On Shahid and Lunchbox

“We Indians are so habituated to a well-defined ending to film plots that The Lunchbox’s open-ended finish not only left me stumped but made me rather uncomfortable,” a friend told me after watching Ritesh Batra’s critically acclaimed film. After a successful run at Cannes and winning awards in film festivals across the world, The Lunchbox…

Teesta Setalvad’s talk and rogues

The atmosphere was tense, with the expectation of simmering trouble. The woman on the stage at the Central Lecture Hall at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras last Monday, was someone who has dedicated her life to fighting for the victims of communal violence. Teesta Setalvad had just completed her speech on “Human Rights and…

Destiny’s Child

When Dilip Deka, a medicine shop owner and his wife Kalyani arrived in Guwahati on June 6 2008, carrying their 4-years old feverish son, they did not know that for the next three years their little son would only be a frozen self of himself. After a brief stay at the Sanjeevani Hospital, Guwahati, the…

Construction site accidents in Chennai

The recent accidental deaths at Saidapet metro-rail construction site and a building construction site in Egmore bring forth serious questions about safety measures at construction workplaces across the city. On January 12 , 20-year-old migrant construction worker, Ranjith Biswal from Odisha, lost his life when a 70-tonne crawler carrying a 22-tonne load came crashing down…

The Kumbh Experience

After my return from the Paush Snan at the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 in Allahabad, I have been bombarded with questions regarding my Kumbh experience. Well to say the least, it’s gigantic, unlike any human gathering I have seen in my life. I have witnessed a crowd of more than 45 lakhs people by the…

Past the Bodhi Tree

1. In the 6th century B.C, a Sakya prince from Kapilavastu renounced all worldly attachments and dedicated his entire life to search for an answer to the grotesque questions of pain and sorrow that had assailed his mind and heart. Walking through dense jungles and barren stretches of land, he practised austerities to cleanse his soul and…