social

Paradoxical Tharoor: or the disaster that was the Sabarimala blog

Shashi Tharoor’s article in the Print has stirred much controversy and this time I thoroughly disagree with his standpoint. When I read the article yesterday, I was disconcerted because its source is a liberal, who-as a trenchant scroll.in article stated-has “sacrificed equality at the altar of electoral politics”.

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Freedom of Speech in India

I was recently watching a debate on freedom of speech and whether it is acceptable for the government to curb it in order to maintain law and order. I have heard both sides of the argument and I have come to a conclusion of my own. There are three schools of thought here. One is… Continue reading Freedom of Speech in India

books · social

Persepolis: Book Review

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical work, depicting her life at the time of the Iranian (Persepolis is another name for Iran derived from the Greek name for Iran: Persia) Revolution and in its aftermath. The book contains a heartfelt and genuine portrayal of the political turmoils that shook the Middle East through the eyes of… Continue reading Persepolis: Book Review

history · books

The Medici by Paul Strathern: Review

I was first introduced to the Medicis from a game famed for its accuracy in depicting historical fiction. I know the line sounds a bit paradoxical, but this game has been the closest thing to the much needed time travelling that we need. Soon, I sought out YouTube to satiate my ever growing hunger for… Continue reading The Medici by Paul Strathern: Review

movies

Andhadhun (2018): Movie Review

This 2018, Tabu-Ayushmann starrer, packed in a lot of promise in its trailer. And I am here to tell you that it delivered more than it promised. It’s one of those few movies that potentially gave away nothing during its promotion. So you enter the movie theatre without much of an idea on what the hell is in store for you.

movies · social

Queen (2014): A Personification of India

Queen, the 2014 hit starring Kangana Ranaut, is Bollywood at its best. It is an example of how you can make a purposeful, trailblazing and, unassumingly socially reforming movie while including all the ingredients essential in a Bolly movie, namely, songs, dance numbers and entertainment. So what makes Queen occupy such a unique niche in the Hindi film industry?

movies · social

Dangal: A Misinterpreted Hit

I laud the effort but let's not overstate its achievement. Girls don't need to fit the masculine stereotypes to be respected.

books · social

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things, the Booker Prize winning work of Arundhati Roy, has left an indelible mark on my heart. It’s an unforgettable piece with serious commentary on class and caste based divisions, misogyny, but most importantly of love, bonds and the irreversible damage that can be inflicted with hate and ignorance.

books

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak: The Essence of Sufism

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, with a story of two sufi mystics being told through a book being read by our protagonist Ella Rubenstein while her life turns upside down, is probably the best example and execution of mise en abyme in English literature.

books

Reading Hosseini

It was back in high school when I was gifted a box set of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I had heard that a lot of critical acclaim had been showered upon them so I immediately got to reading. Reading Khaled Hosseini is a distinctly different experience than reading most other authors.… Continue reading Reading Hosseini

movies

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Thelma and Louise is the 1991 drama about two women who set out on a peculiar road trip. The road trip which becomes the metaphor for the suffocating clutches of sexism.

social

3 Step Cure for Bigotry

Bigotry is a dangerous disease that has appeared and reappeared throughout the majority of human history. It comes in spurts, ends on a catastrophic scale and reappears again when the generation who suffered through bigotry are not around to give precautions and proscriptions to keep bigotry at arm’s length. Bigotry was a localised phenomenon with… Continue reading 3 Step Cure for Bigotry

books · history · social

Train to Pakistan: A commentary on fear

Our history books have a sneaky way of evading the gruesome details and sticking to the glory of the past. I have always believed that seeing Indian struggle for independence through the eyes of one party led by a group of upper-middleclass intellectuals, who were and still are essentially a minority, isn’t accurate. Our history… Continue reading Train to Pakistan: A commentary on fear

social

The Weed Debate: why marijuana should be legalised.

Marijuana, Charas, Ganja, Bhang, Cannabis, it goes by many names and many compositions, but in the recent years it has been at the centre of a growing debate: should it be made legal or not. In this blog we will delve deeper into why legalising cannabis is actually worth a shot.

books

Lolita- is it a love story?

