Anesha George

Anesha is a features writer, sometimes a reader, who loves to eat and plan fitness goals she can never keep. She writes on food, culture and youth trends.

Articles by Anesha George

Cringe is in. Don’t back away from it; embrace that shrinking feeling

Memes, Reels, even the perfectly styled Taylor Swift are urging an Instagram generation to showcase their authentic selves.

Encouraging memes abound on social media. ‘There has always been a big market for cringe entertainment,’ says comedian Aditi Mittal. ‘But how we cringe has evolved from contemptuous to compassionate. The culture of embracing cringe rejects the idea of weaponising it.’
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 06:06 PM IST

Scenes of a textual nature: The changing language of work

In the workplace, emojis are now loaded with layers of meaning. Jargon carries more baggage. Full stops can give away your age. Didn’t you get the memo?

Updated on Feb 25, 2023 01:54 PM IST

Play with your food: New indie games are serving up slices of culinary culture

Put down the gun, pick up the gunpowder chutney. Videogames are levelling up the gameplay. Idlis, spring rolls, chicken curry and fish fry are fuelling the stories.

Venba, by the Toronto-based Visai Studios, is a narrative cooking game due for release later this year. It puts the spotlight on the everyday challenges of immigrant families, and the richness of Tamil cuisine.
Updated on Feb 24, 2023 07:08 PM IST

This again? Tired tropes it’s time to retire in the romance genre

The love triangle, the I-can’t-live-without-you love, the enemies to lovers, the endless will-they-won’t-they... which one is your pet peeve? Take a look.

‘I don’t think Wednesday would ever be in a love triangle,’ Jenna Ortega, who plays the Addams Family character in the Netflix series Wednesday (2023- ), said in an interview. ‘I’m going to fight this so hard.’
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 07:57 PM IST

Whatever happened to great, big love on the big screen?

The love is still out there, but the good news is that even mainstream love stories aren’t aiming for the fairytale as often. Instead, they’re telling tales of loss and indecision, regret and impossible choices. Because love is messy. Love is hard. It’s joyous when true, but nothing lasts forever.

Now and then: Stills from Licorice Pizza (2021), La La Land (2016), Brokeback Mountain (2005), When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Casablanca (1942). A quick glance as some of the better known love stories from the ’30s to today shows how the story has evolved, from the all-encompassing can’t-live-without-it love to more layered and nuanced takes.
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 07:31 PM IST
ByK Narayanan & Anesha George

Strike a pose: What is voguing, and why is it catching on in India?

Chances are you’ve heard of voguing, perhaps through the Madonna song. But what is this dance form from the drag subculture? Why do the moves look like Egyptian hieroglyphs or magazine shoots? Who are the young Indians promoting it here at home? Take a look.

Sunil Bormahela, 22, is part of @VoguingInIndia, an Instagram page and collective founded in June. The group hosts sessions where members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies can learn about ballroom culture. (KuldeeGoswami)
Updated on Feb 04, 2023 05:18 PM IST

It’s not you, it’s not them: The benefits of having friends across the aisle

The path to any change begins with a disagreement. No one has all the answers. In our troubled times of anger and distrust, here’s why you should work to preserve friendships with those you don’t always agree with.

Published on Jan 28, 2023 04:32 PM IST

Less hate, more clarity: Check out Pixstory, a new social-media app out of India

Pixstory aims to minimise polarisation, disincentivise hate, and rate users so that everyone has at least a sense of whom they’re engaging with. Can it work? Take a look.

New entrants to the social-media space are doing things differently, allowing users to create semi-private spaces within a platform, encouraging positivity and integrity. Could apps such as Mastodon, Pixstory, Discord and Hive Social edge out the old guard of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter? (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 20, 2023 05:35 PM IST

Diversions ahead: New terms to tag new stages in the search for love

It’s rarely smooth sailing in the dating world. There’s a new term for the pandemic era’s new degree of desperation; another for the kind of person who won’t stop talking about therapy; terms for worries over spending; and for the willingness to try anything in the quest for love.

Open-casting, likely to be one of the top relationship terms of 2023, is about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and embracing a wider range of personalities and characteristics. (HT Illustration: Jayanto)
Updated on Jan 14, 2023 03:31 PM IST

Music in the gaming world: From silence and plinky tunes to in-game gigs

The first videogame had no sound effects. Then came two-note ditties, later soundtracks, bestselling CDs, works by composers and music icons. Today, music helps tell the player how to feel, what to expect. And it lets artists from Ariana Grande to Lil Nas X reach all-new audiences.

