Bhargav Prasad

The city’s cultural narrative

There’s a scene in Vijay’s 1999 film, Nenjinile, where Isha Koppikar’s character is getting out of her house to get with the day’s proceedings; given that the film is set in Mumbai, it is important th

27 Jun 2018

Real and reel merge here

The last seven days have been about two things— Pa Ranjith’s Kaala and everybody’s interpretation and opinion of the same.

13 Jun 2018

This is the final straw

When news came to me that the Tamil Nadu government had called for a ban on consumption, manufacture, and sale of plastic products in the state with the dawn of 2019, I found myself waiting in line at

07 Jun 2018

Battle of the sexes

On a recent overnight interstate train journey, I found myself succumbing to the tropes that have come to represent travel travails of the Indian middle class and our palace on wheels. I

23 May 2018

How do we live in a city without a Third Place?

Here’s how an impromptu game of street cricket begins in Madras: if there is a tree with a trunk that could substitute for a stump, it’s cricket time; or, if there’s a narrow street with limited vehic

09 May 2018

Summing up a summer spent at the corner juice shop

Summers in Madras have always been a good exercise in sociology and human behavior. When the year starts to enter the month of April, when people around you start questioning the speed at which time s

25 Apr 2018

Love-hate tales between  man and his taxi driver

One of the most perceivable iconic scenes in cinema, on the western front, is a monologue of sorts in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver; it involves the protagonist Travis Bickle played by Robert De Niro

18 Apr 2018

The curious case of fandoms & fanatics

I have been a fan of the Arsenal Football Club for a little over ten years now. The London football club caught my eye when I had to succumb to peer pressure and     resort to remote football hooligan

11 Apr 2018

The post master returns: It is time to get back to the basics

The circle of millennials began when unassuming self-important prepubescent teenagers migrated from Orkut (Remember, scraps) to Facebook sometime during the summer of 2007-08; that had a good run; a l

28 Mar 2018

Pause for a minute, and smell the flowers

I find myself engaging in debates with peers from other cities who fall into the same category that I do — millennials who don’t believe they’re products of the cosmopolitan culture, but are anything

21 Mar 2018

Are we learning life lessons from films?

It’s not every day that you look at something happening in reality and question if the nature of this obscure, sometimes absurd, but often unreal occurrence has its roots in cinema.

14 Mar 2018

Language wars that are not about languages

I was a witness to two narratives this past week: I read about the first one in the newspaper; there wasn’t much that I could contribute to, but be a passive observer of it.

09 Mar 2018

When I met the humble vadai  in an Odia meal

Lying down on a hotel bed, on bed sheets that seem to have no particular wash cycle, staring at a yellow wall that sports a television which has over 30 kinds of Doordarshan (There’s a DD Northeast; s

28 Feb 2018

From reel to real life, it’s a political connection

The ultimate pop-political dilemma skimming has been this week’s headlines, and it reminds me of a line from the infamous Tamil film Aaranya Kaandam (2011) — Onglukku Rajini piddikuma illa Kamal piddi

21 Feb 2018

4 years that didn’t matter: The diary of a BTech graduate

Curled up in my bed at 1 am with my blanket shielding me from questions, and only a laptop screen illuminating my face, my fingers hitting the refresh button in rhythm — there have been times when I h

07 Feb 2018