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is a rollercoaster ride of a book. I happened to be maintaining a note on my phone about how I felt about the characters and about the situations in the book, at different points. I was aware of the content and therefore wanted to keep a record of the array of opinions… Continue reading Lolita- is it a love story?

movies

Why Ratatouille is the Best Pixar Movie

I have seen the movie Ratatouille maybe more than a hundred times since its release eleven years ago. So, from 9 year old to 20 year old self, I have seen the movie from various perspectives and every time I see it, I discover something new.

social

The Inauspicious Indian Education System: A view from within

After 10th grade CBSE exam results came out, we were too distracted by all the toppers and all the above 95 percents to notice the ones who were getting smothered by the pressures of the Indian Educational “Rat Race”. Three students in Delhi have committed suicide. When I first saw the news, I was surprised to realise that I wasn’t surprised at all. Student suicides are so common place in India that it has been normalised to the extent where nothing tangible is being done to prevent them. Even when preventive measures are being taken they are so ill-executed that it is redundant. Or maybe the problem has such deep roots in our society that we cannot uproot it without a social awakening.

fandomverse · history

History Behind Assassin’s Creed: The Assassins.

Assassin’s Creed is one of the best open world games to exist. The charm of Assassin’s Creed, especially for its fans, lies in the intricate and well written story line and a masterful inter-weaving of fiction into the tapestry of historical reality.

books

Midnight’s Children: the magic of truth

Salman Rushdie’s magnum opus, Midnight’s Children is a singularly unique literary masterpiece. The book is an exemplary inter-weaving of reality and fantasy; the work is a benchmark for magic realism.

books · social

Coraline (Book Review)

Coraline is our every day 21st century kid. Wants to live her life to the fullest and have fun but are doomed to have parents who have absolutely no time for her. So she is fighting every day till the day she gets sucked into the same lifestyle or maybe not. But while she is neglected by her parents she goes about discovering the Pink Place, where she lives. She finds a small trap door

books · history

The Great Indian Novel (Review)

The Great Indian Novel, Shashi Tharoor’s debut into the writing world, (the title being a direct translation of Mahabharata, Maha-Great and Bharat-India), is a political satire which is also a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata. The author chronicles the twentieth century Indian history by drawing fitting analogies from the epic.

books

IT (Book): Review and Analysis

I recently finished reading Stephen King’s voluminous thriller: It. It is an exploration of the power of belief and childhood innocence over the banality of adult rationality and incredulity. Stephen King, in my opinion, has mastered the way a child thinks and how venomous adults can get. As always the real villains in the story seemed to be the adults, as one character, Eddie, explicitly mentions that, “adults are the real monsters”. And looking around the world I completely second that thought.

social

Decoding Childish Gambino’s This is America

Donald Glover also known by his stage name Childish Gambino has come out with the latest video of his song This is America and it has taken the world by a storm! This is America’s central theme is gun violence but boy, there is so much going on in this one video that it isn’t enough to just watch it a few times; you got to watch it a million times and it’s still going to leave you amazed. So let us begin with the decoding.

fandomverse · social

Defending Hannah

The first trailer of 13 Reasons Why season 2 is out and it looks thrilling. It seems like this season will be bigger and better than the last. After watching the trailer I started to remember the old point of contention that arose during the airing of the last season. Most people disliked Hannah for her actions and as the title suggests I am here to defend her. I am not a particular fan of Hannah’s characterisation but nevertheless I felt that the flak she received for being a victim was a tad bit too harsh.  

books

Wuthering Heights: A Case Study of Obsession

The story chronicles the lives of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff who had spent their entire childhoods together, in joy and in despair. Their bond was unquestionable but things took an awful turn

books

The Palace of Illusions

Vyasa’s Mahabharata was written from a generic male point of view despite constituting some very powerful and complex female characters. Divakaruni’s retelling flips the table and chronicles  Panchali’s journey from a naïve yet rebellious princess destined to change the course of history to the survivor of humiliation and hate to the queen fighting for vindication to the queen Hastinapur deserved; the metamorphosis of Draupadi, king Drupad’s daughter to Panchali, a woman who changed the course of history.

