I like the setting- the locales of Gujarat- the desert, the village lifestyle, the way of living in that village of Talsagra. I like the house itself- it is so like a thing of the past, a white palace-like bungalow. I like the terrace (marble tiled) where Gulaal comes to dry the clothes in the clothes line. I like the verandah where they dry the kitchen things (food items- chili and grains). I like the very decorum of the house- the way the furnitures are, the way every room is furnished, decorated in traditional style (typical of villages); the way they eat in plates made of brass and bronze, not steel. (Glasses too of brass or bronze). Even the way they cook in the kitchen-not with gas, but firewood and earthen ‘chulah’, sitting on the floor- the most Indian and traditional way.

Just love Gulaal’s ghagra cholis, the bangles, green color, all ‘chunars’, their turban, and the kurta pajamas.

I like the flashbacks, how the past plays an important role in the serial, the memories, the nostalgia and the missing of the old days. I like the very presence of letters- how Kesar reads them missing the days of the past- happy childhood he had spent with Gulaal. Every character in it has a charm of its own. Even Vasant- who is dead, present just in memories and the photographs, circles round the lives of the characters. The intricacies in relationships are very touching and close to my heart- it’s a kind of feel that one gets in any R.N. Tagore story. Every tune, every silence, every gaze speaks millions.

Some of the episodes that I really liked: towards the starting of the serial, when Vasant and Gulaal finally discover water from underground; the ‘ghiar-wattu’ episode in which Gulaal marries young Kesar (8 years younger than her) instead of Dushyant; the comeback of Kesar after 10 year leap; the episode in which Gulaal drowns and Kesar saves her; and then the episode when Gulaal suffers from high fever and Kesar takes care of her inspite of his unrelenting anger- that was so touching.

“Gulaal- Zindegi ke har rang”---‘Colors of Life’ 


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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