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Trisha Gupta
Trisha Gupta

Trisha Gupta is a Delhi-based writer and critic. Read more of her work on her blog Chhotahazri (

Wake up and smell the fish: Perfume and plebeian stinks
13th Jun 2015

When he regained consciousness, the first thing that hit Ali was the smell of fish. Rich, pungent and briny — with a hint of decay. This was not the mild, innocent fish that was tandooried every eve

Bharatanatyam, ‘sleeveless’ and a threatened museum
18th Apr 2015

Last month, the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum had to abandon its plans to host the grand finale of the Lakme Fashion Week, after alleged threats from a Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) leader.

Flipping the script for Urdu?
21st Mar 2015

Last weekend, Jashn-e-Rekhta, a "celebration of Urdu", unfolded at the India International Centre (IIC) in Delhi. The two days of festivities — and it really did feel festive — included at least t

The symbolic politics of mufflers, jhadoos, onions and metros
21st Feb 2015

On 10th February 2015, as news began to come in of the AAP win in Delhi, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp were flooded with jokes. The best of these one-liners drew on symbols: the ordinary muffler weig

Unforeseen effects: Why I love film festivals
6th Dec 2014
Unforeseen effects: Why I love film festivals

It's hard to describe the lure of a film festival to people who've never done one. And yes, it is something you do. Like a drug. I'd never quite thought about it before I started to write this co

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Actor, auteur and the bhadralok’s fearless agent provocateur
1st Jun 2013
Actor, auteur and the bhadralok’s fearless agent provocateur

Rituparno Ghosh's cinematic oeuvre — he made a remarkable 19 features and one short in a career of 21 years, as well as totting up four acting credits – was never credited with greatness. Serious

Women, Men and a Chronicle of the Spaces Between
24th Sep 2012
Women, Men and a Chronicle of the Spaces Between

According to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome, the social presence of a woman is different in kind from that of a man," wrote John Berger in

Bits of vintage Morrison fail to lift undercooked narrative
2nd Sep 2012
Bits of vintage Morrison fail to lift undercooked narrative

Home is an ironic title for a book about deeply dislocated lives. Most of Toni Morrison's better-known books – The Bluest Eye (1970), her first novel; Sula (1973), her second; Beloved (1987), her mo

Redemption Songs
29th Apr 2012
Redemption Songs

A man stands next to a truck, using a massive pitchfork to unload a mound of garbage from it. The camera pans downward, and we see that he is ankle-deep in garbage, garbage that is strewn indiscrimina

Masterful rendition of two worlds ebbing away
29th Apr 2012
Masterful rendition of two worlds ebbing away

Musharraf Ali Farooqi's first novel, The Story of a Widow (2009), was the delicate, understated tale of the middle-aged but still wooable Mona Ahmad, whose disciplinarian husband's sudden death leaves

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