26th April I have said and done a lot of hurtful things to my mother for which I am repenting today, will repent forever. But so has everyone else. My father, my sister. Such is life, we fight, we make up, nobody is perfect. Sometimes we say sorry, sometimes we don’t speak for days and then cook something special for the person we hurt and move on. The thing I cannot tolerate anymore is my eight and half years younger sister assuming a morally superior position and trying to judge me in order to defend dad. This is a mistake, … Continue reading When a Pillar Falls The Building Crumbles, The Family Falls Apart
Is there a flow chart that explains how notes tumbling out of corrupt homes enter poor households? Continue reading Demontisation: Minor Inconvenience Are For Greater Good But Anyone Seen The Flow Chart?
Update: 12th October 2016 I continue to update this blog with any development on this chapter of my life, this breakup. On Facebook I maintain the continuity by making updates tagged with #SVDAndI it is a spin off on the British satirical film Withnail and I. On this blog, follow the category SVDAndI for all related stories. Update: 20-Aug-2016 This is the story of my break up with a friend I had for almost 30 year. The lines (below) written on 26th July was the first reaction I had to this breakup. At that time I was still thinking this is a fight and … Continue reading The World As I Knew It Has Ended
My Huffington Post article on Candid Wedding Photography in India, and the lack of wedding documentary photography has angered all the eminent wedding photographers of India. … Continue reading Back To The Roots: A Wedding Photo Documentary Part 1
“Our sweetest songs are those
that tell of saddest thoughts”
Our happiest stories are those
that remained unwritten.
You and I are that wonderful story,
like a movie script that never got filmed.
like that rumour going around, a clandestine affair,
a star couple that the fans rooted for,
but which never happened.
We remained unwritten. Continue reading “Poem: Unwritten”
Alright whenever mom is not around I have a lot of issues with dad. This blog has already seen evidence of that. Since last night he’s given me 10 warnings that, “Tomorrow, early morning, I would go to Sarojini Nagar Market.” In this heat, he wants to venture out, go to Sarojini from Dwarka, changing two buses for some work he can easily do on a weekday after office hours, maybe by adjusting a few hours here and there. He would never taken an auto (three-wheeler). He has NEVER taken an auto or cab in his entire life for himself alone. Can anybody … Continue reading When Old People Don’t Know They Are Old And Are Stubborn
This event took place exactly 4 years ago, in May’2006 when I had completed one year of blog. By sheer work of fate BBC World had reached out to me to talk about the use of internet amongst Indian youth. … Continue reading Delhi Bloggers Meet with BBC World Radio May’2006
Samyukta Media is alive and kicking, please visit website for more updates http://www.samyuktamedia.com So it has been about 3 months that I have quit and an update is much needed on how has life been without a job. Life has been … Continue reading Launch of Samyukta Media: My small step in a big world
A war has been waged by the Indian Blogsphere against NDTV Journalist Ms. Barkha Dutt. Recap: Certain Mr. Kunte wrote this blog post against Barkha Dutt. Note, I said against Barkha Dutt as a whole, not just on her reporting style. He called her an ‘idiot.’ Soon he followed it with a public apology and withdrawal. The language of the withdrawal post was very legal so Indian blogshpere went ahead and assumed (may be rightly) that Ms. Dutt might have threatened him with legal consequences. A huge uproar followed, on blogs, twitter, suddenly Kunte was a famous victim of coercion … Continue reading Kunte v. Dutt: Indian Bloggers’ waged a war against their favourite enemy
Starting from today I am introducing an Interview section on my blog. One interview every month. Starting with Jasmine Shah, the Campaign Coordinator of the Janaagraha and Tata Tea initiative, Jaago Re! One Billion Vote campaign. I took this interview … Continue reading An Interview with Jasmine Shah of Jaago Re!
