Mediocre ‘musical’ La La Land deserves to win at the Oscars – it’s a story for our uninspiring age

La La Land already plays like an awards show, before it’s won any Academy Awards – it’s a tribute reel, like one of those clever end-of-ceremony acts where Neil Patrick Harris does a song and dance and brings the house down. It’s a white male American dream, a story where the alternate version of what happened to the characters is just as persuasive and powerful, and a lot more glamorous, than what we just saw happening. It’s La La Land.

My Three Years at Mahbub College

I still refer to my three years at Mahbub College as my hard knocks years. And believe me, nothing prepared me for life, as my three years here. I am glad I went back to it yesterday.

एक पाती अमेरिका के नाम

आप सोचिये, एक तरफ़ आपका राष्ट्रपति,चाहे वह कोई भी हो, शांति की बड़ी-बड़ी बातें करता है, और दूसरी तरफ़ दुनिया के कोने-कोने में अपने सैनिक, हथियार और परमाणु मिसाइल भेजता है. दियेगो गार्सिया गूगल कीजियेगा. मैं जहाँ से यह सब लिख रहा हूँ, वहाँ से आपके देश की दूरी हज़ारों किलोमीटर है, पर हिंद और प्रशांत महासागरों में घूमते आपके नौसैनिक पोतों से मिनटों के भीतर मेरे ऊपर परमाणु बम गिराया जा सकता है, आप ड्रोन भेज कर मुझे मार सकते हैं.

सीरिया में शांति की उम्मीद

पांच सालों से अधिक समय से चल रहे सीरियाई गृह युद्ध के सिलसिले में आगामी दिनों में महत्वपूर्ण बदलाव हो सकते हैं. पर, स्थायी शांति की अभी कोई गारंटी नहीं दी सकती है. लेबनान का सशस्त्र गुट हिजबुल्ला भी सीरिया में है. इसे ईरान और बशर अल-असद का समर्थन भी है. यमन में भी ईरान हौदी विद्रोहियों का समर्थन कर रहा है जिनके विरुद्ध सऊदी अरब का बड़ा गंठबंधन लड़ रहा है. रूस के प्रभाव के प्रति अमेरिका और यूरोप के नकारात्मक रवैये में भी बहुत जल्दी कोई अंतर नहीं आनेवाला है. फिर इसलामिक स्टेट और अल-कायदा से जुड़े गिरोहों की सक्रियता शांति वार्ताओं के परिणामों पर निर्भर नहीं करती है.

The Cost and Consequences of Demonetization?

The topmost priority for the government now should be is to remonetize the economy fully. Unless remonetization is complete, growth cannot be restored and employment cannot be generated.

Women through the ages

A country which doesn’t critically and continually examine its past, and discard what is considered regressive, iniquitous, unjust and derogatory to its women, socially marginalised sections and other disadvantaged groups, is condemned to repeat it, to its collective misery.

An Open Letter to Meryl Streep

When I read your speech, I thought that you should have given some more examples of bullying, particularly by those who are/were in power, and they have abused or continuously abusing that status. Let me add some to that. You may not like those examples because they are related to some of the powerful who you love, like and have campaigned for.

Om Puri, A True Acting Legend

The serious police officer of Ardh Satya can play the menacing villain of Narsimha and the comic Ahuja of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron with ease. Some of the best works of Indian Television, Bharat Ek Khoj, Tamas, Kakkaji Kahin etc. have his footprints. His talent was duly rewarded in the forms of many national and international awards as well as with enduring respects of audience. Om Puri’s deep voice accompanied by the intensity of his acting left a lasting impact. His distinct tone has been employed in numerous commentaries and voice-overs.

Demonetisation: A One Man Made Disaster

Demonetisation is a one man made disaster which has pushed the already beleaguered and stumbling Indian economy into a tailspin, and cost livelihoods and lives. In the face of tremendous spin, hype and distraction unleashed around the facts surrounding Demonetisation, here are a few questions we expect Modi to answer, as he goes around talking a lot but saying nothing.


If Indian economy has to bounce back in 2017, then banned currency notes need to be replaced as soon as possible. Reforms like GST need to be implemented quickly, and more need to be done to revive the infrastructure and manufacturing sector to generate domestic demand. Simultaneously, there have to be more social welfare expenditures to make the growth more equitable. Only then we can hope for a substantially better 2017 as far as the economy is concerned.

The Russians are coming!

In July 1991 I had a conversation with the then Indian Ambassador in Moscow. He vehemently disagreed with me that the Soviet Union seemed on the verge of imminent collapse. On my return I learnt that our MEA considered such thoughts as heresy. Now with the MEA under new management, equally focused in another direction, we seem to be missing the Russian story once again. Like it or not, the Russians are coming!