books · history · social

An Era of Darkness & Why I Am A Hindu: A Discourse

This book is a must read for those who would want to make themselves politically educated of their present and past. In fact I think everyone should read it irrespective of religion and political beliefs. And it might also help people decide whether they want to be a part of a multifarious pluralist India or one blinkered by a certain notion of the religion which is quick to take offence.  

movies · My Favourite Movie

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a tale that follows Mildred Hayes’ (Frances McDormand) struggle to fight apathy towards her daughter’s rape and murder. In an attempt to draw the authorities’ attention to the case, she puts up a message for the police chief, on three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. The seemingly harmless billboards have extraordinary ramifications in this masterfully done dark comedy.

movies · My Favourite Movie

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name is one of the most creatively beautiful, emotionally and self-reflectively stirring movies out there. Simply put, it is one of the most heart breakingly beautiful love story.

movies · My Favourite Movie

Lady Bird

This year’s Oscar front runner Lady Bird is a coming of age tale, which tells the story of a 17 year old named Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan). We see life through the eyes of a teenager with a mother whose love for her daughter borders on compulsive control of her decisions and choices. The story also serves as a reminder to appreciate our roots as Greta Gerwig does in her directorial debut, discovering Sacramento in all its charm and modesty.

movies · My Favourite Movie

Get Out (2017)

Get Out, this year's Oscar front runner is a “social thriller”, the term being used by the movie’s director Jordan Peele. And what a well fitted term it is!

movies

The Shape of Water (2017)

Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water is a commentary on love without the established bounds of society. This beautifully crafted movie goes in deeper with its exploration of love than any other movie of its kind had done before.

fandomverse

The Magic of Binge Watching

Binge watching television is a fairly newer trend. Ten or so years ago there wasn’t such a practice and even if there was it was often treated as obsession and requiring psychiatric therapy. But what was once applicable to crazed fanatics of motion picture has now become a brand in itself. It’s cool to binge watch now. But how does this help the television market?

movies · My Favourite Movie

Love Actually is….

Christmas time means Love Actually to me. So it is only befitting that I dedicate a blog to this beautiful movie. Love Actually is the only successful movie of its kind with a huge ensemble cast containing already famous names and some who would make it big in the later years. I have never seen a movie of its scale that was so well executed.

fandomverse

The Walking Dead: What Went Wrong!

I binged The Walking Dead this November and caught up to the current season and episode. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride and like all such rides it always ends by going downhill. Unfortunately, The Walking Dead has added its name to the list of all such great shows which, after seasons 4 or 5, were beyond recognition due to its bad writing. Such shows include Game of Thrones.

movies

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Halloween Binge

I really liked this movie. It is a powerhouse of entertainment and it has converted me into a Tim Curry fan.

movies

Coraline (2009): Halloween Binge

Coraline is not only a creative masterpiece but also a wonderful movie in the entirety. Coraline takes our imagination and fear for a roller coaster ride.

movies

Split (2016): Halloween Binge

This M. Night Shyamalam movie starring James McAvoy will send a chill down your spine but will fail to hit the right parts of our scary bones.

movies · My Favourite Movie

Shawshank Redemption (1994): My Favourite Movie #4

Based on the novella by Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) who is convicted for the alleged murder of his wife who was cheating on him. Although he is innocent, he is sentenced for life in Shawshank.

movies

Pitch Perfect: Review

Pitch Perfect. Aaaaand.....I wasn’t disappointed. I am glad I listened to her because this Anna Kendrick starrer got me grooving and singing along with Barden Bellas. And any movie getting you that involved got to be good.

movies

Halloween Binge: The Babadook (2014)

I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to the genre of horror. Horror, in my opinion, is a very subjective concept and the extent to which a movie horrifies or scandalises a person is completely up to what scares them. There are only a few movies that gave me the serious creeps, so that means… Continue reading Halloween Binge: The Babadook (2014)

fandomverse

The Plot that was Promised: Varys

This blog focuses on the most mysterious character of ASOIAF. While by now we have understood the working of all the players we love or love to hate, Varys remains a mystery. Who is he? Who does he support? What does he plan? What will he do? Much like Martin's other mysteries, we can only guess. But then, the show came along and ruined him forever. Now, Varys is a shadow of his former self, and here's a blog both mourning his loss and ranting about the ruin.

movies

October Horror Movie Haul: Carrie (1976)