It is official. Mutiny, the thought terminus of India which was till now restricted to the world wide web is officially a national publication. Refined, refurbished and printed it is now up for grabs. You can now hold the ‘Mutiny’ … Continue reading Mutiny Print edition
Talking about that shit called Love. I won’t talk much about it anymore. Already shared a lot on my Facebook and Twitter. We authors cannot write about someone unless they are out of our lives. But this man is a … Continue reading This Shit Really Did Happen, It Was On The Morning Papers, Then Came the But
A Five Judge mixed faith Bench of Supreme Court today declared, by a 3:2 majority, the practice of Triple Talaq, one-sided instant divorce by Muslim men bad in law and unconstitutional. This is a welcome judgment. The self appointed male custodian of religion, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board have been given a strong message by Muslim women that they will no longer decide upon women’s lives in name of religion. Women’s right to equality is above religion, this should message should also be heard by Hindu religious Gurus. The right to enter Sabrimala temple is also in Court, … Continue reading #TripleTalaq Unconstitutional – Welcome Decision By SC, Muslim Women’s Struggle Vindicated, BJP Tries To Misappropriate
How do different judges give completely different contradictory judgments on exactly same matter is a mystery better unsolved. Because if we do solve it, a can of worms will be opened. In a new judgment the Kerala High Court ruled … Continue reading Kerala Love Jihad Woman’s Right To Choice: She May Even Chose A Criminal Says Court
An edited version of this piece first appeared on The Wire The Kerala High Court in a recent judgement has stripped women of every last bit of agency, self-will, self-determination and reduced us to mere gendered bodies, incapable of taking … Continue reading Kerala High Court Confirms Love Jihad Bogey But Where Are Women Bodies Located In The Nationalism Narrative
This is my fourth blog post about how for the last 4 months the right wing trolls have been harassing me. It is an open secret that the right wing trolls are supported by BJP IT Cell, ok allegedly, and over past 4 months I have observed such patterns in the trolling, I can now write a book on it. Today I am sharing names of some of the most common offenders who rourtinely manufacture these lies against which I will be making a formal FIR. I have so far sent an email to the cyber cell after which they … Continue reading Right Wing Trolls Spreading Lies About Me Using Fake Photos
Culture Machine, a young start up with a network of YouTubers connecting 22 million subscribers and an average of 0.5 billion views per month, creates video content for large corporate brands and helps them gain publicity through social media. The … Continue reading FOP Leave Policy Introduced By Media Company Aiming Internet Entertainment But What About Standpoint Research?
Abdul Gafoor Tufani is a Muslim man. He has come to Delhi with a mission. Abdul comes from district Araria, a very backward region in Bihar. It is a largely rural Muslim dominated district with around 93 percent of its … Continue reading Abdul Gafoor Tufani Is A Muslim Man
Forthcoming Star Jalsha series, Jai Kali Kalkatta Wali has a very exciting trailer. A typical domesticated Bengali woman, probably upper caste, as most serials on Bengali TV are, all decked up in saree, sindur, gold jewelry doing sandhya aarati (Evening … Continue reading Star Jalsha Series Jai Kali Kalkatta Wali Trailer: Deals with Domestic Violence Vigilantism
The amount of efforts right wing troll are putting in to 1) Intimidate me 2) Question the credibility of my entire identity and opinion, I wonder is it even worth it? Have I really done something so significant that BJP … Continue reading BJP Trolls Pull Out 8 yr Old Tweet To Shed Fake Tears For Mayawati
Much sanskari outrage over a tweet I made a year ago, in which I question a vengeance seeking masculine mob blaming Anushka Sharma, for the bad performance of Virat Kohli. As if, he was playing cricket with his dick, instead of sporting skills. The right wing trolls dug out the tweet from past and used in completely unrelated irrelevant topics in their futile attempt to embarass me. These naarrow minded patriarchal Sanghis and bhakts think that woman using a-sanskari words like dick vagina penis breast is reason enough to insult her and question her credibility. They also think that simply … Continue reading What have Sanjukta Basu Said About Virat Kohli, Dick and In What Context?
