On 19 November 2021, I took part in a panel discussion, on the occasion of World Philosophy Day, on the theme “Walking the Talk: Practical Philosophy.” The intent, in these pandemic times, was to present philosophy as an activity that is neither academic nor abstract, but one with direct practical…

Screen grab from YouTube of Vir Das’s Monologue on “Two Indias”

Vir Das, stand-up comic, has provoked a controversy over the video of his recent monologue, titled Two Indias, at the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts in Washington DC (if you have not seen the video, do watch it here). He has been accused of insulting India, of washing…

There has been a great deal of controversy over Kangana Ranaut’s recent statement that the freedom India won in 1947 was ‘bheek’ (alms) and true freedom was gained only in 2014 when Narendra Modi’s BJP came to govern India. …

Photo by Adarsh Kummur on Unsplash

Yesterday, my teacher
became a tree
so I may learn
how to face the wind
with the fortitude of fractal grace.

Tomorrow, my teacher
says she shall be femininity
showing me how
my body can strain
the tides of attachment
into a pool of serenity.

Last week, my teacher
was a group of children
interrupted by wonder
in the middle of a game,
examining a compelling history
singing within a mound of dirt.

Every day, my teacher
is willing to undergo
the pain of metamorphosis
solely so that I should learn.
All she asks in return
is that I always recognise her face.

Mr. Shanbhag at his desk in Premier Bookshop — a still from the film “Mr. Shanbag’s Shop” by 100 and One Rupee Productions; Screengrab from YouTube

In India, we are in the midst of a particularly virulent second surge of the Covid-19 pandemic and I am yet to meet an Indian who does not have a personal story to tell of heart-breaking loss wreaked by the pandemic, whether it be close family or friend, professional colleague…

A Makeshift Cremation Ground in Delhi. Photo Credit: Reuters / Danish Siddiqui

When put together with innumerable tales of death and suffering amid a collapsed healthcare system that just cannot cope with the Covid caseload, photographs of fires in overloaded cremation sites offer a heart-wrenching metaphor for the hell that India is in right now. How do we get out of here…

Prem Chandavarkar

Practicing architect in Bangalore, India. This blog contains general writing. For writing on architecture and urbanism, see https://premckar.wordpress.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store