Jug Suraiya

An Israeli-Palestinian take on Shakespeare

The other day I saw a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino playing Shylock.

11 Aug 2018

From blood and sand to flaming heart of Spain

What redeems bullfighting from being an act of senseless cruelty is the courage of the matador who while dealing death coolly faces it himself.

14 Jul 2018

Madrid represents all of Spain—or none of it

Perhaps the best aperitif to the city is a morning stroll through the Plaza Mayor, the vast, cobblestoned square designed by Philip III in the 17th century.

16 Jun 2018

The state has lost its monopoly on violence

In one of the most dangerous developments facing the country today, a fundamental public sector undertaking (PSU) of the nation is being subversively privatised: violence.

19 May 2018

Mauritius: Caught in the crosscurrents of time

A lot of change to be crammed into so small an island, measuring only 1,865 sq km in area and with a population of little over a million.

21 Apr 2018

The obscene ‘Spirituality’ of the terrorist

In Kashmir or in Palestine, in Syria or Sudan, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

24 Mar 2018

There is no inappropriate laughter

Renuka Chowdhury has been rebuked by the ruling party for her ‘inappropriate’ laughter in Parliament.

22 Feb 2018

Slang happens when language walks the talk

When John le Carre was asked by a British interviewer why he did not immigrate to France or some other country where taxes were less punitive than in the UK, the novelist replied with an anecdote.

06 Jan 2018

To be or not to be: the question of suicide

In approximately the time it takes you to read this article, someone in this country will have committed suicide.

30 Nov 2017

Whether we know it or not, all of us are Plagiarists

Educationists and academics are up in arms about the increasing incidence of plagiarism in theses and dissertations submitted by post-graduate students doing higher research.

07 Oct 2017

AI, Frankenstein’s monster, and an electronic Milton

Have humans created thinking machines (Artificial Intelligence, or AI) that are smarter than us and could end up enslaving us?

09 Sep 2017

The fatal mistake Romeo made, and the cosmic lifetide

That death is a shadow of a shadow called life has long been the central tenet of many spiritual credos.

13 Aug 2017

Midas, Cloning and the quest for eternal life

Midas, king of Phrygia, was granted a boon by Bacchus: Whatever the king touched, would turn to gold.

15 Jul 2017

Prohibition and cutting people down a peg or two

Prohibition is like the Nehru jacket: an ideological costume that keeps returning despite periodic setbacks.

15 Jun 2017

A voiceless requiem for the growing graveyard of language

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whisper. And it’s a dying whisper. 

18 May 2017

Humour, and the funny business of mathematics

The mathematics of humour, or the humour of mathematics? You’re kidding, right? They’re as different as chalk and cheese. Or are they?

22 Apr 2017

Poets and prophets aren’t subject to copyright laws

In the film Il Postino, the village postman gives the girl he loves a poem he passes off as his own, though it has been written by Pablo Neruda.

25 Mar 2017

Real illusion: Incredible rightness of non-being

His haunting absence pervades the crowded, noisy café and renders it meaningless except as the place where Pierre is not.

25 Feb 2017

‘Crowd’ versus ‘mob’; village  bazaar versus communal riot

A crowd is the antithesis of a mob. Which of the two is more appropriate for India?

28 Jan 2017

My grandmother and her famous encounter with dreaded Bandit chief

After dinner my grandmother would tell us stories.

24 Dec 2016

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