Why Doordarshan is telecasting Hindu supremacist serials like Ramayana and Mahabharat, which was responsible for the murderous Ramjanmbhoomi movement, despite knowing that Muslims were massacred in Delhi last month only?

Wow! That’s one loaded question, Anonymous. I understand why you preferred to be Anonymous now. Okay, now the question. It’s too full of assumptions, presumptions and invitations for hate that I am forced to dissect it into a more manageable one. Why Doordarshan is telecasting Because it is a national television network Because it has explicit permission…

What innocent-seeming picture is actually heartbreaking?

TRIGGER WARNING: Some readers may find this answer and images disturbing. Reader discretion is advised. This is a photograph of Laxmi Agarwal. Doesn’t she look cute? She was born in June 1990 in Delhi (India) into a middle-class family. This photograph was taken at the age of 15… a few days before her entire life…

What culture is the most interesting to you?

Spartan Because they are the closest to what my own ancestral heritage was not so long ago. Despite being miles away from each other with little or no direct influences on each other, the Spartans of ancient Greece and the Nairs of ancient Kerala were eerily alike in several aspects. Both were predominantly militarized communities…

What is the weirdest thing you’ve witnessed in an Indian wedding?

So I was attending a wedding in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) in Kerala a few years ago. As I have written on a couple of earlier answers, Hindu Nair weddings are generally a demure affair. There’s nothing garish or loud about the entire function. So I was standing near the wedding dais as I was one of…

Which given names are unique to your language, country or culture?

Malayalam Although Malayalam is a relatively new language as compared to the more ancient languages from which it was coined, there are (were?) some given names among our lot that I haven’t heard being used in any other language. Before I go any further, I need to explain a bit of history behind our naming…

What is normal in your country but weird in the rest of the world?

INDIA We may know how to speak the native language of another country but we may not necessarily know how to communicate in the native language of our neighboring state. I can speak to my Sri Lankan Tamil teaboy in his native language, but I have to resort to speaking in English to my colleague…