Let's get right into it!
Latest first, I did an op-ed for Economic Times thankyouverymuch on the documentary ban. I finally watched it last night. It was fucking powerful and needs to be watched. An important part of the dialogue but not the whole dialogue. I hope you'll get your hands on it somehow.
Whose modesty are the Delhi Police — along with our venerable members of Parliament — trying to protect by prohibiting the broadcast of the documentary? Ours, or their own? Are they ashamed that this creature from Tihar speaking without shame or guilt in Udwin’s film crawled out from the underbelly of a city they claim to watch over ‘with you, for you, always’? And whose thoughts is Mukesh Singh spewing in the interview? Just his own?
Presenting another side, here's women's right activist Kavita Krishnan (someone I admire) on why it should be banned.
Many are asking, why has the courts and the government restrained the Indian media from airing India's Daughter? Is India "wishing away" bad news, shooting the messenger? Rape culture exists, Mukesh SIngh and his lawyer and their odious views on women exist, so why not let everyone see and hear them?
Well, first, Indian women's movement activists have appealed to the media too, not to air the film yet. Why? A letter by these activists to a media channel states, "Airing the film India’s Daughter at a time when the appeal [in the December 16 rape case] is still pending, is counter to the culture of law and justice and the rule of law, which we defend for all citizens."
Nat Geo Traveller India knocks it out of the park with this super fun guide to where to get awesome cheese in India. Yum.
For a glimpse into Sikkim’s pantry, spend a few hours browsing through Gangtok’s Lal Market. The women selling nettles, spices, and all manner of fermented pastes, are always chatty, and happy to explain how the produce is used in their own kitchen. It’s a great place to stock up on pickles, and cheese. Look out for the leaf-wrapped cultured yak butter, and the churpi(both young and aged).
There's a monkey called Chunmun who is richer than you.
Chunmun is a monkey who lives in an air-conditioned room at the home in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh, of Savista and Brajesh, who have willed all they own to him.
Savista says she saw the monkey's mother fall to her death while delivering him and brought the infant monkey home. The couple did not have children and raised the monkey as their own child.
Dustin Silgardo writing for Mint really really doesn't like music festivals:
Most campsites now feature deluxe tents, with attached bathrooms and power supply. At some festivals, the soi-disant rustic set-up seems nothing more than a pretentious attempt to have well-off urban people play at being intrepid. The goMAD festival, in Ooty, for example, says it provides a camping experience “in the wilderness”, but the campsite hosts a special “pampering area” where girls can, among other things, get their hair straightened, presumably to create a comfortable bed for their flower crowns.
Jonathan Franzen continues the impression that he'd be absolutely insufferable at parties.
India Real Time did a super fun story on Delhi's very shiny sweater-vests and the history behind them.
Most of the sweater wearers we spoke to had wives, aunts and sisters who had been busy with knitting needles to create their winter body warmers. This bike, below, loaded with yarn belongs to a man named Jai Prakash who calls himself “the wool wala,” which means the wool guy. He sells shiny wool—on the top row here—door to door for around 80 rupees, or about $1.30, for a skein. His sales of sparkly wool are up 50% from last year.
Here's a blog I came across with a very young voice that sort of (can I say this?) reminded me of me back in the day. It's fun, young and Delhi, if you're missing that sort of thing over here these days.
I am now significantly aware that I am one of innumerable ‘cheapie-types’ that frequent the pretentious little lanes of this debauch Delhi hole. I am of that imposter elite, that which the authentic elite furrow their designer brows at while they sit at some obscure winery, sipping a 1859 Bordeaux (these are just some words. I’m a wine philistine. I prefer a good 2015 Tropicana Grape).Oh, Air India, Air India.
You MUST check out these historic photos on someone called Lakshman Bisht's Facebook. It's a public album so you can see them all. My favourites:
|Hung for the revolt of 1857|
|The last photo of Gandhi|
|Sarla Bajaj, the first Indian woman pilot|
And finally, here's a post I did for Huffington Post India on how I finally learned to embrace my Crazy Cat Lady-ness.
In my thirties, as in everyone's thirties, I began to get more comfortable with the parts of me that I had always swept under the carpet. It began with a sudden overwhelming love for my body--not a fit body, not a fat body, just a regular human body that I was used to gazing in the mirror at, dissatisfied. This extended into embracing the curly hair I had spent my whole life denying, even getting a new haircut that made it stand out around my face in the very same haircut I wept about when I was twelve. Slowly, I started to confront my personality--I was okay with things, I liked being me, I sunk into my skin like a person kicking off high heels to wear house slippers at the end of a very long night, I could almost feel my soul saying, "Ahhh." And in all this, my distinctly uncool, not fitting with my glamour image, love for animals just decided to come out and party.