In Retrospection The 39th Birthday

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 the green flag, and it should be reaching the 40th platform in just a year, … Continue reading In Retrospection The 39th Birthday

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Uniform Civil Code Will Remain a Polarizing Topic Never Be A Reality

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 … Continue reading Uniform Civil Code Will Remain a Polarizing Topic Never Be A Reality

Demontisation: Minor Inconvenience Are For Greater Good But Anyone Seen The Flow Chart?

Is there a flow chart that explains how notes tumbling out of corrupt homes enter poor households?

Dangal Trailer Review | Ode To Aamir Khan

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.

Hugh Laurie is Getting A Star I Am Not Invited and Other Stories

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 and telling myself "So much work to do" but not getting up and doing them. … Continue reading Hugh Laurie is Getting A Star I Am Not Invited and Other Stories

Photo story on Nizamuddin Basti Published in The Diplomat Magazine

I am very proud to share that two of my photos got published in The Diplomat magazine as part of a photo documentary, Finding Delhi’s Lost Monuments, on the conservation work done / in progress in Humayun Tomb and Nizamuddin Basti area, by Ratish Nanda of Aga Khan Trust For Culture (a part of the Aga Khan Development Network). The … Continue reading Photo story on Nizamuddin Basti Published in The Diplomat Magazine

Mr Pip: Another In List Of Things I Learn From Hugh Laurie

Mr. Pip written and directed by Andrew Adamson is a film recommended to the crazy film buffs who watch anything new and weird just out of curiosity. Not to those who watch movies for entertainment or time pass.

Goa Chitra – Ethongraphical Musuem

On my travel blog, I write about the the Goa Chitra Ethnographic Museum founded by artist and restorer Victor Hugo Gomes. Situated in South Goa, near Benaulim beach this is a must visit place in Goa. Read more

Project SWBT

The most common touristy places in India are famous for its forts and palaces, and wherever there are forts and palaces there are museums. Most of these museums have a display of how rich and powerful our kings and ruler were and how much arms and ammunition  they had, their guns and swords, crockery and furniture, the precious gifts they got from all over the world, the jewels they collected and so on. This might all be very fascinating but it is sad that history is recorded and learnt through the lives of rich and powerful. Nobody thinks of archiving the lives and times of ordinary people.

That’s what artist and restorer Victor Hugo Gomes set out to do and the result was Goa Chitra Museum, one of Goa’s most interesting places to visit. It is an ethnographic museum that restores and preserves the traditional objects and artifacts that narrates the life…

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Back To The Roots: A Wedding Photo Documentary Part 1

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. On a Facebook group of wedding photographer's group they are saying some downright ugly things. For what its worth, when I said wedding documentary photography work is not much … Continue reading Back To The Roots: A Wedding Photo Documentary Part 1

Flickr Photo Walk Delhi – Macro Texture

Article on the Flickr Photowalk coordinated by me in Delhi. I was the only one who actually did the walk and thoroughly enjoyed. The theme was macro texture photography. In this article, I explained what macro texture is and have shared some of the images I have taken. Pls read on my photography website.

The Connection Between Hugh Laurie and Larry King

The talk show host having an air of subtle arrogance, a smug smile on his face, interviewing his guest without enough background research and a habit of cutting the guests sentences abruptly jumping to another question...These were some of the sexy features introduced to the genre of talk shows by the legendary Larry King. His … Continue reading The Connection Between Hugh Laurie and Larry King

Poem: Unwritten

Unwritten “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 … Continue reading Poem: Unwritten

Man Sent Me Photos Of His Dick – What Happened Next?

A man lying on his bed shagging and sending photos of his dick to a woman he hasn't met or talked to in 5 years Guess what missing here? Consent. He didn't ask me if I was interested in his dick.

The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela

Hello people. A confession, the staying off Facebook / Twitter didn't really work. Social media platforms are no longer just places to share your thoughts but also to seek information and exchange ideas. This bit was missing when we first started blogging. Back then it was only about sharing. So that's a learning from this experiment. … Continue reading The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela

Race, gender and nation: Case of Afghnistan

How does a woman reconcile and negotiate her cultural identity with the gender identity where her culture is inherently oppressive to women.