The beginning of Stephen King’s incomparable contribution to Hollywood and Brian De Palma’s direction, Carrie is a movie worth its fame. The story revolves around a heavily bullied high schooler named Carrie White. She is taunted and teased by other girls and has no peace at home where she has to face an obnoxiously fanatic mother. She gets her first period and having heard nothing of that from her mother, she freaks out in her school shower room and has to face humiliation before getting saved by her kind gym teacher. This is how hard life is for Carrie.

movies

October Horror Movie Haul: The Thing (1982)

Released in the same year as Poltergeist, John Carpenter’s The Thing is a really good alien flick. A group of researchers are in the middle of nowhere in Antarctica when they are apparently attacked by two Norwegian researchers. After eliminating the two who were hunting a dog, three American researchers went to explore the Norwegian base. There they found a grotesque and twisted thing which they bring in for research.

movies

October Horror Movie Haul: Poltergeist (1982)

I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to the genre of horror. Horror, in my opinion, is a very subjective concept and the extent to which a movie horrifies or scandalises a person is completely up to what scares them. There are only a few movies that gave me the serious creeps, so that means that I have encountered massive disappointments in this genre. The problem with horror is that most movies aim to terrify the audience as much as possible; so much so that it fails to focus on the storyline. The weak plotline is often a downer especially if the scare factor is lame as well. Recently, watching IT rekindled my urge to find such good examples of horror movies. So I decided to binge on some horror/thriller/ Halloween themed movies; and what better time to do it in than in October? Today we will discuss Poltergeist (1982).

movies · social

October Horror Movie Haul: Get Out (2017)

I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to the genre of horror. Horror, in my opinion, is a very subjective concept and the extent to which a movie horrifies or scandalises a person is completely up to what scares them. There are only a few movies that gave me the serious creeps, so that means that I have encountered massive disappointments in this genre. The problem with horror is that most movies aim to terrify the audience as much as possible; so much so that it fails to focus on the storyline. The weak plotline is often a downer especially if the scare factor is lame as well. Recently, watching IT rekindled my urge to find such good examples of horror movies. So I decided to binge on some horror/thriller/ Halloween themed movies; and what better time to do it in than in October? Today's movie is Get Out (2017).

movies

October Horror Movie Haul: Donnie Darko

I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to the genre of horror. Horror, in my opinion, is a very subjective concept and the extent to which a movie horrifies or scandalises a person is completely up to what scares them. There are only a few movies that gave me the serious creeps, so that means that I have encountered massive disappointments in this genre. The problem with horror is that most movies aim to terrify the audience as much as possible; so much so that it fails to focus on the storyline. The weak plotline is often a downer especially if the scare factor is lame as well. Recently, watching IT rekindled my urge to find such good examples of horror movies. So I decided to binge on some horror/thriller/ Halloween themed movies; and what better time to do it in than in October?

movies · My Favourite Movie

Flipped: My Favourite Movie #3

A Rob Reiner movie, Flipped is a sweet teenage love story set in the 1950s. I first saw this movie in 11th grade on a friend’s suggestion. Then, I was going through a very difficult period and was struggling with depression. This movie saved my life. I loved it so much that watching it became a part of my daily routine. Every night I would watch this movie before going to bed, readying myself for another day and drowning out that day. So I would take this opportunity to thank Mr. Reiner for making this movie.

books · fandomverse

Top 5 Dan Brown Books

Dan Brown is one of my favourites and one of the most popular authors of the 21st century. Dan Brown is specifically talented in weaving fiction with real life events and organisations. For me Dan Brown is my go to author to learn a lot about history and symbology within a book. I loved Brown’s books so much that I once aspired to be a symbologist myself. This year Dan Brown will take us on a trip to Spain and explore the cities of the beautiful country and delve deep into its history as Robert Langdon solves yet another mystery.

fandomverse · movies · My Favourite Movie

The Godfather: My Favourite Movie #2

Today we will talk about arguably the best movie ever made by Hollywood or any damn wood out there. The Godfather. This movie is one of a kind and ingenious. The Godfather is responsible in spinning a whole new generation of directors trying to make something as good as this. But no one has succeeded out topping The Godfather and no one will, at least in the near future. So today's pick is this timeless classic.