This article makes some important points about secular feminist movement at one hand and marginalized women in Muslim community. The Sharia Law has no place in any civilized community, be it UK or India. But in India for ages, behind personal laws a lot of discriminatory practices have carried on. Status quo was maintained so far but now that a group of Muslim women have gone to court against Triple Talaq secular Indian feminists should support the petition unequivocally. Unfortunately, most of them are silent, not taking any position, while few like Flavia Agnes have given vocal support to All … Continue reading Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know | Pragna Patel | Opinion | The Guardian
Samast virat sanskari people of akhand bharat outraging over a marriage joke I shared in 2009. Eight years. Why? Coming up. In a thread of 22 tweets I explained what kind of low regressive narrow minded people these are, Rahul … Continue reading Why Rahul Easwar Is Outraging Over Sanjukta Basu’s Feminist Joke?
Raveena Tandon the 90s Bollywood actress is the new Hindutva icon in town. She is following the foot steps of her fellow Bollywood celebrities who have recently been blessed by BJP party tickets, national awards and Lok Sabha seats for … Continue reading No Raveena Tandon, You Have Not Been Trolled, And Ramayana is Not History
My mother was sad. She lived with a feeling of personal dissatisfaction and un-fulfillment. A lot of them. While the whole world would say Mita is so happy all the time, she is bursting with laughter always, deep inside she … Continue reading Remembering Mother’s Sadness This Mother’s Day
Several moments from the hit TV series House M.D. the philosophy of Dr House helped me hold myself together during the last one month of mother’s approaching death. Particularly Episode 1 of Season 2, Acceptance. A young woman in her 30s, Cindy, visits the clinic for some routine tests for her health clearance certificate for a new job. Dr Cameroon greets Cindy, takes a look at her chest X-ray report and a slight hint of worry comes across her face. In the next scene we see her consulting with Dr Wilson, Head of Oncology. Dr Wilson tells Dr Cameroon with … Continue reading Five Stages of Dying
21st April The last time I had a conversation with mom about my career, studies she told me to drop the idea of getting a full time job. She said, “You don’t have to worry about money. You just do good work, do your photography, write articles. Its been so long you are not writing for Firstpost isn’t it? Why have you stopped? Get your book published. Study. Read. In between take up some wedding photography assignment that would pay you well.” She just wanted me to focus on what I am good at, my creative and intellectual pursuits. I … Continue reading 13 Days Of Mourning & Healing Not Without Guilt
17th April 1.38 pm Exactly a month ago, on 17th March mother walked out of home for routine check up with symptoms no more than of common cold. This morning she went into ventilator. They say putting a stage 4 cancer patient, with no hopes for treatment, on ventilator is a bad idea. It would only increase pain and suffering. In the previous hospital every night the head of ICU would call and try to convince us not to give consent for ventilator. Once such critical patient goes into ventilator they never come back, said the doctor. But we gave … Continue reading She Died Within Few Hours of Going on Ventilator
15th April 2017 My mother wishes everybody a happy Bengali new year. She told me to put it up on her Facebook. Talk about patient – doctor trust and relationship, mother’s attending doctor didn’t even visit her today in his rounds. Didn’t even meet the family to tell us what kind of palliative care is required, what precautions we should take, how to ensure she doesn’t suffer pain. Nothing. He wanted us to leave, we are leaving, he couldn’t be any less bothered. Bengali new year didn’t bring any new hopes. We shifted mom to the new hospital yesterday but … Continue reading To Intubate or Not to Intubate?
14th/April Morning: 17th March to today, mom’s condition is worsening so rapidly, I didn’t know it’s possible for any disease to aggravate so quickly. We have no time at all. All her body functions and organs are in perfect condition but her lungs are giving up. Just giving up. Before Facebook, it was not so in your face evident that while your world is crumbling and crashing, rest of the world goes by just fine without batting an eyelid. Our sorrows are our alone. 11.30pm After my morning update regarding mom’s condition, people got very worried. Some called and messaged … Continue reading Her Lungs Are Giving Up But She Won’t, She Will Survive
11th April 2017 Cancer is a disease. Chemo is a treatment. Quality time with family is a utopia. We are at the juncture now where we have to decide whether to give chemotherapy to mother or not. The attending doctor advised us against it. She is in stage 4 cancer and he is of the opinion that chemotherapy won’t help her much. It would be high risk. He wasn’t clear what this ‘high risk’ means. He suggested we take her home, give home nursing, palliative care, spend quality time with her and wait. Wait for the cancer to spread and … Continue reading To Chemo Or Not To Chemo?
