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You’re done with all those hipster cafés. You know, the ones that don’t allow you to sit on your MacBook Air, as you write your post-irony, post-truth, post-colonial dystopian novel, while sipping on a tasteless cup of single-origin coffee all day long. You’re done. You’ll take your business elsewhere. In …
“Meri Parvarish Mein Kya Kami Reh Gayi Thi?” How to Talk About Therapy With Your Very Desi Family
I’ve known that I need therapy for a long time. It’s a peaceful Thursday night when I write this, huddled under my sheets, sobbing away. The sobs aren’t surprising – I’m a mostly unemployed 23-year-old constantly trying to figure out what she wants from life. The past couple of months, …
What “To All The Boys: PS I Love You” Taught Me About Love, Rejection, and Going All In
Netflix romcom To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You feels untouched by the cynicism that has seeped into the app-dependent dating lives of the present. It reinstilled my faith in going all the way to chase my own happily ever after. Even if it gives someone the power …
It’s Exhausting to Be an Ambitious Woman. There I Said It
Between pleasing ourselves and the people around us, we women lose sense of our ambitions. I crushed my competitive side to come across as less aggressive and more agreeable. I smiled more when asked to. I conform, but then I keep asking myself, “Did I settle?” “Don’t I deserve more?”
What Happens When the Scars Heal? An Acid Attack Survivor’s Long Road to Recovery
I first saw her in the window of her tenement overlooking the building passage. The room was dark, bringing the shafts of light falling on her into sharp relief. Saira Bano had left her long dark hair open, held away from her broad forehead. But I was looking for the …
How Social Media Will Forget about the CAB Protests (and Why You Shouldn’t)
Social media is helpful in creating basic awareness and has some effective tools that can be used to draw attention to activism efforts. However, the problem arises when social media activism becomes the only kind of activism we practice.
“My Son’s First Smile!” Is Instagramming Your Baby As Harmless As You Think?
Sharing (mostly oversharing) the joys and challenges of parenthood and documenting every bit of your children’s lives online is now a social norm. Parents at it are called sharenters, and the act, sharenting.
What Ayushmann Khurrana’s Dream Girl Gets Right About Modern Masculinity
In many ways, Dream Girl feels like an antidote to the brashness of Kabir Singh. It is a film that confronts the vexations of modern-day masculinity. It briefly imagines men who listen, who empathise with vulnerability, and who must learn to relate to each other in ways that have long …
Dard-e-Dil, Dard-e-Jigar: What It Takes to Live with Chronic Pain in Your 20s
I’ve been having a conversation with myself on loop. It’s a difficult conversation about what my body is holding me back from. For almost a year now, I’ve been struggling with chronic body pain, and while that sounds specific, it is in fact terrifyingly ambiguous. When you have grown up …
Ramzan or Ramadan? How Exactly Do You Say It?
A million-dollar question these days: Is it Ramzan or Ramadan? As my luck would have it, I am here answering it without being paid the said million dollars. It is Ramadan.
Arranged Marriage, Tinder, & Why Manmarziyan is Completely Wrong About Modern Love in India
What are our grand, successful love stories going to look like in a caste society where arranged marriages remove the need for love's most vital ingredient - risk? For all of Manmarziyan’s feminist pretensions, its lead Rumi is a cipher, waiting for validation from the men in her life.
Will the Channels That Demonised Umar Khalid Feel Responsible For the Attack on Him?
The media, supposedly entrusted with the responsibility of being neutral and conducting informed debates, has resorted to fear and hate-mongering, and has demonised those who question the authorities. We saw the results of that in the attack on Umar Khalid yesterday.
What Do I Call My Boyfriend in Hindi?
The other day, the Supreme Court passed a judgement affirming the right of adults to consensually live together without marriage. It’s amazing that the judiciary actually has to issue statements like this, but I’m relieved by the declaration. Earlier this year, when my boyfriend and I were looking for a …
The Everlasting Beauty of a Brief Romance
Pop culture has many of us believe in the dreamlike design of an accidental meet. The template is like a linear equation with two variables: Stranger-meets-stranger + Stranger-likes-stranger = Strangers-live-happily-ever-after. Poetically speaking, the dreamlike design takes shape when two strangers meet in some faraway, breathtaking cultural landscape through some dazzling …
Ladies Never Get the Leg Piece
“Mehmaan aa rahe hai.” The phrase came with mixed feelings. Happiness, that there would be delicious food, chips, and soft drinks in the house – and horror, that I would have to be my mother’s elf in this endeavour. The entire process of making your house look casually exquisite like, …
The Truth about India's Last Viceroy
Why did India's last viceroy Lord Mountbatten pick August 15 as our date of Independence?
CST and its Tryst with History
What has Mumbai's grande dame, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus witnessed in the last three centuries?
I’m a Muslim and I Can Never Go “Boo!”
You know, I can never go “Boo!” just like that. This concerns me. A lot. It threatens my idea of equality in the eyes of the law and my fellow citizens, even if I want to play a silly prank like the Australian Jalals (although, they are another level of …
Meet Mumbai's Zero-Waste Uncle
Kaustubh Tamhankar has been silently campaigning for a clean environment. His house in Thane has produced no garbage at all for the last 14 years. Meet the Zero-Waste Uncle.
A Kit to Prevent Sexual Harassment
March is a lovely month. In the days preceding and succeeding Women’s Day there is a certain graciousness in the air. For these few days a year, men are forced to extend women some basic courtesies such as not flashing them their penis in a public place or groping them …
The Cheat Sheet to Selling a Superhit
January 25 is a big day for Bollywood. Two big releases by two mega stars and both so refreshingly different. Hrithik Roshan plays a blind man in Kaabil, a big change from his other movies where he has played either a physically or mentally disabled character. Raees on the other …
My Slow Surrender to Amma
Igrew up outside India, a happily apolitical and largely unaware creature. Apart from the Thackeray family of Maharashtra (the state I was born in and vaguely call home), the Nahyan and Maktoum families of the United Arab Emirates, my knowledge of politics was (and still probably is) like Mysore Pak …
The Lost Girl on the Train
You’ve probably seen a child lost in a crowd or huddled up in a corner on a train. And you’ve probably left them to their destiny. Some people though, choose not to walk away.
Down With Female
“Oh, you’re talking about that female? Yeah man, she is always like that, so annoying.” “Females are just the worst.” “Jeez. Why are you acting like a female?” Female. An adjective denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which …
Tam Brahm, No Thank You Ma'am
Last year, my sweet, well-intentioned Tamil Brahmin parents asked me whether I was ready for marriage. All my cousins, who are women, have been “married off” and social convention dictates that my parents should do the same. Since I was not dating anyone at the time and had some friends …
Meet the Badass in a Burkini
I’ve spent the last three days reading comments to the news of the burkini fiasco. I haven’t even completed reading one whole article, but the extreme responses of paranoia are enough to lead me to a conclusion, one I always suspected – the world believes that the hijabi woman is …
The Boy Who Lived
Prashant and Nisha Jain, parents of Maharashtra’s youngest paediatric cadaver organ donor, have become torchbearers of the cause. The gift of four lives is Darsh’s legacy.
The Mother of 68
Over the last two decades, Sulbha Surve has lovingly fostered infants and toddlers before they found their way to forever homes.
They Believe They Can Fly
India’s Ultimate frisbee team is trying to compete at the World Ultimate and Guts Championship – but they need a little more than encouragement.
The Last Brigade Call
On June 11, two firemen will raise a toast in honour of their brave mentor, who would’ve turned 51, if not for a deadly blaze.