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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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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…]

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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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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…]

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…]

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“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…]

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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…]

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…]

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‘Imagination Unlimited’: Countercurrents.org Initiates A New Book Publication Venture

‘Imagination Unlimited’: Countercurrents.org Initiates A New Book Publication Venture

The dedicated journal Countercurrents.org has sustained for almost two decades. Writers and readers from all parts of the world have appreciated the relevance of this crucial effort. After an experience of two decades of social journalism, Countercurrents.org has decided to get involved in the production of books with a difference, through a venture titled ‘Imagination Unlimited’. The rationale for this[Read More…]

Dear Ilhan

Dear Ilhan

Dear oh dear Ilhan We see you in our sleep We see you when awake We hear you in all of our being There is nothing like a voice That wavers never at all There is nothing like the strength Of dignity withal Please don’t ever tire Your energies should never wane Stay vigilant dear Ilhan You bless us with[Read More…]

August 6, 1945 – For our children

August 6, 1945 – For our children

                       I An anniversary falls today, Which most of us ignore, Though thousands were just burned away: Birth of atomic war.   In summer, 1945, Near end of WWII, When most of us were not alive, A nightmare became true.   On Monday morning, August 6, At 8:15 a.m. Enola Gay performed some tricks Of nuclear mayhem.   A monster[Read More…]

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Scream!

Scream!

Celebrate, Celebrate the Independence Day While Munch-like screams explode Like fireworks lighting the night sky Silent, vociferous, full of angst Unable to speak Bleak, bleak, bleak. Oh, the cruelty of life! The anger and strife Guernica revisited each time. This is not just about soldiers who die. But about all those who silently cry For a dozen different whys? A[Read More…]

History of Street Plays in India – An Ongoing Social Movement

History of Street Plays in India – An Ongoing Social Movement

Theatre and India share a long relationship dating 5000 years ago. The earliest form of theatre was Sanskrit theatre. Bharata’s ‘Natya Shastra’ was the one of the earliest play enacted in India. Indian theatre was heavily influenced by the people who ruled over the country. During the Islamic rule in the country, theatre was mostly forbidden throughout the nation. However,[Read More…]

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Post Truth

Post Truth

I cannot speak anymore the language of my oppressors. My memory gradually corroded by a billion ants folds into itself. I cannot think anymore, my eyes are vacant, perpetually wandering. I’m defenceless as ever, I put my papers in place and patiently await my turn at the guillotine for them to press the button, for them to cut off my[Read More…]

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Oh, Baltimore

Oh, Baltimore

Baltimore, Oh Baltimore You have things on your mind You have children to feed and trees to tend You have ties that strongly bind No fool, no demagogue, no trickster Could ever fool you deep No hateful and crude cad Should make you cringe or weep You rise when hate is strong Your daughters and sons see clear Baltimore, Oh[Read More…]

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They Are Kissing

They Are Kissing

After Dorianne Laux’s “Kissing” They are kissing at gunpoint. They know they cannot be caught kissing. They are kissing as though the chinars never saw any bloodshed, only lipstick. Asifa is grown up now, she’s kissing her love and her horses are dancing the grass is erupting in joy, the valley is rushing in its unviolated grace because they are[Read More…]

Miyah Poetry: How do Besieged Communities Respond?

Miyah Poetry: How do Besieged Communities Respond?

A FIR was registered against 10 Assamese poets (July 10, 2019). These poets mostly Muslims; have been pioneers and are leading lights of what has come to be known as Miyah Poetry. One sample, by the initiator of this trend; Hafiz Ahmed goes like this Write, Write Down, I am a Miya, My serial number in the NRC is 200543,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, India
In Conversation with Ghulam Nabi Aatash

In Conversation with Ghulam Nabi Aatash

Kashmir is a place endowed by divinity from every niche. From eons valley has been witnessing umpteen legendary writers, scholars and poets. Besides breathtaking, splendiferous natural beauty, Kashmir has rich historical traditions. Folklore is one of the important parts of our culture which is passed down from generation to generation. Folklore is an oral history preserved by the people; these[Read More…]

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A Sampling of 1970s Bengali Songs of Pintu Bhattacharya: an Obscure Star of the Post-Renaissance Musical Age

A Sampling of 1970s Bengali Songs of Pintu Bhattacharya: an Obscure Star of the Post-Renaissance Musical Age

Following the renaissance epoch of Bengali vocal music between 1900-1950, established by key creative figures such as Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Dwijendralal Roy (1863-1913), Rajanikanta Sen (1865-1910), Atul Prasad Sen (1871-1934) and Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976), five compositional geniuses who blazed their trails into musical history, and to whom Bengal’s musical heritage owes its identity to this day–there occurred an expected[Read More…]

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Garnering Acquittal

Garnering Acquittal

A black father is gone A black husband is gone A black friend is gone A black human is gone He couldn’t breathe He said as much They cared enough To kill him Unsafe Even in your own skin Dead Leaving your kin Remorse is absent Like after stepping on an ant Go, go home Be with your loved ones[Read More…]

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Poet from Jharkhand bags Sahitya Akademi award for poem with universal appeal

Poet from Jharkhand bags Sahitya Akademi award for poem with universal appeal

For decades in India, the Adivasi identity has been appropriated and exploited for political and economic gains.The diverse culture of tribal people in the country has been commodified, packaged and labelled with an umbrella-term, which does little to help their cause. At the same time, the mainstream media and literary discourse has largely ignored Adivasi literature. But that is beginning[Read More…]

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Before the Jasmine Bloom: Leyla Bouzid’s “As I Open My Eyes”

Before the Jasmine Bloom: Leyla Bouzid’s “As I Open My Eyes”

Tunisian film world is witnessing a surge in production with a variety of themes, which were not usually allowed for quite a long, triggering what is called ‘a post-revolution cinema revival.’ According to producer Habib Attia, “Since 2011, one of the most tangible benefits we’ve seen is the ability to talk about all topics, especially themes of society, our daily[Read More…]

Yes, As We Speak

Yes, As We Speak

Yes, as we speak horrid things are happening Right under our very gaze Yes, as we speak brutality is sport And the children suffer as they have before Is the noise of violence that which defines us? Or is it the silence that lets the noise grow? Is there really a tale of Love in this mess? Or is the[Read More…]

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Lalla – The Origin

Lalla – The Origin

Makuris Zan Mal Tcholum Manas Ada Mya Labum Zanis Zaan Su Yeli Dyuenthum Nishi Paanas Sorui Suie Ti Bi Na Kehn   My inner self got laved and purified About HIM then patently I came to know And when I saw HIM nigh to me HE was everything everywhere and I nought From the very beginning Kashmir is known for[Read More…]

Savarna middle class and Article 15: Puncturing the ‘politics’ in the political

Savarna middle class and Article 15: Puncturing the ‘politics’ in the political

Article 15 is one of the few movies in commercial Bollywood cinema in recent times that talks about caste. However, it talks about caste using specific lingo and tropes that sit well with the world view of the urban, savarna, multiplex-frequenting, post-liberalization middle class. Far from triggering discomfort in their accumulated privileged world, the movie in its chilling Netflix thriller-esque style[Read More…]

Why the movies like ‘Article 15’ do not jolt but solidify casteism?

Why the movies like ‘Article 15’ do not jolt but solidify casteism?

Article 15 is an attempt to glorify the ‘harmonious’ varna vyavastha, film maintains deafening silence when it comes to questioning the caste structure itself.   Article 15, a movie directed by Anubhav Sinha, faced angry protesters after the release of its trailer. Hindutva supporters felt that their old age traditions and culture are being questioned and successively ridiculed. Article 15[Read More…]

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Fireworks behind statue of liberty

Independence July 4, 2019

Today we will name The Day of Peace. And when tomorrow becomes today The Day of Social Justice.   When the weekend rolls around first will be The Day of the Council of All Beings followed by The Day of Love our Neighbors along with The Love of Strangers.   To start the new week Day of Earth First. Then[Read More…]

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Article 15 

Article 15 

“We became Harijan (Mahatma Gandhi used to address Dalits as people of God, Harijan) or bahujan (many people) but we never became the people, “says the activist. And so the Dalits remain marginalized in our Bharat & never mainstream. The film Article 15 by director Anubhav Sinha is overflowing with such innumerable dialogues which are right on spot .And there are many scenes, which are symbolic[Read More…]

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Unda: Of threats, real and perceived

Unda: Of threats, real and perceived

How would you take a police story without the usual masculine derring-do or hifalutin dialogues that appeal to lowbrow tastes?Unda, the Mammotty-starrer Malayalam movie directed by Khalid Rahman, is not a police story per se. There is no mystery involved, nor is there an investigation that keeps you on tenterhooks. The plot is simple. A contingent of nine-member policemen from[Read More…]

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Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

A Walk Between Love and Hate

The love that you gave me Was more than what I could handle For I do not know How to return your love So, I placed your love in a fixed deposit And I do not dare to open the deposit In the bank of love where I did not belong. The hatred that you showered on me Could ignite[Read More…]

Courtesy: https://metro.co.uk/ (screenshot)

Et tu, Dalai Lama?

Disturbing though are Dalai Lama’s recent public views[i] That Europe would be teeming with Muslims& Africans If refugees continue to be let in that Continent Without a return ticket in their pockets   Pray why should you think that it would be wrong To allow persecuted Muslims & Africansasylum or refugee status Have you forgotten that as a Tibetan Monk[Read More…]

Bollywood And Its Cultural Biases

Bollywood And Its Cultural Biases

Caste, gender and religious biases are a norm in Bollywood. Ofcourse, there was a time when cinema sophistry was due to the beauty of Urdu language as Yusuf Khan, Naushad, Sahir, Kaifi Azami, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Gulam Mohammad, Mehboob, Kamal Amrohi, and so many others were part of it. Even the non Muslims used to speak Urdu and the script[Read More…]

Image courtesy: The Statesman

The Constitution Of India Is More Powerful Than An AK47!

