Why is this an everyday experience for women?

By Suresh Pattali

My daughter just joined the #MeToo movement.

Sadly, the incident happened while the ink of a column I wrote in this space was still wet. It was headlined: When will they learn, women are not their birthright? There were letters of angst, agony and shock from our readers after reading that article. And one of them, Sherley A Varghese, a mother so paranoid about her ward’s safety, wrote: “Every word sent shivers down my spine. I refuse to send my daughter to India for doing her undergraduate course.” Continue reading Why is this an everyday experience for women?

Asma Jahangir, an inspiration for those she’s left behind

By Zebunnisa Burki

On Tuesday, the people of Pakistan — men and women, the under-privileged and the elite, lawyers, artists, journalists, political workers — stood together and gave Asma Jahangir what can only be called a people’s farewell. While the images of this beautiful goodbye that flashed across our TV, laptop and smartphone screens may become iconic due to the sheer power of what they showed, how does one really say goodbye to someone who can only be called a force — fierce, angry, and strangely beautifully unaware of her own special kind of charisma. Pakistan lost 66-year-old lawyer, activist, our very own superhero Asma to a cardiac arrest this past Sunday, a shock we are all still struggling with. Continue reading Asma Jahangir, an inspiration for those she’s left behind

For the love of language, these are a few of my fave words

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

How a movie gave me a slap in the face and changed my life

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

Not an environmentalist, but I can’t get enough of trees

By Purva Grover

By now, I should have found the answer. My friends and family are worried that I am struggling with words, unlikely for an author, they say. Everyone’s going to ask you the same question— Why did you decide to write a book revolving around trees? ‘For many reasons, familiar and strange,’ I’d like to tell them. When did you fall in love with trees? ‘It’s personal,’ I’d like to add. But then, I guess, it’s too late. The words are now as much theirs, as mine. It’s time I confess.

Continue reading Not an environmentalist, but I can’t get enough of trees