Innovation was key. The iconic tunes for Space Invaders (1978) and Super Mario (1985) were each composed using just a few notes. It’s a very different world today. Lil Nas X created the anthem for the League of Legends 2022 world championships (top right). Ariana Grande performed within Fortnite in 2021. And Stormzy released the video for Rainfall within the game Watch Dogs: Legion, (2020). (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 14, 2023 02:26 PM IST

The door’s a jar: See how pickles are serving as gateways to niche cuisines

As urban India seeks newer culinary adventures, ancient recipes (bamboo shoot, hog plum) are being preserved and promoted as mom-and-pop outfits step up.

The Sikkim dalle chilli pickle by NE Origins. Rewaj Chettri founded the startup in 2020 as a way to connect buyers from across the country with lockdown-affected entrepreneurs in remote parts of north-east India. (Manaen Lepcha)
Updated on Jan 07, 2023 07:15 PM IST

Cracking an ancient code: A Wknd interview with Sanskrit scholar Rishi Rajpopat

He just solved a puzzle that has mystified generations of linguists. Because of his breakthrough, Pāņini’s 2,500-year-old language algorithm is finally working right. Here’s how Rajpopat did it, and what this could mean for the beauty and science of Sanskrit.

‘I have a new respect for the simple question: Why? I believe it is the willingness and commitment to unlearn and relearn that helped me do this,’ says Rajpopat. (Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 23, 2022 09:22 PM IST

Wrap sheet: How to get better at gifting

Through history, presents have been a way to say: I see you, I appreciate you. They’re also a way to say: This is who I am. What makes a good gift, and giver? Five tips for the season.

. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 10, 2022 09:56 PM IST

The multiverse timeline: How everything went everywhere in pop culture

For decades, storytellers have been cashing in on the idea that many different realities can coexist. Take a look at how films, books and TV have leveraged the concept of the multiverse over the past 100 years.

The multiverse drives the narrative in this year’s breakout hit, Everything Everywhere All At Once. (At its core, though, the film remains a tale about breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma.) (Image courtesy: Allyson Riggs)
Updated on Dec 02, 2022 06:09 PM IST

Criminals can be victims too: An interview with victimologist Sanjeev P Sahni

As the Indian behavioural scientist takes over as vice-president of the World Society of Victimology, a look at changing definitions, new scientific findings, and the need for reform.

Updated on Nov 05, 2022 02:45 PM IST

Millennial apology fantasy: A forgiving twist in the tale

Forget happily-ever-afters. The new fantasy in Hollywood films is an apology from a parent or grandparent that acknowledges unrealistic expectation, breaks a cycle and opens a door to healing.

Encanto and Everything Everywhere All at Once address the intergenerational trauma caused by unrealistic expectations. In Turning Red, a cycle of learning to repress passion and anger is finally broken.
Updated on Nov 05, 2022 02:04 PM IST

Meet the American author coining new English words for complicated feelings

English doesn’t have words for many of life’s little aches, joys, urges and emotions. So John Koenig decided to create some, marrying ancient tongues with existing terms. His Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows has a word for that feeling of keeping a secret; the dread of finally pursuing a lifelong dream; the sense of finding out life’s answers, only too late.

One of Koenig’s words is ‘sonder’, the realisation that each passerby’s life is as vivid and complex as your own. (HT Illustration: Jayanto)
Updated on Oct 29, 2022 01:29 PM IST

More than he seams: A Wknd interview with designer Akshat Bansal

His label Bloni is only five years old, but featured prominently at this month’s Paris Fashion Week. Bansal’s designs are gender-fluid, size-agnostic, and comment on post-pandemic emotions and the state of the world. One can’t be a fashion designer without a strong point of view, he says.

 (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 15, 2022 03:25 PM IST

Mellow Milo or rage Rover: You can tell your dog’s mood from his face

A recent study suggests that humans can gauge basic emotions in dogs, from photographs of their eyes alone.

Sad? Scared? Guilty? Our guess would be afraid. In fear, dogs open their eyes wide, making this the easiest emotion to spot in canines, the study found. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Oct 08, 2022 01:40 PM IST

Bonus tracks: Check out the voices of change in indie Punjabi music

Leave the luxury cars, guns and glamourised sexism to mainstream Punjabi music. For a taste of how the community is changing, tune in to its indie scene. This is where they’re singing in forgotten dialects, rhyming about identity and equal rights, mixing kirtans into jazz, reggae and alt-rock. The voices are fresh, the sound is original, and the world is listening in

In the vibrant independent Punjabi pop scene, a mix of Indian artists and artists from the diaspora are singing of identity, brotherly love, belonging, equal rights for races, genders and sexual minorities. (Photos: Diaspora Arts Connection Jaspreet Singh, Aashish Maini, Bert Vulcain)
Updated on Oct 01, 2022 12:37 AM IST

Dancing in the dark: Mallika Sarabhai on beating bulimia,finding dance amid loss

Sarabhai is usually described as beautiful and accomplished. For large parts of her life, she says, she felt like neither. Her new book, In Free Fall, traces how that changed.