In such troubled times More so than at any time in the past The Constitution of India shall be our shield Against all oppressive/repressive acts   Of communal/caste/racial hatred or bias On religious minorities/ subordinate castes/tribals On women/LGBTQIA community/differently abled And on workers/farmers/toiling masses   I shall stand up for my constitutional rights And of those less privileged And shall[Read More…]

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Global South and Political Oppositional Cinema

Global South and Political Oppositional Cinema

Films from the Global South (such as that of Latin America, Asia and Africa) seldom receive the kind of acceptance the Anglo-American English movies get across the world. The international film festivals may be an exception where the ‘best’ from such countries is recognised, and it is here that some enthusiastic cinephiles get an opportunity to experience these movies. But[Read More…]

Once Upon a Time Never Comes Again: Bob Dylan,A Masked Man in Search of Redemption?

Once Upon a Time Never Comes Again: Bob Dylan,A Masked Man in Search of Redemption?

“He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it.” – George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant” The lobby of the temple of time travel called the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts was suffused with a nostalgic vibe tinged with the whiff of encroaching death when I walked in for The Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.  I[Read More…]

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Facing Violence with Music: The Story of Mikis Theodorakis

Facing Violence with Music: The Story of Mikis Theodorakis

21 Jun 2019:  Celebrating World Music Day These days internet can open up fascinating treasure-troves from the half-forgotten past. In a French archive one can watch a short documentary- “Nous Sommes Deux”, made almost 50 years ago by Robert Manthoulis for the French television. The title – “We are two” (in Greek, “Imaste dio”) is the first line of a[Read More…]

Trumped-up wars

Trumped-up wars

“Obey me or die!” the orange-haired man threatens the world. “My drones know you’re home, and my missiles don’t miss. I’m Commander in Chief, CinC for short. I’ll sink you into the sea, fry you crisp, burn you to dust with the push of a button. I’ll overthrow your governments, strangle your economies, jail your refugees. I’m the trumpet of[Read More…]

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Review: “Tales Of A City By The Sea” by Samah Sabawi – Palestinian Genocide & Palestinian Holocaust In Microcosm

Review: “Tales Of A City By The Sea” by Samah Sabawi – Palestinian Genocide & Palestinian Holocaust In Microcosm

“Tales Of A City By The Sea” by Gaza-born, Palestinian Australian playwright and poet, Samah Sabawi, is a simple but powerful play about the realities of life and love in the Gaza Concentration Camp that is ruled with an iron fist by Apartheid Israel. However fundamentally the play is about those who have choices and those who do not. Specifically[Read More…]

No modern-day historian held up the mirror to the ruptured spirit of our culture as fully as Eric Hobsbawm

No modern-day historian held up the mirror to the ruptured spirit of our culture as fully as Eric Hobsbawm

Hobsbawms’s posthumous collection of essays, ‘Fractured Times- Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century’(2013), is a tour de force of cultural history                              Eric Hobsbawm ( 9 June, 1917 – 1 October, 2012) In the preface to Fractured Times he wrote just days before his death, Eric Hobsbawm put his future reader on notice that it was going to be[Read More…]

Chotu, the homeless

Chotu, the homeless

They all called him Chotu. How and why the name came to stick, even he didn’t know. He wasn’t short. As an Indian, he was average in height. But he wasn’t an Indian, or was he? Well, even that wasn’t clear to him. The other day, the fat clerk at the aadhar office had refused to give a form because[Read More…]

Matryoshka (for Katya)

Matryoshka (for Katya)

Your eyes are the mystery you have willed them to be. From a distance, they are a breeze Bearing the scent of sandalwood, of ginger, Salty sea lather roasting in an oriental sun. When viewed directly, One sees the colors of a spice market Haloed in blue.   Your lips were formed in Russian forests, Kept moist by the same[Read More…]

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The Professor And The Poet: Reflections on Chomsky and Dylan

The Professor And The Poet: Reflections on Chomsky and Dylan

I have been pondering lately the significance of two elder visionaries who have exerted a lasting influence on me – Noam Chomsky (90) and Bob Dylan (77) – the former because he is an intellectual ‘rock of Gibraltar’ now in his ninth decade, and the latter because I recently saw the Nobel Laureate perform in concert more than half a[Read More…]

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Unfinished Portrait: Iraq and Afghanistan, 2012, with the performance occurring after sunset.

Loved Naught

you won’t leave me but you won’t love me just the same you will be there yet not there in the mediocrity of life we will live procreate and finish no ecstasies no abysses no heights of bliss no depths of despair we shall amble along life’s well trodden path walking in the footsteps of all those who lived and[Read More…]

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Clipped Wings

Clipped Wings

your wings are clipped woman you soaring bird have been dashed to the ground no price will save your person compromise compromise compromise the only panacea for lulled harmony debasement self-effacement take the cue woman your only chance your days numbered your time monitored you don’t even know if you can come or go at the end of it all[Read More…]

Nazrul Islam – The bard of Bengal

Nazrul Islam – The bard of Bengal

‘I sing the song Of equality : In my view gender difference is essentially a triviality. Everything that is great in the world, all the works, beneficial and good, half must be credited to woman, and to man, half only we should. (Original: ‘Nari’ ( Bengali) Translator : Mohammad Omar Farooq ) PoemHunter.com This is a reflection of Kazi Nazrul[Read More…]

AS WE SAY – Have a good day

AS WE SAY – Have a good day

A day without hatred or fear a day without prejudice, suspicion or persecution a day without being lied to being swindled or mislead a day without bullying, without abuse, violation violence or murderous terror without the trauma of affliction without humiliation and without a loss of love. A day so natural that the sun rises in the east over the[Read More…]

A Psychological Disorder

A Psychological Disorder

A psychological disorder is ruling us Which looks at others as disorders Orderly men hung themselves Others were ordered to be relieved From their existence with empty promises. The images of the order surround us In petrol stations, bus stands and railway stations On the streets, on newspapers and television sets His voice blasts on our ears With promises unwilling[Read More…]

A Beautiful Journey

A Beautiful Journey

A journey through the hills, waters, fields, cities and towns A journey through the pains, sufferings, anger and anguish A journey through laughter, joy, intimacy, bonding and hatred A journey through the wilderness of thoughts and actions A journey through images, words, music and colours This train of life is beautiful to remember. The passengers come and go Some look[Read More…]

Photo by Volunteer BC

To a Friend in Hospice Care – At Easter

You’ve blessed so many, Henry, whom you do not know, Together with your family and every friend. We won’t forget you, even when it’s time to go. In loving memories, good lives don’t ever end. You’ve lived well, Henry, without benefit of fame— The fate of most on turbulent, huge, teeming Earth; But human worth is far more than a[Read More…]

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Dmitry Vlasov- It is a Fish Eat Fish World

Dmitry Vlasov- It is a Fish Eat Fish World

A Comparative Analysis of Bishop’s “The Fish” and Hughes’ “Pike” as Political Commentaries on Human Relations. Whatever the differences are between the two poems “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop, and “Pike”, by Ted Hughes there is a central idea that binds them together – life is a continuous painful struggle for survival. In this struggle for survival, there are winners[Read More…]

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TH Sreerama- RSS BJP: The real Tukde Tukde Gang

TH Sreerama- RSS BJP: The real Tukde Tukde Gang

We the Tukde Tukde gang Mentored by RSS Pracharaks And educated by Whaatsapp University and Fake news Media Do resolve to polarize the Society We specialize in accusing others Of breaking the country In the name of Tukde Tukde gang Without stating that we are the ones who do it We break the country In the name of Hindu-Muslim, Mandir-Masjid,[Read More…]

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Threat of advocates of ‘Hindu Rashtra’

Threat of advocates of ‘Hindu Rashtra’

They say Hindus are under threat And they will protect Hindus From onslaught and takeover of Muslims and Christians By establishing the Hindu Rashtra They say India is synonymous with Hindus India should mean rule by Hindus for the Hindus It is establishing a Hindu rule in the country Where all religious identities assimilate into a larger Hindu identity If[Read More…]

Purged

Purged

When the womb opens And bleeds again Irregular, untimely This cleansing, purging Innards Rumbling, pouring Not an end To a natural cycle Can you know? What your tantrums Torture and turns does Fear churns out Its own poison And blood gushes out To release the tension It’s a considerate moment When, for a second You are shaken So you say[Read More…]

Props

Props

You were called Sophisticated Yes The chic clothes Were your props The perfume Your halo You carried yourself Well But then There were so many aids Stripped of them You panicked The person in you Had had Too many crutches The two feet The mind Were not enough You ran for cover Preeti Tej Singh has written two books of[Read More…]

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Do you really have a choice?

Do you really have a choice?

