Of Never-ending Goodbyes.

Dear Bacchas,

My calendar tells me that you graduate in exactly a month from now (??!!!). I had saved the date so I could take a leave from my adult-life and come cry more than I did on both my graduations put together.

[Grandma crib alert: Wasn’t it just yesterday that my batch was hesitant to share the campus with you, but then also made welcome cards all night before you entered the next morning? And has it really been that long since I held extra office hours to talk to you about everything under the roof?


Good Stuff: December’18

  1. The Death of An Ashokan Ethos

(“We no longer let ourselves be swayed in empathizing with unconventional opinions, no longer unlearn our assumptions till we don’t have beliefs anymore — only to then build them back up with rigor and conviction. Doubt is no longer the defining state of the Ashokan mind. There is no longer a defining state of the Ashokan mind.”)

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2. The Skilled And The Schooled

(“These divisions enforce social and knowledge hierarchies. Simply put, most elites do not consider the knowledge that most people possess in contemporary India to be legitimate or…


1. This Library Has New Books by Major Authors, but They Can’t Be Read Until 2114

(“Hope is a quiet and melancholic affect, an ethical position that is defined by a horizon of impossibility rather than action. Hope does not agitate. It does not incite opposition; it is often touted as transcending politics”)

“The reconstitution of hope is an artistic task; indeed, it is art’s only possible gift to the future”)

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2. I. Finalists Of The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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II. 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest

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3. Make Peace With One Thing to Get More Out of…


Good Stuff: October’18

  1. I. From Streets To Schools: The Girl in the Yellow Dress

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II. From Streets to Schools: Making the Invisible Visible

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2. Curiosity and what equality really means

(“You don’t have to like or trust everyone to believe their lives are worth preserving”

“We’ve divided the world into us versus them — an ever-shrinking population of good people against bad ones. But it’s not a dichotomy. People can be doers of good in many circumstances. And they can be doers of bad in others. It’s true of all of us. We are not sufficiently described by…


To read:

  1. Why do we work so hard? : Ryan Avent

(“But the inadmissible truth is that the eclipsing of life’s other complications is part of the reward.

It is a cognitive and emotional relief to immerse oneself in something all-consuming while other difficulties float by. The complexities of intellectual puzzles are nothing to those of emotional ones. Work is a wonderful refuge.”)

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2. In Praise of Idleness : Bertrand Russell

“The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.”

“Let us take an illustration. Suppose that at a given…


To read:

  1. Fireflies

(“But whenever you shine, you inspire those close to you to shine too, a little bit sooner than they otherwise would have”)

2. A cancer memoir of literature and sciences

(“Dr. Kalanithi understood that “literature provided the best account of the life of the mind, while neuroscience laid down the most elegant rules of the brain”)

3. How to make this the summer of missing out

(“A lot of the time, we fail to recognize the moments in our lives actually become our lives,” Ms. Whillans said. …


To read:

  1. A Gentlemen’s Guide to Rape Culture

(“I’ve come to learn that women spend most of their social lives with ever-present, unavoidable feelings of vulnerability. Stop and think about that. Imagine always feeling like you could be at risk, like you were living with glass skin.”

“Men shouldn’t feel threatened or attacked when women point out rape culture — they’re telling us about our common enemy. We ought to listen.” )

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2. What I Learned From Dating Women Who Have Been Raped

(“She was forced to absorb male anger without being allowed to express any anger herself, and…


Sadam Hussain, student, Srinagar

Photo courtesy: Sadam Hussain

I read the news regularly. I follow the newspapers, television and social media.

People who have the power of reporting news should be considerate, understanding and empathetic. These are exactly the things I find missing currently. Rape reporting, especially, has become entirely about the identity of the victim. How much coverage a case gets is highly dependent on the caste/ class/ religion of the victim.

In doing so, the minorities are almost completely left out. We talk about rapes in the metros and forget the others. The Kathua and Unnao cases felt like an exception to this. They got a…


Rachana Mudraboyina, creator of TransVision, India’s first YouTube channel for transgender issues, is fighting to tell the stories that others do not want to

“We need more journalists to be trained to cover gender-based stories. They need a more nuanced understanding and to treat these matters with care, rather than merely reporting.” Photo: Jahnavi Uppuleti

You see them begging at traffic lights, you see them singing outside homes when a baby is born, late at night you may see them soliciting by the side of the road. But there is a lot that remains invisible about India’s transgender community — according to one estimate, as many as four in 10 trans people suffer sexual abuse before they attain adulthood, and while violence against them is now acknowledged by the state, they have little in the way of legal recourse.

But over recent years, the community has been gaining a voice, and thanks to Hyderabad-based transgender…


Good Stuff: June’18

To Read:

  1. Entanglements: Purvai Aranya

(“For conversations like these, we always sit huddled in a room, eight or ten angry girls. Always angry, always girls. Somehow always still surprised or hurt by the world.”)

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2. She’s been Drawing her Road Trips in Sketchbooks for 20 Years http://www.messynessychic.com/2017/02/16/shes-been-drawing-her-road-trips-in-sketchbooks-for-20-years/

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3. Sketchbooks of a 21 Year-Old World War II Soldier

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4. How I Came To Have Very Few Male Friends: Nidhi Kinhal

(“It’s among my female friend-circles that a deep sense of solidarity — even through conflict, clashing personalities and frightening confrontations — is felt and cultivated…

Manisha Koppala

i'm a happy person. i'm happy in my rage.

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