Aboard the Nostalgia Express

According to newspaper reports, the railway reservation chart is now history. And for generations of Indians, the meaning of rail travel has been altered. Bit by bit, railway travel as we once knew it is being changed. We get our tea and coffee in thermos flasks. The kullad-chai, is now increasingly a thing of nostalgia… Read more »

An ecosystem of fear?

The arrest of several rights activists across the country on charges of having Maoist links has created deep disquiet among many commentators. Accompanied as it is, by a new label- ‘Urban Naxals’, it is being seen as a sign that this government is determined to act against all signs of dissent and build a narrative… Read more »

The pleasures of bargaining

Growing up, going shopping with older female relatives was always a nightmare. They took inordinately long, visiting at least a dozen shops before even thinking about buying something. They seemed most interested in the least important things- hair clips being particular favourites. They fussed about things that were exceedingly trivial- choosing the colour of a… Read more »

Re-negotiating our freedoms?

Is WhatsApp to blame for the lynchings that have taken place in the country recently? There is no doubt that WhatsApp messages have played a key role in some of the incidents, but how valid is it to place the blame on and acting against what is after all, a medium of circulating information? The… Read more »

The new public spaces

Using paper towels in a toilet at an Indian airport feels surreal to those who have grown up in another India. There is a wholly unfamiliar sense of crisp hygiene that accompanies its use and one can only imagine how many illnesses have been prevented by this one simple facility. The filthy communal towels of… Read more »

The decline of collective trust?

Across the world, we have stumbled upon a truly vexing and quite a fundamental problem- we can’t seem to able to authoritatively separate the real from the fake, fact from opinion, expertise from motivated opinion. The world appears different depending on our belief system and every erstwhile fact is now merely someone’s opinion, and all… Read more »