Rich-poor divide

Deadly air exposes rich-poor divide, Channel News Asia, March 21, 2019: Delhi’s affluent, who are often better informed about the dangers of pollution, increasingly expect the same safety measures they have in place at home, to be available when they are out. High-end eateries, bars and cinemas are tapping into that demand – installing electronic […]

6.35 pm

5.47 pm But from somewhere, a blue curtain had descended over the flat terminator. It hung further down into a gentler, paler azure, then a hurried, dirty transformation to brown. Why the rush I wanted to ask. As the crescent watched, the brown became ochre, ochre became salmon pink, salmon pink became orange, and orange […]

Lightning strikes and sex

No, not that sex. Biological sex. In the past eight years, an astounding 80 percent of those killed by lightning strikes have been men. This astonishing statistic is from an article in Bustle, from 2014 – but it quickly stops being astonishing. It seems lightning preferred men because they were more likely to be engaged […]

Reading Manto

What is a short story? If you were to visualise the completeness of a ‘long-story’ as arcs of different lengths on a circle, then I would say a finished novel could be 90% of the circumference. Or an epic fantasy series like Lord of the Rings to be 100%. However, reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s short […]

Driving down the moderated way

There’s a really yucky scene in the really yucky movie based on the half-yucky book Atlas Shrugged. A copper-mining tycoon who blew up his own mines says in a conversation with his railroad-tycoon friend, “They say money is the root of all evil. So I wanted to stop being evil.” As a punchline, its self-confidence […]

On time, and turning 30

It was recently my birthday. I turned 30. The celebrations were muted – if at all – because there’s something of a moment when you exit the tweens, and the first digit of your age changes from 2 to 3. On that day, it seemed more pertinent than ever to think of the occasion as […]

Foundations of reality

I haven’t ever been more interested in anything than physics and epic fantasy. So I thought it might be interesting to think about whether they complement each other. Being a science writer writing about things like condensed-matter physics and high-energy physics has taught me a lot about these subjects. But more importantly, in the course […]

Train ride

What makes a train ride a train ride? I regularly travel between Bangalore and Chennai, using the morning Shatabdi every time. These train rides are not easy to love even the Shatabdi’s coaches have giant glass-panelled windows that offer beautiful views at sunrise and sunset. But the train’s features significantly dent the experience. The seats make […]

Personal notes on the Vinod Dua case

Background information + The Wire‘s statements on the issue: Panel Headed by Former SC Justice Aftab Alam to Examine Allegation Against Vinod Dua The Wire’s Handling of the Sexual Harassment Charge Against Vinod Dua § I strongly condemn Vinod Dua’s statements vis-à-vis the #MeToo movement and the women who have spoken up against men and […]

Storm-seeker

For the last two nights, the skies of Bangalore have been opening up, as if for me. Last night, it poured rivers. The sky flashed with the kind of lightning that makes you say you’ve never seen lightning like that. The entire empyrean turns that electric pink that you know is all heat, blowing like […]

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