By Bikram Vohra
Someone who smiles too much may well be making faces behind your back. Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling that this colleague, partner, staffer, is just too nice, too flattering — oily little sod — but it is still a nice sensation to be given such homage and even if he is a bit transparent in his adulation, what the heck, give him a raise.
Continue reading Sycophants and soda water… with some cynical rocks in it
By Nivriti Butalia
Madonna and Oprah love these watches. Back in the day, Oprah listed one of these Philip Stein watches in her ‘favourite things’ section of the show — YouTube the video for an entertaining replay of a hysterical studio audience screeching with delight at being gifted a free diamond-encrusted watch each.
Continue reading No promises, but you might sleep better wearing this
By Keith Pereña
I was going about my regular weekend ritual of gaming and playing the guitar when my phone lit up with a notification. On any other day, I would ignore the phone and carry on but I could read parts of it from the corner of my eye — it was from one of my best friends from high school.
Continue reading How to mourn for someone you went to school with
By Alvin R. Cabral
The realm beyond Earth’s atmosphere has always fascinated me. As a matter of fact, one of my earliest childhood ambitions was to someday become an astronomer. Heck, I was so full of myself back then when I preached stuff like asteroids, comets, galaxies, black holes, quasars and, most importantly, the Mercury-Venus-Earth-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune-Pluto order that makes up our Solar System to my cousins, classmates and even my elders. Genius was I, back then.
Continue reading Is global warming annoying you? Wait until 2050 when the sun cools down
By Allan Jacob
When a thinking actor fumbles with his opening lines in politics, there’s an uneasy feeling that something is amiss and you wonder if it’s going to plan. Perhaps the role is not tailor-made for him. Did he simply embed his character into a comical storyline — if there is one? One thing is certain though: he’s unwilling to share screen space with other players in this make-believe pursuit of mass happiness and ‘service to society’. His trite opening lines at an academic seminar at Harvard (no less) gave me an indication where this is leading. In his cultured, cultivated tone he said he’d given up his distinguished movie career to build model villages in his home state in India. Nice try, Weinstein, er Einstein.
Continue reading Dear Kamal Haasan, stick to the movies
By Bikram Vohra
More people speak English in India than in any other country. We speak Dickensian English. We can chat in fruity Etonian English. We can make Winston’s stirring speech come off pale and milky and can fling the Wren & Martin grammar book at any native English speaker (since writing is not their forte) with aplomb and destroy them with a deep dissertation on past participles and ‘clause’ analyses, parts of the language that have no relation to the fat man coming down the chimney once each year. We can even imitate cockney and Geordie and at a pinch go American or Aussie on the world.
Continue reading For the love of language, these are a few of my fave words
By Joshua Arnup
It’s not every day that a film pushes you to change the course of your life. The power of a great movie lies in its ability to transport you into another world, to make you experience life so vividly that it feels like you’re in a trance. I had a moment like this and it marked the day I felt independent.
Continue reading How a movie gave me a slap in the face and changed my life