Essay: The Dangers of Narrative Cinema

Blogging is today a list-maker’s delight. All blogging advice implores us to write for the scanner, for the people with short attention spans, for those who scroll rather than read. But there are some things that a list or a summary won’t achieve that an essay can. In this piece, Ritam Bhaumik speaks of this […]

Bandhani – The Ties That Bind Us: A Word and Picture Story

Early this year, Piah Diance Studio produced a folk-dance drama called Bandhani – The Ties That Bind Us. They employed me to write the script and treatment. Recently I was talking to Priya Kumar Varunesh, the director of the company, and we thought it would be nice if we can bring the story of Bandhani in […]

The Original Damsel in Distress: Andromeda

We’re all familiar with the hero myth that persists in our movies to this day. Central to it is a damsel in distress that the hero must rescue. A spotless white horse, a flying red cape, a dazzling sword, and shining armour are bare necessities. Today we will look at perhaps the story that gave rise to […]

Fading Away: A Tale of Two Artists

Bhaskar Chattopadhyay is an author and translator. His books include “14: Stories That Inspired Satyajit Ray”, “No Child’s Play” and “The House by the Lake”. Bhaskar is also the Founder of ArtSquare ( – India’s largest online art portal. Bhaskar lives in Bangalore with his wife Sweta and sons Ishaan and Emon. Here he talks […]

Realism in Art: Children and Mirrors

Some of my recent posts have dealt with feminism and gender issues, which got me thinking whether men and women are born different or are shaped differently by culture and society. Then I ran into the two pictures above, by Norman Rockwell. He is most famous for the real-life cover illustrations he did for Saturday […]

Romantic art: The Lady of Shalott

The legend of King Arthur is to English culture what the Ramayana is to Indians. There is much debate about whether he truly existed in the form that he is talked about, though the places that he ruled over – Glastonbury, Tintagel, Camelot etc – still stand, just like ur Ayudhya does. Much has been written […]

How the Tower of Babel inspired me

Today’s post comes to us from the keyboard and computer (I presume) of Bhaskar Chattopadhyay, former analytics professional, now author, translator, art enthusiast and entrepreneur. Here he talks about a deep urge for telling stories, his mother’s face when he used to read to her as a child, and what translation has got to do […]

Who are some neglected characters of the Mahabharata?

As some of you may know, I’ve just begun a series of novels telling the stories of some of the ‘bit-part’ players of the Mahabharata. The first book, The Winds of Hastinapur, looks at Ganga and Satyavati, the two people who, as mothers of Bhishma, sire the race of the Kurus. The book ends with […]

Rape (and intervention) of the Sabine Women

While on the topic of rape, I did some random reading on the subject and ran into this very interesting tale about the rape of the Sabine women by Romans. More interesting, still, is the above ‘sequel’ to the rape as painted by Jacques-Louis David. Apparently the women flew into the midst of the warring parties […]

Varuna Praying to Rama

Indian mythology is an excellent source of material both in terms of images and literature. I often find it fun to take two paintings by two different artists – often from different times – on the same subject and compare them. Just as an illustration I have attached two paintings here, the first by Ravi […]