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An Outsider in Bollywood – A piece written for Open Magazine

An Outsider in Bollywood – A piece written for Open Magazine

I am not sure when and why he pressed the button, but some moody god somewhere decided to play with my life last year—the year that I completed ten years as an outsider in Bollywood. This guy turned my life 180 degrees, hurling me straight from the quiet corridor of my newspaper office to an(…)

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How did we do the undoable- A piece written for Open Magazine

How did we do the undoable- A piece written for Open Magazine

The story of a seemingly impossible feat: a small team of media professionals defy scepticism and conventional wisdom alike to launch Gaon Connection, a weekly newspaper for rural India. And now politicians as well as corporate honchos eyeing India’s booming rural market are showing interest in it “Fantastic idea. It will never work.” I am(…)

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इस होली मैं सबका मुंह काला कर रहा हूँ

प्यारे श्री शाह रुख खान जी, हमारा नाम सड़क छाप है और हम एक टुटपुंजिया टाइप निठल्ले राईटर हैं। गाँव शहर भटकते हैं और बेमतलब की बकबक करते हैं। जहाँ बन पड़े किसी ढाबे पे बैठ के इधर की उधर करते हैं। पिछले दिनों हम होली की शौपिंग करने जेब में सौ रुपैय्ये ले कर(…)

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सड़क छाप: महिलाओं! हम अब से पुरुष दिवस मनाएंगे

चूंकि मैं आज़ाद भारत का आज़ाद नागरिक हूँ, और अपने फैसले खुद लेने का अधिकार मुझे मेरे राष्ट्र के संविधान, मेरी कानून व्यवस्था और मेरे मम्मी पापा ने दिया है,  इसलिए मैं ये फैसला सुनाना चाहता हूँ कि अब से हम महिला दिवस की टक्कर में एक पुरुष दिवस मनाएंगे। मैं पूछता हूँ कि ये हक़ महिलाओं को किसने(…)

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UP Yatra with Neelesh Misra: Story 2

UP Yatra with Neelesh Misra: Story 2

“We had heard there was a lady called Mayawati” Neelesh Misra, Azamgarh: There is a good chance you’ll miss the man. Under the long tin roofs at the messy Azamgarh courthouse, lost in the pitter-patter of typewriters, crowds of rural petitioners and the rows of cynical notaries, there is a small black sign on the yellow(…)

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Back to being a reporter: Road trip for UP elections, for TOI

Back to being a reporter: Road trip for UP elections, for TOI

Three years on, those bullets still fly… Sanjarpur (Azamgarh), Uttar Pradesh:   “Abbu, how come those juniors of mine made it to IPL?” cricket-crazy Saif Ahmed asked his father who had travelled to meet his 21-year-old son in the South Delhi room. It wasn’t a friendly cricket chat over tea for the 51-year-old PCO owner(…)

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माफ़ करियेगा, मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

माफ़ करियेगा, मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Friends, for the national book tour of “The Absent State”, I wrote a ghazal that is a tribute to Mirza Ghalib, and in a long-standing tradition of Urdu poetry, takes the mukhda (top two lines) of the original and rewrites the rest as a take on modern India. Many friends who heard it live have(…)

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The thing about dreaming

The thing about dreaming

He served me tea every day for months, barely saying a word, arranging the papers on my untidy desk, doing everything with a smile, and staying back late when he sat in some faraway corner of the office. Doing what, I often wondered. What on earth could Satish Kumar, the cheerful, 26-year-old peon in the(…)

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पिताजी की कविता

पिताजी की कविता

दोस्तों, मेरे पिताजी डाक्टर एस बी मिश्रा एक रिटायर्ड भूगर्भ शास्त्री (geologist) हैं। उनकी किताब “Story of an Ordinary Indian” अगले वर्ष Roli Books द्वारा प्रकाशित होगी। उन्होंने एक कविता लिखी, यहाँ प्रस्तुत है … शेख चिल्ली की तरह मैं सोचता हूँ बैठकर बंद आँखों से कभी मैं देखता सपने मुंगेरीलाल के गरीबों के खजाने(…)

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Life is beautiful: A Kasauli diary

Life is beautiful: A Kasauli diary

I saw Mars last night. With the naked eye. I saw a barber who works his craft with the pride of a painter or a classical singer. I saw old grandmothers laugh like schoolgirls with two plaits. I waved to the one-year-old child I meet every day on my evening walk and he got up(…)

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