When Old People Don’t Know They Are Old And Are Stubborn

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 … Continue reading When Old People Don’t Know They Are Old And Are Stubborn

Acceptance Validation and Appreciation – 3 Things We Seek on Social Media

Facebook and social media in general is making me miserable. So I am doing an experiment to answer some existential crisis.

25 Breathtaking Images of Manali to Leh By Bus – Never Take A Flight Again

July to September is the best season to travel to Ladakh and as the season approaches this year, I am sure many of you are planning a trip to one of the most exotic destinations in the world. From my experience as a solo budget traveler to Ladakh, I would suggest take the bus instead of flying to Ladakh. Most people take a flight from Delhi to Leh because its convinient and saves time but its a big mistake. You don’t know what you’d miss if you just fly. On my SWBT blog I posted 25 breathtaking images that should inspire you to brave the rough terrain and weather and take the bus to Leh. I say bus and not SUV or other four wheeler because there are a lot of tension around not allowing outside vehicles to ply in Ladakh. Last year when I was there I faced a day long chakka jam (strike) and that was a bummer.

Project SWBT

The best season to visit Ladakh (July to September) is here and news just came in that the Delhi to Manali bus service have reopened. So now, in addition to Manali and Srinagar you have Delhi too as the starting point of your journey which wasn’t available to me last year when I went to Ladakh.

Ladakh is one of those exotic, mystical, out of bounds destination which challenges the traveler and explorer in you. It is not your weekend destination. People usually plan a lot, wait for that long vacation and make ample savings to be able to make a trip to Ladakh. Finally, when they do, their journey starts with a direct flight from Delhi to Leh.

I am sorry to say but half of the plot is already lost on them. The moment you decide to fly to Ladakh, you have missed the point. For my solo budget…

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Middle Finger Emoji – When I challenged Everyday Sexism in My Family

I am going to hold this close to my heart. I am going to frame it as a reminder of many things. Primarily, this is a telling example of what happens when you question men and their standards, choices, behaviour, sense of humour etc. How male ego reacts to a woman's voice of disapproval and … Continue reading Middle Finger Emoji – When I challenged Everyday Sexism in My Family

Surreal dream, pain and Darren Aronofsky’s Pi

When watching a film is not about entertainment. I was staying with a bunch of young hippies who were playing guitar and singing songs early in the morning. I took a shower and went and sat next to them listening to their music and smiling. I had to catch the train at 9.30 am and … Continue reading Surreal dream, pain and Darren Aronofsky’s Pi

Book Review: The Gun Seller By Hugh Laurie

A wee bit unrealistic (but again which spy novel is realistic), somewhat predictable, yet some twists in the plot, and Hugh Laurie's unique brand of humour, world view and philosophy makes this book really interesting. This is one of those books which you read, because you already know and admire the author. The reason that … Continue reading Book Review: The Gun Seller By Hugh Laurie

Surge Pricing is Unfair, Unethical and Unconstitutional

We have metered billing for water, electricity, we pay phone bills by calls/hours. Imagine for all these things you had algorithm based random billing thrown at you.

Feminist film review Neerja by Sanjukta basu

Feminist Film Review – Neerja, not your predictable strong woman

There is no wronged woman here who wants to take a revenge, no mother who is struggling and fighting all odds to raise her children, no multi-tasking multi-talented woman who manages both work and family, no fierce police officer or successful film star. Neerja was not Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Durga, she was just Neerja and that made all the difference.

Feminist Film Review – Ki and Ka

For benefit of those who don’t want to spend money on a film which is not well made, let me give the crux of the gender bender points it tries make, but fails.

Stop Judging Malaika and Arbaaz – Lifetime is Overrated

Marriage is an institution to control private property and women's sexuality. There is no great value in trying to preserve it. As long as it works, it should be fine, if it doesn't work, move on.

SWBT Varanasi Day 1 – Arrival, Explore the Ghats, Ganga Arti

My travel write up and photos from the recent solo budget trip to Varanasi. I have shared my experience of walking alone through the lanes of Varanasi witnessing the fascinating abandoned houses, the ancient ghats, myriad human activity and the Ganga Arti. Varanasi was a very safe place, I felt absolutely comfortable traveling alone even at 10.30 pm at a deserted Assi Ghat.

