergency; the hurried initiatives shown by the Modi government to raise the height of[Read More…]

by September 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Rebuilding Rome

Rebuilding Rome

Rome burnt as Nero* played the fiddle.   Fiery flames walk highways, creep into homes, stalking, burning, killing not only coronal heat but hearths.   Inflamed by the surreptitious smoke seeping under the smouldering trees, breeze rips incensing fierce fires that unquenched swallow clean air and belch apocalyptic hellish skies.   Did Nero build palaces by burning Rome?   I[Read More…]

by September 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
Violence and Non-violence redefined

Violence and Non-violence redefined

You change the meaning of violence To mean that your violence is non-violent And those who question your violence Are the perpetrators of the actual violence If you define your violence as non-violent And those who question your violence as violence Your non-violence has a violent nature And questioning of your violence has a non-violent nature The foundation you want[Read More…]

by September 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Enduring Relevance of Garam Hawa

Enduring Relevance of Garam Hawa

Mysore Shrinivas Sathyu, who turned ninety on July 6 this year, is an important figure in the annals of New Indian Cinema by virtue of just one film- Garam Hawa (Hot Winds, 1974), a scathing dissection of the diseased mentalities that caused the Partition of the country (read, Partition of Bengal and Punjab). Garam Hawa achieves its purpose by portraying[Read More…]

by September 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Dalit Cultural Identity – A Re-Renditioning

Dalit Cultural Identity – A Re-Renditioning

Cinematic aesthetic in a public space is defined by the sensibilities of such a space. Dictating these sensibilities becomes the privilege of a dominant hegemonic group. Consequently, it panders to clichés and tropes that simultaneously borrow from and lend to a collective imagination – strengthening it with each rendition. Eventually, repeat renditions become the unchallenged mainstay of a popular narrative,[Read More…]

by September 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Manto: Only Politics, No Politicking

Manto: Only Politics, No Politicking

            Each time, Saadat Hasan Manto changes position in his 65-year-old grave in Lahore, “wondering whether he is a better short story writer than God”, the subcontinent, more than any other part of the world that recognized his genius belatedly, goes into raptures. Some recent films, books, and stage adaptations to do with the great writer and liberal humanist provide[Read More…]

by September 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mourning 9/11

Mourning 9/11

  Forgotten souls that weep for an Unfinished dream, for a life Half-lived that ended in an agony of twin blasted Implosions. Forgetting the past — Al Qaeda Osama the terror the horror of tumbling towers the cries that pierced the silences of death   and yet triumphing Arabian perfumes silver bricks Clear the stench of corpses, Wars for Holy[Read More…]

by September 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Who Owns Cinema? : The story of the unparalleled holy triumvirate of Malayalam cinema 

Who Owns Cinema? : The story of the unparalleled holy triumvirate of Malayalam cinema 

  The simplest form of a question, addressed by indefinite horde communities from hitherto. The reply always varied spatially and temporally. ‘A FILM BY’, a hackneyed yet modish way to address a cinema by the film makers, is a lesser film maker ideology, suggests Nasruddin Shah, a prominent mainstream actor of the era. A complete filmmaker, Charlie Chaplin, never used[Read More…]

by September 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Crack in the Earth

A Crack in the Earth

Opening before us A crack in the Earth So deep So deep Headphones on Chatting on the phone We walk Into the muck Insouciance Ambien-induced haze Our collective lives Under this mask The crack widens And deepens We walk Without a pause Will you save me Before I fall? Romi Mahajan is an Author, Marketer, Investor, and Activist SIGN UP[Read More…]

by September 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Confusion of Tongues, and a Film

Confusion of Tongues, and a Film

Human beings distinguish themselves from other animal species by, inter alia, their ability to communicate elaborately through multiple languages. Over time, the spoken languages have also been transformed into written languages, bringing a visuality and cognition to the language which also made possible recording of history and creation of literature, essentially extending the reach and precision of language over time,[Read More…]

by September 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Hope”

“Hope”

By Giuseppa Cochiara and Gary Steven Corseri Food for the poor, Water for plants Rain for arid land.   Everyone adds A pinch of hope To the dish of Life.   It’s a rose-tinged feeling— Nourishing, supporting.   Everyone hopes For a better day— A turnaround To something new.   Love, success, pride…. Can we imagine them Without hope?  [Read More…]

by September 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
 ‘Venom’ Can Be No Honourable Artist’s Middle-Name!

 ‘Venom’ Can Be No Honourable Artist’s Middle-Name!

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is, unfortunately, ‘at it’ again. Kerala’s best-known filmmaker was recently at his favourite pastime of hitting a contemporary below the belt; trying to belittle someone with whom he started out on his filmmaking journey almost half a century ago. Honestly, I have noted with a mixture of disappointment and disgust, Adoor’s venomous remarks against K.P. Kumaran, as made[Read More…]

by September 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
Life Divine

Life Divine

The circle of eternal flow Through scented breeze and reminiscing nights Through a thousand nascent dawns and seagulls’ ocean-defeating flights The spirit’s eternal race to new shells of myriad experience The endless dance of blending love, lust and and tears pay obeisance To the stillness in endless motion The supreme truth of life divine. The slice of blue spheres In[Read More…]

by September 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Onekind

Onekind

  Why does Hate extend her reign? Why do divides raise ugly sides? When will mankind unite?   Casteist fervour, abhorrence and race   Manmade borders that breaches create, tolerance break, love annihilate, rancours breed   Marginalised, classified — we still remain broken, fragmented with spite   When can love colour all our kind?   There is no North, no[Read More…]

by September 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mira Nair As A Documentarist

Mira Nair As A Documentarist

Some time ago, another edition of International Women’s Day was observed with the right amount of feistiness. Among other things, women-related films were screened and discussed in some places in this or that city. Two early documentaries by Mira Nair could perhaps have been profitably included in such programmes. Unfortunately, her documentary films have been little seen and less discussed.[Read More…]

by August 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Ebony Skinned

Ebony Skinned

Kente cloth adorns his body, Complete with a youthful grin. His soul is at its peak of joy, with Pride in his ebony skin. The sudden boom of an approaching gun Startles him in his wake. Whisked away by pale ghostly spirits He must obey, for his life is at stake. He is taken at gunpoint to a colossal ship[Read More…]

by August 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Velutha Rathrikal: This Malayalam film set in tribal Kerala will make you rethink bisexuality

Velutha Rathrikal: This Malayalam film set in tribal Kerala will make you rethink bisexuality

The overwhelming triumph of the film is its portrayal of same-sex love. It is arguably India’s first serious film about bisexuality. Muhammad Razi’s Velutha Rathrikal (White Nights) is one of the most exciting debuts in recent times among independent film-makers in South India. From the looks of it, the film seems unpromising. Yet another adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s story ‘White Nights’ (there have[Read More…]

by August 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
Remembering Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay ( ‘DG’) — Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) Turns 100

Remembering Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay ( ‘DG’) — Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) Turns 100

A hundred years ago, a silent film called Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) was made. That pioneering work placed its maker by the side of such greats of early Indian cinema as Dadasaheb Phalke and Hiralal Sen. The example and exploits of Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay, or DG, as he was popularly known, were been recalled on many occasions by Mrinal Sen or Dinen[Read More…]

by August 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
Review of “Thupaki Ramudu”

Review of “Thupaki Ramudu”

As a protagonist of Telangana state, it was a kind of a dream movie for me. There are many reasons for it. One of the first reasons was the “local accent” of the movie.  I was never comfortable with the Andhra accent that smacked of “internal colonialism” in the Telugu movies both in accent and content. It reflects the urge[Read More…]

by August 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Poet,Goutam Sen, a City, Kolkata, and a Footballer, Pradip Kumar Banerjee

A Poet,Goutam Sen, a City, Kolkata, and a Footballer, Pradip Kumar Banerjee

Review of “A Poet, a City and a Footballer” “Men, music, light, landscape, color and motion brought into one integral whole by a single piercing emotion, by a single theme and idea – this is the aim of modern cinematography.”  Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948)[1] Introduction A/ Musical foreword The movie begins with a song of Rabindranath Tagore, a song interpreted[Read More…]

by August 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
Revisiting Tamhane’s ‘Court’ in the post-Covid moment

Revisiting Tamhane’s ‘Court’ in the post-Covid moment

With Chaitanya Tamhane’s second film, The Disciple, headed to the Venice International Film Festival in September, it may be worthwhile recalling, Court, his first film that bagged the National Award for Best Feature Film in 2015. As we live through the COVID moment witnessing the targetting of students, teachers, and poets, Court’s damning testimony of caste oppression and its tribute[Read More…]

by August 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
In search of the common man

In search of the common man

Every time I returned to Mumbai, I looked forward to reading the pocket-cartoons of RK Laxman. Though everything changes around him, the common man, with his studied silence witnessing twists and turns, had looked the same for decades, in the pocket cartoon of THE TIMES OF INDIA front page.  It gave me a sense of permanence. Every time I made[Read More…]

by August 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
Ertugrul Ghazi: That Turkish Storm     

Ertugrul Ghazi: That Turkish Storm     

Don’t watch Ertugrul. Yawn. Another list of do’s and don’ts, we did what we do best. We paid no heed. But this time there was a difference. The decree to ‘unwatch’ Ertugrul came from the two camps that are  normally rabidly opposed to each other, the fundamentalists and the liberals. The two and two really made four,  this time. Parvez[Read More…]

by August 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
In lieu of Interpretation: A Tribute to Razak Kottakal

In lieu of Interpretation: A Tribute to Razak Kottakal

I started photographing rickshaw pullers in Manipur, who veil their faces so as not to disclose their identity as a rickshaw puller, even to their fiancé. Because they consider plying rickshaw is a low profile job. Now it has become a routine practice in Manipur, veiling the faces. My documentation of the rickshaw pullers in Imphal, the capital city of[Read More…]

by August 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Politics

Politics

A masquerade of ugly traits Chasing citizens of ordinary values, A parade of dirty linens Messing up the environment, Heaps of confusion Troubling the land. Politics, the pillar of karma Canonizing, canalizing, cabalistic too Beams of fetish columns Streams of radiation Rays of fraudulent hopes. Politics, dirty, stinking, inhumane Bearing stamps of hardship Bits and bits of flesh Pounding bones[Read More…]

by August 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mrinal Sen: Pioneering A Movement

Mrinal Sen: Pioneering A Movement

It is difficult not to miss the irony in the timing of Mrinal Sen’s passing on, roughly coinciding as it did with the fiftieth anniversary of perhaps his best-known film, BhuvanShome. It is generally agreed that it is with this film that the seminal movement called ‘New Indian Cinema’ began. The movement was an ideological/political body of work that questioned[Read More…]

by August 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
The day justice got cooked

The day justice got cooked

The Chief Chaddis smirked, stroking his little beard menacingly. This was the moment he and his fellow Chaddis had waited for and chewed so much cud over. They had finally got their prey – the Black Sheep, now trapped in a corner from where he could not escape. The Black Sheep, popularly known as Beep Beep to his friends, had[Read More…]

by August 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
Politically Correct

Politically Correct

Masked at the face of evil Turning blind eye to reality, Clapping for killers And feeding murderers, Everyone is politically correct. Political leaders appoint touts and thugs Religious leaders ordain Judas, Cultural leaders erase history Social leaders act nude and promiscuous, Traditional leaders title vagabonds Educational leaders burn certificates, Because they want to be politically correct. Judas kissed Jesus Jesus[Read More…]

by August 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Kiss in the Time of SARS-CoV-19

The Kiss in the Time of SARS-CoV-19

For Suda J., who lives in M’rira (Tunisia) I dare not ask a kiss; I dare not beg a smile; [. . . ] No, no, the utmost share Of my desire, shall be Only to kiss that air, That lately kissed thee. Robert Herrick, To Electra, 23. What is it that we just love about an embrace and why[Read More…]

by August 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
Animal Farm of Indian Right Wing

Animal Farm of Indian Right Wing

 17 August: On the 75th anniversary of a classic  work Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903–21 January 1950), known to all of us by his pen name George Orwell, described the source of the idea of setting the book on a farm: “I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping[Read More…]

by August 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Tricolour

The Tricolour

A 40 kg silver brick overrides the threat of the grim Saffron coronal rim that explodes in the stomach of a fever-ravaged populace   Hunger floods the Green challenging it to celebrate internecine borders crimsoned by the wheel, the sickle, the crescent   Hatred bubbles under hooded jobless seekers of truth. Jails clang with differences between Left and Right.  [Read More…]

by August 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Sivakasi, An Unlimited scourge

Sivakasi, An Unlimited scourge

 Sivakasi is a curse, a blight, an abomination that India could do without. Here, workers, especially children, are routinely killed or scarred for life in fires and explosions while making crackers and bombs to feed the fireworks industry. A devastation in Sivakasi, 700 kilometres from Chennai, on September 5, 2012, claimed 54 lives. Between January 2011 and September 2012, there[Read More…]

by August 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
My Alibi – A revolutionary’s manifesto

My Alibi – A revolutionary’s manifesto

Kazi Nazrul Islam Translation © 2020 Monish Chatterjee [A YouTube recitation by the poet’s son, Kazi Sabyasachi: I am the poet of now, not of the Nuevo future Call me poetic, call me prosaic, I accept with nary a word. Some tell me, “Your place is with the earth-bound, The mortal – why do we not witness emerging From your[Read More…]

by August 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Screening of the Documentary “Fabricated” by K.P.Sasi

