City City Bang Bang

Weekly Column

The Overachieving Verb

If earlier we liked someone or something, it usually stayed within us. it gave us a nice warm feeling, it was a little fund of goodwill, a splashy puddle of well-being. Sometimes we communicated our appreciation, most often we did not. The words we used to describe our way of being have now been hijacked… Read more »

Negotiating With Power?

On a recent trip to a small North Indian town, one heard a familiar story of an effective local politician who worked hard to solve the problems of the people who came to him for help. He held a daily durbar, something most local ground-level politicians in India need to do to look after the… Read more »

The limits of propaganda?

A Rs 11,300-crore scandal broke out last week, and leading English channels immediately scrambled to find a way to protect the government and blame the previous government in a variety of inventive ways. This tactic is hardly a surprise to anyone who has had the misfortune of watching television news regularly. Every time the government… Read more »

Highways of Change?

Roads feel a certain way. Every highway has its own character, its own little quirks. One gets to notice this best when one drives down the same road regularly, but infrequently. As a document of change, the road is quite articulate and travelling year in and out on the same road is instructive, for it… Read more »

The making of the individual in India?

Historically, the idea of being an individual in India could generally speaking, only be expressed in the plural. The ‘I’ was never quite alone, coming accompanied as it did with the overhang of the ‘we’. Our sense of identity was akin to that of a grain of sticky khichdi- potentially separate but always clinging on… Read more »

The Bollywood treatment?

If reports are to be believed, schools in some parts of India were advised not to play any song from the film Padmaavat on Republic Day. This is perhaps no more than a minor addition to the list of absurdities that surround the film, but it does invite a question- why on earth would any… Read more »