With empty stomachs and tattered clothes With lifeless eyes devoid of all hopes With dreams not daring to knock at your hearts Is hatred the lifeline you are really looking for? When the ‘accident of your birth’ decides your fate And even for that the fault is laid down at your gate When people look at you but do-not acknowledge[Read More…]

Claustrophobic

Claustrophobic

Your God looks Suffocated In his wooden frame Your God Gasps For air In his prison He looks crushed Beneath your Flowers, incense and offerings You are cruel To his ears With your Relentless chants Recitations and hymns Leave him alone Let him out He needs to breathe To live Preeti Tej Singh has written two books of poetry. The[Read More…]

Circumference

Circumference

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Reflections on American Politics

Reflections on American Politics

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha[Read More…]

Bar bar Modi sarkar

Bar bar Modi sarkar

Angela Ferrao is a Goa based cartoonist. https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns

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A Poor Woman

A Poor Woman

Your breasts Attract no attention Poor woman They are All dried up and loose Black and filthy You yawn You scratch The miserable wretch Tugs at it No milk in it mother He says The men look With disdain And the women Walk past with indifference You wonder Are these breasts only Or you too dead Preeti Tej Singh has[Read More…]

The Tale of Fickle and Staid – (A Parable)   

The Tale of Fickle and Staid – (A Parable)   

Once upon a time, in a far away land, high up in the mountains, there were two little villages named Fickle and Staid.  They were on opposite sides of a deep gorge, through which flowed an icy cold river.  Over the river a tiny little bridge connected the two towns.  The simple folk of both villages lived separate lives except[Read More…]

A Blurred Picture

A Blurred Picture

Ideas enlarge They blow out Of the illusive lens The brain is But a locked trove You are A blurred picture In the scope of my vision And my losing sight Has frozen in time You are no longer Caught Between flutter of eyelids There is only A scratched negative It’s a developmental failure It won’t Turn positive Preeti Tej[Read More…]

Keshta, old manservant of mine -Rabindranath Tagore- a narrative poem

Keshta, old manservant of mine -Rabindranath Tagore- a narrative poem

Keshta, old manservant of mine (Puratan Bhritya) Rabindranath Tagore- a narrative poem Translated by ©Monish R. Chatterjee (2019) Goblinesque of appearance, he was a fool beyond measure Anything went missing, screamed the mistress, “Keshta stole our treasure.” From dawn till dusk, I swore on his father’s name- barely any heed he paid The caning exceeded his earning, yet witless was[Read More…]

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A Collector’s Delight: 21 Films by K.P. Sasi

A Collector’s Delight: 21 Films by K.P. Sasi

K.P Sasi is one of the unsung heroes of Indian parallel cinema movement. His repertoire of films are amazing. From feature films , music videos to a plethora of documentaries that touch every aspect of our lives. His films are a collectors delight. A Package of 21 Films Directed by K.P. Sasi Are Available. All these films are social issues[Read More…]

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Free Dreams

Free Dreams

This morning light is not enough For me to wake up My sleep is not yet over Do not disturb my dreams For they are more beautiful Than your reality And I do not have to pay for them. Welcome to the world of free dreams Take a room in this hotel of free dreams Order whatever you want You[Read More…]

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“Drops of Light”: A Meditation With Poetry, Photos, Music….

“Drops of Light”: A Meditation With Poetry, Photos, Music….

By Pilar Viviente and Gary Steven Corseri   Pilar Viviente: Winter tree in Spring light Ready to wake up after Winter No birds yet hopping on the tree But how beautiful you are! Gary Steven Corseri: Tree unblossomed, whose feather-branches brush the morning air…to wake the rocky, sleeping giant, stirring under the blue-pink sky as the waves lap, and clouds[Read More…]

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Midnight Sky

Midnight Sky

A ghazal for Muslim victims of hatred in Christchurch, NZ, March 15, 2019   Each cosmic conflagration in the midnight sky Helps sketch a constellation in the midnight sky. Dim, bright, small points of light light years apart comprise Apparent aggregations in the midnight sky. Imagined beings, mythic heroes, mesmerize, Impart more fascination to the midnight sky. Far, far above[Read More…]

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Image Courtesy Live Law - http://www.livelaw.in/cms/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Beef-Ban-Cartoon-min.jpg

Is neutrality still desirable? 

When hate becomes institutionalized And love is forced to look for places to hide If such a scenario you encounter, is neutrality still desirable?   With cries for war all around And the feeblest voice for peace also drowned If such a scenario you encounter, is neutrality still desirable?   When lies are awarded generously And truth just looks on[Read More…]

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The Cawing of the Crow

The Cawing of the Crow

In time its caws roused me from my ritual morning immersions: sipping coffee, lacing words together, drawing them like fingers Across the surfaces of life, Yet remaining untouched.   How long it cried out for my attention Before I walked to the window to confront it, I do not know, but I knew it was me it had called.  [Read More…]

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Search

Search

Jesus came to me I did not recognise him Marx came to me I did not recognise him Ambedkar came to me I did not recognise him Gandhi came to me I did not recognise him Buddha came to me I did not recognise him Then, I came to me `Who are you?’ I asked ‘I am you…!’ He said[Read More…]

Social Conflicts And Sahir Ludhianvi’s Thoughts

Social Conflicts And Sahir Ludhianvi’s Thoughts

‘Khuda-e-Bartar teri zameen par zameen ki khatir yeh jung kyoon hai? Har ek fatah-o-zafar ke daaman pe khoon-e-insaan ka rang kyon hai? O Lord Almighty, on your land, why is this war raging to win a land? Why has every conqueror’s victory always been tainted with stains of human blood?) From lyrics of the film ‘ Taj Mahal(1963) Even after[Read More…]

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Shivaji-Utsav (Shivaji Festival) By Rabindranath Tagore

Shivaji-Utsav (Shivaji Festival) By Rabindranath Tagore

                       A few distant centuries ago, on a nondescript day I can barely imagine Upon what craggy hilltop, within a dense sunless forest O sovereign Shivaji Lightning-like, across your forehead, there flashed The thought from above- “With a singular religious thread, this torn up, fragmented Bharata, I shall bind in[Read More…]

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Warrior in a Murmuration of Snow Flakes

Warrior in a Murmuration of Snow Flakes

It was not a confused snow; Large flakes bobbing and drifting on meek drafts, Uncertain where to land. Nor was it a helpless snow, Each flake driven to its end By a commanding wind. Neither was it a diamond crystal snow, Each particulate sparkling in the light, As it blasted the skin like sand shot by its cruel wind. It[Read More…]

AZADI! BOLO AZADI!

AZADI! BOLO AZADI!

Wait! Wait! Wait! For what? Again another debate? Where plots are set for an organised lie Tantrums of intellectuals, leaving others to die Fire is all set to burn the city Ignoring all the screams in its vicinity Poverty claims who is going to be its next prey Heads gamble lives, Azaadi stands far away Barren hearted farmer walks restlessly[Read More…]

When They Went to Slaughter Communists

When They Went to Slaughter Communists

A Poem After Martin Niemoller’s First They Came for the Communists. When they went to South Korea to slaughter Communists, they were ordered to “kill em all” . They did what they were told And slaughtered helpless innocents at No Gun Ri. I was too young to know or care. My indifference was clearly forgivable   By the time they[Read More…]

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Unconscious – ‘Dostoevsky’s And Freudian’

Unconscious – ‘Dostoevsky’s And Freudian’

Critique of Waldo Frank- TOPICS: Freud, psychoanalysis, modernism. By Waldo Frank, ISSUE: Autumn 1934 Volume 10 # 4,PUBLISHED: March 31, 2010 It was 1928, Freud’s Essay, ‘Dostoevsky and Patricide’ appeared in 1928 as Case Study or Case History, which opened up floodgates of controversies and debates. Freud’s cautious and slightly hesitant identification of Dostoevsky’s mental illness, in all probabilities as[Read More…]

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Brexit Brings May Woes

Brexit Brings May Woes

Angela Ferrao is a cartoonist. https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns

A Prayer!

A Prayer!

A: The United States has dropped bombs on innocent people including children in Iraq. We should do something. B: Yes, you are right. We must pray. A: Over one hundred people died waiting in queues during the implementation of demonitisation. B: Yes. We must pray. A: Thousands of farmers are committing suicide in India. B: How sad ! We must[Read More…]

Harappa To Ayyappa

Harappa To Ayyappa

Harappa! We are all your descendants You shepherded the first civilization You built the first city in the East You domesticated the early animals Goat, sheep, buffalo, dog and donkey. You made the first pot, brick, bronze tools You built the first tank, boat and building. You were God’s Own Man. Brahma came and burnt all your civilization Indra damaged[Read More…]

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Photo by wolfgangfoto

The Birch in Winter

As the snow lands soft on my face,
The memory suffices.
The gray becomes bearable,
and I find myself satisfied.

The Shock

The Shock

When can I forget losing my mother
Perhaps, only after losing myself
When should a flower merge with the sand
Still watching the plant remain.