Screening of the Documentary “Fabricated” by K.P.Sasi

Ethical media practices have constantly engaged with creating more space for under-privileged, and under-represented voices. With the advent of the pandemic, social distancing, and the necessary isolation of quarantines and containment zones, representing and communicating the common man’s woes and perspective has become a daunting, but doubly urgent,task. This is especially exacerbated when those in power take advantage of the[Read More…]

by August 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Corporate As Predator, State As Accomplice

Corporate As Predator, State As Accomplice

W.H. Auden, the British poet, once wrote that many lives have been lived without love, but none without water – or words to that effect. Auden couldn’t possibly have written about the utter necessity of water without thinking of the billions and trillions of farming families who contributed since time immemorial to the making of human cultures and civilizations. If[Read More…]

by August 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Philosophers Of Patience

Philosophers Of Patience

            Fifty two years ago, on 20th August, Russian tanks moved into Prague to suppress what has passed into history as the ‘Spring of 1968’ when artists, intellectuals, public personalities and reforms-minded politicians joined hands in an attempt to secure freedom of expression. Among the sufferers was the great long-distance runner, Emil Zatopek, who was dismissed from his senior position[Read More…]

by August 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Hiroshima Spring

Hiroshima Spring

“…how beset we were with what…we had been taught….”                          –Kenneth Patchen.   A poem for voices, with shakuhachi and koto…. (Sound of shakuhachi, a wooden flute–as though the instrument itself is breathing…and crying….)   The Pilgrim Under the flush of cherry, in air as mild as breath, by the Ota’s tributary– five crooked fingers reaching into the Inland Sea–[Read More…]

by August 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Indian Matchmaking: Decoding India’s love affair with arranged marriages

Indian Matchmaking: Decoding India’s love affair with arranged marriages

Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s recent show on arranged marriages in elite families, has spawned countless memes and conspiracy theories. It has also put the spotlight on reality shows and how they spin a particular narrative at the cost of others. The show seems to be tailor-made for a western audience and portrays arranged marriages in a positive way while underplaying issues[Read More…]

by August 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Diaries of Life, Death and Life Anew – Enduring Legacy of Bangladesh Liberation Cinema

Diaries of Life, Death and Life Anew – Enduring Legacy of Bangladesh Liberation Cinema

(This essay is in commemoration of the birth centenary this year of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation; and the fiftieth anniversary of the making of Zahir Raihan’s Stop Genocide, with which the history of short filmmaking in Bangladesh begins.) A road accident on August 19, 2011, robbed Bangladesh of its most exceptional filmmaker, and this writer[Read More…]

by August 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
How the national movement influenced our art, culture and cinema

How the national movement influenced our art, culture and cinema

Today is the 30th death anniversary of legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi. Rafi Saheb passed away on 31st July, 1980. We also remember Munshi Prem Chand doyen of Hindi writing on his 140th birthday. But there is another important day today which is the martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh who was executed by the British for killing General Micheal[Read More…]

by July 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
Commemorating the writings of Emily Bronte

Commemorating the writings of Emily Bronte

A common concept today about the children portrayed in Victorian literature is that they are innocent in spite of their sufferings and brutalization by the society. One can refer to an apotheosis of childhood innocence through characters like Dickens’s Oliver Twist, Little Nell in Old Curiosity Shop, and Pip in Great Expectations, or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. During the Victorian era morality and didacticism[Read More…]

by July 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mother Earth

Mother Earth

once i used to be complete one whole there were no parts of me but now i am mincemeat you have done this to me since millennia you are ripping me apart pulling me to shreds scratching my body with lines and cutting me into bits bits you proudly call your own but, strangely each time after you cut out[Read More…]

by July 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Book of One’s Own: The Story of Women’s Writing

A Book of One’s Own: The Story of Women’s Writing

Human beings have always told stories. However, in the course of history, the voices of many groups fell silent, their lives — and their stories-hidden from ‘his’ story. Before the story of women’s writing can be recounted, we have to look at the term itself. Why are we still using the term Women’s Writing? Do we use the term  mens’[Read More…]

by July 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
Athithi, Sayanam – Stories Of Attractive Misfits

Athithi, Sayanam – Stories Of Attractive Misfits

K. P. Kumaran made his first film, Athithi (b/w, 35 mm., 112 mins.) in 1974. I was able to catch up with it in 2017, thanks to a retrospective devoted to the veteran director at the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala. Athithi is a tense family drama that unfolds, for the most part, within the ghostly[Read More…]

by July 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
Indian Matchmaking- the ugly side that is not streaming on Netflix

Indian Matchmaking- the ugly side that is not streaming on Netflix

Netflix’s recently released web television series ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is whistleblowing a lot to the West. In its trailer, the real-life elite matchmaker Sima Taparia herself list some well-known facts about the Indian marriages: In India, the marriages, they are between two families. So the parents guide their children, and that is the work of a matchmaker. Matchmaking has become a[Read More…]

by July 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
The World Around Us, 2020

The World Around Us, 2020

  We saw you coming, with dreamy eyes A resurrected year, born from the ashes Of sufferings of the past years, rechristened in The divinity of a newborn body, But then, 2020, you ushered in our lives With the fury and madness of demolition. With the rapacious monster of a virus, a deadly battle consuming our fragile flesh.   Held[Read More…]

by July 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
Thank God For The Commune!

Thank God For The Commune!

The first edition of what began as the Bombay International Film Festival for Documentary & Short Films (there was no mention of animation in the naming then) was held between March 1 and 7, 1990. I had no place to stay in Bombay, yet the will to attend the festival was strong. One evening, over a cup of tea at[Read More…]

by July 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Policeman as the mighty hero: How cinema normalises violence by Policemen?

Policeman as the mighty hero: How cinema normalises violence by Policemen?

It is high time one questions the eulogization of police brutality by cinema as it justifies custodial deaths and encounters. The custodial death of Jeyaraj and Fenix had led to a lot of protests in some parts of the country but did not gain a momentum that could be seen in the protests of George Floyd’s Murder. The report by[Read More…]

by July 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
The picaresque parables Federico Fellini created around lives lived on society’s margins

The picaresque parables Federico Fellini created around lives lived on society’s margins

In ‘La Strada’ and ‘Nights of Cabiria’, Fellini’s boundless formal and narrative energy is married to his profound humanism                                                  A still from ‘La Strada’ (1954) To most cinephiles, Federico Fellini’s reputation rests on his triple masterpieces from the 1960s and early 1970s– La Dolce Vita (1960), 8 ½(1963) and Amarcord (1973). Each of these later films is a[Read More…]

by July 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Baritone of Our Renaissance:  Hemanta Mukhopadhyay (1920-1989) at 100

The Baritone of Our Renaissance:  Hemanta Mukhopadhyay (1920-1989) at 100

Part I:  The Life-Changing Rabindra-Sangeet He Revealed to Me I was born in a post-renaissance, post-independence Bengal, in the city of Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta from colonial times), at a time when the Bengal Renaissance, which began with Raja Rammohun Roy (1774-1833) and many would argue reached its zenith with Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), was beginning its gradual descent into mediocrity (in[Read More…]

by July 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
Gunawan Kartapranata /CC BY-SA 4.0

The Story of Ram

Was Ram a Nepali, Indian or Thai Or was he from Indonesia?   Celebrated worldwide human rights   The story trumpeted with fanfare as Ravana inflamed burns evils to ashes and dust   Exquisite dances with long- nailed grace Or wayang kulit puppets elaborate stories of a hero   blue coloured ruler of democrats that to appease his protectorate questioned[Read More…]

by July 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Journeys Into Caribbean Consciousness

Journeys Into Caribbean Consciousness

“Beyond the geographic and cultural identity that defines the Caribbean, is the more complex question of a Caribbean cinema aesthetic which has captured the imagination of some writers and critics. The search for the essence of Caribbean cinema has included theories of Créolité, diversity and Negritude from Martinique and Guadeloupe; Negrismo from Cuba; Indigenisme from Haiti; and Pan-Africanism from the[Read More…]

by July 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

In ways more than one, Quarter Number 4/11, a documentary about demolitions and displacements and resultant miseries to a defenseless but defiant working class family, is reminiscent of Anand Patwardhan’s epic Hamara Shahar, made a quarter century earlier. “Quarter Number 4/11 is a ground-zero perspective of urban real estate development, narrated through the plight of ex-factory worker Shambhu Prasad Singh,[Read More…]

by July 11, 2020 Arts/Literature
The ‘Invaluable’ Bud

The ‘Invaluable’ Bud

One day, a rose bud Spoke to all the flowers In the garden ‘Let all flowers in the world blossom Let every flower live In peace and tranquility ….’ The Gardner was furious Delirious And thought ‘If this bud blossoms, It is dangerous …’ He plucked it out from the sapling Tore it apart And threw it in a heap[Read More…]

by July 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Yilmaz Güney’s phenomenal many-sided genius made him a force to reckon with when he came to direction after a long stint as Turkey’s most popular film hero. But in the post-Second World War history of the Turkish State and society, Güney occupies a higher place than just that of a trail-blazing film personality. His strong sympathies for the inhabitants of[Read More…]

by July 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Colours

 Colours

Am I white, black, purple or pink?   Names given by mankind to diverse reflections of light   Names given to create borders between colours   Colours earlier that rainbow spelt Now lead only to bloodshed, violence, gore, hatred.   Where is the love that Lalon sang?   Where is the note that played on the flute harmonising black with[Read More…]

by July 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Gulabo-Shitabo In The First Place

Gulabo-Shitabo In The First Place

I am not a polyglot. I am unbeknownst to Urdu-my mother’s language for I am the unfortunate generation who learnt English as well as Urdu sonnets but without Urdu in its script and is one who can hardly scramble through Urdu in its Persian form, just by virtue of tying its tit-bits conforming ever to their orthographic details. But, I[Read More…]

by July 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
Lemmings

Lemmings

(Author’s Note: Here’s a poem about US—and much of the world’s–politics in this “modern age,” in which the emphasis of our “hidden persuaders” (and, often, blatant manipulators) is not so much on what we think as on how we think—i.e., shallow thinking.  Those who dare to chart their own course, probe deeply, think for themselves,draw their own conclusions, are too[Read More…]

by July 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
Flood in Assam: Watch The Documentary “Māti”

Flood in Assam: Watch The Documentary “Māti”

Co-Written by Wenceslaus Mendes and Anupam Chakravarty Torrential rains, this monsoon like every other has worsened the flood situation in Assam. This year already around 1.1 million people have been affected in 23 districts and the fatalities due to flood this year has gone up to 24 and counting. While the state administration is doing its best to tackle the[Read More…]

by July 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
A view of Household belongings under the debris of demolished houses

Roses on a dump

Home! Scooped out of the bowels of solid waste, like other huts, perched on various levels of the accumulated waste that grows vertical by the hour. The typical Asian shack consists of the usual elements—the blue tarpaulin, corrugated sheets and flattened-out cardboards. Anna is proud of this piece of space snatched away from other migrants that keep on pouring. Every[Read More…]

by July 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

 It has been said of Anand Patwardhan, who turned 70 on February 18 this year, that he is ‘a kind of phenomenon in that he has all along faced official apathy, disapproval and, at times, censorship and open discrimination’. Perhaps, this is the way it should be for any creative artist wanting to grapple with political abuses, social injustices and[Read More…]

by July 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Jhootan…an event of examining the conscience of India !

Jhootan…an event of examining the conscience of India !

Let me start with a real life incident of a Woman in the contemporay India.She has a habit of excessive reading from history,political science,literature and all that subjects that help her in evolution to a ‘true human being’.With the emergent field of Dalit studies she has started to read about ‘Dalit paradigms’ and learning about the  instances helped her analyse[Read More…]

Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

In 1963, Satyajit Ray directed Mahanagar, commonly considered to be his first ‘Calcutta film’. True, there is a little of the ‘Big City’ in Apur Sansar (1959). Equally true, Parash Pathar (1958) is about an elderly Calcutta clerk who comes into a sudden fortune, only to lose it in no time. But Parash Pathar is a fantasy film, can perhaps[Read More…]

by June 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
The affirmative philosophy of plagues

The affirmative philosophy of plagues

This plague, an obscure and largely-forgotten Camus spoke to me about another plague, in a Mumbai apartment. I was taken aback. Two plagues and venues varied collide in a single instant and frame, but retain their individual flavours and contours and a common dread and stench felt universally by the master race, made vulnerable, again, by a tiny virus, of[Read More…]

by June 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
Captain, Beware!

Captain, Beware!

