South Asia / 17.02.2013

Trying to Make Sense in Lahore of a Rape in Delhi By Anjum Altaf A very high level of social violence is endemic in South Asia, so high it is invisible at most times. We see it only when the peculiarity of specific incidents throws it into sharp relief. Much hand wringing follows treating the incident as an aberration, blaming it on this or that, missing the truth by a mile, remaining as blind as ever. The rape in Delhi is the latest such incident and we have explanations ranging from patriarchy, commoditization of the female body, decline of morals, jobs lost by unemployed men, and the like. But all these exist or have transpired elsewhere without the same kind of fallout. What we need to focus on and explain is the high level of social violence in general – there is one reported rape every 22 minutes...

Reflections / 09.12.2009

By Radhika R. Yeddanapudi I received a birthday card from my father yesterday. In his familiar, right-leaning hand, he had written, "I believe this is your best birthday yet.” I imagined this card landing in the future in a stranger's hand, perhaps in an old curiosity shop. What will the stranger make of my father's allusion? A job, a promotion, an achievement of some sort? I wanted to ask my father to what he referred but decided against it. He may not have wanted to, or even been able to, articulate exactly why the birth of my son represented the best that my life could offer, only that he felt it.  I remained silent out of a mixed sense of inadequacy, propriety and maternal pride: a new living being can inspire and effect change in a way that no achievement can. My son Himadri was not real to...

Reflections / 28.04.2009

By Radhika R. Yeddanapudi Life in a big city is about connections, people and places and above all a creation of the ideas arising from within – the imagined city dwelling within the real. "..This city will always pursue you. You'll walk the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods, turn gray in these same houses. You'll always end up in this city.."  ---- C P Cavafy Some Indians might describe it as twice the dreaded Saade-Sathi - an astrological adverse period ascribed to the planet Saturn in Vedic astrology! I am reminded instead of the legendary tale of the 14th century emperor Muhammed Bin Tughlaq who attempted first to relocate his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and then returned only to lose Delhi forever. It is a city that eludes the grasp and shows itself most fleetingly.I was born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh into a south Indian Telegu Brahmin household. But I...