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from 'Zones of Assault' by Ranjit Hoskote

Zones of Assault by Ranjit Hoskote (born in Bombay, in 1969), his first book of poems, was published in 1991. From the book's back cover:
This is also, at one level, a poetry of landscape, of battleground, foodplains and mountains. The vitiated coast of and near Bombay (where the poet lives) and a Central Asian terrains - inherited from Hoskote's ancestral past, which is Kashmiri - play a significant role in some poems.
Reviewing Zones of Assault, in 1991 for India Today, Agha Shahid Ali, a poet who often traced his Kashmiri ancestry in his work, wrote: "Hoskote wants to discover language, as one would a new chemical in a laboratory experiment. This sense of linguistic play, usually missing from subcontinental poetry in English, is abundant in Hoskote’s work."



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Two Women in Midsummer

Two women in midsummer
Sharing their loss
In traditional white.


Walls, their bricks baked brown,
Relieved now and then
By pictures fading into cool green remembrances.


Idols in a corner…

Indira's Emergency and India's Film

Societies prefer to learn from their failures rather than from successes. As the rise and fall of Indira Gandhi recedes into India's past, the true lessons of her rule are apt to be forgotten and people are likely to discover in her the various aspects of their own rejected selves, thus mythologizing the entire experience of her rule as the battle between the good and the evil, the progressive and the regressive, and the hard and the soft. - Ashis Nandy in his book 'At the Edge of Psychology: Essays in Politics and Culture' (1980) starting off the essay 'Indira Gandhi and the culture of Indian Politics'

Nobody is more into the business of mythologizing in India than its film Industry. And yet.

If we think about Films, Emergency years and Indira Politics, name of films like Gulzar's Aandhi (1975) and Sudhir Misra's Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005) come to mind. Most often, that's about it. And both these films in pure terms are not actually about politi…

Dr Kotnis, Amar in China

A poster of V. Shantaram's film 'Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani' published in year 1946 in Telugu film journal Roopavani. Found it in the archives of Centre for the Study of Culture and Society.
Dwarkanath Kotnis, the Indian doctor who treated Chinese soldiers during the Sino-Japan war of 1938 and won the heart of Mao Zedong has been chosen in national poll in China as one of the top ten foreigners who made “exceptional contributions to the country in the past 100 years."

The Internet poll organized by the China Radio International has the stamp of official approval as Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, took a direct interest in it. (more at Times of India dated 11 Dec, 2009)

Weird News from 1997

I guess its customary for Newspapers to come out with these silly things at the end of the year. The following cutting is from Hindustan Times dated December 20, 1997.



The odd thing is that the article didn't mention how gorilla became a cop. I wanted to know.

Star Plus wallay Sai Baba, Laser wallay Maidan May

Came across this curious flyer recently.

Television. Actors. Godmen. Lasers.
Too good.

Shooting with eyes shut

I wanted to laugh. At any given moment there are enough people who believe a country out to be run like a mob.We have a mob.

 P. Chidambaram earlier represented Enron as a senior lawyer in India. (That should be enough. Still.) And at one time he was also one of the non-executive directors of British mining conglomerate ‘Vedanta Resources’ where he helped it in getting listed at LSE. And Chidambaram represented it in the Mumbai High Court until 2003, quitting because he became the finance Minister of India.   Vedanta's Bihar born 'Millionaire but only matriculate pass' owner now lives in Europe (Arundhati Roy gave the address as: 'London in a mansion that once belonged to the Shah of Iran') and is believed to be very smart: "Anil Agarwal, Vedanta’s chief executive, who founded Sterlite in 1976, caused further controversy last year [2002] when he attempted to delist Sterlite in Bombay. At the time, Mr Agarwal owned 80 per cent of Sterlite’s shares and his offe…