A Handful of Stories

Reportage on health, science and politics. And some meditations on film


The Idea of Poonam Pandey

THANE AND MUMBAI ~ On the afternoon of 16 March 2012, when Sachin Tendulkar hit his hundredth century in international cricket, nearly every radio station in Mumbai lined up the song Chak De! Indiaand a Poonam Pandey joke in tribute. As radio wisecracks go, it wasn’t much of a cracker. “Don’t do a Poonam Pandey,” a chirpy male RJ advised his even-chipper…

Mamata Banerjee: A profile circa 2014

As West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rides a wave of triumphalism before the general election of 2014, a visit to her state reveals all is not as funny as the Trinamool leader’s limericks. Trinamool Congress chairperson and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a painter, and a poet, essayist and writer with 45 books to her authorship. Her preferred…