Picture courtesy: Google Images

Life: A riddle, game, joke or an abuse?

My metro rides are often accompanied by books or music. Reading about a woman’s struggle against an oppressive society within the comforts of an air-conditioned Ladies coach in the train or listening to Manna Dey’s ‘Zindagi Kaisi hai Paheli Hai’ while the surrounding crowd grooves to the beats of ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi ’ , I often…

Recreating Satyajit Ray’s ‘Patol Babu’ on stage

Human ambition, unfulfilled dreams and undying hope were portrayed with finesse in ‘Taramandal’, a theatrical representation of Satyajit Ray’s short story ‘Patol Babu, Film Star’ at the India Habitat Centre. Performed by the Tadpole Repertory, the play delved into the subject of human aspiration in all its complexities and styled it with a curtain of…

The Girl who dies pleading a FATWA

Book review: The Fatwa Girl Author: Akbar Agha Publisher: Hachette India Pages: 232 While memories of the fatwa issued against author Salman Rushdie with reference to his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ (1989) continue to be fresh, upon reading a book titled ‘The Fatwa Girl’, one cannot help but assume its contents to have symptoms akin…

Tom Alter plays a Tagore we never knew

It is not everyday that history comes alive and when it does, the experience refuses to depart easily from memory. As the lights faded in, an old armchair slowly emerged into visibility carrying the weight of a frail man engrossed in writing with trembling hands. Clad in a magenta-coloured kaftan and loose pyjamas, wearing the…

Getting drunk helped me write: Vikram Seth

It took four years, a tireless violinist, a persistent music composer and countless sips of wine for the ‘suitable boy,’ Vikram Seth, to complete his latest book, ‘The Rivered Earth.’ The Spring Fever 2012 by Penguin Books India took off with the versatile writer reading out verses from his new book to an audience of…

Tagore’s lovelorn ‘Chandalika’ returns to stage

Chant of Buddhist prayers floating with the rhythm of the smoke-filled air had started to ebb away. From that blurred frame of human figures positioned around the sacrificial pyre, slowly emerged our heroine of the evening- ‘Chandalika’. Chandalika: The untouchable: Rabindranath Tagore’s Chandalika written in the year 1938 was recreated for stage as a part…

Amrapali was more than a luscious courtesan

Book review: The Legend of Amrapali Author: Anurag Anand Publisher: Srishti Publishers Pages: 203 Heroic tales of Lord Rama’s battle against Ravana or the valiant Arjuna in the Kurukshetra battlefield are some of the first images we recall about the Ramayana and the Mahabharata respectively. But we surely find ourselves a bit unaware stumbling upon…