Eat root to tip: How chefs make the everyday exotic

When chef Radhika Khandelwal stirs her pot of memories, she stops at the moment when she sat with her grandmother under the winter sun shelling peas. “We’d snack on some and keep the pods away because these couldn’t be wasted. She blanched them and cooked a finger-licking dish. Just like the leftover carrot tops and … Read more

‘My life is resistance’: Pa Ranjith

Among the sizeable Indian contingent at the 75th Cannes Film Festival last month was Pa Ranjith, whom I met in a very Cannes setting: on the upper deck of a swish yacht, where the poster of his upcoming film Vettuvam was being showcased. It was a moment. For Ranjith Pandurangan, 39, who has made a … Read more

How the documentary Trans Kashmir individualises a community which is often kept at bay

Called Khwaja Sara (in Persian), they enjoyed a certain respect during the Mughal rule in Kashmir, between 1586 and 1751. The Mughals employed hijras in the women’s wives quarters, because their several used to seek sex outside marriage with male servants, etc. The Sikh and Dogra rulers were indifferent, inviting them only to sing/perform. The … Read more

How Meherwan Irani made our chai pani America’s new favourite

Like many chasing their dream of a good life, a young man from Ahmednagar, just outside Pune, came to the US to pursue a degree in MBA. He was as hungry for the American dream as he was for his bhelpuri. Of course, Meherwan Irani didn’t know back then that the humble puffed rice chaat … Read more

Kerala Film Awards 2022: How Aavasavyuham, Chavittu and Prapedda are expanding the scope of playing with the form

Halfway into Krishand RK’s Aavasaviuham: The Arbit Documentation of An Amphibian Hunt, you’re still wondering if it’s an environmental documentary, a fiction feature, spy thriller or sci-fi. It employs elements of all, stylistically, for its multitiered storytelling. With vérité shot on 28 mm lens, for 90 per cent of its length. Here is a group … Read more

‘Usually, caste discourse is not tolerated in queer spaces’

Queer narratives have found a robust form of expression in short films. This explains why writer-director Nishant Roy Bombarde, 39, chose this medium for Daaravtha (2016) Gair (2022). Layered and delicate, Daaravtha is about a young boy making his choice even as he discovers his sexuality. In Gaircaste and queer narratives intersect as two youngsters … Read more

Remembering Panditji, who turned a cook into a chef and taught a human to respect those of all faith

The outpouring of grief on the passing of Panditji, my family’s Brahmin cook, has been nothing short of extraordinary. He died peacefully on June 10 at the age of 91 in his village near Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. He touched the lives of countless others and left all with delicious memories of rich indulgence and … Read more

‘Biome Diaries’ reflects on collaborative multi-disciplinary processes and stresses on dialogues around ecological approaches to architecture

Over the last few years, architects have begun to reflect on their praxis and share insights on the nature of projects. These publications are essential in the context of a rapidly transforming social and economic context. The impact of the industrial revolution over the last two centuries has also begun to have an adverse influence … Read more

For thespian K Gopalan playing a Leftist character in Anamika Haksar’s film came easy

Lalli, a laborer from Kerala and committed communist, dreams of revolutions, social change and equality among people. In his sleep, he sees himself flying the red flag and rousing the dominated. After an agent, who’d promised to help him migrate to Dubai dupes him, Lalli is stranded in Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). He works as a … Read more

Why we need moms for management lessons

When Ranjani Krishnaswamy was thinking about a storyboard for jewelry brand Tanishq’s Mother’s Day campaign, she didn’t want a saccharine concept of the forever giver, nurturer and restorer. She wanted to keep it real and honest. And she found it from women around her, among consumers or colleagues. The brand’s general manager (marketing) figured that … Read more