The world is their oyster

As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world. Virginia Woolf. I am raising one-and-a-half cheers for 41-year-old Priyanca Radhakrishnan. She is a New Zealander by citizenship, born in Chennai, Keralite by birth, Singaporean by early domicile and finally settled in …

So, what will you be doing this Season?

Flight booking. Check. Hotel booking. Check. Car booking. Check. Music Academy season ticket. Check. All present and correct. That was last year. It’s getting close to twenty-five years now and I don’t believe I have skipped the Chennai or Margazhi music season even once. Not that I spent the whole of December in the cultural …

The Unbearable Tyranny of the Password

Sorry, your password must contain a capital letter, two numbers, a symbol, an inspiring message, a spell, a gang sign, a hieroglyph, and the blood of a virgin. Anon. Last time I checked, I was the custodian of something of the order of thirty-seven passwords, and counting. That would be around thirty-five more passwords than …

Much ado about the humble idli

                  The ongoing palaver over the ‘idli is boring’ statement by an English historian is, frankly, getting a bit tedious. There’s a whole army of self-righteous voices on mainstream and social media, particularly the latter (surprise, surprise) who have decided to take up cudgels on behalf of India’s favourite breakfast dish. Make that south India’s. …

Grit your teeth and bear it

Take a near-fatal dose on rising, of course. But take a near-fatal dose the night before, in addition. Then numbness descends on numbness. Then you are two distances away from your reality. Martin Amis. Celebrated author Martin Amis’ sage advice to those who are viewing an impending visit to the dentist, particularly if dental surgery …

Fred the Fly Takes the Cake

A friendly fly on the wall has been privy to a number of recent interrogations that have been taking place in Mumbai in connection with the alleged Sushant Singh Rajput murder / suicide case (strike out whichever is not applicable), the Rhea Chakraborty angle along with her brother, the death of Disha Salian under mysterious …

Let’s hear it for the Zoom zombies

The ongoing pandemic (is it ever going to end?) has allowed many housebound men, women, boys and girls to take up a long-lost hobby and give full vent to their latent talent. Incidentally, rarely do you get two anagrammatic words (latent and talent) in close juxtaposition. Call it serendipity, but I digress. Take me, for …

Rave on, Sir Van Morrison

Growing up in the sixties and seventies in India, my musical influences were many. My family was wedded to the arcane and intricate wonders, with plenty of theology casually thrown in, of South Indian Carnatic music, as distinct from the more universally embraced North Indian or Hindustani music, popularised in the west by the likes …

LOTUS for POTUS?

The nomination of Kamala Harris as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate for the forthcoming elections in the United States this November, has set the cat among the pigeons here in India. People from various parts of Tamil Nadu, which is where Kamala’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan hailed from, thence migrated to Oakland, California back in the ‘60s, …

No full stops on television

Let me confess, straight off the bat, that I have not seen a single movie starring the late Sushant Singh Rajput. Since I have virtually stopped seeing Hindi films after the 70s, even the Shah Rukh Khans, Aamir Khans and Salman Khans have passed me by, like the idle wind. They are a closed book …