A Handful of Stories

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

Category: Essays

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…

It Happened One Night

Thirteen people have been sentenced to 20 years for the gangrape of a tribal woman in West Bengal’s Birbhum district earlier this year. The trial was so swift that the judge didn’t wait for forensic test results. Many Rashomon versions of the case exist, but the long shadow of one political party is common to all of them 

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…