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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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Invisible Man

Aravind Adiga imagines Australia refracted through an immigrant’s eyes ♦ Originally published in India Today. We use the word apocalypse, and these days frequently, to describe the end of the world. But its literal meaning, from ancient Greek, is “uncovering”. No one can say for sure whether Covid-19 is our omega, but there’s no doubt …

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Volatile Reactions

The Alchemy of Secrets, by Priya Balasubramanian ♦ Originally published in Biblio India. I read The Alchemy of Secrets on the first really scorching day of India’s nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, feeling dehydrated, irritable and headachy. At a time when everything else passing before of my eyes—the news, the Twitter news, the creative ferment on Instagram—seemed …

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