Sonal

Review: The Biscuit

Lizzie Collingham traces the journey of the biscuit from sustenance to sweet treats ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. This summer, when migrant workers streamed out of India’s locked down cities, one of the recurrent images of their long walks to their home villages was of packets of biscuits: sometimes all they …

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The Great Defender

Appupen’s Rashtraman comics use ribald humour to reflect political reality ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. On November 28, Appupen put up an installment from his new comic book Rashtrayana II: Divide and Fool, which is being serialized on Brainded, the website and collective he co-founded five years ago. The chapter featured …

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Bold and Brassy

Review: The Brass Notebook by Devaki Jain ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. In her landmark 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing explored what it meant to be a ‘free woman’, while acknowledging the irony built in to the phrase. ‘Free women’, says the protagonist ‘wryly’ and with anger, ‘They still …

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Bringing Home the Bacon

India is seeing the emergence of an enthusiastic culture around pork ♦ A version of this story was originally published in India Today. Being in a close relationship with a pork lover isn’t something you take lightly. Once, at a party, a large ham made a brief appearance before the guests prior to being whisked …

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Eating Clean

Theatrically sanitised restaurant meals, untouched by human hands and wrapped in meters of plastic are our new food fetish. ♦ This story was originally published in The Indian Quarterly. For as long as humans have recorded images of the world around them, they’ve recorded images of their food and diet. The earliest figurative cave paintings …

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Dystopic Living

Author Samit Basu lays out Delhi’s best-case scenario in his sci-fi novel, and it is horrific. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Dystopia is pornographic,” says one character to another in Chosen Spirits. “You see it and shiver but it’s also kind of fun because it’s happening somewhere else, to someone else, you know? It …

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Provisioning During a Pandemic

Gourmet ingredient delivery around India ♦ Originally published in India Today. Not too long ago, “gourmet” was synonymous with imported. Foreign products occupied the shelves of our loftier kirana dukaans, bearing unheard-of brand names and amusing MRPs. Still, with international shipping curtailed through the lockdown, India’s gourmands might have felt their absence. (But maybe not; …

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