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P. K. Rosy: A dalit actress in film world

P. K. Rosy: A dalit actress in film world

Many women have struggled to come up in the tinsel world of film industry. The #Me Too movement has exposed how domination of male led many women to terminate their careers or compromise and continue in the field. Being a dalit woman makes it all the more difficult to survive. In the face of such uncomfortable conditions, P. K. Rosy[Read More…]

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Visual Politics of Iranian Cinema: Social Class in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’

Visual Politics of Iranian Cinema: Social Class in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’

Iranian movies receive widespread critical acclaim and popularity in the global space for its creative richness, honesty and the striking blend with reality. These movies are regarded as some of the finest piece of artistic expressions that has come out from the global visual scape. The achievements and recognition can be attributed to the legendary filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Dariush[Read More…]

Movie Review: “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” directed by Hal Roach

Movie Review: “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” directed by Hal Roach

I am fond of telling my great grand children that when and where I grew up, there were no mobile phones (in fact, we had no phone at all), there were no computers, and for a long time, there wasn’t even a radio because neither my grandparents or I spoke English. I was born in America, but English was my[Read More…]

Mrinal Sen, Calcutta, 1978

Mrinal Sen: “A perfect combination of a wise-old-man and completely young at heart”

“I don’t agree with Godard when he says that the cinema is a gun. That is too romantic an expression. You can’t topple a government or a system by making one “Potemkin”. You can’t do that with ten “Potemkins”. All you can do is create an environment in which you can discuss a society that is growing undemocratic, fascistic.” –[Read More…]

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Rounded

Rounded

When a child, she ran the mountains with the dogs. The only voice she heard were those of the toothless old woman, The old man, frail as a robin’s bone, dry coughing, dry coughing. No boxes spoke to her, no images existed that were not there and then. Mystery lived in every unopened bud; she shelled okra So its secrets[Read More…]

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Suspending Choice: The Patrick Melrose Series

Suspending Choice: The Patrick Melrose Series

Ashes, even when washed way, can haunt the living.  A cracked Patrick Melrose has come to retrieve the cremated remains of this late father. He is addicted, indulgent, outrageous. He drinks and doses to excess; his moments of brief sobriety are nothing more than painful interludes in poor living and self-inflicted disgrace.  Painful lucidity is tampered with; the moments he[Read More…]

Photo by MarioGuti / iStock.

Audit of Human Life

Make an audit of the profit and loss account
From the time of evolution of human life
And the loss of lives of humans and other species
Due to the evolution of human race

Your life and mine deserve nothing better

Than a place in the dustbins that humans failed to create.

A Laughter From The Sky

A Laughter From The Sky

The shattered pieces of a mirror
Lay at the feet of Sabari.
She looked at the pieces
And wept with her heart.

Forget History! Write Literature

Forget History! Write Literature

A fortnight back, a single column news item in newspapers announced the death of Mushirul Hasan, an Indian historian and former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia and author of a dozen and half books. His forte has been Islam in South Asia, communalism and birth of India and Pakistan as independent dominions. Except for some occasional remarks in sync[Read More…]

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Fifty Years of a Revolutionary Tree

Fifty Years of a Revolutionary Tree

We still remember
The wailing of standing tree
When you were tied
And brutally murdered

Reminder

Reminder

For this term of your life
An imagination incomplete
And an unfinished existence
Like the half burnt bodies
Which float on the breasts of Ganga river
Swatch Bharat Ki Jai
For a collection of currency notes
Of no value.

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Taking ‘Koshur’ Literature To World

Taking ‘Koshur’ Literature To World

Some ten years back, I reviewed, ‘Journey into Islam, the Crisis of Globalization’ (2007) the first of series of three books written by Prof Akbar Ahmed, an American scholar seeking to establish a dialogue and understanding between the West and Islam. And to find answers for the hatred and mistrust between Muslims and the West intensified after the September 11-[Read More…]

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Pondering Around

Pondering Around

A life was pondering around
Between the sky and the earthworms
Neither there nor here
A life destined to be
Meaningful or meaningless

Translating Habba Khatoon, A Praiseworthy Attempt by G R Malik

Translating Habba Khatoon, A Praiseworthy Attempt by G R Malik

Most of the readers, who are good at reading the literature written in their mother tongue or in a language they can read and comprehend well, feel it as an unnecessary step taken; and they often pose a question – “Why would someone translate a work of art from source language to any other language?” For such readers, the answer[Read More…]

Action and Thought

Action and Thought

Last night my mother came in my dreams
She asked me, why do you do what you do?
And I said
`Mother, I don’t do what I should do
And I do what I shouldn’t do’
She just smiled and said
`Do what you ought to do
and don’t do what you shouldn’t do’

From A Human Being To Being Human(e)

From A Human Being To Being Human(e)

In between lies man’s perennial striving
Out of mundane struggles of hell
To become the total man —
From a human being to being human(e)
That unlocks the door to Heaven!

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In One Voice

In One Voice

                 On a day when the skies had opened up in  Thiruvanathapuram on the eve of the beginning of the crucial month of Vrischikam, along the outskirts of the urban world, 500 children from different schools were preparing to travel into the city. They were carrying in their minds the tunes and words[Read More…]

The paradoxical anomaly – DEATH 

The paradoxical anomaly – DEATH 

The death of morality….
 the death of reasoning ….
The death of rationality ….
I am bizzare I am death !

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Artistic dilemma – The Passions of The Mind !

Artistic dilemma – The Passions of The Mind !

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain , as does failing to hear and see it ! ” – GUTAV KLIMT As I come across this quote from my favourite artist my eyes are drawn to the easel on which rests the long forgotten canvas with its half drawn lotus leaves and lotuses standing in solemn impeccable majesty -defeated[Read More…]

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The Mob

The Mob

“Who is that with the dagger?”
“I don’t know.”
“And who is that with the stick?”
“Sorry, don’t know.”
“Who is that with the sledgehammer?”
“Don’t know.”
“And look, who is that with the pen?”
“Oh, he? He’s a journalist.”

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Partition Angst in Annada Shankar Roy’s Nursery Rhyme

Partition Angst in Annada Shankar Roy’s Nursery Rhyme

A translation of Annada Shankar’s Teler Shishi with commentary The Jar of Oil Annada Shankar Roy Translated by Monish R Chatterjee   Little Khuku breaks a jar of oil, And here you are fighting mad Yet you, grown-up kids, breaking up, dividing our Bharat You say ain’t half as bad Well, what then? What then? What then?   There you go,[Read More…]

Harps of Kashmir Bleed!

Harps of Kashmir Bleed!

O Mother, do not cry
For I have died but the battle stays
My death is not the full stop
It’s just a question which you must ask!

A solemn heart, A shattered love story !

A solemn heart, A shattered love story !

Where do I begin To tell the story of how great a love can be The sweet love story that is older than the sea The simple truth about the love she brings to me……. (Love story ) The natural disasters #me too the #sabrimala the #all women bleed , the rapes and molestations , nuns , the talaq the[Read More…]

Orson Welles, Broadcasts and Fake News

Orson Welles, Broadcasts and Fake News

Orson Welles’ spectral return to the screen, ingeniously in posthumous mode, should have come as a comfort to the magicians skilled in the arts of trickery.  Beyond the grave, he seems to be exerting a continuing influence, with his film, The Other Side of the Wind making its debut after 48 torrid years at the Telluride Film Festival.  His delight[Read More…]

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I cry out to you dear father….

I cry out to you dear father….

You said “Find Yourself in the Service of Others – to make a difference”
Sure you did not mean – “Make others serve you till he is lost”
I cry out to you to come back, dear father
For a satyagraha to relieve us from our own oppression

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Where will you sleep? ( A question to Mahatma )

Where will you sleep? ( A question to Mahatma )

When communal frenzy Was at its peak And hatred led to Massacres of Innocents While India celebrated It’s ‘ freedom at Midnight’, You slept with Strife – torn victims When communal frenzy Is at its peak , Caste conflicts, lynchings, Communal violence Continue unabated, While those who supported Your murderers Are ‘ celebrating ‘ your birth anniversary Where will you[Read More…]

Nostalgia and Sunshine: Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black

Nostalgia and Sunshine: Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black

This effort seems to be a bit of camping out on the part of director Bruce Beresford, whose list of cinematic achievements include Driving Miss Daisy and Breaker Morant.  There are many smiles, a few distributed tears and occasional sighs of regret, but generally speaking, little by way of controversial stings.  Ladies in Black, in other words, is all entertainment[Read More…]

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A Dissenting Note On Carnatic Music And Attack On It By Fundamentalists

A Dissenting Note On Carnatic Music And Attack On It By Fundamentalists

Dear Aruna Roy, I received your statement “Reclaiming our Heritage: Statement condemning the attack on classical musical expression in south India” for endorsement. As you are aware, I grew up immersed in (or force fed) Carnatic music for the first 20 years of my life. I have attended perhaps a thousand concerts in that period, not all out of choice. Long[Read More…]

Photo Credit -India Water Portal

Black holes

Fascinated by black holes Which do not allow even light Ray’s To pass? They are hypothetical Scientific marvel…. Look at the real holes On Earth …. They drag red blooded human ‘stars’ Squeeze their lives Leave their families In tatters! Look at the forced labor Cleaning humus and sewer Entering death traps Breathing stench with excreta …. No statistics or[Read More…]

Curl in dog’s tail

Curl in dog’s tail

The narrative is the story of a community of people , Dogistan, named after the dogs that its every household owns. The Dogistan’s dogs are of two kinds: tailless and curly tailed dogs. The former are gentle and docile,  while latter are very mean and abject.  The curly tailed dogs outnumber the tailless dogs.  A Dogistani lady,  Miss Ruby,   does[Read More…]

A newspaper page from 1980s about the movies then on display in various cinema halls of Kashmir

Kashmir’s Celluloid Years

The beginning and the end of cinema halls in Kashmir is linked with the turmoil it has witnessed for about nine decades now. During the early 1930s, when Kashmir was passing through an uncertain situation following the massacre of about two dozen unarmed civilians on 13 July 1931 and the consequent public revolt against an autocratic rule, a Punjabi speaking[Read More…]

Fear Is The Key

Fear Is The Key

Do not be afraid, my dear For your fear is what they want And if you agree with them You will become a stagnant slave. Do not become a slave, my child For your slavery is what they want And if you agree with them You will vanish from this landscape. Do not vanish my darling For your disappearance is[Read More…]

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The flood in Aluva – A Glimpse

The flood in Aluva – A Glimpse

The water rose in our house to the first floor The water came suddenly from the river to where it had never come before as the dam had been unleashed into it and it had overflowed even to the midst of the town We left without further ado An old man and an old woman a daughter and her husband[Read More…]

A Writer’s Last Port of Call: V.S. Naipaul

A Writer’s Last Port of Call: V.S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul, the Nobel winning author who just died, was, like so many people, an enigma, at least in his writing. Lauded for his prose style and exquisite way with words, he was seriously criticized for his demeaning of Islam, women, Africans, and others in post-colonial countries, including the Caribbean from whence he came. Such criticism was amply justified. [Read More…]

Of ‘Mulk’, and the ‘Garm Hava’ of the Times we Live In, waiting for the ‘Naseem’ to Blow

Of ‘Mulk’, and the ‘Garm Hava’ of the Times we Live In, waiting for the ‘Naseem’ to Blow

The iconic poster of that memorable film ‘Garm Hava’(hot winds), with the inimitable Balraj Sahni’s grim face and downcast, apparently moist eyes reflecting a quiet determination, has these lines on it in comparatively small print: ‘…. every pain of mine,                           I hid even from myself.’ The recently released ‘Mulk’, in some ways reminds one of ‘Garm Hava’- and these[Read More…]

BEASTS…!!

