Indian Films for your watch list (2017 edition)

For the past couple of years, I have been publishing a watch list of Indian films. I am continuing that tradition for 2017. 2017 was an interesting year for Bollywood. Eagerly anticipated films like Rangoon, Tubelight, Jagga Jasoos, and Jab Harry Met Sejal tanked miserably at the box office. It might be the sign that the era of the “All Time Blockbuster” is dead. 2016 saw the rise of small cinema. 2017 saw that trend continue. Small films ended up being the biggest hits and most critically acclaimed. So despite a bleak year for film, there are plenty of films… Continue reading

Neither here nor there but fine: Ringing in 36

I recently turned 36. It is quite an ordinary age to be. Yet turning 36 feels quite odd. It envelops me in strange thoughts on the linear progression and symmetry of my life. I’ve crossed over from 30 something to almost 40. Yet, I don’t feel a day over 26. Parts of my soul are trapped in various formative ages of my life. I have a 5-year old self. I have a teenage self. I have a 20 something self. Somewhere along the way, my soul hard-braked at 26. My body ages, but my soul refuses to move on. Sometime… Continue reading

Why Tera Noor is the feminist cheer you need

No one entertains the desi masses like Salman Khan. Shahrukh maybe the king of romance. Aamir maybe the best actor. But Salman Khan knows what makes the mango people tick. His films are packed with masala and play to South Asian sentiments. No wonder he has such a rabid following But Salman Khan is a problematic hero. His legal quibbles aside, his films are usually problematic too. They are all about him and his machismo. Item songs are sprinkled in to titillate the masses. His heroines are infamously for their ‘flowerpot’ roles. They are there just to look pretty and… Continue reading

The Handbook of Laissez-Faire Religion

People often ask me if I celebrate Christmas. The question feels silly to me. Of course, everybody celebrates Christmas. Why wouldn’t they? Unfortunately, we live in a world where religious lines are drawn in the sand. I am born and raised Hindu. I identify as a Hindu. The idea that people celebrate all religious festivals is absurd. So people are genuinely curious and sensitive to my religious beliefs. I actually grew up celebrating Christmas. My family told me all about Santa Claus. My mom and grandma would sneak in my presents from Santa. I also went to Catholic school. Every… Continue reading

The Harvey Weinstein Effect: Addressing rape culture

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened a can of worms in our society. It has exposed the rampant problem of rape and sexual assault in our society. Every week a renown celebrity is getting exposed for a history of sexual misconduct. It has brought the pervasive rape culture in our society out in the open. People are finally discussing the problems with gender roles in our society. Victims finally have a support system to call out their abusers. Society is accepting the ugly truth that our civilization still has a long way to go. These recent events have made me… Continue reading

The Importance of being Taylor Swift

I remember listening to and enjoying ‘Love Story’ on the radio. Back then, I didn’t know or care about Taylor Swift. There was this song on the radio I loved. Every time it came on, I would crank the radio up. There was something beautiful and nostalgic about the song. It reminded me of a classic Bollywood romance. A tale of star-crossed-lovers like ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’. Except this was in the United States, in English, and on the radio. This country ballad had tugged at the heartstrings and found a place in my heart. Back then I didn’t know… Continue reading