I'm a freelance journalist and editor based in Mumbai. I write on culture, books, gender, identity, cities, art, and interior design.
Creative euphemisms for it notwithstanding, menstruation as a topic does not really need to be smoothened obliquely to attract readers. It is inherently interesting for roughly half of the population, even when—and also because—it is laced with taboo and shame. Conversations about and around menstruation, particularly about menstrual health, hygiene, management, and its politics in a capitalist society, are immanent.
Why can't writing be treated as ordinary profession? Unromanticising it just makes life easier for writers
The writing life’s glorification, often propelled by half-baked depictions of it on TV and films – and now, social media – tends to lend an elusive, abstract dreaminess around what is essential work, albeit of a certain kind.
Writing is creative work, and it comes with its own caveats and frustrations, but its unnecessary idealisation only gets in the way of ultimately bettering them.
A woman sits elegantly on a sofa with tea things around her, intermittently blinking at the viewer as a Hindi song plays in the backdrop. As it rains, an older couple and two children gather near a tea stall waiting for chai. Schoolgirls stop on their way home to shake a branch and collect the flowers that shower from it.
These are some of the moments of stillness that the Instagram handle Bohra Sisters capture in their animated artwork.
ISRAELI COGNITIVE neuroscientist Moshe Bar’s book, "Mindwandering", couldn’t have been released at a more propitious time. There is a certain doomsdayness to the world in its present state. We’re slowly emerging from the pandemic into a world where some countries are at war and a climate crisis that is only worsening. Our minds go wandering along different alleys of thought, perhaps more so now than before; we can’t stop our minds from buzzing with all kinds of concerns and scenarios, even if we tried. And here is Bar championing mindwandering (with certain caveats, of course).
Literary newsletters have accomplished what many literary magazines and online publications have arguably been unable to: make poetry and literature a little more accessible. For a lot of these writers, newslettering is as much driven by a personal curiosity and need to express and experiment as it is out of love for poetry, art and literature itself.
Sharanya Manivannan’s gorgeously illustrated, evocative novel Incantations over Water weaves a tapestry of lore, mythology, magic, and history featuring mermaids, those fantastical sea-based creatures we tend to assume sprang from European imagination alone. Except that in Manivannan’s rendition, they seem less fantastical, more victims of anthropocentricism taken to an extreme.
Shama Khan Aqeel is a blur of black as she zips past me in the garden. I am sitting on a bench under trees so high they give an illusion of vastness to an otherwise rather small park. A little later, I see her doing stretches; the burqa doesn’t seem to limit her. I look for a moment to ask her for a photograph. Flushed and flustered, she agrees.
What does it mean to be a young, Muslim, desi woman walking the streets of Shanghai alone, sometimes in a hijab? What’s it like going off on your own to the mountains to teach children in a remote village in Kashmir when you have never travelled alone? And most importantly, what happens when you decide to be brave and do those things and, in a sense, “step off the edge”?
“You think you are going to fall, but you actually fly,” says Shubnum Khan, the South African writer of How I Accidentally ...
The increase in pharmacy-cum-convenience stores over the course of the pandemic may point towards a financial opportunism on the part of businesses, both established and emergent.
Respect for those older than you is embedded in language itself. In several Indian languages, like Hindi for instance, the pronoun you is translated into tu for those who are the same age as you or younger. For those older than you, the pronoun used is tum or, more politely and often formally, aap. When you’re talking to friends, you always use tu. But when it’s someone you’re calling “older sister”, you’re going to use tum – it follows the logic of the epithet bestowed.
Rethinking the hijab: COVID-19 made masks ubiquitous; will it also spur shift in assumptions about veiled faces?
Clothes embody lifestyle. Your clothes speak about your lifestyle as they speak about your identity, how you see yourself and want to be seen in the world and by it.
Can there be two Black girls in one white workplace? In this breakthrough debut thriller about racism, tokenism and a conspiracy, more is at stake than office politics.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris is a workplace horror novel that sets issues of identity, performative diversity and racism against the backdrop of contemporary corporate America.
What does it feel like and what does it make one think, coming across in this way pieces from a stranger’s life, distractedly pressed between the pages of a book that may not have been revisited much any longer, and so given away?