Category: Words

November 20, 2016 /

It is laconic, not quite cynical, resigned yet nevertheless still searching sensibility that Nongkynrih fully realizes in Time’s Barter. Given his ability to convey multiple competing impressions within a few lines, Nongkynrih’s turn to Haiku and Senryu in the collection makes sense.

Read the PostTime’s Barter : a review

November 19, 2016 /
November 16, 2016 /

We support all efforts to stop corruption, stamp out black money and counterfeit currency, and act against funding that helps creates unrest in the country be it through terrorism or creating divisions and hatred among people. However, the decision to de-monetize Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes is misconceived and will not address the problem of black money for the following reasons

Read the PostDemons of Demonetisation

November 15, 2016 /

Left-lib­er­al “pro­gress­ives” did this to them­selves. This is ex­actly what re­treat­ing in­to cul­tur­al (i.e., iden­tity) polit­ics, while abandon­ing class as the basis for a so­cially trans­form­at­ive co­ali­tion, gets you.

Read the PostReap the Whirlwind

November 14, 2016 /

Yesterday was the birth anniversary and the beginning of the centenary year of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-1964), beloved Hindi poet, fiction writer and critic, who should count among the greatest of thinkers and culture personalities of modern India. His impact on Hindi literature was as transformational as that of Ghalib in Urdu or Pushkin in Russian literature. One can only remember him with great sadness and wonder what he would have thought of the situation we are in today.

Read the PostIn Darkness – Muktibodh’s century

November 10, 2016 /

If you have been following Kashmir these days, Khurram Parvez’s name must have surely hit your screens. You may have even seen some funky graphics with FREE KHURRAM floating about.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-11-53-10-pm But who is Khurram Parvez? Why are people in Kashmir getting all worked up about his detention? For those of us not clued into the Kashmir question, answer is, Don’t Know. So when we received STATE versus Khurram Parvez pdf from Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society – we were thrilled. So in a spirit of curiosity we offer the pdf for DOWNLOAD.

Read the PostSo who is Khurram Parvez?

November 7, 2016 /

It is very hard to actually begin to categories and study Khasi Comics. It is an even harder task to actually find the copies of these comics. However, if you are fortunate and lucky enough to find such comics, you become a privileged witness and an amazed observer to the history of the comic book in Meghalaya; specifically the Khasi Comics. In Meghalaya, the comic book art form is very young; starting approximately around the 1980s and from that period until the present date, very few works have emerged.

Read the PostA Short History of Khasi Comic Books

October 28, 2016 /

It is inarguably impossible to follow up a festival which had The Wailers and Megadeth as the headline acts. However NH7 attempted to do that this year by bringing Steven Wilson, formerly of Porcupine Tree, to Shillong. The progressive/alternate messiah. The tripper of minds. The maestro of melancholia.

Read the PostNH7 at Bhoirymbong – fest review and a few suggestions

October 23, 2016 /

Ghosh babu said dryly, “Cut it into five or six bits. You’re used to cutting meat. After that wrap the pieces in a banana leaf and get to the road, go and tie it to stones and throw it into the river. That’s all the work there is. Dharmaraj remembered the time Ghosh babu’s elder daughter got married. He had been called to cut the goats. Ten or twelve goats were tied to a post. He had instructed him likewise, “Cut it nicely into medium-size pieces. Not too small, not too large, you can take the skin, heads and everything else.” Today it occurred to him that for these people there was no difference at all between men and goats. But Dharmaraj was just an ordinary butcher. His hands and legs turned icy. Sensing Dharmaraj’s plight, Ghosh babu said, “Liquor has been brought, gulp a bottle, once you’re intoxicated you won’t have a clue about what you’re cutting. Get to work at once. The work has to be completed in two hours.

Read the PostThe Night Knows All Secrets

October 22, 2016 /

My wife, a Hindu, eats beef; both my in-laws eat beef, as do most in their family. My son will eat anything put on his plate by anyone who cooks for him. My daughter is a vegetarian the last few years and had also been vegan, yet she doesn’t tell any of us one that we can’t eat beef or mutton or pork; she may even taste it when I cook it and give me her opinion. We are vegetarian on Hindu holidays that we celebrate at home (though this doesn’t exclude the transgression of seeking other spirits).

