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On Delay: A historical and labour-centric reflection

  On Delay: A historical and labour-centric reflection   Arun Kumar's interesting piece on time and delay encouraged me to reflect on this subject more historically and also by connecting the past and the present through the prism of labour and law. The historical connectedness also opened up the questions of differentiated trajectories of world-regions, which I reflect upon only briefly and also anecdotally. This is written in the spirit of furthering the conversation rather than offering a critique to what Arun has lucidly described. However, his piece, I think, needs a further probing of the meanings and experiences of delay and waiting not only at the generalized level of 'fast capitalism' but also of historically constituted notions of power and hierarchy, that imbues meaning to practices such as delay and wait, or speed and acceleration. Further, living in the age of 'fast capitalism' has created a homogeneized expectation of quick service as the hallmark of
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Jalta Makaan Original Hindi Composition

A Visit to Archives, Tuesday, 21 November 2027.

Crispy morning with PM2.5 level at 560. Visibility restricted to 600 meters but the feel of the new Central Vista hangs in the air. The new zone of Central Vista has its own oxygen and air purifier plants. Took my seat in the hi-tech PURIFIED AIR KIOSK with a tagline –  Air that Purifies Mind  – installed at the gate. Purified air given for 30 seconds is for free. Rs 500 for every extra minute. Sir, gate pass? Me: Sorry, I thought aadhar card will work. No sir, you need to have a gate pass to enter into the building.  Me: Okay, did not know that. How does one get it now? Uff, you people come here without any proper homework. This is not old India, sir. All information available on the website. Free helpline number also given there only to plan a visit to Central Vista.  Me: Very impressive but please help me now. I don't have a pass. Next time you come, come with prior pass only. This time helping you. Use your aadhar number to log in to . Fill up the

Politics of Hope-Politics over Dead

  Politics of Hope - Politics over Dead   New India, Young India, Aspirational India, Swachcha India, Atmanirbhar India – many Indias have popped up in the last few years. In quick succession, one India arrives while the other has not been even graciously discarded into the archive of the nation’s memory. Some of them live only to be dusted and polished, to be presented with gust and élan under a new tag (for instance, the earlier ‘made in India’ changed into ‘make in India’).    Almost, one feels, the force of compulsive commoditization is at work behind the swift pace with which new brands keep appearing. What does it say about the politics of our times? Why is there a need to brand a country again and again? A country, which obsesses over History right from within the whisper-soaking walls of the living room to that of the frenzied zeal of a mob that turned a monument into a pile of rubble, equally adores being recurrently decked in a new identity. Why is branding seen inevitable by

जलता मकाँ

            जलता मकाँ                         कुछ तो नहीं है जान की क़ीमत,                      हैरां सब हैं, क्या है हुक़ूमत,                           आस की डोर में उलझी हैं साँसें,                                     संग-ए-सियासत आँख चुराए,                  ये उठता धुवाँ, धुँधला समाँ, जलता मकाँ,                    झूठ की दुनिया, संग बसा कर,                    तुझको जीताया, ख़ुद को हरा कर,                   बिख़रे उम्मीदों की लाश सजा कर.                                  ये उठता धुवाँ, धुँधला समाँ, जलता मकाँ.                                                A short expression written while reading, digesting, and not comprehending the scale of havoc India is facing currently. Also, composed it in a simple manner. Youtube link  Audio file: here

‘Be Positive’ – A new political tool of shrouding accountability

 Photo credit:  Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash   As much as ‘man ki baat’, the regular radio broadcast of PM Modi to the nation, represents the voice of power, I often find WhatsApp forward messages as the real archive for learning about the new grammar of political faith which that power creates. A faith that has swept India for some time, turning upside down the expected conduct of government and citizens. One such message, which is not entirely new but has acquired renewed momentum in the last few days in the wake of Covid-19 induced havoc of death and near-death is to remain positive: think positive, be positive.    The latest by the Union Health Minister, that India is mentally and physically well prepared this year to beat the Covid-19 pandemic is also a ‘variant’ of this messaging. Remain calm, be positive, and trust the government.    Let us ask, what does it actually mean? What does it say, but more importantly, what does it hide?    At the first glance, the message appears

A small note on liberal buoyancy

  A small note on liberal buoyancy     As Trump probably clutches the golden curtains of the White House in a desperate attempt to not vacate the office, the Indian liberal class’ buoyance to the exit poll predictions of Bihar’s election is not to be dismissed in a light manner. There are not many things that link Bihar and the U.S. organically except perhaps a very old joke on an imaginary meeting between Laloo Prasad Yadav and the then president, Bill Clinton. The joke is not even funny any longer but for those who have forgotten it, it went like this: if Laloo and Bill were left locked in a room for a month with each other, it was believed or rather hoped that Laloo would emerge from this one-month seclusion speaking impeccable English. The joke’s punchline was that Clinton almost mastered his non-existing Bhojpuri in that period.  (screenshot of image taken from   The nature of election campaigning do