The soldier that is caught and is stoic is a hero. The soldier that complained about runny dal is booted out.   The soldier’s wife that stood strongly by the dead body is a hero. The soldier’s daughter that called for peace got rape threats.   The soldiers that are blown up and can never talk are heroes. The soldiers that demanded pension are enemies of the state.   The only ones that make money off soldiers are politicians and ‘defence analysts’.   The only…Continue Reading “Good soldier, Bad soldier”

Okay, the universe wants me to write this. Second consecutive day that I am part of a conversation about sadhguru. Both the times I am told that he speaks well. I am also told even if he killed his wife, he has inspired so many that his contribution outruns his crime. And, then the person goes on to say it must have been an accident. I asked if the person also supports Asaram Bapu? So I am told rape is a heinous crime. Murder is…Continue Reading “The criminally innocent elitism of Sadhguru fans”

Okay. This week is having a horrible start. But I have to say this. Yesterday, Chef Ashish Bhasin from Leela Gurgaon posted a video about an Odia biryani that has curry leaves and mustard seeds. He called it the singature biryani of Odisha. As per facts, Odisha does not have a biryani of its own. He called it a Koli biryani. There are no kolis in Odisha. Biryani with mustard seeds is a horrible idea and thank god it does not exist outside of his kitchen….Continue Reading “Don’t be lazy, Chef.”

Woke up to quite a few wishes of happy ratha jatra. I did not even know it was today. Was never a big fan of the god or the ritual. The jatra, specifically, is a terrible reiteration of caste and religious exclusivity that the temple stands for today. I don’t know much about the temple or the rituals as I was never interested. But top of my mind, here are a few things that is wrong with the whole institution: 1. The King is a…Continue Reading “Why ratha yatra is a celebration of caste and religious exclusion”

Had a debate with a few friends about death and if we can wish it on others, especially parents. I said we can wish it on anyone. When someone is terminally ill, many of us wish death than prolonged suffering. I have so many friends who have been releived when parents passed away. The sort of moral hegemony that nooooo, i will never wish death for anyone is idiotic and very un-Hindu. Of all religions, it is Hinduism that not just tells you to be…Continue Reading “Wishing death”

You can’t miss Jurassic. I loved it not because I love dinos, I do. I have never missed one. 3 was bad. 4 was ok. But this one is phenomenal. And, it is 2D. You see, 3D is not a technology. It is a tech in transition. Like Bluetooth. Never perfected, never less than a pain. And, given what they have done in this with 2D, I wonder why we need 3D. And, this movie packs so many screams, hugs and high fives, go with…Continue Reading “The latest Jurassic movie in 2D tells us that 3D is shit.”

I don’t understand how Flipkart buyout is being seen as a Indian success story. One of the Bansals earlier said they want to become a global entity and also wanted to exit if the ever came to sell Flipkart off. If acquisition was the goal, Flipkart could have done that long back. There was no shortage of lovers. If valuation was the goal, that has been achieved, partly. The share market does not think it’s a good deal and the Walmart shares took a hit….Continue Reading “Is Flipkart buyout a win for Indian startups?”

Let’s talk about stool samples. Not potty but academic ones. I passed out Delhi School of Economics some 15 years back. Did my masters in a lowly sociology and not the uply economics. But I learnt a lot and lot more than jargons. I dropped using words such as liminal a decade back. I remember the parts about Dramaturgy and can quote parts from my most favorite book- The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. But I gave up on the language because I was…Continue Reading “Academic stool samples”

If the movie is an ambassador of black power and brotherhood, it communicated all of that wrong. I am giving you just 10 reasons, there are tons of them in the movie: 1. Blacks can’t stick together. Movie starts with the Jabari falling out and ends with border tribe falling out. And, then a brother kills another. Point: Blacks are trademark leaders at infighting. 2. The kingship is apparently based on merit. Here merit is brute physical strength. But when T’Challa is humiliatingly defeated, he…Continue Reading “8 things Black Panther got totally wrong about black power”

empires of the indus

Some books take you on a journey and drop you right at the starting point. Some others have no such noble intentions. They take you through narrow lanes, open fields and lonely stretches from which there is no way back. This book is one of the latter sort. When I read love in the times of cholera in college, I had fever, like real fever. Before that it was Chandrara Mryutu, an Odia fiction titled death of the moon. This book is about a lone…Continue Reading “The book to read on Hinduism is not on Hinduism”