Kandari Hoonshiar  by     Kazi Nazrul Islam Unscalable mounts, impassable deserts, turbulent seas These you must conquer in freedom’s quest in the dead of night Sailors, beware! The surf rises in disquiet, the boat heaves, the boatman loses track   The sails have ripped, who will steer the course, who has the himmat? Who here is young and brave, come[Read More…]

by June 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
A DREAM DEFERRED:  Healing Through Culture, Dialogues, & Sharing Our Arts

A DREAM DEFERRED:  Healing Through Culture, Dialogues, & Sharing Our Arts

What happens to a dream deferred?   Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?   Or fester like a sore And then run?   Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet?   Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.   Or does it explode? –Langston Hughes Langston Hughes[Read More…]

by June 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
Nema-ye Nazdik

Nema-ye Nazdik

In 1989 an incident happened in the prosperous suburbs of North Tehran that inspired the making of a movie. The movie took exactly 40 days to shoot, edit and then release and had no functioning script. It may be the most amazing movie you will ever see, (if you have not seen it already) and could be the best 97[Read More…]

by June 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘No More War, Never Again’: Pandemic Of Nazi Hatred-Story Of Artists

‘No More War, Never Again’: Pandemic Of Nazi Hatred-Story Of Artists

It is to pay tribute to the Artists and Painters who Lived through the Painful Horrendous span of Human History and raised their Heads above to protest and stop the rollout to Wars, Hatred and Holocaust. The occasion is Centenary Year of Modern Art being declared as ‘Degenerate Art’ by NAZIS. It is the first half of 20th century, from[Read More…]

by June 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Mr. Floyd

Mr. Floyd

My maternal grandfather’s family name is Floyd.  His mother was a Cherokee woman and Grandfather Floyd’s cousin was from the Choctaw nation.  The cousin was considered the Robin Hood of the American Great Depression and was immortalized in song by Woody Guthrie as Pretty Boy Floyd the Outlaw.  I do not know if there is a blood link between Grandpa’s[Read More…]

by June 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘Axone’ movie review: Political insensitivity derailed a potential pathbreaker 

‘Axone’ movie review: Political insensitivity derailed a potential pathbreaker 

Axone (‘akhuni’- a fermented soy bean dish), which revolves around the quirky premise of misadventures with cooking a ‘smelly’ and ‘tasty’ delicacy and has an unusual cast, majority of being the residents of northeastern states hold promises to a niche audience. ‘Northeasterners’  or people belonging to the northeastern region of India rejoiced to finally see a film that  did not[Read More…]

by June 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
Capturing ‘Walking over Water’ on canvas

Capturing ‘Walking over Water’ on canvas

My rendezvous with ‘Walking over Water’ created a fresh gush of energy outpouring inside. Here Joshy unfolds a tale about something which has no story in the conventional sense. He weaves the tapestry in the frame of a fictional game of visual discourse. The vivacity of his film and its internal design of image and sound stimulate a sense of[Read More…]

by June 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Celebrating World Music Day: 21st June: Facing Illness with Music – The Story of Claudio Abbado

Celebrating World Music Day: 21st June: Facing Illness with Music – The Story of Claudio Abbado

Human civilization is confronting illness in a way unprecedented in the recent past. Brings back the image of the little girl Sita in Ritwit Ghatak’s movie Subarnarekha, who was singing in an abandoned air-strip, and all of a sudden, Kali the mother-destroyer appeared before her. The frightened little girl realized that it is only a poor man wearing the mask[Read More…]

by June 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Kashmiri Boy Chasing Dreams in Bollywood Film Industry

Kashmiri Boy Chasing Dreams in Bollywood Film Industry

Wajahat Rafiq is a Mumbai Based Filmmaker, born in Kashmir groomed his career in Bollywood industry as an actor and flim maker.. In an interview with Ubaid Bhat, Wajahat highlighted his journey of being a filmmaker though he started his carrier as an actor .. As you belong to non Bollywood background how did you chose it as a carrier[Read More…]

by June 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
GATHERING at the CENTER

GATHERING at the CENTER

This poem was originally written on request and publicly recited by then Seattle Mayor, Norm Rice (a Black American) for the reopening of Key Arena and the Founders’ Fountain at the Seattle Center on 28 October 1995.  At that time, what the poem expresses was an aspiration shared by the Mayor and me.  Norm Rice did not make a speech[Read More…]

by June 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
Kali

Kali

[Inspired by renowned artist of Bengal Benimadhab’s artwork of Kali (woodcut litho print) which I received as a gift during the book launch of our anthology ‘Muffled Moans Unleashed’, done in collaboration with Green Tara Social Initiative, Kolkata, India.] The Kali in my being, a calcified truth of light overpowered by savage darkness. The Kali in my soul, a perpetual[Read More…]

by June 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Caste Hooligans –    Part II

The Caste Hooligans –    Part II

           Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) The Caste Hooligans –    Part II – ( Jaater Naame Bajjati Shob )   Blinded even in daylight, do you see not How every moment of every day, this caste insanity In the grinding stone of its crushing mill Is pounding every one of you to pulp? The weight of your caste insanity is killing[Read More…]

by June 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Biggest Evil

The Biggest Evil

Each war Each boundary dispute Multiplies human culture By zero It proclaims the helplessness Of literature and spiritual thoughts It answers the question why Buddhists like Lao Tzu Have forsaken the human world And withdrawn into icy silence There is no right or wrong side in War   There is no war like one for justice Since war is the[Read More…]

by June 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Poem for Iyad Hallaq

A Poem for Iyad Hallaq

On 30 May 2020, Iyad Hallaq, a 32 year old autistic man, was killed by Israeli Police. This poem is an encapsulation and remembrance of Iyad Hallaq’s agonizing death.  In the subdued sighs of oppression I always remember you. In the craggy crevices of colonialism, I find your helpless heart pulsating in pain. From the blood beplastered barrel of gun,[Read More…]

by June 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
The New World

The New World

  On the edge of annihilation, a tiny virus rimmed by an aging sun draws on the sap of bread earned by man   The conquistador of Nature, the hunter, the seeker — all have stopped The seller sadly winds his words in a lonely home   Television sets blare old shows Man depressed into unrest slowly crawls towards the rim[Read More…]

by June 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Photo By Mabutto : Sculpture by C.G. Prince - African image of Jesus,Kenya

Looking for Coffins

At my teens from Sunday church I wandered in old small town looking birds listening old band near traditional coffin workshop where many variety coffins stacked When grown up as a student Study of funerals were my interest as it was rituals and traditions show the drama of true life on earth our real live theater Witnessed looked heard read[Read More…]

by June 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Death Walk Song

Death Walk Song

On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister of India ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, suddenly limiting the movement of 1.3 billion Indians as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of urban migrant workers lost their livelihoods and were trapped thousands of miles away from their native villages. Due to the lockdown, more than 350 deaths were[Read More…]

by June 13, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Capernaum – It’s not the Heart Crying but the Anger, Shouting

 Capernaum – It’s not the Heart Crying but the Anger, Shouting

I grew up with the idea that we all are little distressed of what we are, where we live and what life does to us. Yet, since childhood, either I tried to settle this conundrum with the ancient sayings of finding satisfaction in what I have, or accepting something like “this is what God has had for you”. The meanings[Read More…]

by June 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Death of a Salesman named Nasir

 Death of a Salesman named Nasir

“I’ve been thinking about the patience Of ordinary things, how clothes Wait respectfully in closets And soap dries quietly in the dish, And towels drink the wet From the skin of the back. And the lovely repetition of stairs. And what is more generous than a window?” – Pat Schneider We take ordinary things and ordinary days for granted. Like[Read More…]

by June 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Renaissance Poet in the Twenty-First Century?

A Renaissance Poet in the Twenty-First Century?

Dustin Pickering in conversation with Mitali Chakravarty He talks of love and religion and writes poetry that is often critiqued by some as similar to verses from the past. And his role model is from the Renaissance — Michelangelo. To some, he is a loyal friend in need, a person who whips up essays and articles on demand. He is[Read More…]

by June 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Caste Hooligans

The Caste Hooligans

  ( Jaater Naame Bajjati Shob ) Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976)   Translation © Monish R Chatterjee 2020 The caste hooligans have long been at play Caste fraudsters gambling with human life – So touching a fellow human makes you an outcaste Is your caste, then, fragile as candy in a child’s hand? Caste hooligans playing roulette.   Hookah water[Read More…]

by June 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Minamata Pieta

Minamata Pieta

(The title alludes to the photo by W. Eugene and Aileen Smith, in which a mother bathes her crippled, twelve-year-old daughter….  A hundred people died and nearly a thousand were crippled as a result of mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan.)   “Daughter, my daughter, I will hold you with my strong arms and let the warmth of the water enter[Read More…]

by June 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
My Wretched Country

My Wretched Country

(Hey Mor Durbhaga Desh) Rabindranath Tagore Translation © Monish R Chatterjee 2020 O my wretched country For each one upon whom you have heaped insult Through insult it is, one day, you shall be their equal! Him you have denied the very rights of a human being Left standing before you, degraded, yet took not into your lap- Through insult[Read More…]

by June 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
On mobs, monkeys and migrants

On mobs, monkeys and migrants

A review of Prateek Vats’ film “Eeb Allay Ooo” which revolves around the life of a migrant worker recruited as a contractual monkey repeller in Delhi. In his paper titled The Beautiful Expanding Future of Poverty, Ashis Nandy elaborated on the difference between absolute and relative poverty. While relative poverty is when one is receiving an income that is below[Read More…]

by June 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
#Minnesota by Dustin Pickering

 Why?

Sometimes,   One needs to get away from the torrid darkness of words. A darkness that annihilates. Swirling, twirling a blackness laced with blood, anger, hate   Marginalised   —   Sometimes from a brutal knee Sometimes a mob or a bloody bullet kiss —   Violent Death   Drops in the ocean connect all lands called continents   Mourning Mothers’[Read More…]

by June 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
I – The Parasite

I – The Parasite

What is it that you are staring at me for? With those eyes of yours that are like blank gaping holes Any sign of life, I have sucked out from those eyes long ago By naming you, shaming you, calling you a parasite, till my voice turned hoarse   I was rejoicing in the cover of protectiveness that your ‘parasitic’[Read More…]

by May 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
Irrfan Khan (The Artist): A Very Personal Tribute

Irrfan Khan (The Artist): A Very Personal Tribute

“Darya bhi main, darakht bhi main … Jhelum bhi main, chinar bhi main … dair bhi hoon, haram bhi hoon … Shia bhi hoon, Sunni bhi hoon, main hoon pandit … main tha, main hoon aur main hi rahoonga” Roohdar in Haider In his piercing, shrill and slightly rough-textured voice, the words reverberate. Rare are the moments when the mainstream[Read More…]

by May 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
In between Gender and nationalism: A controversy over “Nepali women” in Amazon web series Pataal Lok

In between Gender and nationalism: A controversy over “Nepali women” in Amazon web series Pataal Lok

Among many crises unfolding in the form of Corona Pandemic, Amphan cyclone, Indo-Nepal border disputes, etc, a Nepali speaking community in India is grappling with the question of nationality and racism after the recently broadcast web series Pataal Lok in Amazon Prime Video. A dialogue in the second episode of the series which used offensive a sexual and racial slur[Read More…]

by May 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Hirak Rajar Deshe, a fable  forty years ahead of its time

 Hirak Rajar Deshe, a fable  forty years ahead of its time

 Satyajit Ray’s film is a heady cocktail of dystopia and comic fantasy                     Eleven years after Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (‘The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha’) came its sequel, Hirak Rajar Deshe (‘The Kingdom of Diamonds’), in December, 1980. In the interregnum, Satyajit Ray had made eight full-length feature films, one television short and three documentaries, and the genres[Read More…]

by May 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Clean up after you give birth – and don’t forget your mask

Clean up after you give birth – and don’t forget your mask

One They named him Corona, it is not uncommon for babies to be named after special events, or characters in history. But that is not the point. Two One assumes giving birth is essential to the continuity of life, but birthing On footpaths? At roadsides? Under flyovers? How else does one define apocalypse? Three These women, many, too many in indignity.[Read More…]

by May 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Girasole: Sunflower (How Language Is Learned)

Girasole: Sunflower (How Language Is Learned)

1. “Girasole,” Italians say, accent on soul, “g” as in gyro, the last syllable, lay–a medieval song. In my uncle’s garden there were many (heads taller than I, taller even than the tomato plants he trained to staves heading towards trellises of overhead vines from which he squeezed–sweet!– grapes’ wine-dark blood). But these were different— golden, star-petaled…serene; yet…eerie how they[Read More…]

by May 25, 2020 Arts/Literature
On your feet

On your feet

Feet of God is revered flowers offered at feet. Elders’ feet touched for paying respect. Saintly person’s feet are cleansed. Entered home with feet washed. Gurus’ feet smeared with herbal oils. Apologies offered at master’s feet. Blessings seeked at parents feet. Stand on your own feet often it is said so. On feet, clans moved nations to nations. Pilgrims gone[Read More…]

by May 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
Indian contributions to British Music

Indian contributions to British Music

“In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.” -Bertolt Brecht These historic lines are prophetically relevant today as we witness the forward march of right wing and reactionary forces in India and UK. These forces are destroying the multicultural mosaic of our society and all other progressive achievements of[Read More…]

by May 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
Remembrances of Meeting Cult Novelist Andrzej Kusniewicz in Warsaw

Remembrances of Meeting Cult Novelist Andrzej Kusniewicz in Warsaw

HERE I AM The Polish word, jestem—‘I am’, ‘here I am’, ‘present’—seems to define the life of the writer and cult figure for a generation, Andrzej Kusniewicz. On an overcast, pollution-infested Warsaw afternoon over thirty years ago in his crowded study in a surprisingly bourgeois apartment in a quiet residential area of the capital city, the poet-novelist insisted on the Polish[Read More…]

by May 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
How many –

How many –

How many people cried? How many people died? Sunderbans submerged Nearly five thousand starved Will they die of Corona Hunger or Amphan? And the animals? Biodiversity Day — what happened to them? Lakeside Gardens No water No electricity No internet Poles broken Cars shattered Distress, distress, distress. The cities are all in a mess! In Sunderban, Do they have access[Read More…]

by May 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Weaver of Borderless Dreams: Mutiu Olawuyi

A Weaver of Borderless Dreams: Mutiu Olawuyi

Mutiu Olawuyi in conversation with Mitali Chakravarty He is a maker of dreams for writers – a man who believes in dreams that are woven in words and multimedia across the world. He connects writing with multimedia, not just by writing and YouTube screenings but also by putting upcoming writers on his television show to battle out challenging questions about how[Read More…]

by May 22, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Because they looked “Nepali”: Objectifying Nepali Women in Amazon web series “Paatal Lok”

 Because they looked “Nepali”: Objectifying Nepali Women in Amazon web series “Paatal Lok”

On 2nd January 2020, India Today published news with the title “Haryana: Sisters denied passports because they “looked Nepali’” in which two sisters were denied a passport and wrote on their documents that “applicants seem to be Nepali”[1]. Not much of havoc had been seen in social media as it has become a common practice of considering Nepali as an[Read More…]

by May 20, 2020 Arts/Literature, India
Walking Over Water: Do you see, what I see?

