A Handful of Stories

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

Tag Archive for Anushka Sharma

The Class of Kaira, Shyra and Shanaya in Bollywood

Kaira, Shyra, Akira, Kia, Tia, Sia. Shanaya. These are Bollywood’s cool new names, broadly classified into the “ya” or “ra” nomenclature. The Poojas, Nishas, Anjalis and Nehas of the 1990s are déclassé. These new names carry an unmistakable aspiration to be global.They are unrooted to place, community or any kind of identity except class. They are almost never longer than three syllables and easy to pronounce. They float on coolness and lightness. An ex-colleague memorably christened them “First-World Yoga Names—FWYN”.

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,…

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…