BEASTS…!!

Will all the detergents and
Oceans full water of the world
be sufficient to wash away
The stains of sins
That are committed by these beasts..
On women of this country?

Lillian Hellman’s Days to Come

Lillian Hellman’s Days to Come

                         In 2017, Sweat won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Playwright Lynn Nottage based her play on interviews with steelworkers in Reading, Pennsylvania, conducted in 2011, at a time when the U.S. Census Bureau officially ranked Reading as one of the poorest cities in America.  Nottage cast her factory[Read More…]

Trees. the first victims of ‘development

Trees. the first victims of ‘development

Just because we don’t hear them scream in pain doesn’t mean they don’t feel the sharpness of the axe. Trees. the first victims of ‘development.’

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Review, Summery and Evaluation of- Music beyond Boundaries- Hindi Film Songs by Ashok Da Ranade

Review, Summery and Evaluation of- Music beyond Boundaries- Hindi Film Songs by Ashok Da Ranade

It is mandatory to introduce India’s most versatile Musicologist and who has authored one of the finest musicological Research venture for the benefit of  the International and Indian Music Lovers of Hindi Music Songs. Here is an attempt to grasp the Origins and historical dynamics and transformations of Hindi Film Music into a great Modern Cultural phenomena. The idea germinated[Read More…]

The River of Life – Cultures of Resistances Down the Ages

The River of Life – Cultures of Resistances Down the Ages

Some stories say that Saraha was a Prince. Some stories say that he was born in a family of arrow-makers. At times, even the same stories, in different telling, tell different tales. Some say he lived in the 9th century AD. Some say, in the 10th. Some even say that he was from sometimes between the 10th & the 11th[Read More…]

I Am Not Hungry Anymore…..

I Am Not Hungry Anymore…..

I knew the alphabet from A to Z I could also recite it in reverse right from Z to A But I didn’t know so many combinations of the alphabet were possible When joined together they could form such big meaningful words ICDS and ICPS – the difference of but a letter yet two big independent things they say One[Read More…]

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Lynch Mobs

Lynch Mobs

When a perfectly ordinary bunch of people turn into bloodthirsty mobs. A stranger becomes the object of bottomless hate. Angela Ferrao is an independent editorial cartoonist. https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns

Ionesco’s play shows we can stand Up to fascism

Ionesco’s play shows we can stand Up to fascism

The Hindutva forces now expect every one to fall in line with their thinking. But they will not succeed. This reminds me of a play Rhinoceros written by Eugene Ionesco, a French-Romanian, a major playwright in the tradition of the theatre of the Absurd In this play over a period , every one turns from a human being into a[Read More…]

Irumbu Thirai removes the curtain that hides a dark world

Irumbu Thirai removes the curtain that hides a dark world

“Neither can you hide; nor can you run” is the popular slogan of the Tamil reality show- Bigg Boss, spinoffs of the Hindi and English version. IrumbuThirai (literally translating to iron curtain) is a film that accurately juxtaposes this slogan with the digital world. By amalgamating contemporary conceptions and controversies around Cambridge Analytica, UIDAI’s Aadhar, digital privacy, NaMO’s Digital India,[Read More…]

Dropout from WhatsApp education academy

Dropout from WhatsApp education academy

I’ve dropped out of regular learning From WhatsApp Education Academy I will now be dabbler, an occasional Visitor, an irregular scholar I have decided to manage my own consumption of information Away from device dependency, I will regain my ability to remember and store memories, and give myself more time for contemplation, time-in-nature, reading books and face-to-face social interaction I[Read More…]

Church and state only applicable to some

Church and state only applicable to some

Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Felipe Neri Ferrao’s pronouncements about the Indian Constitution being in danger created a furor in the media. Apparently the Catholic church in Goa is only supposed to boost tourism. Angela Ferrao is an independent editorial cartoonist. https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns

Vedic Chants For Better Crops!

Vedic Chants For Better Crops!

Vijai Sardesai the leader of Goa Forward,wants farmers to chant ‘vedic hymns’ for better crops..if the same worked for good governance! Angela Ferrao is an independent editorial cartoonist. https://www.facebook.com/Ferraodesigns

Fake News

Fake News

Spreading the news which is Fake Being promoted for the divisive Sake Selling like a hot Cake It is time to be Awake Through producing the fake News To spread the hatred Views Building the lynching Queues By eradicating the cognitive Fuse Serving the Saffron Ring Masters Creating the lie Posters Under the direction of Communal Promoters It is time[Read More…]

 A Critical Discourse On Dalit Literature and Literary Theory

 A Critical Discourse On Dalit Literature and Literary Theory

According to the hymn in India, Brahmin were born from the mouth of Brahma, Kshatriyas were born from his shoulder, Vaishyas from his thighs, while the Shudras were born from his feet. Therefore, the Brahmin are considered as most superior, while the Shudras are at the lowest position in hierarchy. Shudras were considered to be the untouchables and were named[Read More…]

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Somen Chanda

Rats: A Story by Somen Chanda

Have you heard of Caudwell and Conford? Of Ralf Fox? Do you know of Federico Garcia Lorca? These martyrs had reddened Spain The green olive forests are red Mothers lost children, lose children, Yet I say, good days approach Come, let’s go touch their blood And write, with that blood, a song for the good days.   The original Bangla[Read More…]

Shantanu Kamble – An Inspiring Dalit Writer

Shantanu Kamble – An Inspiring Dalit Writer

Dalit movement has produced great writers who expressed the pain of being discriminated in poignant prose and verse. Among those inspiring writers is Shahir Shantanu Kamble who was known as ‘ vidrohi kavi’ passed away.(maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com). He was only 39 years old. His passing away is a jolt to ambedkarite movement. He belongs to the tradition of ‘ vidroh shahiri’ ([Read More…]

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Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?

Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?

By the time I reached Episode Four in this ten-episode film, I concluded it should not be touted as an Emmy Award winning documentary. Episode Four “Resolve,” is the story of 1966, a year that the producers of this film have designated as the time when doubt began to worm its way into American troops. This doubt sows the breeding[Read More…]

Welcome to the New India

Welcome to the New India

The freely lynching Babus To the molesting Babas Highly protected Gau Matas To the disappearing Anna Datas   Where reality becomes a Fake And sells like a hot Cake Creating a country of communal Make Never ever to be socially Awake   Here Mythology turns to History And History becomes a Mystery Fake science is sweetened like a Pastry And[Read More…]

The contingent mysticism of Art

The contingent mysticism of Art

Carl Schmitt, renowned for his wide ranging critique of liberalism, once famously said,” All true politics is based on the distinction between a friend and an enemy.” Explicating his concept of the ‘political’, Schmitt further argues that it is not possible to analyse a thing from a non-political or a post-political prism. He uses the friend-enemy binary to underline this[Read More…]

Medieval Rohingya Poetry

Medieval Rohingya Poetry

People from the Ra-khin countries are called Ra-khin-ye – or the Rohingya. In vernacular Bengali, we had learnt of the place as the Arakan Valleys that lie to the east of Bangladesh – beyond the southern hilly walls of Chittagong. We had surmised that the Arakan must have been a great melting pot of Buddhism, Islam and the tribes. Buddhist[Read More…]

 I Ask That A Proper Play About Muslims Be Written

 I Ask That A Proper Play About Muslims Be Written

“To think that we can understand Islam through current headlines and the conflicting opinions of political pundits is sheer illusion. But the misrepresentations embedded in many scholarly tomes from prestigious institutions create even more problems.” — Richard Martin Oxman Some citizens in Europe and the United States have engaged in ugly debates about whether or not they ought to welcome[Read More…]

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A Love Song to Americans

A Love Song to Americans

It doesn’t matter that the wars are coming It doesn’t matter that the wars just came It doesn’t matter that we had our warning To you all wars are just the same   I thought you really loved me I thought you really cared I thought that when the bombs were falling You’d shelter me when I was scared  [Read More…]

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Searing Scenario in Seraing for All of Us

Searing Scenario in Seraing for All of Us

Special note: Don’t read about any of the films mentioned here prior to watching them. This “review” won’t spoil anything. “I remember loving The Promise over twenty years ago.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel “The Son is my favorite work of theirs.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor When we first meet Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel) of the Dardennes brothers’ The Unknown Girl (La Fille Inconnue) — the smart, uncompromising[Read More…]

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Fifty Years without You in this Wilderness

Fifty Years without You in this Wilderness

[This poem was written in remembrance of half-a-century since the passing of my mother, a most remarkable woman the world did not get to know (reminds me much of Thomas Gray’s famous Elegy with the potent lines: Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear: Full many a flow’r is born to blush[Read More…]

A Passing Thought in the Age of Terror

A Passing Thought in the Age of Terror

  “Those with no sides and no causes.  Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness.  Those who don’t like to make waves – or enemies.  Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature.  Those who live small, mate small, die small.  It’s the reductionist approach to life: if[Read More…]

Salutes to Karl Marx

Salutes to Karl Marx

Calling for a better World A world filled with utmost humanity Completely free from the oppressive structures And exploitative relations among humans   Where sharing and caring Is integral to human society Where social benefit and humanitarian values rules Eradicating the systemic flaws of the past   Where artificial divisions among humans become a past And social relations are democratised[Read More…]

The Future Works ….

