Haalo, This Is Kalol Calling

The faded wall-painting in Raipur is for an event management company called Crazy Chaps. Only one part has been repainted, the only bit that matters: the mobile phone number. In a small but telling way, it speaks of the centrality of the mobile phone in India; it is as if almost every aspect of one’s… Read more »

Drinking Zyada Shakti

Actually, I was a Bournvita kind of person. If I could have had my way, I’d have been a drinking chocolate kind of person. But then, this was 1977 and I was 14 years old and in no position to be fussy about what I wanted. Before I moved to Delhi, I spent over five… Read more »

A Case Of Bazaar Piety

Nothing underlines the power of celebrity as much as the outpouring of public reaction to Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan’s new television show. The issue of sex selection and female infanticide is hardly a new or undocumented one, and stories similar to the heart-rending ones we saw last week have been brought to us before, even… Read more »

Epicure Shrugged -Wealth and pleasures have collapsed the traditional boundaries of the middle class

Something has changed. There was a time when anyone with a voice that could be heard described themselves as belonging to the middle class. We still do that, but that is merely to emphasise our rootedness. When we speak of the middle class today, we speak of it in the third person, as if that… Read more »

Message In A Bottle

Thank God for those opaque bottles of Diet Coke! Without them, the 25th reunion I attended in Ahmedabad last month would likely have been considerably less spirited. The sight of grown, balding, paunchy men behaving as if they were errant children as they swigged furtively from bottles containing some undetermined alcohol would have been peculiar… Read more »

Two Seconds To Midnight, Indian Standard Time

With barely 12 days to go for the CWG, the Organising Committee spokesperson looked the camera dead in the eye and asserted reassuringly that as much as 70 per cent of work on the athletes’ accommodation had been completed. Now, it was merely a question of the 30 per cent that remained. Simple arithmetic tells… Read more »