Browsing All Posts filed under »Society«

Readers Write In #289: Aims, a Memoir

October 24, 2020

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(by G Waugh) Born into a middle class family that subsisted on a single income, there was only one purpose for which I was thrust into education- ‘settling’ in life. ‘Settling’ meant only one thing- getting a well-paid job, marrying and having kids. After slogging for over four years in an area where I was […]

Readers Write In #284: Bereavements, a Memoir

October 19, 2020

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(by G Waugh) I was 16 then. At 7 in the morning on a Sunday, my dad was woken up by a phone call from Theni. He could divine from the way the landline rang that it was an STD call. “Pitchaimani here, Hey, Raja tell me. What happened?” A break of silence. A deep […]

Readers Write In #277: First American Presidential Debate 2020 as Reality TV

October 2, 2020

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(by Prasanna H) The Real House-Whites of Trump and Biden “Why do celebrities wash their dirty whites in public?” an exasperated Naseeruddin Shah once said. It really makes you wonder, especially when reality TV stars do it more professionally. It is not an exact quote, meaning Naseer would have denied it completely if he were […]

The Discreet Charm of the Savarnas

September 30, 2020

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Starting a thread for this short film, with its pointedly Buñuel-ian title. It’s produced by Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Productions and directed by Rajesh Rajamani.

Mammootty, Mohanlal and their long-delayed journey to ‘mass’

September 18, 2020

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When did two award-winning performers turn mass heroes and what was the trigger? And, who among the younger lot will take their place? BR: We started this series about a Telugu star (Prabhas) and we went on to discuss Tamil stardom (the Vijay/Ajith phenomenon), so this time I thought it would be interesting to visit the big heroes […]

Readers Write In #271: Why should we read the Mahabharata?

September 18, 2020

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(by G Waugh) I had always wanted to write exclusively about the Mahabharata. The below question from a reader Varsha Ganesh on the comments section came as an excuse for me to do it.   “I’m really curious about your comment on the Mahabharata too. What made you read all those different interpretations on it? […]

Bitty Ruminations 91 – The erasure of (film) history

September 17, 2020

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There are two reasons for writing this. One is awkshwayrd’s comment on the SADAK 2 thread, in response to my comment about Mahesh Bhatt: @brangan: There is a masterclass from you buried in the comments here. I’d never heard of any of these movies (MANZILEIN AUR BHI HAIN? AWAARGI? SAATHI?) and I’m a 80’s kid […]

Readers Write In #268: Tamizhanda!!

September 12, 2020

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(by G Waugh) “Kadaisi Tamizhanin Raththam Ezhum Vezhaadhe!!!” (The last drop of a Tamil’s blood will not fall, but rise!!) “Oh how?Do the blood of Tamils have a different set of genetic instructions that make it rise against the pull of gravity?” I know my question to my fellow ‘Tamilanda’ office team-mate was absurd and […]

Readers Write In #259: Oh Teacher, Where Art Thou?

September 4, 2020

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(by G Waugh) ‘Jeeva what do you want to become in future?’ ‘I want to be a teacher da’  This was me when I was not older than 5. I studied in one of the most expensive schools at the heart of Chennai where a child belonging to a middle-class family like mine would be […]

Readers Write In #257: This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

September 1, 2020

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(by Rahini David) I will never forget the day when I got super-excited about the influence of birth-order on personality and psychology. I had taken my daughter to a nearby park. She was 5. She was excited to meet her classmates, 2 twin girls who had also dropped in to play. It interested me that […]

Are Vijay and Ajith Tamil Cinema’s last set of “dual” superstars?

August 28, 2020

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OTTs platforming star films, new-age actors, film budgets…what do all of these mean to an audience used to energetic FDFS celebrations? VM: I’m not sure how many people realise this but Suriya’s decision to go straight to OTT with Soorarai Pottru is kind of a watershed moment in the history of Tamil cinema. It’s like the OTTs […]

Readers Write In #253: American high school style in South India

August 27, 2020

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(by Krishikari) The Kodai School graduating class of 1982 Imagine a school where teenage boys and girls flirted in the halls on their way to classes, planned their outfits for the weekend dance before skipping off to cheerleader practice or the library. Imagine being young like that, formal proms at the end of the year, […]

Readers Write In #249: Free Market and democracy

August 23, 2020

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(by G Waugh) The very idea of a free-market economy is often conflated with the idea of true freedom an individual is supposed to enjoy. And the reason why we guys keep writing the about the ‘free-market’ all the time is because it is one most powerful idea that has wreaked the most havoc among […]

Readers Write In #247: How do Bergman and Babu Sivan think alike?

August 19, 2020

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(by G Waugh) Can man lead his life without believing in anything? The inability of man’s spirit to live and flourish without believing in anything could have been one of the reasons behind the invention of religion. In Bergman’s 1963 classic Winter Light, a fisherman Jonas is brought to the village priest Tomas Ericsson by […]

Readers Write In #246: The dilemma of a twenty-first century father

August 17, 2020

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(by G Waugh) “Never steal a penny from the other. Never lie to anyone. Be truthful all the time. If you cheat or lie, there is someone from the skies who keeps watching you all the time. He will punish you the very next moment. Be wary!” When I was some three or four years, […]

Readers Write In #244: America and today’s Islamophobia

August 16, 2020

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(by G Waugh) “It’s not radical Islam that worries the US — it’s independence” This was Noam Chomsky, America’s most famous and controversial public intellectual and polemicist. In today’s world where Islamophobia is fast becoming the norm in even relatively secular countries, a short flashback of the role America played in nurturing Islamic terrorism in […]

Readers Write In #243: Rashomon and Rashomon Effect

August 15, 2020

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(by Radhakrishnan Mahalikudi) “Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing.”   — Akira Kurosawa Official Trailer: In the words of Richard Feynman: “From a long view of the history of mankind – seen from, say, ten thousand years from now – there can be little […]

Readers Write In #242: Gandhi-Nehru: Marriage of Inconvenience

August 14, 2020

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(by G Waugh) Gandhi did not believe in industrialization or technology. He thought that machines shall end up depriving man of the strength and vitality he was supposed to derive from manual labour. He thought machines by increasing production, shall multiply human needs and add to his fetish for commodity acquisition. This way he feared […]

The Last Empire – A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia

August 13, 2020

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A plug for G Waugh’s book version of his essays on Russia… I would like to announce the launching of my first book – THE LAST EMPIRE – A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia. It is a collection of fifteen essays that chronicle the history of Russia/USSR from 1917 till 1991. The origin and […]

Readers Write In #241: When Lord Krishna and Woody Allen met on my account!

August 11, 2020

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(by G Waugh) Arjuna, the warrior felt deeply uncomfortable about taking on his rivals, the Gauravas who were his siblings after all. He was much worried about fighting is own Guru Dronacharya who treated him like a son. It was a deep dilemma for Arjuna. He simply couldn’t pick his bow and begin fighting the […]