The Future Works ….

  Yes! There are atrocities Rapes Murders Lynchings ….. But Also there are protests Agitations Strikes Struggles …. Egging on the masses For future peaceful lives Though the ‘ opium’ of religion Is engulfing the world over People are coming out of intoxication To challenge the fanatic power The legacy of Marx Unites the workers To observe May day With[Read More…]

Rape Republic

Rape Republic

                                                              women are flesh, maidens are meat. living as women is living hell. demons are gods, gods are satans in the people’s republic, rape republic. a toxic state in state toxic.[Read More…]

The Agony And The Ecstacy

The Agony And The Ecstacy

“Drawing is the poet’s written line, set down to see if there be a story worth telling , a truth worth revealling ” – Irving stone From within the unfathomable deep depths ,flows the esoteric river of inspiration through the heart /mind of an artist ….that which cannot be contained but needs to flow on its own terms and conditions[Read More…]

Rabindranath Tagore’s Hero Poems

Rabindranath Tagore’s Hero Poems

[While Tagore wrote extensively on philosophical exchanges between significant characters from India’s great epics, such as the Karna-KuntiSamvad, the vast compendium of his poetry is essentially reflective and non-historic.  He did, however, write a few tribute poems dedicated to heroic figures from India’s medieval years, including the Sikh hero, Banda Singh Bahadur, and the Maratha chief, ChhatrapatiShivaji.  In this sequence,[Read More…]

Dalit Writers: Struggle Against Social Discrimination

Dalit Writers: Struggle Against Social Discrimination

  Dalit writers are gaining prominence in modern literature. But their beginnings was not all that easy. They had to endure social stigma and isolation from society, especially the upper castes. Poets and their sufferings According to en.m.wikipedia, dalit literature started in the 1960s in Marathi language and quickly spread to other languages like Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Tamil.[Read More…]

Molest Me No More, Rape Me No More

Molest Me No More, Rape Me No More

Please allow me to walk the street Without being for your eyes a treat Don’t look down my shirt Don’t check the length of my skirt My bosom is round, my hips are tight But none of these are for your delight Burqua, jeans or any clothes are my fashion Why should I dress with caution? I may be a[Read More…]

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Asifa

Asifa

Asifa, I have no words to speak of or for you
I had planned to give up poetry
At the end of this month
This National Poetry Writing Month
Poetry is of no use
Words have no beauty
What I need is action to enthuse
My deeds have to fill the stage of this world
So that never again is there an Asifa.

In a Time of Endless Wars

In a Time of Endless Wars

  I write for the men of a thousand years hence— and the women—and their healthy children. And…, if you are suffering, if night is day and day is night, I will drink the cup of despair with you, for I have tasted of despair.   But…, if you are happy and wise, may my words animate your limbs; may[Read More…]

A Small Little Girl

A Small Little Girl

A Small little Girl
With innocent smile on her face
Goes to the Forest
To bring back the horses

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Coversations with an Indian male !

Coversations with an Indian male !

Ah ! The predicament of an engrossing coversation with an indian male The vicissitudes of rape ! A week does not go by without a ” RAPE ” being reported …. How does it get any better than this ! I wonder ! For a country of a billion souls ONE more case ? Well I say -‘ what’s new[Read More…]

Homeless

Homeless

Into the night he releases his wordless poem, rhythmic and perfectly metered; then pauses to consider it before a new trope of sound rises with the steam from his mouth.   This cold winter, this Moscow night, loneliness, or some ancient ache for belonging is our common inspiration. But I am the lesser poet, in need of words to beg[Read More…]

Representative Image

A Silent Statue

To Dalits, Muslims, subalterns,
To women, the poor, the marginalised sections,
You are a statue full of life
In this world of strife !!

Rape Victims

Rape Victims

Nirbhayas, Nancies and Asifas
Must be murdered
As a punishment to be born
A mere helpless girl ?
Unprotected, all unsecured
In her own volatile turf
Be it home, society, state or country
Until her society gives birth
To good and righteous people.

A Thousand Deaths And Still She Asks

A Thousand Deaths And Still She Asks

She speaks from my womb
Last time it was her entrails yelling
having been pounded, wrung and spread out to die
in wide eyed surprise
at yet another killing

As If a

As If a

As if a girl named Asifa does not exist, didn’t exist, will not exist
As if Asifa was never raped, never tortured, never ravaged
As if Asifa is a myth, a fantasy, a lie, a fading photo
As if we are we were we will be ……

The Wind Of Bad Breath

The Wind Of Bad Breath

Wind has no smell The aroma it spreads is from the Master’s garden. Nor has it any sound Music you hear in the wind is from the singing birds. Alas! Master’s garden has dried up And the birds sing no more! The crackling noise of the broken trumpet That you hear that hurts your eardrums Is from the oppressor’s loud[Read More…]

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Earth for Children

The earth is tired Of rotating around the sun For so many years For so many decades And for so many centuries. `Give me a break’, she cried `I am tired of this routine Going on serving others Like a selfless house wife No more will I withstand your marital rape You are not my husbands You are only my[Read More…]

Scandi Noir, Kim Wall and Murder

Scandi Noir, Kim Wall and Murder

Finland, a country noted for deep felt suicides executed during long dark winter months, has become the happiest nation on earth.  This statistical superstition, contrived to feed a social-media diet free of substance and light on evidence, belies one fundamental point: Scandinavia can boast its examples of curious killings and extravagant murders.  Little wonder, then, that there has been something[Read More…]

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Mungling Dreams

Mungling Dreams

  He slept as a truck driver with vertigo, in the Mungling lodge midday buffet of daal, bhat, tarkari and naked women, all left on their own. Dreamt he was asending to the heaven of prosperity on an escalator made out of her thighs holding The World Bank’s “Annual World Development Report” in his hand. Bhuwan Thapaliya was born in Kathmandu,[Read More…]

Between The ‘Spiritual’ And Material’ Assemblage Of ‘Violence’ Reading/Viewing S Durga

Between The ‘Spiritual’ And Material’ Assemblage Of ‘Violence’ Reading/Viewing S Durga

If “the brain is the screen, as Deleuze would have us believe, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s third venture, S Durga “both expresses and induces thought, as images at once move us and move in us.” The brain/screen assemblage is, for Deleuze, an event of images in motion, which is to say both that we think in moving images and that moving[Read More…]

Bastar Solidarity Literary Festival, Kolkata

Bastar Solidarity Literary Festival, Kolkata

The two day People’s Literary Festival, organised by the Kolkata Chapter of the Bastar Solidarity Network, is all set to roll. Very rarely do we come across a literature festival dedicated exclusively towards upholding and portraying narratives of people’s struggles and resistances against various oppressions. This politics of direct celebration of dialectical materialism through such a literature festival, of course,[Read More…]

Kumar Hassan

Interview With Kumar Hassan

KUMAR HASSAN,1962 is a well decorated poet, born in Samblpur Town and grew upin paternal hamlet on the bank of Hirakud Dam Reservoir,Bichchedgarh in Jharsuguda Dist. in Orissa. His father late Moulana Mustakim Khan Gountia was an eminent local amateur vocalist, instrumental music artist, astrologist and mother Late JubeidaBai a housewife. He has so far more than forty books both[Read More…]

 Dramatic Lime for the Slime

 Dramatic Lime for the Slime

“Do something fresh, Richard, for God’s sake!” — Lorraine Hansberry, an atheist, to the author in the early sixties… when he was a young instructor of Dramatic Art Let’s have a new kind of dramatic fare. The food served on stage these days is not very palatable for the people in my quarters, bogged down as they are with concern over our[Read More…]

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Acche  Din

Acche  Din

People are starving and some are doing so to death. People are homeless and living in streets. People are without jobs and are in poverty. (There are not enough jobs available.) Resource shortages (including water and food in some regions) are coming. Climate change is worsening in dire impacts. Elites want to set up mining, logging and other operations on[Read More…]

The Pigeons of Zhulebino

The Pigeons of Zhulebino

Those first days in Moscow,
they were the enemy:
their gray down gathering in corners
like the frail remains of long dead cicadas.
their dropping scarring the glass,
melding with black soot.

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The Good Times Are Here

The Good Times Are Here

Achhe din  Achhe din
The good times are here.
Modi is just like Santa Claus
spreading much good cheer.

To Rebel Is To Create

To Rebel Is To Create

To rebel is to create
To conform is to stagnate
To question is to know
To follow is support to status-quo
To doubt is to be radical
To undoubtedly assent is to be ‘practical’
To self-criticize is to grow
To self-eulogize is just to blow with the flow
So dare to think

Nullity Canceled

Nullity Canceled

We are little grains of sand in an endless beach.
Our unique and relative placement is of no account.
Swept along by tides of time,
Flung and refined (with the rough edges removed)
By harsh unyielding winds of change,
We exist here on no grounds save that we simply are.

