It was the day of Diwali, around three in the afternoon. I was in the toilet, the common toilet between my parents’ bedroom – only in name, because they haven’t slept together for fifteen years – and the room that houses my ailing grandfather. I was masturbating thinking of Marie-Anne, and I was close. I…… Continue reading Diwali in Muzaffarnagar: A Short Story by Tanuj Solanki
A wedding (vivah) in Hinduism is a rite of passage (samskara) that transforms a single entity into one half of a conjugal pair (dampatya). Being single, however, does not mean being incomplete. The idea of ‘wholeness’ in Hinduism is not necessarily a matter of the union of two bodies in marriage or even two souls in love; rather, wholeness or completeness in Hinduism can be understood as rising to the fullness of one’s true self and expanding the arena of one’s selfhood (brah – to expand, manas – the mind).
In your own town or village, everyone already knows your caste; there is no escaping it. But how do people know your caste when you go elsewhere, to a place where no one knows you? There they will ask you, “What caste are you?” You cannot avoid this question. And you cannot refuse to answer. By tradition, everyone has the right to know. If you are educated like me, if you don’t seem like a typical untouchable, then you have a choice. You can tell the truth and be ostracized, ridiculed, harassed—even driven to suicide, as happens regularly in universities.
As a musician, Zakir Hussain was considered a child prodigy; today he is considered a genius. Despite the international reputation and huge following that he now has, he wears his fame lightly. He remains a man of tehzeeb and humility.
Friends often ask me how MPs with conflicting ideologies interact with each other when the House is adjourned. It’s simple. We are political rivals; we are not political enemies.
As is true of all literary genres, the success of the novella depends not on the nature of its structure alone, but far more importantly, on the literary dexterity of the person who writes it. When Gulzar embraces the format, the novella has met a truly consummate partner. As proof, one has only to read Two.
Mine started a day in December 2004, when I sat in a Premier Padmini cab, three bulging suitcases tied with a blue rope to its roof. We had left behind a troubled history in the unyielding city that was Delhi, sold off our nine-month-old flat, our second-hand Maruti 800 DX and all the furniture bought…… Continue reading Excerpt: Everyone has a ‘Bombay’ story…
None of the facilities that poetry prepares for lovers is available in Calcutta. Where is the row of flowering trees, where the bower of vines beneath the full moon, where the honey-throated cuckoo’s songs? But still the magic of love is not thwarted in this harsh and arid metropolis devoid of beauty. Hundreds of times…… Continue reading Excerpt: A brand new translation of Tagore’s Noukadubi (The Boat-wreck)
HarperCollins India’s latest anthology of short-fiction, out in November 2017, titled No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories is not about what Mumbai is, but what it enables. Here is a city where two young people decide to elope and then start nursing dreams of different futures, where film posters start talking to each other, where epiphanies…… Continue reading Water: A tender short-story about the day Mumbai went underwater
The Nationalist It will not be an exaggeration to say that multinational conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is behind every critical national endeavour – India’s first nuclear submarine; its strategic weapon and missile systems; the space exploration programme; and infrastructure like metro systems and nuclear power plants. And one man has been instrumental in taking…… Continue reading September Preview: Our Top Five Indian Releases