By Allan Jacob
Are you from the South? Yes. Madras? That’s what they asked me when I visited the North of India some years ago. There’s so much happening in the South… damn…these folks don’t get it, I thought. Up North, they preferred to call the lower half of the peninsula, Madras, for many decades after Independence till the city had enough and changed its name to Chennai in the nineties.
Continue reading Proud to be a southerner, and not just because of one man
By Suresh Pattali
Dear Hanan Hamid,
In the name of 35 million Malayalis, I offer you my sincerest apologies and hang my head in shame. Hanan, while you are recuperating in hospital from the trauma of virtual mauling by a pack of ferocious social media bulldogs, I am unable to promise this wouldn’t happen to another daughter of Kerala. Because we live in a dark, dark digital age where some believe they can make or break this world if they have a smartphone with WiFi. Where an army of radicals is on the prowl looking to prey on unsuspecting people in the name of God. Where social media has blurred the line between real news and fake news. Where communism, gender equality and women empowerment are debated in tea shops but never let into hearts.
Continue reading How a series of odd jobs primed Hanan for stardom — and flak
By Allan Jacob
There was a time when scooters symbolised the automobile culture. I’d like to think there was a nice balance to life in those days. You didn’t have to be brave to drive a scooter. A helmet could be dispensed with. Normal was okay but would suffice. Riders simply stepped onto it, rested their feet on the platform and enjoyed the road. No fuss, no sweat — if they got a good first kick in. The starter may have stuck out like a big sore toe from beneath the bulbous machine but they were undeterred. They kicked it down once. Twice, three times. Cold start. So they tilted it to the side and let the engine juices flow.
Continue reading Like Gregory Peck on the scooter, through the streets of Bangalore
By Sandhya D’Mello
A message popped up on my phone: “What happened to the Power of Attorney?” It was from my sister-in law in Mumbai. She needed the document to lease out my home in Mumbai — since I am not there, and to collect the rent on my behalf. My instant reaction: Alright, here comes another rent-paying cuckoo to dwell in my nest.
Continue reading How to deal with two cities, a tenant, and the idea of home
By Nivriti Butalia
When my brother and I were little, we wanted fangs. I can’t remember what possessed us of that desire — Dracula, probably — but no toy shop in Delhi in the early ’90s stocked them.
Continue reading JK Rowling, and the mule who carried gifts from her up a hill
By Nivriti Butalia and Anjana Sankar
She was right. And social media gets the message across nicely
Oh, please. Car seat activism is not the answer for our trash
Continue reading Was Anushka Sharma right in ticking off that guy for littering?
By Mary Paulose
A couple of months ago, in a coastal village in Kerala, India, my maternal grandfather turned 100. We all call him Appa, and we had no doubt he would live to be a 100. His own father, my great-grandpa, had lived to be 104-years-old.
Continue reading For grandpa’s 100th birthday, his 10 kids, their kids and a village in Kerala came together