Vijayendra Mohanty

I make stuff up and tell stories. I wrote Ravanayan, the comic book series based on a retelling of the epic Ramayana. I am Story Head at Culture Machine.


Why Humans Never Evolved to be Giants


The idea of evolutionary advantage can be a double-edged sword. You can explain away some bits of the mystery of existence with it and you can make…


How to do things

Learn the form, but seek the formless. Hear the soundless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way. But do not name it, my friend, for it is like water. Nothing is softer than water yet it can overcome rock. It does not fight. It flows around the opponent, formless, nameless.

~ Jet Li in The Forbidden Kingdom.


What is Kung-Fu?

Kung-Fu. Hard work over time to accomplish skill. A painter can have kung-fu. Or the butcher who cuts meat every day with such skill his knife never touches bone. The musician can have kung-fu, or the poet who paints pictures with words and makes emperors weep. This, too, is kung-fu.

~ Jackie Chan in The Forbidden Kingdom.

Publications edited by Vijayendra Mohanty

On Storytelling, narrative, and culture.

For all things religious and spiritual and inbetween

Short fiction by Vijayendra Mohanty.


Labels can be tricky things. I personally define a “bigot” as someone who is hatefully opposed to a way of thinking or a certain ideology without completely understanding its nuances.

By that logic, yes. It is possible to call someone opposed to a dictator a bigot, especially if their opposition roots from a less than average understanding of the said dictator. No ideology is all bad and no…


Advertisements as Cultural Reality


Suppose you, in the course of your travels, find yourself in the midst of a new culture — new people, new customs, and new ways of doing things. In your efforts to understand this new culture, you might talk to people, observe customs, and/or try to learn about it by studying/viewing documentary sources.


Why Society Disapproves of Homosexuality


Society tends to think of human beings as reproductive units. Homosexuality stands opposed to this in a very existential way.


Society is powered by individuals, not individualism. When individuals do things for the collective, society benefits and becomes stronger. When individuals do things for themselves…


Regarding the incident in Paris, the argument going around is as follows:

“It is tragic that cartoonists were killed but we also need to consider the kind of cartoons they were making. Also, Muslims are marginalized and poor and therefore take to terrorism. The magazine had a history of insulting Islam.”

Defence Against the Darkness


There is an old clipboard under my work desk at home. It has a good number of blank sheets clipped on. Whenever the ceiling fan is turned on, they are blown…


Storytelling as Evolution


Here is how evolution happens. Organisms have genes that dictate behaviours and appearances. These genes are copied at the time of reproduction and passed on to the…


Tragedy, Hope, and Kung Fu Fighting


I was wrestling with my mother last evening for the TV remote. Discouraging words were spoken by me (“what people get out of watching Pakistanis cry, I…