Read the PostThe Bare Necessities of Beef

October 20, 2016 /

Pink, whose script was written by men, didn’t quite challenge patriarchal conservatism. It merely took the variables already at hand—those of male centrism and sexism—and used them to make its story digestible to a conservative public.

Read the PostPink: Feminism Undermined

October 18, 2016 /

On asking what kind of an audience does his establishment attracts, Ganesh points towards a man wearing a lungi and vest, whom he had just physically removed from the small ramshackle theatre, and says “like him”. “They have nowhere to go after work or when there is no work and hence come here”. The man in question shakes his head and concurs. It is the daily wage workers, like him, that form the bulk of the audience for video centres

Read the PostScreening out the Public – Cinema and the City

October 16, 2016 /

It’s interesting to see so many people care about Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, people who otherwise never seem to have engaged with his work or have had scant respect for him; it’s as if this suddenly validates him as an artist in their eyes. And of course, there are people who are trashing this choice and wondering if this opens the door for lyricists to win the most prestigious literary prize in the world (“What, even Anand Bakshi is eligible now?” being the most memorable query on that front).

Read the PostStill busy being born

October 14, 2016 /

The shit-storm on the internet has started. Ultimately it boils down to it just being a fun change that lyrics you’ve grown up humming are making a reappearance as high literature. It’s all light years from the genesis of Dylan anyhow, and he couldn’t be too easily pigeon-holed into anything too water-tight.

Read the PostTwisted worlds of Bob Dylan

October 12, 2016 /

The Anime Culture which comprises of people who follow anime mainly from Japan, Korea and China is a growing trend that can be seeing all over the world and slowly but surely touching even in this part of the world especially in Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh. Different organisations like Project Z.E.R.O, Nagaland Anime Junkies, NEOtakus, etc are slowly spreading this new culture through different events such as Cosplay Competitions, Anime Meets, Anime Cons, Comic cons, etc. For those who are already keen followers of this new cultures must have had experiences where they are shunned by friends, society and even their own parents for simply spending too much time on these ‘kids’ show but I say why not? This is not a review of each anime or Director as that would take more than just one article to do justice to each of them but just a gist of what each has to offer to its viewers

Read the PostANIME pleasures in Shillong

October 11, 2016 /

I kept wondering if the ISL match would have been possible in Guwahati even a decade ago. Would people have braved humid weather, dust, long lines and trudged to a stadium completely disconnected from the heart of the city? Would they have been as enthusiastic about the easy manner in which regional politics merged with national markets? Actually, I’m stretching the truth a bit. My colleagues and I skipped out of the stadium happy that we had won on the strength of a solitary goal, scored by a Japanese player and supported by a host of players of different nationalities.

Read the PostFootball in the time of mass deception

October 7, 2016 /

In 1963, Kanhailal Heisnam had been expelled from the National School of Drama on for having taken leave without official permission. The real problem, according to scholars like Rustom Bharucha was Kanhailal’s inability to cope with the pressure of being expected to speak, write and work in English and especially in Hindi. These were languages that were unfamiliar and alien to him, just as he was alien in the space where he had arrived, albeit with much hope and optimism, as a student of theatre. Having been expelled, after a period of aimlessness, Kanhailal returned to Imphal finally in 1969 to begin his own work and established his theatre group Kalakshetra Manipur. However, unlike the far-more spectacular Ratan Thiyam, who even went on briefly to become the director of NSD in 1987-1988, Kanhailal remained for a long time on the margins of what was accepted and celebrated as ‘Manipuri ‘theatre practice at the nation’s centre.

Read the PostThe Lost Wor(l)ds of Heisnam Kanhailal

October 6, 2016 /

Some would argue that the Blues are a part and parcel of one’s life – like the cobras dancing. In it one’s politics, one’s commitment, passion and love churn. It is a position that keeps one constantly discontented and dissatisfied, but never cynical and bitter. So, it’s a pity for me that when The Blues Circus gets on stage this coming Friday, there won’t be a substantive documentary on Peter marking this occasion.
Maybe this will never be on the cards because it’s tough getting him to talk about himself. Because there’s much more to him than his many guitars, and the ritual he makes of polishing them with his ‘Mist and Wipe” spray specially made for Fenders.

Read the PostA Circus for Chronic Indian Blues

October 3, 2016 /

Old Brahmadev probably has walked down most of the lanes of Shillong but not too many would know his name. He would only be recognized by the bell he rings and the green compartmentalized box he carries that we all so well recognize.

