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Showing posts from September, 2017

Be more informed, Priyanka Chopra

(pic courtesy of Hindustan Times) It is our first meeting and my Indian compatriot tells me, “You speak good Hindi, I was wondering how a Chinese can speak Hindi so well.” Now I don’t think I look anywhere close to a Chinese but I understand that for her, it’s an easier synonym for all Asian look-alikes. I get that all the time here in Melbourne. You are from India? Yes, from the northeast. Nepal? Conversation over. If I am lucky, I do get an occasional: “Nagaland?” or “Manipur?”  Once it was “Thailand?” The person was from Delhi and she thought Thailand was in the northeast of India. I wish. This is a tiredly, familiar opening conversation I endure whenever I meet Indians who, while warming up to the fact that I can speak Hindi and enjoy Bollywood movies as much as they do, have zero knowledge about their own country. I can understand if the ignorance comes from Indians born here but no, these are supposedly educated Indians who have migrated here (and ye

Why Gauri Lankesh's death affects me

I did not know Gauri Lankesh and I had never met her during my years of working in the media in India. But why does her death affect me so much as it does hundreds of others who are today protesting against the brutal death that she met with at the doorstep of her house? The answer to this can be many. On a plain level, the loss of any life does not bring a smile on your face but immediately touches that familiar chord of loss and grief. You wonder how his/her loved ones are coping, you wonder what her/her last words or moments were. When these multitude of thoughts hover around the mind they are enough to push you into that realm of sadness. Gauri, I soon realised over outpourings in social media, was a larger than life figure. Sadly, I came to know only in her death that I actually have met and known her former husband, who I had inadvertently removed from my Facebook account because I was at one point of time going through a weaning process where friends I hardly interac