On the bourgeoisie

Luis Buñuel, more than anyone else, should have a retrospective in India. In two of his films, “The phantom of liberty” and “The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie”, he explores how the bourgeoisie keeps trying to the things that it is used to, like getting a meal at a nice restaurant, all the while being [...]

Bad Reporting

N Ram, at the HT Leadership Summit in 2007, there is too much editorializing masquerading as news in the various Indian media The Hindu’s front page report on Saturday, written by N Ram, Mr. Gopalaswami is an able man with a great deal of administrative experience. He is well regarded in the services. But his suo motu act of [...]

Asia Literary Review

Ian Jack explained this blog yesterday. On how the gift of articulation and  having something original to articulate are two different things. That their intersection is quite often non-existent. And, worse, it’s not possible for someone to have something original after the first few articulations.[1] Extended to its logical conclusion, nothing should have ever been written if [...]


I don’t get this. Why does this idiot want to be an onlooker? For future attacks, dear terrorist person, let us strike a deal. Stage a small but spectacular strike. Barkha Dutt will fly in to cover. Kill her in your next bigger strike. Stay out of Madras.

This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

Actors often repeat the cliche that comedy is a difficult art. The little I have read, I am now convinced, the cliche — which is probably not true — works in reverse for writers. Evoking a genuine sense of tragedy and yet not make the reader tire or second guess appears an almost impossible task. [...]

Character flaw

Even in a world which has moved far beyond, sometimes, reactionary nonsense has a place. Such as expressing profound wonderment at some sentences. Like this, In India, where everyone from teenage boys to septuagenarian aunts dance at weddings, a reticence to join the dance floor is seen as a troubling sign of a possible character flaw [...]


I am sure there is some social research published somewhere on the point of optimality for democratic values and knowledge driven social order. I am also reasonably sure no one reading this post would have come across such publication; even if they did, I am sure it does not apply to present day Tamil Nadu. [...]

The Changeling

Kenzaburo Oe did not attend an MFA Program. His upbringing in postwar Japan and possibly a life in today’s Japan that’s a psychotic marvel also seem to impact his writing in some measure. For someone used to American fiction, this is novelty enough. And Elif Batuman while dismissing postwar American literature as dishonest, captures why I like The [...]

Postmodern sexuality

What does homosexuality mean? Or bisexuality? Or, for that matter, any other form that may exist. I find it insulting to the concept of person-hood that one is defined on the basis of attraction to someone else. I’d like to propose as basis of sexuality one’s own individual erogenous zones. For example, some people who [...]

The Dalit vote

I am sure I am not the only or the first or even the millionth person to notice this. However, I have not heard it said or seen it written: MK Stalin’s mother is Dalit. Yet, he never uses his Dalit status on the campaign trail. The total Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes population in Tamil [...]