As Draupadi in Peter Brook’s epic, nine-hour theatrical retelling, The Mahabharata (1985). (Gilles Abegg)
Updated on Sep 24, 2022 06:44 PM IST

Stranger than fiction: What role would you play in the story of your life?

Have you been wondering if you have main character syndrome or side character energy? How seriously you take these tags could tell you more about yourself than which tag you choose.

 (HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 08:19 PM IST

Treats shoots and leaves: At a unique plant hospital in Amritsar

At the Pushpa Tree and Plant Hospital and Dispensary, there are in-patients, a ‘medicare’ helpline, even an electric autorickshaw that serves as an ambulance. Treatment is free. ‘Our services are a thank-you to those making the world greener,’ its co-founders say.

Spread across 1,200 sq ft, the hospital, co-founded by additional commissioner of income tax Rohit Mehra, has a rescue and rehab garden, a dispensary of herbal growth tonics and fertilisers, volunteers that make house calls, and an ambulance that also hands out free saplings.
Updated on Sep 03, 2022 05:37 PM IST

Extended play: Inside India’s plush new gaming houses

In exchange for a share of the winnings, these spaces offer accommodation, personalised streaming stations, swimming pools, party areas, rooftop cafés. Some even come with mental-health and gaming coaches, personalised diet plans and fitness instructors.

Esports company GodLike’s Call of Duty Mobile team preps for a match at the gaming house in Navi Mumbai. The facility is a four-storey bungalow spread across 25,000 sq ft, with 10 bedrooms, streaming rooms and a rooftop café. (Bachchan Kumar / HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 03, 2022 05:21 PM IST

New high score: Inside the Indian esports boom

As gaming transitions into esports, India is stepping onto the global stage. The first medals are arriving on our shores. Tournaments are being streamed live on major TV networks. Esports companies are wooing players with lucrative deals, plush gaming houses. As business booms, the one dark cloud: game bans, and the worry over which might be the next to go.

In game characters from Call of Duty Mobile (CODM), Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), DOTA 2 and Hearthstone.
Updated on Sep 03, 2022 05:19 PM IST

Picnic time: Meet the India-born Londoner behind the new Enid Blyton mysteries

Sufiya Ahmed’s latest books in the Famous Five series offer a modern and inclusive spin on the classics, with new characters of colour added too.

Ahmed's latest work, Rosie Raja: Churchill’s Spy, tells the tale of a Muslim half-Indian and half-English spy in France during World War 2.
Updated on Jul 30, 2022 03:28 PM IST

Does this ring a bell? Marg celebrates South Asia’s diverse temples

Marg’s general editor Naman P Ahuja discusses the art magazine’s recent 75th anniversary issue which focusses on the economic and cultural roles of temples, and what they have come to mean over the centuries

The distinct tiled roof of Panchalingeshvara temple in Udupi, Karnataka. Marg’s latest volume brings together studies that allow the reader to gain insight into the extraordinary varieties of temples and the functions they served. (Photo courtesy: Clare Arni)
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 12:58 AM IST

Time to give conservation a tech update, says museologist Vinod Daniel

The member of the Board of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and chair of AusHeritage, Vinod Daniel, has been a part of several tech-driven heritage conservation initiatives across the globe. Excerpts from a Wknd interview, where he talks about the conservation challenges India faces

“We need more people trained specifically to use technology to advance conservation goals,” says Daniel who has designed a state-of-the-art display for a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy in Hyderabad and used holograms to make museum visits more interactive.
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 12:58 AM IST

Deep search: Tech-enabled discoveries of underwater treasures

Ocean-going robots, innovative diving suits and high-accuracy sonar scans are changing the way we dive into the past in the hunt for ancient shipwrecks and sunken cities

In 2007, the Underwater Archaeology Wing of the ASI started a detailed excavation off the coast of Gujarat in search of the sunken city of Dwarka. (ASI)
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 12:59 AM IST

Back to the future: Cutting-edge tech that helps us decode the past

To unlock old secrets, sometimes you need a little help from new technology. See how LiDAR systems, x-ray spectrometers, ground-penetrating radar and 3D photo scans are giving us a closer look at Egyptian mummies, recreating models of sunken cities and helping us study and conserve ancient temples

Kailasa Rao, professor of architectural conservation at the School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, and member of National Monuments Authority (NMA) uses a drone to map the 9th century Vijayalaya Choleeswaram temple in Tamil Nadu.
Updated on Jul 23, 2022 02:40 PM IST
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