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Some Musings on the Tamil Film Super Deluxe

It has been more than a year since the release of the Thiagarajan Kumararaja Tamil film Super Deluxe. But I suppose one can indulge in some thoughts about it after having watched it recently on an OTT platform. Spoilers Ahead For those who are reading this and haven’t yet watched the film but are planning to there are disclosures about the ending of the film ahead that may spoil your enjoyment of it. Plot The film strings together the stories of an unfaithful wife, three teenagers whose hormones are running high and a transgender who has returned home. It is … Continue reading Some Musings on the Tamil Film Super Deluxe

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The Right to Pee

There is this nugget about Mrs Indira Gandhi in Karan Thapar’s ‘Devil’s Advocate’ (page 75). Before leaving for the movies, Mrs Gandhi advises Mr Thapar’s sister to use the washroom as there was no facility at the place they were going.  When his sister asks her how she managed during an ordinary work day or while she travelled, Mrs Gandhi replies that it is very difficult for a woman politician. She managed by drinking all the water that her body needed before going to bed hoping that it would be out of the system before morning. This is a telling … Continue reading The Right to Pee

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Strange Dreams

Dreams have always intrigued human beings. From the earliest civilisations down to the modern day humankind has tried to interpret them in a variety of ways. Every person has an interpretation for dreams. There are those who feel that dreams, especially bad ones, are the result of thoughtless overeating at supper. Others claim that they can predict your future if you tell them your dreams. Dreams, they say, help us process emotions especially negative ones. Whatever the latest scientific theory about dreams the one fact that remains is that they continue to be a mystery. Besides they are endlessly entertaining, … Continue reading Strange Dreams

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“A Land Full of Muslims”

At a wedding I recently attended, a lady asked me where I was from and when I responded that I belonged to Kerala her reaction was like a tight slap on my face. “Kerala!” she sneered, “It’s a land full of Muslims. They’re all over the place. You can see them everywhere when you step out.” Her tone made me doubt my ears for a moment. Was she talking of human beings or of queasy creepy crawlies infesting a week old corpse? The hatred in her eyes rattled me. More so because this lady was not some monster out of … Continue reading “A Land Full of Muslims”

Hunters

We were all sitting around after dinner, the remnants of the meal lying spread-eagled on the table. Some of us had moved over to the plush sofa on the balcony because she had. Our section was screened from the other diners by a half wall that cordoned off the table and the balcony giving us a sense of the exclusive. She was relaxed, her legs stretched in front of her. The lights from the city far below lighted her hair that shimmered around her with an ethereal glow. Who was she, really? Of course we knew who she was. She … Continue reading Hunters

Policing Memory – Book Review

Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police is a dystopian novel set on an unnamed island where the Memory Police disappear things from time to time. The protagonist is a novelist (also unnamed) who lives alone in a house by the river. Both her parents are dead and from as long as she can remember things have been disappeared from the island. The other characters are an old man and R the editor of the protagonist’s novels. The people on the island forget what has been disappeared though not all of them do. They are the ones in danger of being arrested … Continue reading Policing Memory – Book Review

They Too

Though it was a Sunday all seventy nine of them were at the large auditorium on the dot as if it were a normal working day. They had got up early cooked the promised specials for their families and hung on to crowded city buses resigned to the idea of a thirteen day work week. The boss had dangled a carrot; two in fact – permission to wear casual clothes snazzy ones maybe to facilitate ease of movement and a free lunch. What exactly it was they were going to be taught no one had deigned to tell them. The … Continue reading They Too

Vignettes From A Literary Festival

From January 30th to February 2nd of this year the well-known Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi conducted the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL). With over three hundred writers participating from different parts of the world and a host of interesting topics for discussion, it was the place to be for people interested in the world of letters. The venue too added to the charm of the festival. Kanakakkunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram is ideal to hold such an event as it offers a large enclosed area within which several smaller venues can be set up. Under The Tree Some of the venues … Continue reading Vignettes From A Literary Festival

Favourite Quotes on Reading

Here are some of my favourite quotes on reading: “Books are uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King. Yes, books are magical and the best thing about them is that you can carry them anywhere and be lost in them; whether you’re travelling or waiting for your turn at the dentist’s. And there is something delicious in being able to surface from this magical world and look at the people around you and pity them about the ordinary everyday world they are part of. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives … Continue reading Favourite Quotes on Reading

No, Nose Is Not Sexy

GIRLS AGITATE AGAINST INTRODUCTION OF NEW UNIFORMS Our Correspondent/Somewhereinindia The girl students of a local school reportedly staged a sit in in front of the office of the District Collector Mr Parvah Nahi, IAS, supposedly as part of an ongoing protest against the alleged introduction of new uniforms in the prestigious Girls High School. The leaders of the protest alleged that the conspiracy for the change of uniforms was brewed in a social media group that consisted of ‘concerned’ members of the public and the principal was allegedly threatened with dire consequences if she did not comply with the request. … Continue reading No, Nose Is Not Sexy

Women and Creativity

The house was being painted. And the painter turned out to be a real chatterbox who jabbered incessantly. Not only would he talk non-stop he would also insist on active listening. Attempts to ‘mmm…’ through his anecdotes were instantly greeted by energetic ‘Are you listening, Madam’ queries.  Not to say that all of his stories were boring. He did have interesting anecdotes to narrate. After much silent eye rolling among other family members I was (predictably) designated official listener. He painted and chattered and well, I listened. All grist to the writer’s mill, I consoled myself. One day he was … Continue reading Women and Creativity

A Song in Perspective

Film music in India is a genre by itself. Songs are a uniquely Indian style of narration in movies. That is just as well. Imagine how much poorer our leisure hours would have been otherwise. The lyrics of many Indian film songs are fine poetry. That is not surprising because many lyricists in different Indian languages are also renowned poets. This is true of Malayalam film music too as it has been especially enriched by the work of lyricists who are also poets of outstanding genius. Vayalar, P. Bhaskaran, O. N. V. Kurup, Yusufali Kechery, Rafeeq Ahamed are the names … Continue reading A Song in Perspective