Charu Nivedita

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Poor writers, naked rajas

Travelling and reading travelogues remain a bigger passion for me than writing. And reading travellers like Ibn Battuta is akin to travelling in the time machine.

Honey-trapping the raunchy numbers

Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all would woo, with their hands on one another’s wrists… sometimes they would dance deftly in a ring with merry twinkling feet… and sometimes they would go all in line with one another. There was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre…
The Iliad: Book XVIII: Homer

Rape and the Indian home

The recent gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital, followed by the death of the victim, has sent shockwaves throughout the country.

An extended Mongolian metaphor

Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong sold a million copies till today and not to mention the pirated numbers — like Mao’s Red Book in its heyday. I would classify this book under “anthropology” rather than calling it literature. This book sets a terrific pace like Oscar Lewis’ anthropological book La Vida.

Tortured for love

A fellow writer remarked once that my (Tamil) fans remind him of Osama bin Laden’s followers. He meant their fanaticism. I ignored his comment as I thought he is envious — considering the “respect” writers have for each other.

Children of lesser parents

Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?
Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish

Of donkeys, cows, dogs, insects, etc...

I have been a loyal reader of the magazine Al Jadid, published from Los Angeles. It is an excellent resource for Arabian culture, literature and politics. Last year the editor of the magazine, Elie Chalala, wrote about the heartless massacre of Syria’s own people by Bashar al-Asaad’s Army in Syria.

The joy and pain of good cinema

Once, during an interview, I was asked, “What fascinates you more than your writing?” I replied instantly, “Wine, women and God,” forgetting to add the fourth thing that enthrals me: cinema. During my Delhi years with the rationing department, from 1978 to 1990, Rangayan theatre was the place to watch cinema. Being a steno, I used to visit every juggi-jhopri with my boss to issue ration cards.

The stray dog and I

Louis-Ferdinand Celine is one of the most important writers in French literature. I read his Journey to the End of the Night in my college days and it had a deep impact on me.

In search of some happy hours

There is a place where men do not get any respect; they call such a place “pub”.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.