The sixth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
The fifth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
The fourth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
The third of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
The second of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
The first of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.
Amidst a global renaissance of xenophobia and antiscientific fundamentalism, Jared Diamond’s book is a valuable reminder that man is after all an animal shaped by his ecology.
In David Copperfield, Dickens paints pictures of sage friends and family; reimagines the family unit; warns us of the dangers of overindulging children and infantilising adults, recreates aspects of his own life that he was dissatisfied with — and explores the power of circumstance in shaping human nature.
A woman heals from trauma, and begins her journey back towards life — via love for two unexpected entities.
An immigrant with an apparently perfect life and unlimited empathy is driven by a guilty secret.
Caliban: Heroic Anti-Colonial, Or Savage Rapist? Prospero: Pathetic Bookworm, or Forebearing Sorcerer? Best Be Gonzalo.
These analytical essays illuminate aspects of contemporary capitalist culture: including literature, liberty, and psychology. Underpinning these essays is the insight that a commodified approach to art and life erodes fundamental human relations, and impoverishes our souls. Caudwell argues — not for regressing into an imagined “glorious past” — but for us to fight together for a future of universal human dignity.
The Ocean At The End of the Lane (2013) is the first I’ve read of Neil Gaiman. I begin with my usual caveat: this is a speculative novel, and I seldom like books in this genre. I’ve begun trying it regularly, and I liked this book better than some others I’ve tried recently. Still, if […]
Brinda Charry’s The Hottest Day of the Year (2001) opens with the narrator, 11-year-old Nithya, finding Sudha hanging by the neck from the ceiling. Hottest Day then rewinds a few months to tell the story from the beginning. The book unfolds over six months of 1986 in Thiruninravur, near Chennai. Nithya is from Bangalore; her […]
Fabula Argentea published this flash story in Issue 31. Image source: Air Quality in Delhi before and after lockdown began. SUMAN “Why’re you standing here, Ma?” Suman stepped onto the balcony. “You know this polluted air aggravates your asthma. Come inside.” Suman gasped. A hundred and twenty miles away, through the sky suddenly clear, wide […]
The Overstory (2018) won the 2019 Pulitzer for fiction, and for good reason. This is the most ambitious novel I’ve ever read, possibly also the best-written. Almost every sentence is perfect: such that the very occasional slightly-imperfect sentence stands out. The prose is both sparely poetic, and dense with distilled meaning – inviting slow savouring, […]
Captain Planet exhorted 90s children to save the world — while also showing us how large industry and government inaction stack the cards against meaningful change. Thirty years on, was Captain Planet right?
Volume Three of Fearsome Critters is out, with my short story “Sanctuary.” Set on a solo weekend trip to Benaras, “Sanctuary” fictionalises a friend’s psychoglocial journey. A journey of healing from trauma, rediscovering oneself through reflection (with aid from psychedelics), and recovering one’s faith in people and purpose in life.
Parables for the Theatre: Two Plays by Brecht In college I’d heard of Brecht’s penchant for theatre that broke the fourth wall; a decade later, this two-play volume I read this month was the first Brecht I read. My experience reading drama is limited. I’ve read the classical Athenians, and some Plautus; Shakespeare, and a […]
After uny exams in north India, a young couple takes their first trip together. Impeding separation looms over them, all but inevitable. Sarthak and Jaya have different attitudes to fate. When an eventuality is all but certain — is it wiser to yield, or to fight it anyway?
A very angsty love poem in five parts. To cheer you up afterwards, two microstories.
Michigan-based poet J. L. Moultrie has published in journals such as Sonder Midwest, Oroboro, and Terror House Magazine. Today, J.L. speaks about discovering books, writing poetry, and finding faith in his vocation.
Always wanted to read Shakespeare’s Sonnets, but never had the time? Fear not. I impersonate Shakespeare to tell you the story of sonnets’ love triangle. The Poet, the Fair Youth, and the Dark Lady. I bolster my summary with ample quotations, and attempts at humour. The Sonnets explore every facet of desire: yearning, sexual desire, jealousy (of rival lovers and of rival poets), love-madness and insomnia, tranquil admiration, breakup and reconciliation.
A poem about the prosaicness of love. And a microstory about the childishness of adults.