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Man With The Solar Brain

Man With The Solar Brain

His brain awash with solar rays
The man with the solar brain
Walks past the cotton fields
And the mobile towers
Listening to the tweets and
The songs of extinct birds.

Art and Exploitation: Ai Weiwei, Dissidence and the Refugee Crisis

Art and Exploitation: Ai Weiwei, Dissidence and the Refugee Crisis

The status of dissident offers a certain moral latitude in behaviour, and, in various cases, misbehaviour. The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is one such figure. He is a feted figure of dissent of the Chinese political establishment, and celebrated by the artistic fraternity. He is the anointed and favoured contrarian.  “The one thing I should give the Chinese government credit[Read More…]

Mansoor Ahmad Mansoor: Doyen of Urdu Resistance Literature in Kashmir

Mansoor Ahmad Mansoor: Doyen of Urdu Resistance Literature in Kashmir

Resistance and protest is intrinsic to any literature. It has been there from time immemorial. Even most critics claim that literature is basically all about resistance and protest. But this is half truth as most of the romantic literature is not about any resistance if we analyse it in the modern sense of the meaning of resistance. We all know[Read More…]

Adirondack Night

Adirondack Night

The moon gently ascends out of a stand of quiet birch. It backlights them so the edge of each limb, twig and leaf Is momentarily light up and etched with dazzling white brillance. Drenched in light, each lacey bough stands out, blazing in vivid sharp detail. Then as the moon rises away, the birch gradually sink back to being a[Read More…]

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The Purse-seine

The Purse-seine

……I cannot tell you How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible, then, when the crowded fish Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall to the other of their closing destiny the phosphorescent Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body sheeted with flame, like a live rocket A comet’s tail wake of clear[Read More…]

Becoming Night

Becoming Night

The night is dense with thickening clouds That press downward against the earth; No light whispering winds glide across the darkening land. Only silent, transparent dimness reaches out From every direction To smoothly engulf everything. Melting the distinct contours of each shape Into one massive blackness, The night consumes everything And slowly becomes all that there is. Gradually my hands[Read More…]

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‘Echo from the Pukpui Skies’-that which is not mainstream is handled like a bomb-scare!

‘Echo from the Pukpui Skies’-that which is not mainstream is handled like a bomb-scare!

  Is there a possibility of recovering the poetry, the common possession of humanity, beyond attempts to construct meanings and achieve pre-assessed meanings? Joshy Joseph’s, taps into the kinetic deposits of memories (of the Mizo community), placing next to it and often, intermingling, interventions of Duniya Mikhail’s poetry (translated and recreated in Malayalam), and filmmaker’s own will to go beyond[Read More…]

The Treasure

The Treasure

Mountains, a moment’s earth-waves rising and hollowing; the earth too’s an ephemerid; the stars— Short-lived as grass the stars quicken in the nebula and dry in their summer, they spiral Blind up space, scattered black seeds of a future; nothing lives long, the whole sky’s Recurrences tick the seconds of the hours of the ages of the gulf before birth,[Read More…]

Manto: The Legend

Manto: The Legend

            Saadat Hassan Manto is considered one of the great short story writers of the world and righly so. It takes a long for a reader to come out of the magic of the short story of Manto, once he/she reads it. Manto’s characters speak of the language of this world and these characters are taken from this world. He[Read More…]

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The Syrian White Helmets at the Oscars . . . Again

The Syrian White Helmets at the Oscars . . . Again

This year, against the background of a massive US escalation of military force in Syria, “Last Men in Aleppo”, a documentary film about the White Helmets of Syria, has been nominated for an Oscar.   Last year, a documentary film called “The White Helmets” won an Oscar for documenting a story that had just unraveled after the liberation of east Aleppo.[Read More…]

Songs of the Dead

Songs of the Dead

Abandoned, forgotten passwords, we will be buried and burnt. Or replaced. Our laughter stripped of its sound bytes will freeze in frames. Our conversations will loiter in the marketplaces of lost cities Their wise songs have gone, dashed against cliffs. Wiping off dewdrops from grass lips, the day stretches. Its grayness splits. A bird sings from a branch. Both are[Read More…]

For Madhu: In Memory

For Madhu: In Memory

Headline: Adivasi Youth Beaten to death in Kerala – An adivasi youth Madhu (27) was beaten to death by settlers in the Adivasi heartland of Attapady, Kerala, for allegedly stealing food. The murderers took selfies with the victim and posted on social media. Countercurrents.org — February 23, 2018 in Human Rights Ancient people Exult in the forest, the land, the[Read More…]

When A Woman Laughs

When A Woman Laughs

There are hundreds of ways to silence a woman
stare her down if she happens to laugh out loud
in public space especially in the presence of men
where she should be whispering at side lines
make your dismay quite apparent
if it fails to mortify her

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If We Have To Survive

If We Have To Survive

The children will sleep tomorrow
Without the waves of the dead
Women will laugh tomorrow
Without bowing near the graves
If we hold our hands
For a new tomorrow
If we have to survive
To host the new flag of life.

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Venal Waste

Venal Waste

“What if someone offered you a job which paid a million bucks, but you knew it would kill a million people? How about if it meant the end to a hundred thousand, or, say, ten thousand… or a thousand? Would you take the job?” — Question posed by Alex Gibney to the author A new Netflix series kicks off with[Read More…]

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: The Fiery Conscience Of Our Times

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: The Fiery Conscience Of Our Times

  Faiz Ahmed Faiz—the poet, teacher, editor, freedom-fighter, dramatist, critic, progressive writer and Lenin Peace Prize recipient—is one of the greatest poets of the Indian subcontinent. He was not a mere dreamer of dreams but was an iconoclast who inspired a million mutinies. Great poets like Faiz are warriors and serve as the sentinels of the collective conscience of their[Read More…]

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 In Conversation With Hasan Abdullah,The Author of The Evolution of Ghalib

 In Conversation With Hasan Abdullah,The Author of The Evolution of Ghalib

Ghalib has fascinated generations of people and they have tried to understand/interpret his poetry in their own way. For any such individual it is really difficult to recollect when and how Ghalib entered her/his life and ensconced himself comfortably in one’s heart. This wanderer still faintly remembers how many of Ghalib’sshers were part of common parlance even in an area[Read More…]

My Lady Fingers Are Better Than My Bullets!

My Lady Fingers Are Better Than My Bullets!

Death pressed 3 bullets on an old man
The old man uttered two words
On a God that Death did not know
The old man did not die
He walked past with a smile.

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Alexander Blok by Russian photographer, (19th century); Private Collection.

Sacred Violence in Blok’s “The Twelve.”

        He was pious, but rarely went to Church and did not like priests. But he spoke with rapture about Christ. —Baron Vrangel on Dostoevsky. Alexander Blok’s narrative poem, “Twelve” is undoubtedly a central text of the Russian Revolution, an event that has served as one of the defining moments of the twentieth century. But since the[Read More…]

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Story Of A Communal Riot Victim

Story Of A Communal Riot Victim

Generations pass and lives change
But the seeds of hatred never lose its range
At the time of my death, it only appears strange
That for no fault of mine, I receive death in exchange

The Arithmetic of Protest

The Arithmetic of Protest

The pairs of feet that passed him by in a second
Equals 2 x 60x 60x24x 766 = 13,23,64,800, say 13 crores.
The 2011 census pegs the population of Kerala at 3.33 crores.
Which shows that Kerala trampled over him
four times in 766 days,
without seeing him.
That’s statistics for you.

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

Sinful

  I’m in with the in crowd I go where the in crowd goes I’m in with the in crowd And I know what the in crowd knows — opening lines to Dobie Gray’s The “In” Crowd “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’Connor “It’s not a popular notion, but no advance in social[Read More…]

We Keep Ourselves Peaceful

We Keep Ourselves Peaceful

Every action produces an effect and every effect
in turn becomes a cause and produces still further
effects, and causes, and effects, and causes, and
effects and causes…
Like spreading ripples of water

Newton And Democracy

Newton And Democracy

Most of the reviews or newspaper reports about Amit Masurkar’s Newton is about its entry to Oscar’s or it has been labelled as “black comedy”, “Satire” and the critics even went on to say that it has been plagiarised from an Iranian film called Secret Ballot (2001). I sometimes wonder how many movies, songs; beats are just copy cuts of[Read More…]

Koan: What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

Koan: What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

1) Nothing.  One hand cannot clap….   2) Half the sound of 2 hands clapping….   3) Air….   4) A bowl of rice….   5) A cup of tea….   6) “A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou….”   7) A crazy old guy doing a jig on thin ice….[Read More…]

The Story of an Indian Farmer

The Story of an Indian Farmer

Working hard season after season
With one particular reason
Always struggling to produce
Enough food for the Nation

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 True Madness, Truly Unmissable: Psychopathy For Concerned Citizens

 True Madness, Truly Unmissable: Psychopathy For Concerned Citizens

  “I have’t. It is engener’d  Hell and night must bring this birth to the world’s light.”  — Act I, Scene 3 of Othello, where Iago speaks about his plan to fool everyone, and convince Othello with evil mendacity Don’t read reviews about what I’m recommending. Watch it. One of the early episodes in the first season of Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley received[Read More…]

Reading  “Kaalu Bhangi” In Today’s India

Reading  “Kaalu Bhangi” In Today’s India

                Krishan Chander(1914-1977) is considered one of the great short story writers, Urdu literature has produced  Krishan Chander was a firm believer in the upliftment of the oppressed and downtrdden. Krishan Chander dreamt and strived for a society, in which every human being is respected irrespective of his religion, caste and sect and which is free of exploitation and oppression.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Art For Art’s Sake… (And Cutting Thru)….

