The Essay Page

Why Svetlana’s Second Hand Time(2013) tells a forgotten story

You are a woman with two kids. You own a Masters degree and work as a professor in some university. You had free education, free medical facilities and so do your children. Your husband works as an engineer in some State-owned company. You live in a modest apartment and since there is no ‘market’ outContinue reading “Why Svetlana’s Second Hand Time(2013) tells a forgotten story”

Tamizhanda!!

                                                            “Kadaisi Tamizhanin Raththam Ezhum Vezhaadhe!!!” (The last drop of a Tamil’s blood will not fall, but rise!!) “Oh how? Do the blood of Tamils have a different set of genetic instructions that make it rise against the pull of gravity?” I know my question to my fellow ‘Tamilanda’ office team-mate was absurd and silly.Continue reading “Tamizhanda!!”

Padhavikkaga and Sujatha’s fiction

Spoilers Ahead.. Dhanraj, a 29-year old politician is an independent candidate contesting the Assembly By-election at Ramarajapuram. He beats the sitting MLA Chinnappan who belongs to the ruling party through sheer hard-work and activism braving the odds of black money and big publicity. He is greeted by the Chief Minister Arumugam immediately on his victoryContinue reading “Padhavikkaga and Sujatha’s fiction”

Gandhi-Nehru: An unlikely friendship that defined India

Gandhi did not believe in industrialization or technology. He thought that machines shall end up depriving man of the strength and vitality he was supposed to derive from manual labour. He thought machines by increasing production, shall multiply human needs and add to his fetish for commodity acquisition. This way he feared that man wouldContinue reading “Gandhi-Nehru: An unlikely friendship that defined India”

America and today’s Islamophobia

“It’s not radical Islam that worries the US — it’s independence” This was Noam Chomsky, America’s most famous and controversial public intellectual and polemicist. In today’s world where Islamophobia is fast becoming the norm in even relatively secular countries, a short flashback of the role America played in nurturing Islamic terrorism in the last fiftyContinue reading “America and today’s Islamophobia”

When Lord Krishna and Woody Allen met on my account!

Arjuna, the warrior felt deeply uncomfortable about taking on his rivals, the Gauravas who were his siblings after all. He was much worried about fighting is own Guru Dronacharya who treated him like a son. It was a deep dilemma for Arjuna. He simply couldn’t pick his bow and begin fighting the war he wasContinue reading “When Lord Krishna and Woody Allen met on my account!”

Book Excerpt: THE LAST EMPIRE-A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia- Chapter 3-A Theoretical Detour

Before we get further into the narrative, a quick dive into what essentially is meant by Capitalism, Marxism and Fascism will help us understand the ideological undercurrents that drove the turbulent events of the Second World War (1939-1945). Capitalism – Origins: The period of ‘Enlightenment’ in Europe is broadly assumed to begin from the FrenchContinue reading “Book Excerpt: THE LAST EMPIRE-A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia- Chapter 3-A Theoretical Detour”

The Artist Vs the Technocrat

This essay shall be an inquiry into the psyche of great artists who in spite of their struggles against overpowering poverty and ubiquitous social hostility, manage to lead lives others can only envy about. ‘Un Kanavan Subramani oru ezhai. Aaanal Bharathi appadi pattavan alla! Avan indha ulagathai oru simmasanathil ukkarnthu paarthukondiruppavan’ ‘Your husband Subramani isContinue reading “The Artist Vs the Technocrat”

How Ishq (2019) showed men its middle-finger?

The Interval Scene of Ishq (2019): “I am a man, I need to know” “Oh, I didn’t see any of this manliness yesterday” This conversation between the lovers at exactly the half-way mark points the change in the direction of the story. Ishq, the Malayalam drama-thriller directed by Anuraj Manohar and written by Ratheesh Ravi,Continue reading “How Ishq (2019) showed men its middle-finger?”

Her!

Art allows one to enjoy aspects which others might find very ordinary or superficial. Literature that is generally premised on a healthy imagination helps one to enjoy things which are not immediately perceptible to others. For example, I can sit inside a dull and gloomy Electromagnetic Theory Classroom for more than two hours listening toContinue reading “Her!”

Film Review: Kaala (2018) -Well Begun and Only Half-done

It has happened again. The last time I felt like this was when I saw Kabali. Now it has happened again with Kaala. The Ranjith-Rajni combo films always leave me stranded between ‘liking’ and ‘hating’ camps situated on opposite ends of the street. The most important reason why I like Ranjith’s films is because they areContinue reading “Film Review: Kaala (2018) -Well Begun and Only Half-done”

Was man created only to survive and accumulate?

“The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and of mundane considerations ceases” This was Karl Marx as early as the 1800s. Marx wanted to divest labour from its criticality in ensuring survival and its indispensability in the pursuits of acquiring one’s own basic requirements for a decent living.Continue reading “Was man created only to survive and accumulate?”

Understanding India’s agrarian crisis

The following essay will give a brief introduction to the origins of the current agricultural crisis in India. Knowledge of the origins shall serve as an effective background to understand rising farmer unrest all over India. What is Liberalisation/Neoliberalism? India in 1991, in return for financial assistance from IMF and World Bank agreed to implementingContinue reading “Understanding India’s agrarian crisis”

The Greek Hero

Sivaraman is a clerk in a chemical firm owned by the government who lives with a small family of two kids and a wife. His monthly compensation is modest and in an increasingly commodity-obsessed society he often struggles to make ends meet. But he is unlike many others in the society for he would skipContinue reading “The Greek Hero”

Why Gandhi?

The United States of America dropped two powerful bombs – one at Hiroshima and one at Nagasaki in August 1945. They were the first nuclear bombs in the world to be dropped upon human beings and Japan, as a result was forced to surrender instantly. Newspapers all over the world hailed the victory of theContinue reading “Why Gandhi?”

Book Review: Fascism and Social Revolution by RP Dutt (1936)

This book was written in 1936 by veteran Communist theoretician, Rajani Palme Dutt. Dutt tries to trace the roots of Fascism in the gradually ‘decaying’ branches of capitalism with the help of a wealth of anecdotal evidence. He emphasizes that fascism is just a variant of capitalism, and is the last resort of the bigContinue reading “Book Review: Fascism and Social Revolution by RP Dutt (1936)”

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