Walking Over Water: Do you see, what I see?

They say “the art of art, the glory of expression, and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.” And indeed, there is something mystic about simplicity. And watching “Walking Over Water” was a similar kind of experience for me. It was earthy and fresh. A child always gets stuck in between the never ending quarrel of parents. This[Read More…]

by May 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
20 Lakh Crores Under Lockdown

20 Lakh Crores Under Lockdown

K.P.Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist, writer and activist SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER  

by May 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
Dirilis Ertugrul: Not A Turkish Game of Thrones, much less, much more

Dirilis Ertugrul: Not A Turkish Game of Thrones, much less, much more

Co-Written by Ishrat Mushtaq Malik, Sajad Hassan Khan, Sartaj Hafiz Rathore Dirilis Ertugrul (Resurrection Ertugrul) is a Turkish T.V series, produced and directed by Mehmet Bozdag, which began airing on TRT1 in Turkey in December 2014. It consists of five seasons (450 episodes of 45 minutes each on Netflix). It has been dubbed in more than twenty (20) languages, including[Read More…]

by May 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
That Guy

That Guy

  1. If I come back to earth as a movie star, I want to be that guy nobody knows. You know who I mean, don’t you? As a young man, he gets slapped around by Bogie in The Maltese Falcon. He’s Sidney Longstreet’s punk and foil. He’s got a pug nose and he makes you want to rub…him… out![Read More…]

by May 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
Man and Money

Man and Money

Was Man made for Money? Was Money made for Man? On which side lies the land What is the truth? Did Man for Money walk straight — From Ape to Homo Habilis 2.8 million years ago? Where was the Money, the Economy? And then came Homo Sapiens — smart, intellectual, established Money, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, all the isms that divide[Read More…]

by May 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
Rebellious Thoughts At The Café de Flore

Rebellious Thoughts At The Café de Flore

  Whether revisionists and debunkers agree or not, the Café de Flore on Paris’ Boulevard Saint Germain is a living institution. Since its founding in 1870 it has existed as a café and a second home for French-speaking writers, artists and intellectuals of the likes of Apollinaire, Camus, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and frequented by Hemingway and Truman Capote.[Read More…]

by May 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘Quarantine’ World…..!

‘Quarantine’ World…..!

Migrant workers walking home , walking … For many a kilometer No water No food No shelter No time to brood On past or future …. Economy staggering Industrial output declining Manufacture of products stopped Tools are lying untouched … Where are the workers? The ‘ real’ economic torch bearers ? Pregnant woman delivers on road  (1) And walks with[Read More…]

by May 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Sub-Inspector’s Sambar

The Sub-Inspector’s Sambar

Sub-inspector Kuttan Pillai lived with illusions about himself. The only realistic self-analysis understood by Kuttan Pillai was that he was not an efficient or good policeman – neither to the expectations of the structure of the police machinery nor to the concerns of the people. He always felt that his uniform was a barrier for his creative search. To overcome[Read More…]

by May 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
Thappad: Defying patriarchy without dismantling families?

Thappad: Defying patriarchy without dismantling families?

The movie ‘Thappad’ (translated as ‘the slap’) is not merely a movie that narrates the tales of  domestic violence and its normalization, it displays the everyday forms of gendered roles and labour that are largely invisibilized in the processes of internalization and performance of heteronormative male privilege in the institution of family. The movie is based on the story of[Read More…]

by May 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Petrol Diesel Price And COVID-19

Petrol Diesel Price And COVID-19

K.P Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist and a writer SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER  

by May 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Emergence of Resistance Literature in Kashmir

Emergence of Resistance Literature in Kashmir

              Where there is oppression, there is resistance. Michel Foucault Kashmir, as everyone knows, has been at the onslaught of military oppression and atrocities from times aeon. It has witnessed this oppression in the form of fake encounters, mass rapes like Kunan Poshpora, crackdowns, and forced disappearances. Over the years, this oppression has given birth to its own brand of[Read More…]

by May 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Rabindranath Tagore: A Universal Bard

Rabindranath Tagore: A Universal Bard

Aruna Chakravarti in discussion with Sunil Gangopadhyay Rabindranath Tagore (1861 to 1941) was born on May 7th. He was a brilliant poet, writer, musician, artist, educator – a polymath — and of course, we all know of him as the first Nobel Laureate from Asia. His writing spanned across genres, across global issues and across the world. Today to jubilate this great[Read More…]

by May 11, 2020 Arts/Literature
To Armaud, The Flame

To Armaud, The Flame

A thread in our lives That never unravels Pinching at the seam Of our civilization As an unhealed cut Bleeds, even in dribbles Pains us until We learn to ignore We can watch And not see We can see But not register Each one matters Loved ones shattered Potential lost Over before the bell A flame Might flicker A flame[Read More…]

by May 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
Manufacturing Consent

Manufacturing Consent

K.P Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist and writer SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER  

by May 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
“There is a voice within me/ That will not be Still”

“There is a voice within me/ That will not be Still”

Nalini Priyadarshni in conversation with Anu Mahadev An abuse victim in the past, Anu Mahadev is a poet based in New Jersey. She is a 2016 MFA graduate of the Drew University’s MFA program in Madison, NJ. With two poetry collections to her credit, Myriad (2013) and Neem Leaves (2015) Anu is a curious reader and lifelong learner. She is passionate and outspoken about[Read More…]

by May 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
The unforgettable Irrfan Khan!

The unforgettable Irrfan Khan!

Every death brings grief momentarily, but this death was different. It also brought with it an end to a stream of creativity with the uniqueness of Irrfan. Every great artist strives for the realization of his creative possibilities and is passionate about his unique identity. It was true for Irrfan Khan as well. His death was sudden and at young[Read More…]

by May 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
 Online Documentary Screenings: Noam Chomsky and Mark Achbar to answer your question!

 Online Documentary Screenings: Noam Chomsky and Mark Achbar to answer your question!

Vikalkp is going online with our interactive documentary film screenings on a weekly basis till the lockdown ends. The idea is simple. Starting 1st May, Friday noon, we will provide a 48 hour YouTube or Vimeo link to a good documentary film on our Facebook page www.bit.ly/vikalpscreenings. The link, which will remain valid till Sunday noon, will point directly to[Read More…]

by May 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
Monologists

Monologists

I do not find it profitable to talk to the dead! They are so single-minded! They repeat old stories over and over Until one feels like screaming: “PLEASE MOVE ON!” The dead are ventriloquists. As soon as you think they’re silent, A living soul takes up their mantle, Suddenly nudging you: “Did you hear the one about…?” (And…you’ve heard it[Read More…]

by May 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Salim Bhai Please!

Salim Bhai Please!

Salim Bhai please Get out of the house It is burning Please get out It is but one room I cannot leave It is my house After all Salim Bhai please Get out of the house It is burning Please get out It is but two rooms I cannot leave It is my neighborhood After all Salim Bhai please Get[Read More…]

by April 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Looking Back At ‘Sadgati’: An Artistic Peak Satyajit Ray Himself Touched Only Rarely             

Looking Back At ‘Sadgati’: An Artistic Peak Satyajit Ray Himself Touched Only Rarely             

                            Sadgati (1981) marked a watershed in Satyajit Ray’s career. He suffered a massive heart attack soon after Sadgati was in the can, and never recovered fully from the blow. And he was not quite the same artist ever again. You realise this as you watch Sadgati after[Read More…]

by April 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Photo by John Vetterli

Autistic Boy

The mute boy as slender as a willow sapling looks at the world with eyes big and bright by light intake and color.   He does not look at the world as others look.  He looks in his own way   His world is a world of maenad laughter.  His world is a world of confusion; a world he can[Read More…]

by April 27, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Corona Chicken Farm

The Corona Chicken Farm

“They have decided to extend the lockdown by another three weeks!” said Chicken Number One, who was always the first with the news. The information set off a wave of outrage among the five thousand plus birds at the Corona Chicken Farm, the cacophony almost blowing the tin shed above their heads. “Our food supplies are dwindling, we can’t go[Read More…]

by April 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Rice for Hand Sanitiser production

Rice for Hand Sanitiser production

Between my stomach and your hands You choose to select your hands And leave my stomach aside By prioritising your scarcity over my scarcity When my stomach cries for food You choose to convert my food into your sanitiser And convince me that this is what I need it at this point of time And not something which I really[Read More…]

by April 25, 2020 Arts/Literature
On the Trail of Jorge Luis Borges in Buenos Aires

On the Trail of Jorge Luis Borges in Buenos Aires

I am uneasy writing about Jorge Luis Borges (b.1899, Buenos Aires, d. 1986, Geneva). Borges wrote so much that I have not read; yet his world of myth and fantasy and magic and metaphysics has so influenced me that since I am here in his city where I can feel Borges the man rather than only Borges the artist and[Read More…]

by April 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘ Lock?…… Down!’

‘ Lock?…… Down!’

Years ago You imposed lockdown On our actions Aspirations Choices Voices…. You imposed lockdown On our thoughts Our minds Our movements Our expressions …. We were ‘socially’ distanced Discriminated Oppressed Repressed…. Now you are promoting ‘social’ distancing Instead of explaining ‘physical’ distancing Paving way to convince people of tradition Glorifying caste system and its logical coronation …. Your lockdown of[Read More…]

by April 24, 2020 Arts/Literature
Earth Day

Earth Day

May we be receptive to the wisdom of nature and the knowledge that if her laws are obeyed, our lands and people will flourish May we save the planet from present practices of destruction and allow the raw wounds of the earth to heal May we bring back the natural harmony of nature and restore to our souls the richness[Read More…]

by April 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
The River of Life

The River of Life

I float down the river. It can be any river imagined. Yet it is here despite a vision Devised to make it real. It stretches back in time To the Big Bang And into a nearly imaginable future Until the Earth is swallowed By a dying expanding sun That swallows our planet fully as it is engulfed. Such ponderous thoughts[Read More…]

by April 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
Picking fruit from cherry wood. cherry picker hands. fresh organic cherries. red fresh cherry on the tree. fresh red cherry heap. macro shooting on tree.

To the Cherry Pickers (To Make Much of Time)

God bless the cherry-pickers! They swarm upon the ground— picking, picking, picking what’s unerringly found. They love low-hanging branches where picking’s easily done. They abhor a wealth of chances. “Tough nuts” they always shun! They tell you what you’ve heard a hundred thousand times. They claim the final word is easy—and it rhymes! They know the way to Timbuktu. They[Read More…]

by April 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Transparent People

The Transparent People

The transparent people cannot be seen Is that true? The transparent people have no emotions Is that true? In a field, on a bus Walking down the road Singing, in pain The sun is no friend Nor is the rain The transparent people float Smiling in pictures No flowers at home The transparent people From towns on a map Forever[Read More…]

by April 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
Stay Safe; Stay Home

Stay Safe; Stay Home

Stay Safe. Stay Home.   The birds flew home. They had nests.   Stay Safe. Stay Home.   But, men? Did all men have a place to stay? A place they could rest? A place that housed their beds?   “1.6 billion worldwide lack adequate housing”.   Stay Safe. Stay Home.   A place that shelters them from Death by[Read More…]

by April 18, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘Sultana’s Dream’ Project and the Disappearance of Muslim Feminisms

‘Sultana’s Dream’ Project and the Disappearance of Muslim Feminisms

I was fascinated to learn that a new exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG), in Rochester, New York, celebrates Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream. For those who have not heard of this groundbreaking work, a quick Google search yields this synopsis on Wikipedia: Sultana’s Dream is a 1905 feminist utopian story written by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, a Muslim feminist,[Read More…]

by April 17, 2020 Arts/Literature
Photo by anokarina

To Oppressed Truth-Tellers Everywhere

I must go where my conscience takes me not where I am supposed to go. I must do what my conscience dictates, in fact demands. I cannot succumb. I have made mistakes and I’ll repent forever, not in some magical way but in a very practical way. I will learn to want less and thus to have more freedom for[Read More…]

by April 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Andrea Bocelli’s Music Hugging the Wounded Earth

Andrea Bocelli’s Music Hugging the Wounded Earth

On Easter Sunday Andrea Bocelli performing at the historic Duomo cathedral in Milan. The cathedral is closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. This past Easter Sunday (April 12), Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a solo concert titled “Music for Hope” to promote “love, healing and hope to Italy and the world.” The next day, he gave an[Read More…]

by April 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
We want to go home

We want to go home

Allow us to go home At a time when we are stuck in your cities Neither continuing here for earning livelihood by staying Nor getting a privilege to practice your set norms With economic activities coming to a halt And stoppage of all the work and no means to earn We are least motivated to stay back And want to[Read More…]

by April 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Dying Nation

A Dying Nation

Knocks repeated knocks Dead of night Pounding The Door and the Heart Friends and Loved Ones Left to cry Fate awaits No Garlands Jagged edges cut Deeply Our silence Even deeper Biko, Anand Together The wages of deceit In a dying nation Romi Mahajan in an Author, Marketer, Investor, and Activist SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER  

by April 14, 2020 Arts/Literature
“Chemical Shower, Bareilly, Covid 19’ by DeepankarGohain