Art For Art’s Sake… (And Cutting Thru)….

In 2007, Sotheby’s
auctioned a can of artist’s shit
for 180,000 dollars.

“Sophisticated,” “cultured” types
clamored to buy a tin of shit
an auction house called “Art.”

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Dish For The Heaven!

A Dish For The Heaven!

The God imagined the flavour
`Get me one for my lunch’.
An inverted rainbow appeared
On the secretary’s lips.

Finding Deeper Truths From Refugees In Films

Finding Deeper Truths From Refugees In Films

Co-Written by Valleria Ruselli and C. Russell There are monumentally important new films which break away from the usual journalistic cliches, and experiment with the documentary format in order to find deeper truths in the refugee experience… and to dignify the plight of the displaced. The current cycle of migrant films, including small-budget personal works as well as more expensive[Read More…]

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Electronic Voting Machine

Electronic Voting Machine

A woman waited to vote.
A village waited to vote.
Constituencies were marked ”to be hacked and tampered.”

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Fading To white

Fading To white

Hell was the gated compound
where the ones inside were holding a party
in their glass houses and ivory towers
while you stood outside
Stone Age man
holding your child’s hand
stone of words, unpelted yet
reading the name plates on the gates

Globalisation, Commodification, Demonetisation, Structural Adjustment, And All That

Globalisation, Commodification, Demonetisation, Structural Adjustment, And All That

Now you’re safe, globaliser, to count
your gilt-edged dividends
while the real work is done
by us, digging in the ground
mining the common metal.

A Man Turns

A Man Turns

He feels she called him out of love,
So turns, his life jumps up, they run
Joyously into each other’s arms
As the snow falls upon them
For the first time,alone to face
The gathering storm.

Do Justice To Yourself

Do Justice To Yourself

  “No place, indeed, should murder sanctuarize. Revenge should have no bounds.” — Shakespeare compounding ignorance with ignorance in Act 4, Scene 7 of Hamlet Mildred, the middle-aged mother at the center of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is a one-woman Justice League out to avenge the murder of her teenage daughter. She’s got a spectacularly vulgar mouth, a fearless[Read More…]

Conversion

Conversion

I am the son of a ‘criminal’ who died on the tree.
I am also the son of a ‘bitch’
I am the son of a Pulaya woman
that Parayan you wanted to ditch
I am crucified
I am resurrected

Branagh, Poirot And Murder on the Orient Express

Branagh, Poirot And Murder on the Orient Express

Few could have colonised a role as comprehensively as David Suchet playing Hercule Poirot, that pedantic, fastidious figure of sleuthing fame created by Agatha Christie.  Manner, affectation, and delivery all seemed immaculate, read, and even delightful.  Invariably, this sort of thespian appropriation and adaptation creates its hordes of admirers, zealots who refuse to accept rivals, pretenders, or usurpers. Kenneth Branagh,[Read More…]

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Photo by gideon_wright

 What The Sufi Said

In your heart of hearts, a heart-shaped mirror.  Mirror of peace between wings of fire. In that living crucible—a gleam of blue light.  Light is your soul: Angel of Life. Soul is as hard to follow as footsteps of God.  Soul is as easy to affirm as trust. Soul is felt.  She is shared.  The same as when lovers share[Read More…]

That Boy

That Boy

– Remember what I asked you first?
– ‘Do you have parents?’
– One of your eyes is huge and red – do you know this?
– No
– Don’t you look at mirrors?
– Looked at one long ago
Silence.

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The Gift

The Gift

You are a gift.
Wrapped. Untouched.
In an islet.

Then There’s Only One Choice By Wolfgang Borchert

Then There’s Only One Choice By Wolfgang Borchert

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Borchert, a young German writer who was seriously wounded in World War II then imprisoned for resistance activities. Physically destroyed, he lived only two years after the war. During that time he wrote antiwar literature that is widely read in Germany but little known in the USA, where it[Read More…]

Czeslaw Milosz – The Unfashionable Poet

Czeslaw Milosz – The Unfashionable Poet

During a stay at the American Academy in Berlin some years ago I was standing in the library at a window looking out over the troubled morning waters of the Wannsee when from the shelves near me a book title leapt to my eyes. It seemed like a stroke of providence for me to find in that north European setting[Read More…]

The Elippathayam (Rat Trap) Moment Of Indian Cinema

The Elippathayam (Rat Trap) Moment Of Indian Cinema

Elippathayam (The Rat Trap) is a 1981 Malayalam film written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. It tells the story of a man trapped within himself unable to understand the changes taking place around him. It seems Indian Cinema also is caught in rat trap. No, it would be a bit flattering for Indian Cinema to use the rat trap metaphor.[Read More…]

Rigidities And False Glorification Of Past Take Us Nowhere

Rigidities And False Glorification Of Past Take Us Nowhere

  Rajputs are very upset over film Padmavati which they feel has wrongly depicted her story. I am not fascinated by Hindi Cinema’s treatment with history as without romance Hindi Cinema does not exists. The Bombay films have rarely given any justice to historic characters or should I say they are incapable of making period films. They can only create[Read More…]

GST Is Killing Handmade Goods: An Invitation From Prasanna To The Prime Minister To Come And Watch His Play

GST Is Killing Handmade Goods: An Invitation From Prasanna To The Prime Minister To Come And Watch His Play

To, The Prime Minister Government of India New Delhi –110 001 Narendra Modi Ji, We would like to invite you, as also Arun Jaitley Ji, The Chairperson of GST Council, to come and watch a Kannada musical, Taayavva. We are performing this play at ADA Theatre, Bengaluru, on 21st Nov 2017, at 07:00 PM. This play is about a mother.[Read More…]

‘ Daayan ‘ – One Year

‘ Daayan ‘ – One Year

Daayan! Demonetisation!
Destroyer of lives both men and women!
Benefactor to corporates ‘ paytm’
And much publicised BHIM !

365 And 1/4 Days Of A Swayam Sevak

365 And 1/4 Days Of A Swayam Sevak

Karunakaran  is a cartoonist

Kowtown Diktats

Kowtown Diktats

Count the cows & the cakes
of dung, lynch a few men
every time
you get their tally wrong.

Victoria and Abdul—The Empire Rewrites Itself Back

Victoria and Abdul—The Empire Rewrites Itself Back

Director Stephen Frears’s Victoria and Abdul, based on the book of the same name by Shrabani Basu, draws upon the diaries of Abdul Karim (1863–1909) that were published in 2010. Karim was an Indian clerk who shared an unusual bond with Queen Victoria in the last fifteen years of her life, which shook up the royal household and British upper[Read More…]

Saving The Country From Fake Marketers And Hatred Mongers

Saving The Country From Fake Marketers And Hatred Mongers

From the clutches of these hatred mongers
And fake marketers
Into that world of freedom, let the country awake

By The River Shabari

By The River Shabari

River Shabari flows through the Dandak forests. Along its banks live people from many tribes, the Adivasis – Gond, Kondh, Koya, Koitur, Shabar, Soro… so many names have history given to them. The epic Ramayana tells the tale of Shabari, the lady from these tribes who had turned into stone. But this is another tale. Below the bed of river[Read More…]

Santoshi Kumari’s mother. Credit: Twitter/ANI

The Ghost Colony

“Rukhsaar! Rukhsaar!”…..Rashida was running as fast as her 12 year old legs could carry her. She was out of breath by the time she reached her home. “What happened? Why are you looking so distraught?” Rukhsaar enquired urgently. Not waiting to calm her breath, Rashida blurted out…..They are coming…They are coming…. These words were enough to numb Rashida’s 16 year[Read More…]

Most Awarded Prime Minister In India!

Most Awarded Prime Minister In India!

Film actor Praksh Raj is a good actor who has acted in several films in different languages. He has portrayed various characters representing good and bad. He has received various national awards as well as other awards for his talent. Any actor may present a character in a film, but the person may have a certain degree of social consciousness.[Read More…]

Wonders!

Wonders!

Hate Taj Mahal as ‘ Muslim’ mausoleum
After visiting it applauding as India’s ‘ priceless gem’
A wonder!

Pain

Pain

The pain in my mind Affect my body. The pain in my body Affect my mind. Wonder whether these two Had arranged marriage Or love marriage. Since I remain single I am trying to keep away From these two idiots. K.P Sasi is a film maker, writer, activist and cartoonist. He can be reached at kpsasi36@gmail.com  Hindi Translation दिमाग की[Read More…]

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The Anthem

The Anthem

a black man sat in the Tagore theatre balcony
and an old man with a flowing white beard sat next to him
while the Anthem was being played.
the rest stood up.
these two remained seated.

Gauri Lankesh

A History of the Fall

A poem for Lorca, Gauri, Santanu and all the other disappearing fireflies

‘Encounter’ Illustrates How Women’s Bodies Continued To Be Used As Battlefield By The Indian Forces 

‘Encounter’ Illustrates How Women’s Bodies Continued To Be Used As Battlefield By The Indian Forces 

Encounter currently playing at the Cultch theater in Vancouver is a drama worth watching for those who continue to idealize India as the world’s so called largest democracy.  Based on Draupadi– a short fiction by the late Bengali author Mahashweta Devi it is the story of a tribal woman Dopdi (played by Dr. Aparna Sindhoor) who is an indigenous activist fighting for[Read More…]