“Raymond, the perfect man,” says Shammi (Fahadh Faasil) as he stands in front of a bathroom mirror styling his moustache. Later he pulls out a bindi stuck on the mirror, a glitch in his reflection of perfection, and spends, what feels like an eternity, adorning himself. From the way he caresses his moustache, you know facial hair plays an important part in his idea of masculinity. This is how we are introduced to Shammi, the violent patriarch of a house in Kumbalangi he shares with his newly-wedded wife, Simmy (Grace Antony), her sister Baby (Anna Ben), and her mother.
How Lahiri, Seth, and Vuong help navigate a loved one’s death, and the many ways it creeps upon us.
After the death of our grandfather, we struggled in processing his death — the unsparing aftermath of the initial days of unstoppable crying, the searing silence of it all. His was the first death in our family and we didn’t know how we would bring ourselves to respond to the normality demanded by our lives.
According to a Lancet Study, the first study designed to measure the national incidence of abortion in India, more than 15 million abortions happened in India in 2015. Out of this, only 3.4 million abortions were conducted in legally approved health facilities, and 0.8 million abortions occurred through methods falling into the ‘unsafe’ category. According to Planning Commission estimates, abortions cause 10 avoidable deaths every day in India. Part of the reason? 80% of Indian women are unaware of abortions being legal in India.
Men explain things to me, and I listened. Maybe there was something inherently wrong with me considering a map on a railway station that one of them had to come mansplain the entire route to me. Or maybe when my female friend was unpacking in the mixed dorm we stayed at, she must have looked so unaware that a man staring at her for long enough ‘suggested’ how and where to keep her bags. We are women, how would we know that the Piccolo we ordered, will be bitter? Of course, we need a man to explain things to us.
Easy not only dissects our lives, but also acts as a reference for all the feelings we may be feeling, but are unable to articulate. It’s precisely why I call for a desi version of the show. Let’s face it, the lack of intimate discussions around sex, gender, and sexuality in India have done us more harm than good.
I must admit I am a bit drawn away from my desk as I type this. Because when you finish a book about the most treacherous adventure(s) ever and your immediate surroundings reflect a state the exact opposite of what you’ve devoured, withdrawal symptoms are not a surprise. In which adventure was I then? Of Sujata Massey’s brilliantly penned The Satapur Moonstone, the second in the series of Perveen Mistry’s adventures. And I am here to tell you, yes you the ardent Agatha devourer, why this stunningly plotted mystery has to be your next read.
I re-watched A Death in the Gunj a few days ago. My heart thumped every time a sensitive Shutu was neglected or infantilized by his family members. It thumped faster when Shutu, tired of being invisible, dies.
“What must he have gone through?” a friend watching the film with me asks. I want to say I know, but that would put me into Shutu’s mind, and that would mean navigating it, and laying both, Shutu and me, bare for my friend. I can’t.
My heart remains shut for a few days after that.
On June 2, the Pune Pride Committee, set up by the Sampathik Trust, organised the city’s ninth pride march. Although the space of the pride is one of diversity and inclusion, Pune's pride revealed conflicts emerging from lack of intersectionality.
In my family, it is always the men who take all the important decisions. Elections are all about herd voting, where my father announces his political leanings and the rest follow. Women, they believe, are incapable of understanding the affairs of the State. But this year, despite all the pestering, I voted for a candidate of my choice.
For someone who remembers her childhood in flashbacks of Shaktimaan TV reruns, my father’s imported DVD collection of Superman and X-Men, and copies of Chacha Chadhury and Nagraj picked up for their chamakte illustrations, the reality of a lesbian Batwoman who isn’t overtly sexualized like every female character in comic universes is something.
That your body is only yours to live in, is a reality which needs to be spoken and heard in many ways, different ways, personal ways.
Until you stop criticizing your ‘healthy’ friend for ordering a hot chocolate fudge or joking about how your ‘bony’ friend needs to grow more skin, do not stop reflecting, practicing and involving more and more people in your revolution of body positivity.
For someone who landed late to the pleasure party, I am proud to write a piece entirely on the theme. Erotic art based in queer lives often blurs the line between pleasure and heterosexual fetishization and objectification. Added to that the risks that exposure of intimate queer lives in times of worldwide hate can have, it took me sometime to curate an instagram feed of queer friendly art for myself. Once I did, I decided to share with you the result comprising some of the most erotic queer pages on Instagram.
ELKDTAL seams the gravity of depicting a lesbian relationship in our largely shushed society and the expected dreaminess of standing in a wheat stalk field waiting for love to sweep you by, a mainstream Bollywood trope for heterosexual love.
When and how does the movement towards the current of acceptance occur? How long can we keep layering the traumatic experiences of Bahujans with our revelations of how their stories have directed us towards realising our own privileges? Because when you keep ranting about having acknowledged your privilege(s) and not making active efforts towards accepting them, you sidetrack the marginalised voices even in trying to mainstream them.