Some days before my food writing rant yesterday, something went wrong in the kitchen, a short crust fell apart. I was telling Tanu how she needs to share these stories of failure, of things going wrong, how eventually we picked up the crumbs and it still tasted good. The suggestion seemed original at the time, it seems it has been said and written a gazillion times. Just that social media has made us too embarrassed about sharing our failures. I followed a few food photography…Continue Reading “You are a human, not a toothpaste”

I was talking to this startup owner. The signal was bad. So, we did the “can you hear me, shifted in our chairs, can you hear me now, walked ten paces, can you hear me now, yaaa, much better now” routine and then talked work. He runs a solution that uses satellite imaging for crop monitoring. He recounted how he was on a webex call with his this other guy in Singapore and they did the same can you hear me, can you hear me…Continue Reading “Launching 5G before fixing 3G”

We hate politicians and there are good reasons why. Most of them proclaim there would be no politics of death and then they go on manufacture riots and rivalries and employ goons to impose authority. But, we, the normal people should be normal, right? Death, especially unnatural, should shock us. Be it from floods, riots, train accidents, potholes, hit and runs, no matter what, deaths should grab our attention and make us value life, humanity and just plain existence more. So, when some people brush…Continue Reading “Lynchings are acts of journalism”

The number of resignations in Trump camp has been stunning. These dudes knew they are campaigning for the biggest asshole in the world. He did not doublespeak or had a hidden agenda like Modiji. He was shitting all over the place and his team stood by. And, then he wins and it is time to reap the benefits. That’s when people start fighting and quitting and showing him that they won’t be steamrolled. Contrast that with our case here – judges, politicians, bureaucrats, members from…Continue Reading “Resignations from Trump camp”

If someone tells our maid that i called her a maid in a blogpost, she will slap me. She has slapped me, on the back (not on the face, thankfully), when I walk on the floor she has just cleaned. She will reprimand us if we eat out and the food she cooked is untouched, she will taunt,she will joke and she will shout back when in a bad mood. She has a spare key to the house and we only see her on weekends….Continue Reading “How middle India treats its maids”

Two statements today put a question mark on future of Indian democracy: 1. VHP brings in truckloads of stones for construction of Ram temple. Chief of ram janmabhoomi nyas says it does not matter if the matter is sub judice, supreme court respects public opinion and will toe line. 2. Bengal BJP described the Governor as a dedicated soldier of Modi vahini and will toe the line. I know most right wingers want an autocracy. But the rest should think, do they want every Democratic…Continue Reading “Whither democracy?”

People watching is time watching. Let me explain how. Today morning, I saw a man walk down the service lane next to the NH8 near the airport. High waist pants, really long sleeved shirts and a receding hairline. The sun was extremely strong this morning. He looked hassled. Point being he looked from another time. I recently saw a young nephew who got a haircut that would have been odd in my time. Nothing on the sides and the back and suddenly a crop at…Continue Reading “People watching is time watching”

Odisha. Odias on my timeline may not agree. But as a friend just said, odisha is a majoritariant caste Hindu state. I agree. There are not enough Muslims in Odisha, less than 2% last I knew. The state has no culture of promoting intellectualism or liberalism. The Jagannath temple is the most regressive of all temples, the costal folks either don’t know or abhor the tribals and western odias. Odias are regressive and only seemingly mild because the dalits and tribals are in such bad…Continue Reading “Why Odisha will be next to fall for Hindutva”

Okay, I have been saying it to everyone I meet. Time to say it to everyone I don’t meet. I really like Rahul Gandhi. I know in today’s politics, there is a special place in hell for all who say that. Even then, I like him. And, then one day, he would be PM. No matter what you feel or do, that is inevitable. In five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, UPA will come to power. If he is around, he has a chance as anyone…Continue Reading “Why I am not giving up on Rahul Gandhi”