Lockdown Ruminations

I have never had such a long unending weekend.. Celebrating clear blue skies, a greater fluttering of birds and the flowers sprouting like never before. A lovely pink moon adorned the Universe this morning. Inhaling all this wonderous views, doing deep breathing exercises, holding the breath to the count of fourty was an exhilarating joy.. Then I thought of the[Read More…]

by April 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Pandemic and Poetry: How Writers in Pakistan react to COVID-19

Pandemic and Poetry: How Writers in Pakistan react to COVID-19

There is a proverb in Persian and Urdu that could be roughly translated thus — ‘A collective death has an air of festivity’. The great Urdu poet, Ghalib, however, would have not subscribed to this notion as was made evident from an episode in his personal life. Once afflicted by his financial and existential miseries, he had foretold his own[Read More…]

by April 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Bohemian folk singer who sang for those who couldn’t

Bohemian folk singer who sang for those who couldn’t

 In an ideal world, we all hope to leave the world a better place, to make a difference somehow, to have our life matter. Julie Felix, who died recently, aged 81, has left behind a legacy far greater than her half century career as a folk singer. But to dismiss her just as a protest singer of yesteryear would be[Read More…]

by April 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Review of Ajnabi

Review of Ajnabi

(Adaptation of The Stranger by Albert Camus) Directed by Anil Kumar Chaudhary Performed at Veda Factory and Tefla’s Studio As strange as it may sound – is the philosophy of the world, condemned to death. If the purpose of literature is to comfort and disconcert, the actor is the promise of the world which, in Camus’ The Stranger, Meursault imagines.[Read More…]

by April 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
Manusangada: The Grammar of Anarchy

Manusangada: The Grammar of Anarchy

“Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realise that our people have yet to learn it. Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic.”                             – Dr.B.R.Ambedkar       The above quote by Babsaheb Ambedkar in the times of Corona Pandemic which is proving to be a[Read More…]

What’s This ‘Candle’ Ma?

What’s This ‘Candle’ Ma?

K.P Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist and a writer SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWS LETTER  

by April 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
The crackle of brilliance

The crackle of brilliance

A review of the play ‘Kusur’ Director & Lead actor: Amol Palekar Co-director & Playwright: Sandhya Gokhale Veteran script writer, costume and set designer, scholar of Hindustani classical music and lawyer, Sandhya Gokhale staged her play, ‘Kusur’ at the inaugural function of New Delhi’s National School of Drama’s 21st Bharat Rang Mahotsav – India’s International Theatre Festival spanning 21 days[Read More…]

by April 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
COVID-19 And We Are Not Allowed To Watch, Listen And Read What We Want, Anymore

COVID-19 And We Are Not Allowed To Watch, Listen And Read What We Want, Anymore

Now, that almost all of us, all over the world, have been forced into staying in what could be easily defined as house arrest, there is suddenly plenty of time to read books, to watch great films, and to listen to splendid music. Many of us, for years, have been sadly repeating again and again: “if only we would have[Read More…]

by April 2, 2020 Arts/Literature
Bob Dylan’s Midnight Message to JFK’s Ghost

Bob Dylan’s Midnight Message to JFK’s Ghost

“For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.”   – Hamlet On May 1, 1962, President John Kennedy was meeting in the Oval Office with a group of Quakers who were urging him to do more for peace and disarmament.  As he kept explaining the great political opposition he was facing within his own government, they[Read More…]

by April 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Poetry as Utopia and Apocalypse

Poetry as Utopia and Apocalypse

The word “prophet” is rooted in the Greek word prophetes, a word that breaks down etymologically into “to speak before or foretell”. A soothsayer is considered a prophet in the sense that he foretells events. Such is the soothsayer in Julius Caesar who tells Caesar to “beware of the ides of March” when he was doomed to assassination. The Prophetic books of the Old[Read More…]

by April 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
An Open Letter to my Deceased Father

An Open Letter to my Deceased Father

Dear Dad, I am glad you did not live to see these.   You died.   Died before you saw them collapse by the roadside.   Gandhi called them his friend. And so did you.   Why did God not have mercy on them?   Why is it they have no food? No water, no shoes? Why is it they[Read More…]

by March 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
We the abandoned – Migrant workers

We the abandoned – Migrant workers

We the abandoned people of this world Out there walking miles to our villages With none in your cities to protect us During these times of lockdown   We built your houses We constructed your offices We built your shopping malls We produced in your factories   We built your cities from the scratch We served your needs in your[Read More…]

by March 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
Nation

Nation

The small bird who has just learnt to fly Flapping her wings with joy and confidence Moving across the wind in the sky With the earth and her people under her feet The little bird who flies in the sky Does not feel that she owns the sky.   The young fish who has just come out of the egg[Read More…]

by March 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
Poetry In The Time Of Resistance

Poetry In The Time Of Resistance

It has been more than three months since the protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is happening across the country. The protest has achieved its reach across the national boundaries. Jamia Millia Islamia has been the flag bearer ever since it has started, soon universities across the world joined this protest; firstly against the brutalities unleashed by Delhi Police on[Read More…]

by March 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Primavera Redefined – (Or life post-corona virus?)

Primavera Redefined – (Or life post-corona virus?)

From the womb of the Earth, She rose —   Fiery, like the volcanic core, unfolding each limb. soaring, phoenix like, from the ash left behind   out of the gore the rotting Core of the Death Sun.   Cremation smoke.   From the womb of the Earth She rose —   Death crept. Silenced factory smoke.   She strode[Read More…]

by March 23, 2020 Arts/Literature
Indu Kilam Waxes Lyrical

Indu Kilam Waxes Lyrical

It was perhaps the twentieth day of the lockdown. I had lost count of dates and days, sitting in my small ten by twelve feet study, like my ancestors the pit dwellers, I had no idea about the world outside. Dead landlines and lifeless cell phones had gathered dust as thick as scum on the stinking pond in the heart[Read More…]

by March 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Poet as Warrior

The Poet as Warrior

   (Dedicated to Kai Coggin) W. H. Auden’s poem “In Memory of W. B. Yeats” is often quoted to dismiss the importance of poetry as a form of social justice. The current fashion among poets is that poetry can revolutionize social inequalities, make positive changes, build empathy for marginalized groups, and convey information about causes important to the poet. For[Read More…]

by March 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Many Allegories of Parasite: When the Cellars Hit Back

The Many Allegories of Parasite: When the Cellars Hit Back

The multi-award winning South Korean movie Parasite is a feast of stunning surprises and irresistibly eloquent symbolism.From the very title and its ambiguity to the hierarchy of three families inhabiting a layered architectural splendor, metaphor is everywhere. Look at the three families and their visibilities, spatial agency and even smells. Parasite is inevitably about the politics of space, its ownership[Read More…]

by March 21, 2020 Arts/Literature
Two Covid-19 viruses meet Albert Camus

Two Covid-19 viruses meet Albert Camus

The world was calm now. And silent. Only the birds chirped tweeted sang cawed. Only the animals barked mewed mooed growled. Only the river gurgled. Only the sky thundered. Only the fires crackled.   Two covid-19 teenage viuses walked around the city assessing the damage. On Route vers l’ouest, they found mansions with cars parked in front and little gardens.[Read More…]

by March 15, 2020 Arts/Literature
Kashmir got it’s first female calligrapher

Kashmir got it’s first female calligrapher

Nadiya Mushtaq Mir hailing from Kralpora area of district Budgam , educated from Kashmir University where she pursued masters in economics as well as a degree in fashion designing has become Kashmir’s first female calligrapher. ‌Speaking about her art (calligraphy) and designing she said since childhood she was very keen and interested in this art and make sure it will[Read More…]

by March 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
Love in the time of the Karuna virus

Love in the time of the Karuna virus

no one bothered till the Karuna virus caught the police chanting the Hindu god’s name and chasing Muhammedans along with the mobs. the virus had its miraculous debut in Shaheen Bagh when one by one the policemen stopped in their tracks and lowered the batons. the ones demolishing the Masjids stopped work and came down as if nothing ever happened.[Read More…]

by March 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Greenpeace volunteers fly Peace Doves, bearing messages of peace, "No More Hiroshima", "Yes to Peace",  "No to Rokkasho" in Japanese and in English, beside the A-Bomb Dome Memorial in Hiroshima. 
Greenpeace renews their calls for peace and make this anniversary a message to world leaders to make real their commitments to nuclear disarmament, including the Japanese government to abandon plans to produce nuclear weapons.

Warriors of Peace – What do We Fight for?

For this country of our fathers and forefathers who laid down their lives to unshackle it and rebuilt it with their sweat and blood India of their hopes and dreams the land we kiss, whose dust adorns our foreheads We fight for the Constitution collective conscience of wise men and women who wanted to ensure that each one of us[Read More…]

by March 10, 2020 Arts/Literature
They played Ashtapada

They played Ashtapada

a muslim with his eyes blinded was recognized by the direction his face lay turned towards the qibla1 bloodstains whispering war on his cheeks like line breaks of a romantic ballad poem his last prayer very carefully spoken as he was heaving, breathing being dragged from the arms of his kohl-eyed lover, before they made her a corpse, her unarmed[Read More…]

by March 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Alarm

Alarm

Any narrative of Delhi Riots ’20 just communal is dangerous for all but some are keen to say so ever The jackals after sheep herd people of riot hit zones committed helping each other to survive at their best and many did great they were all good samaritans Then why are some so keen to call it fight of communities[Read More…]

by March 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
A woman sitting with her husband and their child reacts next to damaged property after their house was burnt by a mob on Tuesday in a riot affected area after clashes erupted between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi - RC2L9F9XG1SM

Fearlessly Forever !

Today, it rained in Delhi. Tonight, the rains would wash the stains Of blood on the streets filled with pain. The earth would absorb the red And little green grass would spread Over this patch which filled the anguish Of ribbons of peace of millions of others. A storm will emerge tomorrow The big trees may collapse with that storm[Read More…]

by March 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Lives In Painting

Lives In Painting

Human history as cultural history We need to reform our teaching of history so that the emphasis will be placed on the gradual growth of human culture and knowledge, a growth to which all nations and ethnic groups have contributed. A new freely downloadable book I would like to announce the publication of a book, which tells the story of[Read More…]

by March 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Marginalised?

Marginalised?

  Marginalised? Who said we are marginalised? We are humans walking side by side.   Women, Men and Children Dalits, Tribals and the Abused —   Who said we are different?   Who said that Woman is born of Man’s rib? Who said caste is by God writ?   Who said women cannot enter temples or mosques? Who said Menstruation[Read More…]

by March 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Your Beloved!!

Your Beloved!!

Call her for once,call her by her name, Another birth you may not born, To call her once again!! Hope and despair goes hand in hand, Whom you choose,’tis your decision.. Step forward,if you hold a broad chest, Don’t allow despair to play the rest! It’s tough though,as void and ego don’t let you do, Remember that ,Miracle does not[Read More…]

by March 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
Song of Requiem For the 46… and Counting

Song of Requiem For the 46… and Counting

Beneath a pile of charred rubble sodden with splattered blood hanging on precariously to the half rotten dead in the drain killed in the name of God now a bait of murderous mob for the unsuspecting who come looking for their own I am Delhi ravaged by my kith, shamed by my kin I bewail my destiny marked with massacre[Read More…]

by March 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
On the movies Parasite, Joker and of Class Struggle

On the movies Parasite, Joker and of Class Struggle

      Sitting in the movie halls watching Joker and later Parasite in the order of release, these two seemingly different Oscar winning movies bring forth differing and varied emotions. While with Joker, you are taken through an intense microcosm view of individual agony of personal and structural violence and desperately begs your allegiance and sympathy towards the anti- hero,[Read More…]

by March 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
Empty Desire!!

Empty Desire!!

It is five o clock in mid spring.. And the hymns of Azaan comes into my ears, Where do the God’s Abode,I don’t know, Neither it is my wish to know about .. I walk by my own, towards the clock tower , Drizzles wet me, still I wish to get a cool shower.. It seemed I had been locked[Read More…]

by March 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Lalan Fakir in Outerspace

Lalan Fakir in Outerspace

I have seen the world recede behind the trees; the world that was for you and me — a vibrant blue world, dotted with green, swirls of ocean and breeze painted by Van Gogh — A Starry Night, and then came a tsunami that wiped it all from site.   A fakir overnight, as Lalan, I sing afloat in space[Read More…]

by February 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
You, yes you!

You, yes you!

He’s not my leader the one who is too busy for the people who are dying on the streets, he’s just a bad fox who eats on the dead and lurks in dark to escape to his friends who are murderers! You, yes you! I am fed up of you how you lie, how you kill and then groan in[Read More…]

by February 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Painting A True Christ: A Review of Terrence Malick’s Film “A Hidden Life”

Painting A True Christ: A Review of Terrence Malick’s Film “A Hidden Life”

There’s an early scene in Terrence Malick’s masterful new film – what I would call a moving painting – where the central character Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian peasant farmer from an isolated small mountainous village who refuses to take an oath to Hitler and fight in the German army, is talking to an older man who is restoring paintings in[Read More…]

by February 20, 2020 Arts/Literature
The song of Shaheen Bagh

The song of Shaheen Bagh

Shaheen Bagh is untouched by the winter chill there is a fire burning within! Shaheen Bagh replies speeding bullets with flowers ‘why don’t we love each other?’ Shaheen Bagh is singing ‘ we will see… We will see that promised day’ Shaheen Bagh Is reading out a piece of paper, their inheritance- ‘Justice Freedom! Equality!’ Shaheen Bagh is singing a[Read More…]

by February 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
Dark Phase!!