Project SWBT

SWBT = Solo Woman Budget Travel or Solo Female Travel

Varanasi Ganges Flock of Birds Poster

“Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together” – Mark Twain

In every nook and corner of Varanasi I found an old dilapidated abandoned house. Some of them palatial buildings, some old humble abodes but they are all gathering dust, cobwebs are gulping them, after sunset they appear dark and haunted. In a world where real estate is the only thing whose prices never fall, and everybody is trying to grab a piece of land, how come these houses are just lying vacant? I found it so surprising and fascinating. I ran a Google search expecting to find some media report, or at least a research paper or some history blogs on these houses explaining why they lie unclaimed and abandoned but found none. Search…

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Workshop on Gender Awareness at Ramanujan College, Delhi University

Brief note on recently conducted workshop on gender awareness at Ramanujan College, Delhi University.

Bharat Mata and Britannia - Embodiment of Nation

Why Every Feminist Should Refuse to Say Bharat Mata Ki Jai

Hyper sexualized images of women in Bollywood item numbers strip them off their identity and reduce them to object of sexual gratification. The image of ‘Bharat Mata’ does exactly the same for the nationalist or patriotic gratification of its citizens.

Marital Rape and the Sacred Indian Marriage

A sacred Indian marriage is one where a young girl, who have been always kept segregated from men and taught “good girls don’t talk to boys,” is suddenly pushed inside a room with a stranger who is allowed to rape her because he married her

It just gets deeper and deeper

My favourite feature on Facebook is the 'On This Day' feature which reminds you of the updates you made each year on the given date. I love it because I love to live my life looking at memories, I don't have much plan for the future anyways. On today's date it brought me back memories of … Continue reading It just gets deeper and deeper

Bajirao Mastani Feminist Review: Strong Women, Gorgeous Chandeliers

Bhansali imagined 18th century Maratha and Rajput kingdoms where women had some agencies. And men respected women. Sadly he forgot to hire a writer to give words to his imagination.

Burqa Ban – A Welcome Step and Not Equal to Islamophobia

We ban violence. We banned Sati. We should ban Burqa. Both are forms of violence only in varying degrees. Sure, Burqa cannot kill someone, but is that an argument? Should we condone violence that doesn't kill? Burqa cannot be an identity except that it reduces women into Muslim cargo.

‘Malala is a feminist after all’ – Feminist Film Review He Named Me Malala

It is not like the Taliban woke up one morning thinking “let’s kill some school going girls” and Malala by chance happened to be in the way. No, they targetted her because of her defiance.

PM Modi’s speech – Text book definition of ‘othering’ of women

The way Modi spoke today was text book example of gendered language. Women are always referred to in relational terms (mothers, daughters, wives) never as independent individuals while men are referred to in occupational terms (Goldsmith).

Social Media Ethics, Safety and Privacy issues – Guftagu at Azad Foundation

First published on my social media start up Samyukta Media. Experience from series of talks to marginalized women at Azad Foundation.

Samyukta Media

By Sanjukta Basu

I recently delivered a series of 2-3 hours talks, something we call a Guftagu (chit chat) with groups of young women from marginalized background as part of capacity building initiatives by Azad Foundation.

Guftagu with Azad Foundation

Founded in 2008, Azad Foundation is an Indian NGO empowering marginalized girls by providing them formal training in commercial driving and also providing them jobs via their sister entity Sakha Consulting, a social enterprise.  Over a period of 5-6 months, these girls are trained not only on various aspects of being a commercial driver but also other life skills they might need in order to be fully independent, self-confident and realize their full potential as strong empowered individuals.

Alices in Social Media wonder land

The Azad Foundation girls mostly come from very patriarchal regressive background with very little experience of even stepping out of their home or talking to male strangers without supervision let alone…

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Aside notes on Mohan Bhagwat, Sanghi Trolls and Abhijeet Bhattacharya

Mohan Bhagwat appears on national television and gives his expert opinion about how great the government is functioning. Who th hell is Mohan Bhagwat? Why is he on TV telling us how good or bad govt is? What's govt got to do with Dusserah? Again who the F is he— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) October 22, … Continue reading Aside notes on Mohan Bhagwat, Sanghi Trolls and Abhijeet Bhattacharya

Is the Ad campaign for Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit gender biased?

