Category Personal Diary

Surviving in the Hellscape that’s to Come

My eighty-year-old mother fell and broke her hip for the second time in three years. It was partly my fault. Last month we both went to my cousin’s daughter’s birthday party. It was flu season. There were a lot of children, and the rented hall turned out to be a germ sink. I was flat […]

A Man Called Ove: Celebrating the Use of Space in Swedish Cinema

What are we beyond our memories? It was just after having a petty argument with the florist, an ignorant teen as she was that Ove first exposes the dimensions of his existence. Grieved by the death of the only love of his life, Sonja, we see him dissipating his space by magnifying his trivialities. A […]

No! I am not Prince Hamlet

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At […]

The Night O. J. Simpson Ruined the NBA Finals

As I watched Charles Oakley scuffle with Madison Square Garden’s security guards, my first thought wasn’t anger, but a painful consciousness of my own age. I was born in 1965. Oakley was born in 1963. We’re both part of the “not quite Boomer but not quite Generation X” demographic. There the resemblance ends. I’m a […]

Free Speech Isn’t Free

Back in 2003 one of my neighbors used to have a display in front of his house he called his “9/11 Wall.” United States flags, MIA flags, reminders that we should “never forget,” it was typical of the kind of patriotic display you would see during the Bush years. On the back of his car […]

The Avant-Garde, Zeenat Aman

The cinema of the 70s is often termed as an era that marveled the art of pop culture reorientation. A decade that immersed itself in the chaos of coming of age screenplay and ever inspired music ensemble, the flights of imagination was anything but predictable. It was during this period that Hindi cinema saw the […]

Is it Fascism Yet?

I was born in 1965, exactly two decades after the end of World War II. According to what I learned in high-school and college, fascism was supposed to have been ancient history, dead along with Adolf Hitler in his führerbunker. Yet part of me never believed it. Even though I grew up watching Hollywood propaganda […]

A Brief Note on Punching Nazis

Last Friday, shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, a thirty-eight-year-old white supremacist, and Trump supporter, named Richard Spencer was giving an interview in downtown Washington. As Spencer, who has recently come to prominence for coining the term “alt-right,” tried to speak above an audience that seemed largely composed […]

Trump is President

A few weeks after Donald Trump was elected President I received a summons informing me that I was obligated “to serve as a petit juror duty for two days or one trial starting January 18.” I was annoyed — I wouldn’t be able to go to DC to protest the inauguration — and even paranoid. […]

From Renee Smith to Sita Devi: Retrieving the Forgotten Enchantress of Silent Era

Indian cinema had birthed a fair share of visionaries even before the beginning of what later came to be termed as the Golden era. Under the reigns of the British Raj, certain Indian artists thrived upon the offerings that colonial engagements with art had to offer and used the political situation of the period to […]