Thursday, February 23, 2017

Of the pavement

I've started a new column for The Hindu focused on the road. Here's the first:


There’s a phrase in Hindustani, ‘paidal-haal’. A pedestrian state of being. It is a metaphor, but it doesn’t suggest ordinary or unimaginative as it does in English usage. ‘Paidal-haal’ implies vulnerability and difficulty, a reduced state. Who, after all, chooses to go on foot if he can afford a set of wheels? And, if he can’t afford wheels, any wheels, why then!

The implication is that wheels make life easier. A car is better than a bicycle, three wheels are better than two, a four-horse chariot is better than a bullock-cart, and your own two feet are precious and must be used sparingly.

Friday, February 03, 2017

From the mud pits

Wrestling is a sport I've gotten interested in and have been following for over a year now. I wrote two longer essays around wrestlers, especially in north India. The first was about how the sport has evolved and is riding a new wave public attention, and the second was about girls and sport, with some interviews with female wrestling champions.


The reason I'm so interesting in wrestling in particular is that it seems to me to represent the growth and evolution of humanity itself. It is one of the oldest sports and has existed in one form or another in all ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, the Persians and of course, Indian. Here's a brief comic I wrote about it:




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