Culturedecoder

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The real tragedy of Kolkata's horror house on Robinson street: India's clueless on how to deal with mental illness
Life

The real tragedy of Kolkata's horror house on Robinson street: India's clueless on how to deal with mental illness

When news first broke, that a 77-year-old man had burned himself to death in central Kolkata, and his son had been found living with what appeared to be the skeletons of his sister and two dogs, it spurred shock which quickly morphed into an orgy of voyeurism.

Secularism in a fruitcake? The charms of Kolkata's 'home-baked' Christmas
Life

Secularism in a fruitcake? The charms of Kolkata's 'home-baked' Christmas

The fruitcake, even more than Santa Claus, is the abiding symbol of a Kolkata Christmas. But Kolkata offers a special treat. You can get a slice of home-baked Christmas as bakers around the city open up their ovens to cake lovers who bring in their own family recipes, along with the flour, eggs, fruits and Old Monk.

Art of Kissing to Kiss of Love: Artist takes on taboo of kissing in public
Life

Art of Kissing to Kiss of Love: Artist takes on taboo of kissing in public

Ayushman Mitra spoke to Firstpost about his art work, inspirations, love for big art and Indian mythology.

So who's the most powerful Indian of them all? Answer: The usual suspects
Life

So who's the most powerful Indian of them all? Answer: The usual suspects

In a year that saw seismic shifts in India's political structures, the Power List of the 50 most powerful Indians of 2014, seems largely unruffled. The five most powerful Indians are still five industrialists.

Right issue, wrong tactic: Why Kiss of Love protests miss the mark
Life

Right issue, wrong tactic: Why Kiss of Love protests miss the mark

It’s 100 percent not okay to have a lathi-wielding policeman come up and haul you off to jail under Section 294 for some consensual public pappi-love. However, it is also okay to be uncomfortable about seeing a couple making out next to you. The Kiss of Love protests seems to miss that key distinction, and therefore undermine the very cause they espouse.

'Happy New Year' is Farah Khan wishing Shah Rukh Khan, 'Happy New Body'
Entertainment

'Happy New Year' is Farah Khan wishing Shah Rukh Khan, 'Happy New Body'

Clearly way more work was put into the body of Shah Rukh Khan than into fleshing out the script of Happy New Year. It marks a new height in body worship in Indian film but it's more about the male body for a change.

Why are Indians so racist? Because we don't talk about it!
Life

Why are Indians so racist? Because we don't talk about it!

We would like to thing we grew more race-ignorant than racist. But obviously we managed to acquire plenty of racist baggage from somewhere along the way.

The 1.8 crore question: Is Mamata Banerjee India's most underrated artist?
Politics

The 1.8 crore question: Is Mamata Banerjee India's most underrated artist?

Move over Dadaism. In Bengal it's the age of Didi-ism. As the CBI probes whether or not someone paid Rs 1.8 crore for Mamata Banerjee's art, the time has come to look at the career of India's most underrated amateur painter.

Haider is not 'fair' but that is not a reason to boycott it
Entertainment

Haider is not 'fair' but that is not a reason to boycott it

A film based on a play famous for the line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” cannot come out smelling like roses in Kashmir.

Ambol to Zintac: An A to Z guide to Bengali indigestion after Durga Puja
Life

Ambol to Zintac: An A to Z guide to Bengali indigestion after Durga Puja

Eskimos are said to have 50 words for snow. Bengalis have 50 words for different kinds of indigestion. As everyone publishes lists of must-have Bengali delicacies during Durga Puja, here is the must-have guide to Bengali stomach problems.

Durga Puja with a difference: Widows of Vrindavan meet the Mother Goddess
Life

Durga Puja with a difference: Widows of Vrindavan meet the Mother Goddess

Many of the widows of Vrindavan come from Bengal. But many have not seen Durga Puja there in decades. When a group visited Kolkata in the run-up to Durga Puja it was an emotional bittersweet reunion.

TOI's nasty attack on Deepika: No, her 'Lovely' video doesn't prove them right
Life

TOI's nasty attack on Deepika: No, her 'Lovely' video doesn't prove them right

Deepika's Padukona's song Lovely from the film Happy New Year was released over the weekend. So what do you see in Lovely — a sex object or an actress?

Status insanity: India (Hearts) the I in iPhone
Life

Status insanity: India (Hearts) the I in iPhone

Technology was supposed to be in the service of man. But when in a world of Google Glass and Watch, technology became a status symbol and quickly turned into an extension of our egos.

Holy sh**! They took our Holi and other adventures in Columbusing
Life

Holy sh**! They took our Holi and other adventures in Columbusing

The organizers inform us that though the Holi Color Festival is“influenced by the Hindu Holi celebration” just jazzed up with “electronic dance music.”

Out of favour: Why dog meat's popularity is waning in South-Korea
World

Out of favour: Why dog meat's popularity is waning in South-Korea

Daegyo, the famous dog meat restaurant she opened in a Seoul alley in 1981, will serve its last bowl of boshintang, or dog stew, on Friday.

Not Modi, it's Batra: Why we must go beyond Macaulayputra vs Dhartiputra
Politics

Not Modi, it's Batra: Why we must go beyond Macaulayputra vs Dhartiputra

To meet Batra on his own turf, the liberals also could do with an erudite, devoutly Hindu scholar who can argue with Batra from faith and not just based on freedom of expression. The latter is critically important but a different playing field and a different argument.

What's in a name? In India, everything
Life

What's in a name? In India, everything

The quest for that perfect winning name gets more and more complicated in India these days. It has to be unusual but not too jaw-breaking. It must be numerologically sound. A name isn't just a calling card. It's what people use to make flash judgements about who someone is.

Adarsh Bharatiya Purush: Why Salman Khan movies like 'Kick' are superhits
Entertainment

Adarsh Bharatiya Purush: Why Salman Khan movies like 'Kick' are superhits

Kick is all set to be 2014's biggest hit, despite the fact that it defies all logic. So what makes audiences flock to a Salman Khan film?

Marxists, Hindutva and the ICHR debate: But who cares about the children?
Life

Marxists, Hindutva and the ICHR debate: But who cares about the children?

ICHR chief Y Sudershan Rao wants to accurately date the sacred texts. The Marxist historians debate this hindutva version of history. In the middle of this debate, social sciences tend to be the biggest loser.

Why is the Internet so angry? Decoding India's appetite for outrage
Life

Why is the Internet so angry? Decoding India's appetite for outrage

The Internet is an angry place, especially the Indian internet scene. We take a look at why.