Seven years ago, I was a post-grad student at the University of Hyderabad, living the best of my student days, dreaming a dream of becoming a firebrand journalist. Feisty debates around all kinds of social issues with my diverse cohort at North shopcom (shopping complex, a common public area in UoH) were a daily occurrence.
Urdu, perhaps the sassiest of all languages, is the life of the party in Indian culture. It’s like the cool cousin that everyone wants to hang out with, spoken and understood, at least in the north and western regions of India. And I am sure you all know that it got a rich history and is all about the literature, art, and music in the region.
This week, we’re taking you back to all our favourite things from the year gone by. I, personally wanted to express my gratitude by looking back at all I have learned this year from my fellow writers.
Did I ever tell you my mum sold my comics collection to the raddiwala when I was away for master’s? She did. In mum’s defence, she thought storybooks with pictures are for kids, and she could think of so many uses for the space she’s just rescued. Well, thanks to Thing, everything online is safe from mum’s cleaning wrath at least (at least for now).
How often have we seen in movies and TV shows a character who is a bit of a social outcast but still seems nice enough? He may even be a girl’s best friend until it becomes clear that she is romantically interested in someone not him. That’s when the facade crumbles, and we see that this “nice guy” is actually an insecure and entitled jerk who can’t understand why the woman he’s into doesn’t feel the same way about him.
When celebrities fall from grace, it is often regular folk, often fans of the offending celeb, who take it upon themselves to restore faith in humanity. Fans of Kanye West transformed his subreddit into a page educating people about the Holocaust; a tattoo removal studio in the UK offered to remove Kanye West tattoos for free.
As the designated DJ in most car rides, I often find myself choosing music that people around me enjoy. I attribute this to my upbringing in a joint family, where I didn’t have much control over what we watched or listened to on TV or the radio. As a result, I didn’t develop a strong personal taste in music and instead gravitated towards popular artists of the time, like Strings, Junoon, and Silk Route. Sonu Nigam was a pop star, and KK voiced the new generation. Bombay Rappers were hip-hop artists, and Sukhbir was a party favourite. I even went to stores with my aunts to buy cassette tapes of these artists. Good times!
Are you a ’90s kid? Did your school have a computer lab? Remember taking your shoes off before entering the “computer room”? The thrill of writing silly commands in MS-DOS? Or the pure artistic satisfaction derived from making the “two hills and a river” illustration in MS Paint? Yeah? You’re going to like today’s Just One Thing.
Did you fly paper planes as a kid and dream of piloting a real airplane someday? Me too!
If like me, you’re fascinated by these marvellous flying tin pots, let me introduce you to GeoFS, a browser-based flight simulator that feels like, well, (I think) the real thing. (Pilots in the house, if it isn’t, don’t tell me). Simulator controls allow you to change the aircraft’s direction, speed, angle and altitude. You can even fly at night or in bad weather conditions. If you prefer you’re flying mobile, there’s an app too.
For me, the parallels between the Black Lives Matter and Dalit Lives Matter movements have always been striking. And I’m inspired to tell you about Round Table India, my go-to place for the Dalit-Bahujan perspective.