A Handful of Stories

Long and short features on the arts. Some science. And a few profiles

Books and Arts

The New Viranagana and the Memories of Nadia

A figure leaps headlong onto the screen, fully armoured, face hooded by a helmet. Spears are sent clattering, sentries hurtle across the room, Bajirao and his lieutenant watch in surprise. We don’t know whether this is a man or a woman, friend or foe. Could this be Mastani? The anticipation was nicely set up by the trailer for Bajirao Mastani,…

The Tribal Hero in Bollywood

  SS RAAJAMOULI’S BAAHUBALI: THE BEGINNING opened in theatres on 10 July last year, in a season overcast with the muscular release of Yash Raj Films’Bajrangi Bhaijaan, starring Salman Khan. Baahubali, featuring the Telugu stars Prabhas and Rana Daggubati in lead roles, came with one of the biggest budgets of any Indian film (Rs 175 crore), the promise of spectacular vistas…

Why Ved Mehta Writes a 100 Drafts

The stories writer Ved Mehta—polite even when he edits your English, soft-spoken, precise in speech—tells you in person are very often anecdotes you would find recounted in his enviably large body of work. Or observations he has made in other interviews, which can be found handily collated on his website. There are also some marvellous, fantastical anecdotes that make an…