Unmaking India. Remaking Indians.

70,00,000. That’s about 8 per cent of India’s labour force. That’s the number of people who were left jobless in April alone. A higher number of comrades are likely to join in May as the virus continued to ravage the nation on its second onslaught. Which one is a bigger cause for concern? Seven million […]

A Dirty Dance of Democracy

Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya… Har fikr ko dhuyen mein udata chala gaya… Remember Mohammad Rafi humming for Dev Anand in the film Hum Dono? The song was revisiting my mind since early Sunday morning when tubes began beaming how the fate of this state would be sealed this day – in the […]

The Wall

So what if Chaurasia creates magic, the raga turns a ravager between the flute and the female, when she needs to flare up at the man she loves the most. “Come out of this, stupid ass, or you’d be stuck on the wall like a goddamn lizard?” slammed Bhupali. “You’re 43, stupid, and you’re still […]

An Hour With A Stranger

Amit spotted the scar even in that dubious dim of late winter evening as the stranger stretched his hand towards him. It was just above the wrist, rising up several inches. “Is it burn?” he wondered, silently. He saw the man standing by the deserted road with one hand waving at his zipping car. Amit […]

The Abacus of The Tempests

“That’s where my child was thrust. He fell dead.” I didn’t cry, I remember, when the man pointed to a blackish red smear on the remains of what used to be a wall of his mud house till four days back. The stain was at a height of around six feet. Standing in a backdrop […]

Corona May Kill. Starvation Surely Will.

A 12-year-old girl fell and died just about an hour away from her village after a three-day walk under a blazing sun without water and food left her too parched to sustain life. She travelled 150km in India’s Chhattisgarh with the hope to get her food at home when suddenly work at the chilli field […]

‘Too Many People Have Died’

200,000. And, it’s counting. Not much of a great number, though, when factored against 7,000,000,000. But it does matter when the unit is put: Lives. 200,000 lives were lost in a riot run by an enemy of people, about 10,000th of a millimetre in size, between January 10 and April 25, 2020. The count is […]

Love in the Time of Corona

Chapter 1 Puja never smelt blood before. The mask was soaked in blood and the pungent odour was unbearable. She needed to purge. In a jostle to break free, she tore the elastic bands running under the ears around the head. The torn, stained piece of rectangular cloth hung loose from the left of her […]