While flipping through the latest Outlook Magazine I came across the advertisement of the forthcoming Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit to be held in Nov 2015 in Jaipur. The campaign had an image of an impressive masculine male face complete with beard and mustache set against the background of a beautiful tribal illustration, with the caption "I … Continue reading Is the Ad campaign for Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit gender biased?

Love is not complicated people are

10th Oct 2015 Last night the adda at SVD's place was particularly fun, I cannot remember when was the last time I laughed so much. Perhaps it was the good Icelandic liquor and potent dope or a recently heart broken R who opened up a lot more than he usually does or a frustrated M … Continue reading Love is not complicated people are

Caravan Magazine takes 5 years to put a woman on cover, renders a bad apology

First published on The Huffington Post India It was about time someone questioned the mainstream media's lack of coverage of women stories. The article met with predictable defense, "Caravan is not a women's magazine." Right, women's issues should be kept restricted to women's magazine, the likes of Femina, Women's Era, Griha Shobha and Savita, why would … Continue reading Caravan Magazine takes 5 years to put a woman on cover, renders a bad apology

Running marathon & other sports without tampons or pads becoming a mass movement

Hundreds of women are now running marathons and other sports without tampons openly bleeding! Not really, but how would that be?

My feeling of patriotism in a BJP ruled India

“Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. ” ~Rabindranath Tagore Every Independence Day and Republic Day I grapple with the concept of patriotism and nationalism. Am … Continue reading My feeling of patriotism in a BJP ruled India

Feminist Film Review – Masaan – A story of desiring bodies

Masaan is the story of bodies – desiring bodies, dead bodies, burning bodies, children’s bodies as a tool of economic exploitation, gendered bodies facing medical negligence, apathy and exploitation and so on.

Porn ban in India – mainstreaming of women’s lack of sexual agency

Global porn industry is worth $97 Billion. It can be safely assumed that many women derive economic independence and sexual agency from this industry. It is absolutely ridiculous to presume that all such women need saving by self-righteous men.

Ladakh Travelogue Part 1 – Manali to Leh the bus ride

The first part of my Ladakh Travelogue is here. This chronicles my experiences as a single woman traveling on a budget. Please do read and share with your friends. Thanks.

Project SWBT

Let credits be given to whom it is owed. I owe my Ladakh trip to just one thing, the Outlook Traveller book on India’s top Trekking destinations which I received as a free gift along with my annual Outlook subscription.

Ladakh never seemed to be the kind of place one could travel alone. It always seemed like one of those unattainable impenetrable exotic mythical destinations. But when I opened that book, the first thing I read about was how to reach Leh. It seemed to me that it wasn’t such a big deal after all. And there began the itch to do my SWBT trip to Ladakh. Well, because I can, I should and why not.

I spent two days in Manali before catching the morning bus to Leh from Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus stop (locally known as Government bus stop). Manali seemed to be a very safe destination…

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Life is back off track and I love it

I just came back from my SWBT (Single Woman Budget Traveler) trip to Manali, Leh and parts of Ladakh. I went impromptu, solo, on a budget, I traveled in state run public transport and shared cabs and stayed in low cost home stays (costing INR 400-500 per night). I think what I did was pretty … Continue reading Life is back off track and I love it

The ‘Ek Aurat Hi Aurat Ki Dushman Hoti Hai’ Myth

My sister has a very important observation about the most commonly heard statement that women are their worst enemy. The mother-in-law v. daughter-in-law war in which the son is passed off as the victim at best or bystander at worst. Her observation opens up so many potential research area actually, I would be taking them … Continue reading The ‘Ek Aurat Hi Aurat Ki Dushman Hoti Hai’ Myth

Feminist Film Review – Tanu Weds Manu Returns

I am here with another review in my series of Feminist Film Reviews. A shorter and proofread version of this review was first published on Women's Web. Besides the feminist perspective there were a few other interesting observations about the film, which I didn't include in the former are given here. People ask me are … Continue reading Feminist Film Review – Tanu Weds Manu Returns