Read the PostIn praise of an impure Shillong

September 29, 2016 /

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Read the PostSURGEONS OF WAR – 3 Dylan Songs

September 15, 2016 /

My father passed away almost 20 years ago but I remember him every day. I remember him as a loving and doting father, a jolly, generous, kind, often compulsive person, always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He would buy us gifts – clothes, toys and food whenever he felt like. I would always be so happy and glad just to be in his company. He had many names and identities you might say. He was known by his Muslim name as Abrar Hussain, his nickname was Khuku and Johnky, his Christian name was Peter.

Read the PostShillong’s Ghosts of 47

September 12, 2016 /

The old cliché is “God is dead … And we have killed him”. When this statement was first uttered by Nietzsche’s Madman more than a century ago, I do not think that it was entirely depressing (even though the philosopher himself might have thought otherwise); perhaps because deep down people must have felt it was time to let the idea (of God) go. The zeitgeist had definitely changed direction.

Read the PostGod, Wonder, Science

September 3, 2016 /

Uneasiness and fear percolate from every pore of the visuals crafted by cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul and stay for uncomfortably long spans, making one feel as if the plot progression is happening in real time. There are other times when the camera wakes up as if from a manic dream and switches to fast pans. A good volume of the narrative is unfolded in what is not seen on screen. Violence and the bloodied armed strife is always a pervasive presence in its visible absence. Designed with minimalistic background music, Chauthi Koot carries forward these stylistic elements from Gurvinder Singh’s previous film Anhe Ghode Da Daan(Alms For A Blind Horse) that projected an unnervingly drab Punjab of the Dalits of Punjab’s Malwa who, till this day, work as seeri or bonded agricultural labourers on the fields of land- owning Jatt sikhs. In both films, the filmmaker is able to carve out a Punjab that is an antithesis of the vibrant and ever celebratory image of Punjab that one is used to witness in popular culture and Bollywood cinema.

Read the PostShrieking Silences

September 3, 2016 /

Although I had seen both Chocolate and Goal, I never particularly cared to find out who had directed them. They were average films, displaying no trace of an auteur behind them, although they were enjoyable the way many Bollywood films are, but also, at the same time, completely and eminently forgettable. Both the films were set abroad, and had a mild nationalistic strain running through them which was also not very remarkable in that sense – Bollywood films shot abroad can rarely resist the temptation of a little flirtation with nationalism.
Buddha in a Traffic Jam, when seen in that context, is indeed a remarkable film as it purports to be a film of ideas, very glossily packaged – to be expected as Agnihotri cut his teeth in advertising.

Read the PostA Filmy Road Rage

August 30, 2016 /

If the distinction of being ‘Cleanest Village in Europe’ (also heartchecked by Our Supreme Leader) was not enough, Mawlynnong can now claim to be the host of the first proof of ant-gravity according to the scientists at Discover India facebook page.

Read the PostMawlynnong declared Photoshop Capital of Asia

August 28, 2016 /

I told you that there was something wrong with the way the beat of the drums sounded, something wrong with the way the trumpet was blown, something seems not right with the way people were shouting, I could feel that in the air, I could feel that on the ground, that it was not the vibration of triumph, neither of celebration.

Read the PostThe Drum Beat

August 23, 2016 /

So it’s farewell, then, to Gawker. After 14 years of dancing on the edge of ethical probity and legal propriety, doing some good journalism as well as some less good, the New York-based website – an online blend of investigation, gossip, commentary and satire – has been forced out of business.

Read the PostDon’t Mourn GAWKER! PUBLISH!

August 19, 2016 /

Another young man comes home from work on his scooter
He is an atm teller and Supports his large family
His brothers wedding is next week
He is found with 300 pellets in his body, every organ is ruptured
they had carried him to the side of the road, to pass it off as an accident
But blood leaves its trail

India, this is your democracy.

Read the PostIndia! This Is Your Democracy

August 19, 2016 /

In 2008, I came across the word ‘bipolar’ again. It was in a letter my daughter Daniella had written to her psychiatrist, telling him how grateful she was for the one-day workshop he had conducted on the subject. She wanted me to publish her letter in The Shillong Times, a paper I edit, but I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage. It still sits in my inbox. For years I had criticized people for being in denial about drug addiction, alcoholism, HIV& AIDS, and now I found I was equally culpable.
But this realization came later.

Read the PostDANIELLA