Nostalgia in a Glass of Boza

A slightly modified version of this article originally appeared in The Hindu Sunday Magazine, which can be viewed here.

The setting sun casts a golden glow over the otherwise nondescript street in the residential neighbourhood of Vefa, Istanbul. Not far from Sultanahmet, which is famous for its numerous historic attractions including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, Vefa is quieter and calmer, but its weary streets are steeped in a different kind of history. During Ottoman times, this quarter was home to scholars and aristocrats, and it remains the home of a 142-year old boza shop, Vefa Bozacısı. Continue reading “Nostalgia in a Glass of Boza”

Strawberries from Palestine

This article was originally published on The Hindu thREAD.

I shuffle through the songs on my playlist restlessly while the bus remains firmly lodged in traffic. I was supposed to meet Zahra at 11 a.m., and I’m already half an hour late. Zahra sounds calm as she replies to my apologetic text, assuring me that she understands and would wait for me. Continue reading “Strawberries from Palestine”

How is Victim-Blaming Still a Thing?

A slightly modified version of this piece was originally published on The Hindu thREAD.

“How were you dressed?” the victim is questioned. “Were you under the influence of alcohol? Why were you out with a bunch of guys so late at night?” Continue reading “How is Victim-Blaming Still a Thing?”

The Larger Implications of Films like ‘Padmaavat’

I only went for the popcorn. And as far as that was concerned, it was a great evening. The movie, however, was an altogether different story.

Based on everything I’d read/heard, I knew that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat would likely infuriate me, so I made an effort to not take it too seriously from the start. In the process, I even managed to enjoy three quarters of the movie. The dialogues were insufferably trite but the film was visually stunning. Continue reading “The Larger Implications of Films like ‘Padmaavat’”