articles by MK Raghavendra


In Tusheti, Georgia, a tranquil getaway from the 'theme park' cities of Europe

For those who wish to see the world as it once was, before conspicuous consumption drove it whence it cannot return to peace and tranquility, Tusheti can be unforgettable.


Saadat Hasan Manto moved to Lahore, but his Partition stories show that his soul remained in India

Manto’s viewpoint — that Partition and its violence cannot be separated — corresponds more closely to how Indians view Partition. On the other hand, Pakistanis viewed Manto's bleak perspective with ambivalence because of their enthusiasm for the creation of a new country


VS Naipaul dies at 85: Nobel-winning novelist's flawed character kept him from greatness

VS Naipaul was a stupendous writer who perhaps missed being great because he was not morally up to a visionary.


Zadie Smith's Feel Free suffers from a hesitation to address issues under the garb of 'multicultural tolerance'

Zadie Smith's Feel Free shows that her style and approach have changed considerably since Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, her previous collection of essays


The amorality of Sacred Games: How Netflix's series reflects hallmarks of Anurag Kashyap’s films

Sacred Games is attractive as entertainment because it confirms people in their facile sense that they did right in attending only to themselves — since the world itself is beyond repair or redemption.


Decoding India's love for cricket, Bollywood — and why we value individual growth over team endeavours

India's fondness for both cricket and Bollywood can be traced to the need to constantly look inward to find answers and seek self-realisation


Is there ‘fantasy’ in Indian cinema? The answer isn't as clear as film enthusiasts might believe

The term ‘fantasy’ is not being used correctly in describing Indian popular cinema


Selfies and citizenship: Examining the idea of nationhood in the era of social media boom

The excitement generated in the political arena today would not have been possible without the immediacy provided by social media platforms


Avengers: Infinity War's India success — Result of global hype or change in urban mindset?

In spite of the thinkpieces declaring Avengers: Infinity War's box office success in India spells trouble for it, Bollywood is still safe in India


Films like Raazi merely amplify India's Pakistan obsession — making us seem smaller than we are

If among the general public Pakistan is seen as India’s biggest rival, how does rivalry with a fourth-rate power tie in with India’s global self-image? Being vigilant is not the same as being obsessed


Hollywood's supporting actors take centre stage: Stars take backseat as film plots, method acting fail

Considering the limitations of method acting and how stars fail to shine in badly written movies, it is not surprising that actors who did supporting roles are now assuming centre stage | #FirstCulture


Raipur, Patna on most polluted cities list: Needless construction adding to India's pollution woes

Spaces in India are constantly dug up and structures being erected and this is not a symptom of the immediate present but something that has been going on for decades.


How fantasy films like The Shape of Water provide feel-good solutions to actual problems

Films now deal with the political issues of today but ‘allegorises’ them in such a way as to distance them from the actual experience of socio-political life.


P Chidambaram’s Speaking Truth to Power critiques government while failing to acknowledge his party's offences

In Speaking Truth to Power, P Chidambaram suggest that he would like readers to listen to him rather than exercise judgement | #FirstCulture


The problem with Devdutt Pattanaik's approach to mythology, with self-improvement as the agenda

Hindu belief is a particularly contentious topic today, but Devdutt Pattanaik has navigated his way skilfully through this minefield, annoying neither the liberal Left, nor the hot-headed Right | #FirstCulture


Why I Am A Hindu: Shashi Tharoor's sentiments are those of a liberal trying to reclaim the religion from the fringe

Books such as Shashi Tharoor’s 'Why I am a Hindu' simply take sides in the Left vs Right unproductive struggle, without adding much of intellectual value to the socio-political issues confronting India today | #FirstCulture | #BookReview


On Amish Tripathi's attempt to connect India's past, present, and the Brahminism of his Ram Chandra series

If Amish Tripathi’s enormous popularity means that a sizeable part of the educated class shares his attitudes, it could be a cause for alarm | #FirstCulture


The Godfather: How the machinations in Francis Ford Coppola's films are reflected in world politics

Just as strength is the only force that prevails in the morally bankrupt world of The Godfather, a country's actions are determined largely by what it can get away with, in international politics | #FirstCulture


Mukkabaaz: Anurag Kashyap's film pits a 'loser' protagonist against the system, but its critique is not radical

The issue with 'loser' films like Mukkabaaz and Masaan is that they critique the state but not capitalism, and that they present villains as being invincible | #FirstCulture


How Jayant Kaikini's 'No Presents Please' escapes the mundanity of most other translated Indian fiction

A new collection of stories set in Mumbai, No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini has just appeared in English translation (HarperCollins)