A Handful of Stories

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

Essays

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…

Oh! Calcutta

Old-world charms and multi-cultural delights are discovered in ‘dirty Calcutta’ By Sohini Chattopadhyay | 1 December 2015 The grey, gorgeous sulk of the Kolkata monsoon is best spent in bed, listening to the intense, melodic rain. Another way, equally endorsed, is dreaming with a book and a pot of tea, preferably, with the phone switched off.Home for the rains this time…

Sari and I

The sari in the urban office space is a message: see, I can handle this extravagant, ancient garment without zippers and stitches and convenient buttons. I can wrap it round and tuck it in strategic places without looking absurd. I can walk around, climb up stairs, carrying yards and yards of excess fabric on my person, without tripping. I can…