3rd April 2017 Cancer. Not a disease but a culture. A major story twist. The deadly misfortune has been part of the most tragic films and literature. Mostly it would be the male protagonist, he falls sick and doctors tell him, “You have last stage Cancer, only few days of your life are left” and then an dramatic scene follows. “Ab inhe dawa ki nahi dua ki zaroorat hai (She needs prayers now not medicine)” is a much clichéd dialogue from hindi films of yesteryears. In real life however, among friends and family such misfortune was rarely heard. With advancement … Continue reading Cancer The Misfortune That Fell On Us
A 63 year old patient with severe fluid in both lungs, rapidly decreasing oxygen saturation (90 to 85 to 81 percent within few hours) and increasing breathing trouble was not given any treatment at Max Hospital Emergency, simply because they had no room to admit her. “Take her to another hospital” said the Max Hospital Emergency doctor and person in-charge of admitting. My mother’s both lungs were filled with fluids. She wasn’t able to breath. Our ordinary understanding is that the fluids from her lungs needed to be drained out. We had with us two X-ray reports which clearly showed … Continue reading “Take Her To Another Hospital” Max Hospital Emergency Didn’t Give Treatment Because No Room To Admit Patient
19th February I cannot live alone. I tried but I can’t. I need someone to talk to at end of the day. But I also cannot live with people. I end up making everyone close to me hate me. I don’t know what to do. If after every fuck up everybody tries to convince you it’s all your fault, what should you do with yourself? What should you do if you saw this pattern – that from childhood to date, from school friends to family, if it’s always you vs. everyone else, what does that tell about you? 8th March … Continue reading My Relationship With My Family Is Broken Beyond Repair
A very eventful satisfying day. Volunteering for Aam Aadmi Party, I turn a professional journalist with a mic in hand. On occasion of Women’s Day, we are making a series short videos featuring AAP’s women candidates for upcoming MCD elections. AAP has around 100 women candidates, senior leader Richa Pandey told me that the party is serious about supporting and encouraging more and more women’s political participation. On my way back I booked an OLA Share cab. Interesting conversations and meetings ensued. For the period when I was the only passenger in the cab I struck a conversation with my … Continue reading A Dead Soul Comes Home After An Eventful Day
There is a thing in Bengali, ‘Biyer Khaat’ meaning wedding bed. Usually, how it works is when a girl gets married, it is customary for her parents to provide the matrimonial bed, bedding, dressing table, almirah as gifts/dowry and in … Continue reading Biyer Khaat, The Wedding Bed For A Feminist
Why I insist, vehemently insist, that the men I date, friends I hang out with, and my sister, why I insist that these people must, if they care about me, follow my Facebook updates? Facebook is superficial they say, Facebook makes you narcissistic. Real relationship don’t need facebook. Why Facebook, grow up they say. I will explain why. I am a sum total of 40 years of unusual experiences. I have stored in my heart stories full of funny interesting sad poignant people and events which I carry with myself at all times. My feelings today are shaped by my … Continue reading Why You Must Follow Me On Facebook
Follow up to this: Waiting For A Call From TISS, Mumbai They called me for the written test which is on 10th Feb at Mumbai, so I will be going just for the day. The test is called a Research Aptitude Test. 10 out of 80 people would be taken in the course I have applied for, so it is going to be tough. But there isn’t much that you can study or mug up because it is really about an aptitude, that has to be part of your higher education days, not something you can suddenly develop. So I am … Continue reading Update On House Painting, Call From TISS
This was first written by my later mother Mita Basu on Facebook, in Bengali. It is a reaction to a recent TV commercial of Everest Garam Masala, featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I have translated the piece and also added my own perspectives, … Continue reading Maa Ke Haat Ka Khana When Maa Is a Service Provider