Dark Phase!!

Far away,secluded in an utter isolation, She used to count the yellow lights, being numbed, Sometimes, few of her owns came to visit her, but they never lookedback whie leaving, Again,an utter silence left behind,devoured her existence in quite dark…! Broken soul,weird thoughts,no way to be released,she wanted still to live a life, Every morning,with some needles and nerves,she painfully[Read More…]

by February 19, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Lost Chinar!

The Lost Chinar!

I watch my brothers crying, begging to the nation for justice, The same pain,some sane voices to rebel against their bloody wounds, It’s the Freedom,who is chained in rules..!! Free birds got locked in a vicious cage, They’re afraid ,they tremble in the souns of bullet, A silencer is put towards their home, It’s the Freedom,which is chained in rules..!![Read More…]

by February 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Art of Protests and Foot-marking the Politics of Silence

The Art of Protests and Foot-marking the Politics of Silence

While the art of protest is curating its own shows in the streets across the country, an art show titled ‘Rustic Footmarks’, recently held in Kochi has raised a question-mark over uncritically endorsing the generic term ‘Indianness’ and the autonomy of art The first act is the speech of silence enacted on the upfront. An art show has recently held[Read More…]

by February 13, 2020 Arts/Literature
Yes, we are Shaheen bagh

Yes, we are Shaheen bagh

You call me by your own names Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tukde Tukde gang or Terrorists You push us to the walls Or kick us with all the trolls You shoot us Or abuse us   We declare, We are just a simple Shaheen bagh We are no big people But just pure simple folks of this country Who never understand your[Read More…]

by February 12, 2020 Arts/Literature
#She!

#She!

Someday,sometimes,if I was remembered by you, Do come alone,with bare limbs, as I dwell in the utmost bliss.. Not the woman I’m ,whom you used to know pretty before.. She was an innocent pie,did keep faith on the lie,some col blooded lie! Here struggles a warrior,you’ll find her war marks on her body, Ruthless,desperate,leaving all her priorities to uphold her[Read More…]

by February 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

Goodbye!

Like a torn string,,like a wingless seagull, I’m done..and its all over!! All my slogans,all my comrades, I bid you farewell,as my time is up.. I’ve seen brutal faces with fake adore ,covered in them, Where each eye is upon me, And my lone soul walk along.. Over the thorns, leaving my bloody steps behind.. I bid you fsrewell, my[Read More…]

by February 5, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Script is Being Written

The Script is Being Written

The script is being written For those belonging to the `other’ faith For women, Dalits, and the margins and For the under-nourished colours Trying to cover their bodies and minds From the gazes of penetrating shame The script is being written In bolder and bolder letters.   The script is being written When the gutters swallow the Constitution For the[Read More…]

by February 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
It’s Time

It’s Time

Vaults will be broken to take out all our belongings you took away from us like nothing to make one happy palace with a big bed of our dreams, on our hope you light a bonfire! Your home shall burn for the sins you committed by taking our belief to be in power, and then nailing one fabulous manifesto filled[Read More…]

by February 4, 2020 Arts/Literature
A Warrior mother!!

A Warrior mother!!

I carry some wounds and hurt with my self indeed! Not a mere woman I’m,you must know me, Rather a warrior mother,who fought a unique battle…without any weapons in her hands, Nor I am like Goddess Durga,who decorated herself with so many arms! The battle I faced and fought lone indeed, For they didn’t recognise me to my child, Another[Read More…]

by February 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Breaking News: Rama Denied Citizenship Based On NRC + CAA!

Breaking News: Rama Denied Citizenship Based On NRC + CAA!

            “Minister, we have some stunning news,” the secretary panted out as he rushed into the minister’s office. The minister was not pleased at this abrupt entrance. It was a busy day, and as the person in charge for enforcement of the new Citizenship Amendment Act, he had a lot to do. “What is it,” he curtly asked. “Sir, this[Read More…]

by February 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
The deity of a destroyer!!

The deity of a destroyer!!

I’ve been locked for thousand days, threatened by your guns,and you think you banished me in front of my children.. I born with an oath,not to be defeated ,you don’t know, In a dark corner of tge green hills,I write your Last Supper.. In that corner,I raise a fire,that reached all through my children, They keep the fire in their[Read More…]

by February 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
If there is peace

If there is peace

  If there is peace- where does it live? how does it look? when to look for it?   Is it in the lathis of police or the iron rods of the bajrang goons?   Is it in being mob lynched for carrying a surname in a plastic bag?   Is it in the dead bodies of ganeshguri  blast whose[Read More…]

by February 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
What Jan 30 says aloud to Jan 26

What Jan 30 says aloud to Jan 26

Look, pal, You are the resurrection day of a nation and I am the remembrance day of the Father of the same nation. In a way we are closely related too being neighbours divided by just four days. Yet, I am sad to say that there is truly nothing common in between us.   I am a minute’s silent prayer.[Read More…]

by January 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
All that it takes to transform

All that it takes to transform

I have dents and bumps On my shanks from soccer. My shins are covered With them and I marvel At their feel that took place When I was a teen And there were no shin guards. My son-in-law is More. He was a professional soccer player, A doctoral physicist and a MD. He is so much younger than me So[Read More…]

by January 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
My Mother is crying!

My Mother is crying!

Luminous messages silently comes every dark nights, Every night bleeds there,I hear the noises of marching boots… Down the narrow lanes and paths, My mother is crying in chains… Not for a single moment Bhagat’s mother winked her eyes.. She remained calm as she would be a brave martyr’s mother… My mother is weeping, she is chained by them.. They[Read More…]

by January 31, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Dissent

The Dissent

How many days people keep silence how many days keep them in prisons How many batons and bullets in store to keep a nation scared now and forever Listen to the cries it is not for mercy but for the rights granted by nation Look at these people who are gathered all under skies meek, weak and tired Still they[Read More…]

by January 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
Blossoming of Shaheen Bagh

Blossoming of Shaheen Bagh

The flowers blossom in the gardens of Shaheen Bagh Lifting the spirits and releasing a fresh aroma The air filled with the spirit of the republic Bringing freshness in an environment filled with poison Attracting pilgrims to this temple called Indian republic Where devotees hold the sacred text called the constitution And read out the prayer from the preamble Perform[Read More…]

by January 29, 2020 Arts/Literature
The NPR Encounter

The NPR Encounter

On hearing the door bell ringing, Mr.  Krishna Murthy got up from his reclining chair and walked to the front door with difficulty. He was experiencing cramps in both his legs for the last fortnight. On opening the door, he found two government officials with files and registers in hand and two policemen. The other two wore saffron kurtas and[Read More…]

by January 28, 2020 Arts/Literature, Editor's Picks
Srinagar hunches like a wild cat!!

Srinagar hunches like a wild cat!!

Hail you ruler! In my country,in my land, Alms were distributed to us as beggars received, Food,clothes,livelihood and the most desired freedom, You rewarded us with very little on which we may just survive, Here mosques full of dust and nobody enters in namaz, our land was a tulip bed, you deliberately turned into debris!! The whole planet watching us,[Read More…]

by January 28, 2020 Arts/Literature
#ShrineofLOVE…!!

#ShrineofLOVE…!!

The afternoon sun began waning over the dove-white shrine, Alone stood there the shrine,almost in the solemnity, Chirping sounds of birds coming from distant willows, Where not a single shadow guarded the wintry ray of sunshine, The shrine remarked the sign of the deep Love, And wounded several times by the bullets and guns, Everytime blood spilled masive from the[Read More…]

by January 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
‘The land of Tagore is bleeding!’

‘The land of Tagore is bleeding!’

They choose me to bleed, They hurt me to bury my soul, “Don’t shout, don’t oppose, or you gotta be finished”…they shouted out, They frightened me and locked me behind the rails, “Fight Dude Fight!” My comates inspired me! They stabbed my back, with the edge of their weapons, They bullied me to kill my rage, Even they tortured me[Read More…]

by January 16, 2020 Arts/Literature
Three pellets and a cradle

Three pellets and a cradle

biscuit a pellet hit her small palm that clutched a half eaten biscuit. she broke into a rasping wail “bikoot mama bikoot” the biscuit fell to the ground near her, near her mamma. mamma a pellet hit her left breast that smelt of milk. a fount of blood spurted all over her baby and soaked a biscuit on the ground.[Read More…]

by January 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Origins Of The United States Of America, The Joker And The End Of White Supremacy

The Origins Of The United States Of America, The Joker And The End Of White Supremacy

  At its root, capitalism not only meant slavery and white supremacy but also the ethos of the gangster –  Gerald Horne       The film ‘Joker’ presents a contemporary phenomenon present in several countries, but which can only be understood in its complexity through the history of the origins of the USA. African-American historian Gerald Horne argues in the book[Read More…]

by January 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
I am your voice

I am your voice

I am your voice but I will not say a word. I am politically numb. I fear that we may be entering an age of authoritarian populism and one day it will munch us all. We seek rainbow but we often get clouds of tear gas and a hail of bullets. My friend, that day is not far away when[Read More…]

by January 9, 2020 Arts/Literature
An Anthem For Freedom (Aazadi)

An Anthem For Freedom (Aazadi)

There were no lines that drew you from me I had no flag, no anthem, no lines that said you stood outside I had nothing, only the world which housed many worlds Where you and I were one; Till the day they drew barbed wires between you and me And shoved me into a sky like a square grey patch[Read More…]

by January 8, 2020 Arts/Literature
America, Where Great Literature Kicked The Bucket

America, Where Great Literature Kicked The Bucket

Once in a while, people ask me: “Why did you accept the US citizenship, many years ago?” “After all,” they say, “now you are one of the most vocal critics of the United States, and of the West in general.” Perhaps I never explained, or I did, some time ago, and now it is forgotten. So, let me try again,[Read More…]

by January 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
Resist!

Resist!

It is a system not a sudden gathering or attack, it doesn’t have a group it has a body planning to speed up chaos, attack wasn’t just about fifty men in masks it was about the doors they found open so easily! It is a crime yet it is done with no fear, happy are they to masturbate out every[Read More…]

by January 7, 2020 Arts/Literature
The Triumphing of Democracy

The Triumphing of Democracy

We see And yet we will see —   The war clouds turn the sky aflame The razing ground do much the same   Neanderthals died of unknown cause Homosapiens crossed a borderless world.   Civilisation spread Nuclear Armament   Bloodied wars   Unhouse the ones who read Shroud them Beat them till they bleed   Only one can lead[Read More…]

by January 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
Search That Song

Search That Song

A beauiful actress with a fan club for her looks Looked at the mirror when she was old and said: `I am not this one and where did I go?’ A tough man with muscles all around him Asked his son by the end of the game `Who took my muscles away and why?’   An intellectual who controlled the[Read More…]

by January 6, 2020 Arts/Literature
Half Widow: Movie depicting inconvenient truth about Kashmir to be released in India

Half Widow: Movie depicting inconvenient truth about Kashmir to be released in India

Half Widow, a film based on the plight of women whose husbands were abducted and killed by the Indian forces in disputed region of Kashmir, is set to be released in India next week. Made by Kashmiri filmmaker Danish Renzu, it enthralled an audience at the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival in Surrey in 2018. An armed struggle has[Read More…]

by January 3, 2020 Arts/Literature
Celebrate Womanhood…!!

Celebrate Womanhood…!!

