Everything The Light Touches

  We meet Shai. We meet Evelyn. We meet Johann. Each of them – I notice – is set out on a journey. Shai visits her parents in Shillong. Her work Delhi is almost over. A publishing company printing travel magazines cannot sustain long. She is going through a career crisis. What next? A question that haunts us once in a while. She indulges her father chatting ‘ about plant communication, their immense aromatic vocabulary, their capacity for memory ’. She charts an unexpected journey to a remote village in Meghalaya, amidst pine trees and bamboo thickets, to visit her nanny. There she learns the rural way of life, closer to the earth, learning to sow and harvest. Mountain deities, sacred grooves, trees known by their individual names. Life seems relevant ‘ in learning to tend and grow, prune and harvest ’. A purpose at last. A calm in understanding seasons. “ What will happen will happen, and sometimes just being open to that means a new path might unfurl before you.” “Everyth

Hyderabad - Book Review

  Title: Hyderabad (Book II of The Partition Trilogy) Author: Manreet Sodhi Someshwar Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: HarperCollins India Pages: 347 Published: September 2022 Rating: 3/5 Buy at: Buy on Amazon Blurb Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the largest Princely State of the Crown. It sits in the belly of newly independent India to which Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel want Hyderabad to accede. The Communist have concurrently mounted a state-wide rebellion. But the Nizam’s family has ruled Hyderabad for 200 years. As the wealthiest man in the world, whom the British consider numero uno amongst India’s princes, he will not deal with two-penny Indian politicians! An ancient prophecy, however, hangs over the Nizam – the Asaf Jahi dynasty will last only seven generations. So, he keeps his jewel-laden trucks ready for flight even as he schemes with his army of militant Razakars. Meanwhile, in the palace thick with intrigue, the maid Uzma must decid

Goodbye - A Take on Grief

This movie has attempted to delve into topics that perhaps not many bollywood movies had done before. Death of a family member and how the family deals with it. There is grief, guilt, people advising different things, a business going on for funeral rites and rituals, the hullabaloo and elaborate customs that make little sense to someone who has not seen or known it before. There is this underlying strife between religious customs and scientific logic. And the uninitiated youth of the family goes through a lot of emotional upheaval trying to make sense of it all. Coming to terms with the traditions, accepting that performing the rituals is someone’s form of solace, there might be an explanation that we do not know of yet, was shown deftly, and with kindness and compassion in the movie. They have handled emotions, as raw as grief, and confusion that comes with it so well. I have cried buckets during this movie, but I also loved it in its entirety, it is truly made with so much love. We

Kantara - The Legend

There is a demigod, who is a bit scary, but he has the forest people’s good interest. Some see him as the Varah avatar of Lord Vishnu. His statue, the rock that represents him and his ornaments are sacred to the people. They perform puja and pray to him for their wellbeing. He is their deity, their protector. He speaks through a performer who dresses up during an annual festival, paints his face, and dances to the beats of instruments and anklets. He speaks once a year and appears in dreams of the faithful. The high pitched sound that he makes gives goosebumps. There’s a riff between the forest officials, the tribals and the landlord. The story proceeds on the twist and turns, and how it is resolved. The message is strong at the end of the movie, telling us to value the forest - mother nature, and the people who live there and depend on the forest for their livelihood.  I love movies based on folktales, myths, and lores of past, local oral tales. Legends are so important in storytellin

The Role of My City in Shaping Me

The Bangalore Palace I have been in Bangalore for one year now, on and off, as we move to and fro from our hometown in Odisha.  I have access to the best restaurants and cuisine here. I tasted Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Korean along with Punjabi and Mughlai ones. Lip smacking goodness. And the interiors of these restaurants exude class and style and art like no other. I can take a bit from here and another tip from there for the interiors of my future home. Though there’s traffic, the street food here is from around the country, catering to most diverse palates. The theatres here show movies from several states, dubbed in Hindi and subtitles are always available in English. Recently I watched ‘Kantara’ - the latest Kannada movie phenomenon- and was bowled over by the talent of the actors, directors, cinematographers and script writers. We have access to so many varied cultures and storytelling from so many different regions. But it makes me think - I know not much of Odia folklore.

Some Musings and A Book Review

** Cherry Writes ** I have an interview in five days that I have to prepare for. But I choose to pen down a review of this book that I started and finished reading two days ago along with random musings and stressful thoughts because I need to write and paint and read when I should be studying. That is just how I function. Unfortunately. At hostel, there were classes, chores and friends that helped me escape the preparation. So, I came home in hopes of relieving myself of any excuse I might or might not come up with. And I’m still not serious enough. This habit of doing things at the very last moment and still getting good enough results has spoilt me. Even though I know that it won’t work this time, I still find it difficult to sit and be productive. In my defense, at the cost of sounding lame, I even tried putting on brown noise in the afternoon and found myself waking up three hours later. My brain believes that if I could have an amazing time watching something or reading something

Once in a while, I ramble

I haven’t been able to write with feeling for long. My writings feel like stick figures without a soul of their own. Enacted pieces, cut and pasted from somewhere. This is not entirely me, I miss that part of me who could evoke emotions in a reader, compel him to stand and stare and think. Reflect. I rarely reflect on events myself these days. I rarely dwell on incidents. My mind is either numb, or overworked or asleep or on a low attention span. I have mastered ignoring, moving on and letting go, procrastinating, filling my time with chores or random Instagram reels, that I rarely make time to stand and stare. Once upon a book, I reminisce childhood days, mortality, the fast paced life, dwindling friendships and then move on to the next book. Books are my only yearly goals now, it seems, meant to fill in my social media posts, and my timelines. I just jot some sentences and post an update in my bookish Instagram account, not bothering to do a full fledged review in my blog. Where’s th

Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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