In December 2006, I went to Hyderabad to be part of a rather strange venture. My memory of this silly adventure is fading away, what I vaguely remember is that a man behind an Orkut group called, Bharat Udaya … Continue reading How I Picked Up The Habit of Binge Watching And Why I Love It
I know I got it tattooed on my arms “Going wherever the wind takes me” but IRCTC plays pretty havoc with ‘going wherever’ doesn’t it. How can we go anywhere unless we plan months in advance for a reserved train ticket and can’t afford to fly. We say the world is so connected today, but traveling anywhere even within India is still so costly and time consuming. Our super fast trains are pathetically slow compared to world standards. Our flights are cheap and plenty but they only connect cities of political or economic importance. I remember when my grandmother expired, … Continue reading Waiting For A Call From TISS, Mumbai
Important learning, if you are painting your home and want to highlight one of the wall with Asian Paints Royale texture, get it done by the company artists directly. The thekedar won’t be able to do the texture properly. I am very sad with what happened to our wall. For one year I have visualized the colour of our house, I wanted the featured wall in Madder Red, Asian Paint’s colour of the year 2016 and other 3 walls in Yellow Charm. This is part of their Rekindle collection, also a 2016 collection. I love minimalist design, and bold solid … Continue reading Painting Our House: Important Learning
“To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From The Underground So, I have now celebrated my 40th … Continue reading How I Celebrated My 40th Birthday
My Facebook post on 14th January Now regarding this Jallikattu ban, I don’t care if it’s your tradition religion sport or whatever, you just need to tone down your aggressive demands for this hypermasculine violent culture in which women have absolutely no participation. Each and every image of Jallikattu I have ever seen is about men, unbelievably large crowds of men torturing a bull. What on earth are we celebrating? If this is the sum total of your identity and culture then you need to rethink. Why such an exclusively male culture? Where are the women? Oh I know they … Continue reading Important Readings on The Jallikattu Ban
It has been over 2 years our tiny Mahavir Enclave (ME) house is lying vacant. My father retired from Central Government in 2005, after a service of 40 years. To everybody’s contempt, for which he has to always face all kinds of taunts and accusations and reprimands, at the time of retirement he failed to secure enough savings to buy a 3 bed room apartment anywhere in Delhi. I don’t know what we deserved, but we surely needed at least a 1200 sq feet 3 bed room apartment in a multi-storied complex with 24 hours water, lifts, power backup, gyms … Continue reading Ghar Bana Liya Basu ji?
First published on Firstpost where I have argued that the Khadi Calendar debate have to go beyond the phallocentrism, and we have to look at feminist interpretation. From Gandhi to Modi, its one man replacing another. The DAVP calendar shows a … Continue reading Government of India And Khadi Calendar Where Modi Replaced Gandhi: Feminist Understanding
Ouch. These incorrigible people who make art. They say things as it needs to be said with such subtlety, heart and humour. The 2017 Golden Globes were full of anti-Donald Trump jokes comments by stars including host Jimmy Fallon, Meryl … Continue reading Jimmy Fallon, Hugh Laurie and Meryl Streep Slam Trump at 2017 Golden Globes
This is a love story. Growing up in Delhi at the start of every winter, I have experienced this wild intoxicating smell subsuming my body mind heart soul never knowing what it was. The smell would arrive soon after Durga … Continue reading Intoxicating Smell of The Devil Saptaparni
Never imagined that I would find Mary Wollstonecraft on a TEDxDelhi stage. Wollstonecraft was the mother of feminism, grandmother of Frankenstein, this muh I knew but that she was also an adventure seeker, a single mum with a baby tucked … Continue reading TEDxDelhi #x4Humanity – Report
First published on Firstpost with different headline and slightly edited: A woman facing violence may take various roads to justice – legal-illegal, justified-unjustified, civil, criminal, constitutional. Shayara Bano decided to eliminate the root cause. Her writ petition before Supreme Court seeking a ban on triple talaq, nikah halal and polygamy poses a challenge to the prevalence of religious personal laws over constitution, and threatens the power and position of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) as the sole custodian and interpreter of Sharia law in India. Following her, Ishrat Jahan raised her head from Bengal and challenged Section 2 … Continue reading Flavia Agnes’s Position On Triple Talaq Sad For Indian Feminism
