To see R Balki's Ka and Ki is to see a gigantic missed opportunity, both politically and artistically, but also, to see that these two ambitions — the political and the creative — are intertwined. Both require the power to reimagine forms, social or artistic, with genuine insight
Last year, sick on a weekend, feeling sorry for myself, I called two of my friends and demanded they come see me with flowers and chocolate. We ate our sweets, gossiped and had a convivial time. Then, one of them became pensive. "What is it?" I asked
As with notions of the nation, so with feelings about family, popular cinema is often the place where new, still-forming ideas are reflected, emotionally managed and normalised.
When I was a kid, if one acted too fancy or wrinkled one’s nose at desi things, like, for instance, saying, "I don’t want parathas for tiffin! I want sandwiches!" (or called tiffin, the lunchbox), one of your formidable maasis or buas would snort, "angrez chale gaye, aulad chhod gaye."
If you see Vijay Mallya, please tell him I’m looking for him, yaar. I need his help.
I’ve been grinning often while checking out my social media newsfeed. What’s making me grin? Posters I see for a march on March 8, International Working Women’s Day, in Delhi, from a growing group of university women, organising under the name Pinjra Tod.
We are a country addicted to soap operas and the daily soap is, arguably, the most influential narrative form of this century for India
The Rajasthan government has removed all Western poems and Urdu words from its school text books.
Things people say to you, when you mention harassment, even liberal types, who care for the poor, for women’s issues and prefer to say Bombay, not Mumbai, are often variations of — why so serious?
There is something about numbers that is presented as superior. For instance, when you say you like something, there will always be some realist, yaniki cynic, who will snort “that’s all ok, but show me the numbers”
Ten years ago, a student at a workshop I conducted at the University of Hyderabad worked on a film about his life experiences.
One of the great pleasures of living and working in Bombay is that you can hail a cab or auto anywhere, anytime. I’ve drunk deep of this pleasure, never feeling the need to get a car when I can get a cab. Lately though, I’ve fallen out of the habit of hailing a cab and into the habit of pressing on an app button.
Remember the days when letters used to begin with Dear? No? Actually neither do I.
The last few months have taken me travelling around, and running up and down airport corridors has become my token exercise
In 1995, I made a documentary about a credit co-operative called Annapurna. It had been founded in 1975 by a group of women including Prema Purao, Savitri bai and Parvati bai.
How we enjoyed her sassy, little-bit-loud Ladies vs Ricky Bahl in an otherwise limp film; her mixture of feistiness and intensity in Ishaqzaade; her unwavering gaze with the slight shimmer of vulnerability in Shudh Desi Romance
Most of us want to be good. Or believe we are basically good people. A lot of our time, especially in social analysis, when stripped of its varied intellectual dresses, is spent assessing the goodness of people and institutions — politicians, movie stars, businesses
There are two types of people. Those who write P.S. in their emails. And those who wonder why people write P.S. in their emails when they could insert it in the body copy
"I don't want to debate. I want to talk about my pain." This line is from an email written by a student at Yale, where student activists had been campaigning for Halloween costumes to be more politically sensitive and correct, instead of causally racist and sexist in the name of fun
People should leave Pahlaj Nihalani alone. I have not felt as relaxed and calm in a very long time, as I did when I saw the video Mr Nihalani has produced to praise Narendra Modi.