Some time ago, I read Ana Vidosavljevic’s articles at The Curious Reader, a magazine we both write for. I went on to discover her other writing, then her website. I was struck by her honest, fresh writing; by the novelty and freshness of her prose; and by her imaginative and accessible stories for children. I got to read some of the short stories and memoir pieces published in Ana’s two recently published books: Mermaids, a collection of short stories; and Flower Thieves, a memoir. Today I speak with Ana about reading, writing, surfing, and travelling.
In this vignette published at Flash Fiction Magazine, a woman wrestles with ambition, inertia, and anxiety.
The first third of The Sellout’s 288 pages is hilarious. After that, Beatty recycles himself… I would’ve enjoyed getting to know Foy Cheshire, the leader of the faux-intellectuals and the book’s chief antagonist. As it is, Foy remains a theatre-mask… The Sellout is excellent, but not great. Mesmerised by its brilliantly coloured flat characters, it the novel misses opportunities to humanise its characters.
1984 predicts the charismatic authoritarians, bigoted nationalists, and media-suppressing demagogues who lead the world today.
Every Wednesday, I’ll be featuring an interview with an artist or scientist, hosted on the Artists & Scientists site. With this new addition, I’m up to five blogposts a week. If you’re a subscriber, and you’d rather not receive so many emails from my site, this is a good time to change your notification preferences. […]
Writer, teacher, translater, and new mother Ana Vidosavljevic interviewed me about writing. I talk about my fvaourite books, writing routine and aids, dealing with criticism, and advice I’d give myself if I could start afresh.
Analog/Virtual would have been a better book had it kept its sights strained on the human, with a focus narrower and deeper. As it stands, it is a passable book with some interesting concepts, glimmers of insight, and competent storytelling.
For this week’s guest post on Artists and Scientists, I’m pleased to introduce my friend and colleague, poet and writer J. L. Moultrie. I’ve known J. L. just a few months, and we’ve never met in person. But through his writing, and through a long and rich series of emails, I’ve come to know a […]
My flash story “Fish” published in Kelp won the magazine’s Shelter in Place contest under the Fiction category. Check out the story, along with the Poetry and Essay contest winners — along with other prose, poetry, and visual art — in Kelp’s Summer 2020 issue. Enter your email ID for weekly updates about new articles […]
Do gifted girls have different needs from gifted boys? In this article published at Deccan Herald, I explore the intersection of sex, intelligence, and educational needs.
In this microstory published in Entropy Magazine, I explore the difference between love and obsession.
In this book review published at Qrius, I revisit E. M. Forster’s best-known novel. A Passage to India demolishes the racism that sustains imperialism; the novel exemplifies the power of literature to catalyse social progress
In this critique published at Countercurrents, I explore a genre-changing television series. Black Mirror does best when it shows how, in a world that’s almost this world, mass media and social media cause problematic behaviour at the mass level.
A review and a scientific analysis of a tiny and powerful book that inaugurated the genre of addiction memoir.
To save the world, individual action is not enough. We need to unite to advocate for systemic change. I recount my own history with eco-consciousness — and my mother’s — and narrate how I moved towards a different path of action.
In this microstory published at Star 82 Review, a woman adapts to a new life.
Part Two of Two:
* Summary of Main Ideas
* The Structure of the Dialogue: What’s the Unifying Theme of this Sprawling Behemoth?
* Interrogating The Republic: A Cognitive Scientist critiques the Dialogue’s main ideas
Jun 13, 2020 This week I’m introducing a new Saturday column. *Artists and Scientists* will feature one fellow artist or scientist every week, sharing: views on life and work; perspectives on current events; an overview of a misunderstood topic articulated in accessible terms; a personal essay; fiction/ poetry/ art/ photography, original or previously published; or […]
This review published at Countercurrents critiques a film that squanders great potential.
Part One of Two:
* Reading Plato as Light Literature
* Note on Gender Pronouns
* Socrates the Character
* Are the *Dialogues* Really Dialogues?
* Socrates’s Dialectic Style: Characteristics, and Pros&Cons
* Reasoning from the Ideal
In this article published at Deccan Herald, I address a common and false belief that obstructs gifted education.
In this feature published at The Curious Reader, I revisit a powerful play that remains shockingly relevant today.