You find her giving your birth, Even though you try to corrupt her, She is the most vigorous icon in the Earth, that may adore you or smash you, according to your will.. Show your gratitude to her, You born from her womb, Hail you Man!!always you unwrap her in your different form of words.. The temple of her is[Read More…]

by January 1, 2020 Arts/Literature
Black Mirror’s Scathing Social Commentary Is A Wake-Up Call for Contemporary Democracies

Black Mirror’s Scathing Social Commentary Is A Wake-Up Call for Contemporary Democracies

Black Mirror does best when it shows how, in a world that’s almost this world, mass media and social media cause problematic behaviour at the mass level. Premiering in 2011 in Britain, before taking the world by storm on Netflix, Black Mirror blends science-fiction with social commentary to galvanise discussions of how technology and human behaviour intersect in unforeseeable ways. [Read More…]

by December 31, 2019 Arts/Literature
ID Card – A Poem by Anvar Ali

ID Card – A Poem by Anvar Ali

A powerful poem on CAA/NRC by the renowned Malayalm poet Anvar Ali https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GnkBpVgkDc

by December 28, 2019 Arts/Literature
The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Short story The king was facing a major problem. He has become allergic to sound. The doctors treating him on sound allergy were of the opinion that the shouting on streets against the king must be regulated, so that the king can maintain good health. The citizens were out on the streets shouting slogans against the king. The minister was[Read More…]

by December 23, 2019 Arts/Literature
I’m A Pigeon

I’m A Pigeon

I’m a pigeon with legs tied up, Everyday they feed me with donations grains.. They assured me to be in safe, and I suffocate every moment, dying of my freedom. They assure me every time, That I’ll get a blissfull life, Secured from the struggle and insecurity, But I know its a doom to me in the mouth of the[Read More…]

by December 20, 2019 Arts/Literature
Our world…

Our world…

World hides its monstrosity In being silver around night’s chest World easily presaudes World changes color like we do World lends a hand, heavy like society Coiling what’s night with care World kicks hard out of its property World says, it’s all fair World never wears what it can’t bare World walks miles to gain position World freezes at you[Read More…]

by December 19, 2019 Arts/Literature
Freedom

Freedom

inspired by & freely adapted from a poem by the French poet Paul Eluard   On every door at every gate in every doorway on all the windows, mirrors of all the world   I write your name.   On every road with every step in the wide meander and the sand on the straight and narrow and around each[Read More…]

by December 19, 2019 Arts/Literature
Locked, In Assam

Locked, In Assam

A cage grows around me each day Everyone is free they say, Wishes plummet to the bottom and gets locked in platinum vaults Everyone is free they say, A pact is signed today where the larynx is laminated they tell it is to protect all the homes, a fire is built, curfewed are all the nights just to have the[Read More…]

by December 18, 2019 Arts/Literature
Contributions of RSS to Indian Society

Contributions of RSS to Indian Society

Anti-Minority attitude Brahmanism Communalism Divisive beliefs Educational destruction Fascism Godse worship Hatred Islamophobia Jumlebaazi Killing institutions Lynching Manuvaad National chauvinism Othering minorities Patriarchy Quelling resistance Riots Saffron sickness Terrorism of majority Unconstitutional act legitimisation Violence War mongering Xenophobia Yelling Zombie creators in form of lynchers and rioters Sreerama is a poet and earlier worked with Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) SIGN[Read More…]

by December 17, 2019 Arts/Literature
Photo by mysterykatt123

Future

As a gust of wind sends the curtains flapping wildly, I wonder about our future. The future is signaling us to go back. The future is telling us to stop where we are now. But we pretend not to hear. And we don’t care. We’re not aware of what we’ve lost and are seeking things we don’t need at all.[Read More…]

by December 14, 2019 Arts/Literature
Funeral of Democracy

Funeral of Democracy

Funeral of your democracy warned foresighted ages ago. In spite of fellow beings, you burn your abode willfully. Many nations have been here, reckoning to be invincible Little did they know, they perish notorious in the process. Men of infamy, high on false pride Feeding gullible, treacherous fantasies Selling hate for old brotherhood, you saw it coming in willful silence?[Read More…]

by December 12, 2019 Arts/Literature
Stand up and fight

Stand up and fight

When you feel your generation is being crushed by the twin excavators of the political imbecility and haphazard bureaucracy. When you realize that the government is insensitive to the peoples wishes and is making mockery of their destiny. When your see the naked dance of corruption dismantling the very base of our society. When you see unemployment dancing everywhere and[Read More…]

by December 9, 2019 Arts/Literature
RAPE-UBLIC!

RAPE-UBLIC!

 It is not some chicken that rests on those breasts they feed your next generation pluck them out and you’ll see death all around, you do think to pluck those every night in a small corner of your bed you might be a father, brother, husband or just some man who is desperate to drive fast!   The bra your[Read More…]

by December 8, 2019 Arts/Literature
Right and Left

Right and Left

Right doesn’t talk of rights because it believes in taking away your rights It does not recognize education as a right as it awakens people to demand more rights Right creates myths and false pride around nation and religion so that you condition yourself to live without rights Right attacks your very basic needs before you realise what is right[Read More…]

by December 6, 2019 Arts/Literature
For Hiba, 18 months old pellet victim of Kashmir

For Hiba, 18 months old pellet victim of Kashmir

She cries in pain, Mother, hold me tight, I feel cold. Mother tells her, It is not cold, It is the icicles making you chill. She laments, Mother, hold me tight. It is darker than the night around, Mother tells her, It is not the night that is dark. It is the burnt coal surrounding the village. She whispers, Mother,[Read More…]

by November 28, 2019 Arts/Literature
Empress With A Pen!

Empress With A Pen!

A poem on Arundhati Roy Fountain pen unfurling from the curls After the blood carpet why history never unfurls Everyone makes a full stop with decoration To declare how it’s “The End of Imagination” Millions think of the magician thinking above Her pen thinks how he bluffs wearing a glove Curating the structured Homo sapiens To validate that they work[Read More…]

by November 25, 2019 Arts/Literature
Rights?

Rights?

Do these women have rights? These women who break rocks These women who carry bricks These women who in Temples please Gods What Gods? Devdasis? Can they Me Too? Farmers’ wives, sweepers, Women who clean dirt From homes and yet Live in dirt themselves. Women who could not go to school Can they Me Too? Women who remain Unlettered, Unfed,[Read More…]

by November 20, 2019 Arts/Literature
Funeral in Kashmir

Funeral in Kashmir

Exile, Or, Home? They asked, Which home? The one you bulldozed, Or the one you occupied, They are furious, And, Outraged, Or, the one that is a rubble, They look They scare, stay there, Hands up, How can I stay without name Without face Or without eyes. Leave then, Go in exile They laugh Or smirk, How can I go[Read More…]

by November 19, 2019 Arts/Literature
J. N. U.

J. N. U.

J.N.U a university where voices speak up where streets protest where classes struggle where birds are still free where azaadi isn’t just a word where democracy lives Sutputra Radheye: He is a young Indian poet for whom poetry is a medium of protest against the authority. He channelizes his words to write what he sees, and how he sees.He doesn’t[Read More…]

by November 19, 2019 Arts/Literature
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

Bystander

I had heard of people in abusive relationships— Of torture made to disappear, Of tyrannies of the mind calculated to blind and crippling dependence cultivated, Of phantom foes and spectral fears and hollow promises renewed, Of shrunken lives under constant vigil terrorised into compliance, Of gaslit rebellion and curfewed movement, isolated from the world’s concern; I marvelled at how all[Read More…]

by November 14, 2019 Arts/Literature
Omnicide

Omnicide

For the new generations You and bride, side-by-side At new son’s cradle side, First son at grandpa’s side, Daughter at grandma’s side, All at full tableside— Fortunate family! Springtime ride, riverside. Summer swim, oceanside. Autumn hike, mountainside. Winter song, fireside. Countryside, cityside, Sweet life of bourgeoisie! But there’s another side— Rat-race-cide, ed-debt-cide, Rush-hour- cide, autocide, Boob-tube-cide, junk-food-cide, Beer-gut-cide, pharma-cide— All[Read More…]

by November 11, 2019 Arts/Literature
What’s Joker’s Joke?

What’s Joker’s Joke?

“Cause how many times can you wake up in this comic book and plant flowers?” – Rodriguez, “Cause” It’s not funny, that’s for sure. When I went to see Joker, the new Todd Philips’ film, there were five other people in the theater in the liberal, up-scale tourist town populated by wealthy second-home owners, exiles for the most part from[Read More…]

by November 10, 2019 Arts/Literature
House of Gods or Plea for Peace

House of Gods or Plea for Peace

Oh house of Gods! Oh house of Gods! Temples or Mosques Churches or Synagogues Displaced they stand— A black stone Rectangle or phallic Does it matter? In streams refugees pour out Bloodshed, Gore Hatred and More More and More Ring- a- round the roses Pocketful of doses You think when they Burnt, Singed, they would have learnt Flames should be[Read More…]

by November 10, 2019 Arts/Literature
My Country

My Country

They tell me it is your country, but prove your love to keep the peace, gift the land to us to please, and obey the majority or cease. They tell me it is your country but as long as I don’t affirm my belief, remain silent when in grief, and mourn my history in silence. They tell me it is[Read More…]

by November 9, 2019 Arts/Literature
Red Dots

Red Dots

I heard In real or in a dream? Home is white… Or red? Tulip tree is buried…. In ice, Or in debris? Kangri is in shed. Or dead in the cold? My pheran… The one with red dots on chest…. Is like a scarecrow on tilted pole, Or cut into shreds? Who tells me?????? My umbilical cord…… Is missing……………… In[Read More…]

by November 8, 2019 Arts/Literature
Tranquility of Visual Memory: The Tibet Film Festival

Tranquility of Visual Memory: The Tibet Film Festival

The lights dim, the crowd goes quiet, and viewers begin to leave worries of this world behind, anticipating instead a new and mysterious alternative world that will soon envelop their eyes and ears…Films create worlds…! (Brent Plate) Film festivals across the globe are more often than not venues to celebrate masterpiece works of art-house filmmakers, creating space for indie cinema,[Read More…]

by November 7, 2019 Arts/Literature
Monologue of an Oligarch – For K. P. Sasi 

Monologue of an Oligarch – For K. P. Sasi 

  Who should rule a family, community or commonwealth, humanity? What hierarchy should we, who know what’s best impose on those who don’t?   We ask them in elections, though that doesn’t guarantee that our Divine Right to command and then consume the fruits of rule will be confirmed. It’s best if we don’t ask, just act instead to organize[Read More…]

by November 7, 2019 Arts/Literature
Animal World – Cartoon by K.P Sasi

Animal World – Cartoon by K.P Sasi

The Kerala police has arrested two Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists, Alan Shuhaib and Thaha Fazal under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) from Kozhikode on Saturday. The two were accused of having circulated notices criticising the alleged encounter killing of four Maoists in the Manjakkatti forests in Palakkad district. K.P Sasi is a film maker,[Read More…]

by November 5, 2019 Arts/Literature
Consecration

Consecration

My spine is bent, Sir You can see the bones jutting out; My hands I have stretched, To touch your feet My index finger on your right toe: Can’t you see, Yes? Thank you! (glee) I beg your pardon? Yes, I made sure I burnt all the books before we met And my pen is now the river My brain[Read More…]

by November 3, 2019 Arts/Literature
Empire of the Overlord

Empire of the Overlord

Children in unison rise Crying for the ultimate reprise. Bus fares hike Water jets strike Murderers walk free The land is no longer safe Asperger bound The world round Children protest In anger and unrest Where do they stand? Why have they become the voice of The angry clans? Why is it they scream In angst against the regime? Why[Read More…]

by October 31, 2019 Arts/Literature
Pain

Pain

Pain to be documented for the sake of civilization. Pain, language of the unspoken, censored, plugged and precluded. Pain of mothers daughters and lovers, of sons, fathers and admirers. Pain of separated caged minors of mums in the dread for their teens. Pain of kids deprived of children’s play and tempers. Pain of teachers in empty schools like haunted sanctuaries.[Read More…]

by October 28, 2019 Arts/Literature
 Poet Inhabits the Heart of Jimmy Carter

 Poet Inhabits the Heart of Jimmy Carter

[Author’s Note:The 39thPresident of the United States (1977-1981), Jimmy Carter has been in the news recently, and we wish him well….  I consider him one of the great people I’ve had the honor of meeting.  Following his too-brief tenure in the White House, Carter worked gratis for decades with “Habitat for Humanity,” physically building and refurbishing houses for those in need…. In[Read More…]

by October 24, 2019 Arts/Literature
Kashmir

Kashmir

a paradise weakening in the mist as the signals of light are jammed the houses smelling of local herbs boiled in the saucepans filled with water saline lanes have leaves fallen uncrunched yet ailing and roads filled with boots and barood microphones are tapped and locked in rooms painted in tricolour- all shades of saffron then azaan arrives, whispers began[Read More…]

by October 21, 2019 Arts/Literature
A Bowl of Ice Cream: A Tribute to Botham Jean

A Bowl of Ice Cream: A Tribute to Botham Jean

He was tired that night A long day; Work can grind And of course there’s more Smart, Black, numbers in his head He liked Ice Cream Soothed by the TV Feet up A long day; Home at last; refuge Young man; career ahead; ambitious What was tomorrow going to hold? Smooth, creamy, buttery Late night sweet snack A long day;[Read More…]

by October 12, 2019 Arts/Literature
Did Rama eat meat, and why is it relevant to contemporary India?

Did Rama eat meat, and why is it relevant to contemporary India?

What does the Valmiki Ramayana tell us about Non-Vegetarianism of its protagonist and deuteragonists? “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”                  ~George Orwell (Ninteen Eighty-four) The Rāmāyana is the world’s second longest poetic composition, after another Hindu epic, the Mahābhārata.  The mythological epic poem narrates[Read More…]

by October 12, 2019 Arts/Literature
Undoctrinate

Undoctrinate

What hides underneath all those layers? The layers you got padded with since birth? The layers you did not get to choose But accept without questioning The unwarranted layers You feel comforted in The layers You think Define you Your identity Your being Your existence Peel away the layers My friend Peel Layer After layer Until You emerge To yourself[Read More…]

by October 11, 2019 Arts/Literature
Is Literature Dying ?

Is Literature Dying ?

