Saturday, January 30, 2016

A birthday card that gave me the creeps

Here's something I wrote about my great discomfort with the state having absolute access to my data with zero accountability or guarantees about how it would be used and by whom:

The year before, nobody called on my birthday. This year was better. Friends remembered. I even got a birthday card. But it turned out to be from neither friends nor family. It was from Mr Representative. Mr Ex-Representative, actually, since he had lost the previous election. I was baffled. How did he know it was my birthday? Then it hit me. He had been dipping into my data.

Read full article here:

Monday, January 04, 2016


I wrote this short comic about how to deal with the loss of friends made in a virtual age, when social media delivers so much of our friendship and our news to us. Published in the Mint (Jan 3, 2016):

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Wrote a review of the novel 'Kalkatta' for Mint recently. Here's a bit that lays out some of my impressions:

Each character represents some aspect of Kolkata and the lives of its citizens—rich, middle class and poor—and while so many different shades may have added up to a broadly representative portrait of the city, they do not add up to a richly layered story. The touch-and-go treatment most characters receive creates the impression that the primary purpose of having introduced them at all was to represent as many “types” as possible. It also serves to repurpose stereotypes—the sex-starved rich or bored housewife, the insensitive journalist, the torturer cop, the prostitute (albeit a male one) with a heart of gold.

Read the full review here.

Friday, January 01, 2016

A brush with Radio with Pictures

One of the more interesting things I did in 2015 was adapting a graphic short story for Radio with Pictures. They do a combination of animated artwork, sound design and radio - which is basically good, old-fashioned oral storytelling with some sound effects. I had Mandy Ord as a collaborator and it has been a lovely, lovely process, as well as the start of a new friendship.

It all began, of course, with the wonderful anthology of speculative feminist fiction for young adults: 'Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean'. It was an Indo-Oz collaboration by Zubaan Books and Allen & Unwin Books, edited by Anita Roy, Kirsty Murray and Payal Dhar. It has taught me to think and work in new ways and I am grateful for the chance to stretch my own abilities. 

Listen, watch and (hopefully) enjoy it:

नये साल की पहली सुबह

नये साल की पहली सुबह में एक चौराहे के टिकोण पे बैठे हैं चार आदमी और पाँचवा खड़ा है, हाथों में अख़बार यूँ लिए जैसे वक़्त की चादर ओढ़ने जा रहा हो।

नये साल में एक टैक्सी-वाला इनकार करता है और दूसरा तैय्यार हो जाता है, मगर स्टेशन के क़रीब जाम देख के उतार देता है मंज़िल से ज़रा दूर।

नये साल में एक बूढ़ी औरत दामन फैलाए स्टेशन की सीढ़ियों पर बैठी मिलती है, नज़रंदाज़ क़दमों की महफ़िल के बीच भी, बाहर भी।

नये साल में सुबह पौने दस बजे मिठाई की दुकान पे पहुँच गयी है कोई, जाने किस बात की ख़ुशी मनाने। मालूम होता है ये साल कुछ नया ही होगा  
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