The 299 Ramayanas That Just Won’t Go Away

I recently read The Collected Essays of A.K.Ramanujan. I bought the book to read an essay called “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation”, an essay written by Ramanujan in 1987. I was unaware of the existence of this essay, and of Ramanujan, till I learnt that the Delhi University removed this…

My Uncle Bash

My earliest memory of him is at my maternal home on Desai Road, Nairobi: my Uncle Bash, my Bashmama. He is just married. My two elder sisters and me, then 4 or 5 years old, are there for the marriage. My Bashmama, this exceedingly debonair cosmopolitan uncle, with his French Beard, with his dark complexion,…

Baijirao Mastani

Baijirao Mastani is a Bollywood movie about a great Hindu Brahmin Peshwa (Prime Minster) who is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire to almost all of present day India. This movie panders to the seemingly newly found “Hindu” pride,  subtly packaged as the nationalistic “Proud to be a Hindu”  message of  a Hindu  Brahmin Peshwa who promises to bring the concept of the Kingdom of  God, the Ram Rajya to fruition. What was not shown in the movie was the treatment of the   “untouchable” castes, particularly the Mehar class, during the time of the Peshwa.   The flip side of a Ram-Rajya is an unequal caste based society (the Chaturvarnya) , sanctified by scriptures.

Reading of Kafka’s Trial in light of Foucault’s writings

The Trial seems to suggest that we as a society willingly accept surveillance, create our stereotypes, accept registries of discipline and so forth and refuse to accept that it is us doing all these things. We blame it on the other, we “transfer” our own negative traits on to others and then blame them. This is our societies “shadow”.