 With ever increasing onslaught from the internet, electronic media and urban lifestyles, many critics have started voicing their worries about whether Literature, in its written form, is becoming more and more obsolete and  dying. Death pronouncements about Literature have been made several times and they continue to be made whenever writers start forecasting and start expressing anxiety about their irrelevance[Read More…]

by October 6, 2019 Arts/Literature
The Bhakt

The Bhakt

(This is a fictional scene with no direct or indirect relation with persons living or dead. Any name or scene is utterly co-incidental. The purpose of this poem is to reflect a segment of the society.) So, the sheep-head citizens- You’re here today. Welcome. Have a seat- Like you’ve for decades now. Make yourself comfortable. I know. I know. Nothing[Read More…]

by October 6, 2019 Arts/Literature
A Weak Rope

A Weak Rope

The hangman brought the noose Near an erect neck of a prisoner I must apologise to you,’ whispered the hangmanI am only doing a job for the survival of my family.’ `Execution has been my family occupation for generations The reason is unknown to me Why I should kill and who I should kill. You are only a subject in[Read More…]

by October 3, 2019 Arts/Literature
Joker raises quite many real issues – sadly, only to skirt them on its way

Joker raises quite many real issues – sadly, only to skirt them on its way

  In the end, Joker remains a laughter-free, irony-free, subtle-as-a-sledgehammer disappointment, partly redeemed by an Oscar worthy performance from Joaquin Phoenix. I wanted to like Joker.  I became a fan of all things Batman in middle school, when Batman: The Animated series was on reruns in India.  Christopher Nolan’s masterful Batman trilogy sent me to the source material: the comics. [Read More…]

by October 3, 2019 Arts/Literature
Classical Voice For Social Justice

Classical Voice For Social Justice

Art is the intellectual foundation of social change. Artists not only document social change; they promote, inform and shape it. Whether through music, plays, photography, paintings, films, poetry, sculpture, or hip-hop, art is powerful. Music is one of the most popular mediums of arts. We have seen Pete Seeger who has always used his songs as a language of protest.[Read More…]

by September 27, 2019 Arts/Literature
Miyah

Miyah

dappled bloody sheet and nineteen lakh bodies floating to the asphalt shores of Brahmaputra- naked and filled. Birds flying away, leaves falling cold sun setting low, moon bent till toe homes painted grey, heart- dead fay indians-moments ago, now far away.   how shall one be in solitude in war? how shall one be happy in sorrow? if hunger seeks[Read More…]

by September 25, 2019 Arts/Literature
Debris…

Debris…

Oh, how weeps Mother Earth! Near her toes, the forests burn. Animals in death throes churn. Sumatran anacondas die. Smoke blinds the eye. Hazy skies, poison air People choke. Life comes to a halt. Brazil, her lungs they say, Now fiery flames breathe. With so much smoke, Will Mother Earth choke? Oh, how weeps Mother Earth! Young blood is spilt[Read More…]

by September 23, 2019 Arts/Literature
Just because of my name

Just because of my name

Every time I step out of my house I am not sure of my return Just because of my name Which reflects my identity Living in constant fear Just because of a name being a Khan or an Ansari The threat of lynching and beaten to death looms me over Day in and day out The fear of huge mobs[Read More…]

by September 22, 2019 Arts/Literature
Is the movie ‘Section 375’ a nail in pulverizing the women’s movement?

Is the movie ‘Section 375’ a nail in pulverizing the women’s movement?

Section 375 is an intense and layered courtroom drama revolving around the dialectics of justice and law.  The movie comes at the time when the sensitization around the gender issues are seen to be taking their due space and the movie leaves the one thinking about the tenability of that same space. This movie is a profusion of debates around[Read More…]

by September 20, 2019 Arts/Literature, Patriarchy
The frontier less; the Damned!

The frontier less; the Damned!

Night steals upon us like death… In the morning it leaves one or two cups of coffee untouched on the table! An eerie silence swallows me it howls into my ears. My trembling legs search up and down the lane the sound of boots answer me! At a distance I hear crowds, shouts, Gunshots and wails. You call it calm![Read More…]

by September 17, 2019 Arts/Literature
A series in 4 episodes

A series in 4 episodes

episode 1: a regiment of old people, more bones than flesh, are thrown into an army truck. to be unloaded in the woods near some godforsaken border. but, a fierce debate breaks out whether they should be blinded or not. orders are awaited from the capital city. episode 2: a burst of pellets perforate a sieve on a snow girl’s[Read More…]

by September 13, 2019 Arts/Literature
Natsamrat – Shades of King Lear and other Tragedies

Natsamrat – Shades of King Lear and other Tragedies

  Natsamrat (The King of the theatre) has shades of King Lear in it. However, the masterpiece of this Marathi movie starring Nana Patekar as Ganapat Rao Belwalkar is not just Nana, though his performance is spectacular. It is his best friend in the movie, Vikram Gokhale as Rambhau who lingers. Both are actors on the stage and according to[Read More…]

by September 10, 2019 Arts/Literature
What is there in Rahi Masoom Raza which touches immensely? 

What is there in Rahi Masoom Raza which touches immensely? 

            In post-partition literary tradition in India, there have been writers altering the course of literary trend by their peculiar style of writing. Simultaneously, they have travelled their own way and have had the ability to go beyond the disciplinary conservatism while weaving their creative writings. They refused to maintain the literary status-quo. In the legacy of Urdu-Hindi post-partition literature,[Read More…]

by September 10, 2019 Arts/Literature
Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

Taking assigned seat at banquet table Right across from me Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe Destroyer of Rhodes and his ilk Leader of the Revolution Against Apartheid, Racism, Colonialism, Imperialism Personal Hero Intelligent, sophisticated, well-informed, polished, well-spoken Devout Catholic too Vilified by Western Governments and their Flunky News Media No surprise there After dinner talking about his problems I joked[Read More…]

by September 6, 2019 Arts/Literature
The Wisdom of Ganesh Gaitonde – Part I

The Wisdom of Ganesh Gaitonde – Part I

Note: Ganesh Gaitonde is a fictional character from the Netflix series Sacred Games, but that does not make him any less real than anyone else on the planet. Warning: Profanity ahead. Get parental advice before proceeding. Somewhere on a yacht in choppy waters off the western Indian coast I met Ganesh Gaitonde, noted[1]political analyst, role model for the youth and[Read More…]

by September 6, 2019 Arts/Literature
For Cars, Baubles and Beef

For Cars, Baubles and Beef

For cars, baubles, and beef We pledged our untrammeled allegiance For cars, baubles, and beef We declared an insidious war We held our flag up high We demanded full compliance For cars, baubles, and beef We punished all dissenters Here we are today Apocalypse here and now For cars, baubles, and beef We sacrificed our smiling children Progress is hard[Read More…]

by September 5, 2019 Arts/Literature
A Medal for Blood !

A Medal for Blood !

A rain of blood fell from the sky on a valley A sixteen year old boy cried in pain when his eyes were hit with pellet bullets `But why?’ He asked the soldier who shot him `You sold our country to another country’ `To which country?’ the boy asked with tears of blood `To Pakistan,’ said the soldier confidently `And[Read More…]

by September 2, 2019 Arts/Literature
Molecules

Molecules

Dead people are free human beings For freedom is a term meant for the living The living dead walking as corpses on streets Or on their best luxurious vehicles Are also are free human beings in their own minds For they do not know that their freedom is determined by others. To that extent, freedom is a mental construct Whether[Read More…]

by September 1, 2019 Arts/Literature
Kashmir – The Invisible and the Damned

Kashmir – The Invisible and the Damned

You can look away now The Vale of tears has dried up And a deathly silence stalks the Dal Deserted towns, burnt orchards and shadows everywhere. Paradise will ne’er be the same again Nothing will ever be the same again We, the invisible and the damned, the rejected and the reviled, have long ceased to exist for a world gone[Read More…]

by August 31, 2019 Arts/Literature
Search for Answers

Search for Answers

With those thousands and millions of pieces you have been broken into How long can you keep on fixing them to get through one more day? And with a cracked heart and crushed soul How long till u count yourself among the living fray? With this unthinking unfeeling existence of yours How long till u tire and call it a[Read More…]

by August 30, 2019 Arts/Literature
A Requiem for Amazonia

A Requiem for Amazonia

Amazon burns Each flame licks a life Each ember leads to strife How will man survive? From the meat roasted by the flames That rise as if from Earth’s insides? The birds that no longer fly Lie roasted, toasted, drained of colour. The brilliant macaw with its plumes of blue and yellow, The golden monkey that leaps from tree to[Read More…]

by August 28, 2019 Arts/Literature
Hollywood reboots Russophobia for the New Cold War

Hollywood reboots Russophobia for the New Cold War

It is an age-old question as to the extent art reflects the world we live in. Bertolt Brecht allegedly said to the contrary that art was “not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” The Marxist German playwright devised theatrical methods designed to distance the audience from the staged drama while drawing self-reflexive[Read More…]

by August 28, 2019 Arts/Literature
Love For My Country Transcends Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nay The Whole world!

Love For My Country Transcends Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nay The Whole world!

Tsunami of aggressive nationalism Across USA, Europe and beyond Internationalism is my creed; patriotism acceptable But not the sedition law   My ancestors born in Pakistan Part of undivided India Communal partitioning in 1947 Affected lives   My mother born in 1921 At Suri Mohalla, Rawalpindi Completed her studies At middle school, Rawalpindi   At school she learnt needle work[Read More…]

by August 27, 2019 Arts/Literature
The Carpenter Friend

The Carpenter Friend

I do not wish the sun to rise And I do not wish the moon to disappear The carpenter who made this bed Has done more than he could dream for Saving me from the nightmare of getting up To see what I do not wish to see And to hear what I do not wish to hear If ever[Read More…]

by August 25, 2019 Arts/Literature
The Dead Flower

The Dead Flower

Sometimes I do not like meeting people Whenever I do not like meeting myself Meaningless actions and meaningless words Among the multitude of meaningless people Make me feel the need to enjoy the absurdity To understand that a word in need Is just a word indeed. And when the heaven fell on earth I thought it was a dead flower[Read More…]

by August 22, 2019 Arts/Literature
Kashmir

Kashmir

A soul without a body was walking Wondering how much time was left in his life The corpses on the side of the road Seemed to be breathing A man with a chopped hand Was struggling to ride a bicycle Women hid their faces For the shame others have done to them The past was best to be forgotten The[Read More…]

by August 17, 2019 Arts/Literature
Night of the broken glass for Huzaifa Pandit

Night of the broken glass for Huzaifa Pandit

On the night of broken glass he reads a poem by Faiz. Outside, someone drives under influence down a frail bridge across the river, after the rains. jo toot gaya, so toot gaya ‘Khuda Hafiz. Khuda Hafiz, Would there be salvage after the wreck?’ asks the squeaky wiper blades to the tune of filmy rain dance that fogs the pane.[Read More…]

by August 15, 2019 Arts/Literature
Shanti Rides a Green Horse

Shanti Rides a Green Horse

(Wisdom-King Achala: The Unshakeable) Presented here are some tales and some verses by Bhusukupa, mystic, poet, who lived in the eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent around a millennium ago. Lovers of Bangla literature remember him as the poet who wrote seven and a half poems of the Chawrjyapawd collection that contains verses that speak of the Tantric SahajaYana or[Read More…]

by August 15, 2019 Arts/Literature
Ambush at Kamikaze Pass

Ambush at Kamikaze Pass

Call it a summer whim or something about this grim moment of ours, but I had an urge to post at TomDispatch my very first piece of published writing. It appeared 48 years ago in what was, at the time, one of the more obscure journals on the face of the Earth, one I helped found as a then-antiwar-China-scholar-to-be: the Bulletin of Concerned Asian[Read More…]

by August 12, 2019 Arts/Literature
Sacred Games In The Name of Babri Masjid

Sacred Games In The Name of Babri Masjid

Sacred Games-2 is slated to begin from August 15 on Netflix Cinema is the worst form of expression, and particularly more so, when we are bombarded with over 400 hours of news, real news, enacted news in our 24 hours, round the year, which has rendered an ordinary citizen gasping. Even real time wars, street to street battles and massacres[Read More…]

by August 12, 2019 Arts/Literature
They Fill the Land – What Filth!

They Fill the Land – What Filth!

The poem is based on a brief observational study done by my team and I on the Pirana landfill site in Ahmedabad. The poem is meant as a satirical take on the social and environmental repercussions of landfill sites, and our attempts to not acknowledge the same. It is intended not to preach, but provoke individuals to take cognizance of[Read More…]

Photo: “The Joy of Peace”. By Pilar Viviente, Venice 2019.

LIVING ON BRIDGES: Dialoguing on Peace, Cultural Violence, Education, Art

With Pilar Viviente, Gary Corseri and some esteemed friends Photo: “A Tower of Understanding”.  By Pilar Viviente, Venice, 2019 “Life can certainly throw us some hardballs, that’s for sure!  But that is the thing about life—unfathomable, mysterious, beautiful and ugly all on one plate, one sitting, one incarnation.” — Antonio C. S. Rosa “Nous sommecomme des nainsjuche sur des epaules[Read More…]

by August 11, 2019 Arts/Literature
“UrfeAalo” – Theatre driving social transformation for manual scavengers

“UrfeAalo” – Theatre driving social transformation for manual scavengers

 “UrfeAalo” a play by Whistle Blower Theatre group, forces its audience to confront the harsh reality of manual scavenging – an occupation which is no less oppressive than bonded labor. It talks about Nilesh, a Valmiki trying to get out of the caste imposed occupation. Nilesh while in school was associated with a theatre group for social awareness, and he[Read More…]

by August 11, 2019 Arts/Literature
Again

Again

 A ghazal for all Kashmiris and In Memoriam Agha Shahid Ali     Soldiers have died in vain and will again. Lovers have kissed in rain and will again.   Neighbors dispute, tragically lose all calm. Nations have split in twain and will again.   Beauty gives power to hurt or heal with balm. Passion brings exquisite pain and will[Read More…]

by August 11, 2019 Arts/Literature
In the Name of Family

In the Name of Family

In the name of family We destroy the same In the name of peace We build wastelands Imagine, please, imagine please do A little girl at your bosom Imagine, please, imagine please do A young boy laughing loud The warmth of embrace The exuberance of dawn The deep love and grace Forever now gone Joy knows no home Absolute and[Read More…]

by August 9, 2019 Arts/Literature