In response to Code of control | The Indian Express by Sania Farooqui Author herself says there’s no draft of UCC in absence of which it is hard to tell how UCC would affect individual rights. Yet there is an underlying assumption that whatever it will be, will be a means of Hindutva bullying minority. This fear is unfounded. The Hindutva narrative by BJP has ruined UCC debate. They raise it to fan Sanghi ego and divisive politics but any person with slightest idea of laws and constitution should be assured that UCC doesn’t mean imposing majoritarian laws on minority. If UCC ever comes, it … Continue reading Sania Farooqui’s fear of UCC unfounded
it is puzzling to see the Indian Left oppose the push for a common civil code for all citizens, which the Constitution had promised but which successive governments have failed to enact. Back in the 1940s and 50s, Ambedkar and Nehru thought it prudent to first change personal laws in favour of Hindu women, since there was a vigorous reform movement among Hindus (but not however among Muslims). However, they certainly hoped that, in the not too distant future, a gender-just code of personal and family law that applied to all citizens of the Republic, would come to be enacted. … Continue reading Liberals must support a common civil code, writes Ramachandra Guha | columns | Hindustan Times
Writing this on the morning after 23rd Jan 2016 The run up to my 39th birthday was very eventful. This was my 39th birthday and I really wanted to celebrate it in a grand way. The middle age express have seen … Continue reading In Retrospection The 39th Birthday
UCC would never be a reality in India because none of the religious bigots would accept a truly uniform code that applies to all. They all want the other group to fall in line and accept whatever they think is uniform but ask them to look at their own personal laws, they won’t accept. For eg. Parsi community, Christian, Hindu they all have certain reservations which they don’t want to change, but want Muslims to fall in line. UCC should have been a compulsory provision instead of directive principle, at the time of making the Constitution and the tyranny of … Continue reading Uniform Civil Code Will Remain a Polarizing Topic Never Be A Reality
A list of mean, shallow reasons to judge men and swipe them left (reject) on Tinder Continue reading Tinder – Let’s Raise A Toast to Shallow
A father training his daughters to win sports medals may not be a revolutionary idea everywhere, but it is one in a state like Haryana. Continue reading Dangal Trailer Review | Ode To Aamir Khan
Writing this in lightening speed. Gotta keep my followers updated on what’s happening in life even though my hands are too full for blogging. For the last 3 days all I am doing is lying under my favourite Portico sheets … Continue reading Hugh Laurie is Getting A Star I Am Not Invited and Other Stories
14th September My life’s journey is a research paper. On this life I document how relationships fail, friendships fail, how we build expectations and meet disappointments, what are life’s big mistake. Everything I feel and learn, I write. I write them on Facebook and this blog. SVD perhaps have been keeping an eye on all this. Initially she blocked me so she was not supposed to see my updates but today she came on my page and objected to the fact that I had put up her family’s photo on my featured photo section. It was photo of us taken on the … Continue reading I Will Not Be Lost In Your Narrative
You might want to read this first to get the context of the words below. 24th Aug I saw a meme on Facebook which was about how to respond to a sad person. I went though the series of images which explained that you should respond with care, hug and comfort. And I couldn’t help comparing how my friends, SVD in particular responded to my recent bouts of depressive rant on Facebook group messenger, the place where this whole break up played out and ended. These sort of memes are double edged sword. They set such high standard of care … Continue reading How to care for Sad Person?