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Chintan Girish Modi
Articles by Chintan Girish Modi

Interview: Manish Gaekwad, author, The Last Courtesan – “My mother and I were accomplices in this”

The genre of memoir was the best way to tell Rekhabai's story because she wanted to share her life in her own voice and not through another narrator. She wanted to be honest and truthful, and the memoir allowed her to do that. The process of writing the memoir was enjoyable and brought the author and Rekhabai closer together. Rekhabai would have been thrilled about the book's reception and the attention it is getting. The cover of the book features a picture of Rekhabai performing her routine as a dancer. The process of listening to Rekhabai's life story did not alter the author's relationship with the various places in India that the story unfolds in. The author's experience as a screenwriter influenced the narrative choices made in the book, but the prospect of selling movie rights did not influence how it was written. While working on the book, the author read various books including The Book of Disquiet and Fictions. If the book were to be made into a movie, the author would choose Tripti Dimri to play Rekhabai. Some depictions of courtesans in Indian cinema and literature that stood out for the author include Sardari Begum and Umrao Jaan Ada. The author believes that the stereotype of the tawaif as a sex-worker needs to be more informed. The author responds to gay men who romanticize the lives of courtesans by saying that if they find comfort and expression in courtesan-ship, why not? The author is currently working on a book about their own growing up years in the kotha and a rom-com film script.

Author Manish Gaekwad (Courtesy HarperCollins)
Updated on Sep 01, 2023 08:13 PM IST

Interview: TM Krishna - “Guilt is a form of escapism. It is an excuse”

The activist, writer and Carnatic vocalist talks about finding a new audience, understanding Ambedkar and Narayana Guru, and his work on a exploratory new book

Carnatic vocalist, author and activist TM Krishna (Ram Keshav)
Updated on Aug 01, 2023 08:28 PM IST

Review: Queers in QuarantineEdited by Koyote Millar and Rahul Sen

A collection of poems, stories, journal entries and photo essays on how queer people across the world experienced the pandemic

Angel Mendoza (C) and Martin Juco (2nd R), who are transgender and non-binary, stand in line outside a bank during gender-based quarantine restrictions, amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bogota, Colombia May 5, 2020. (Luisa Gonzalez/REUTERS)
Updated on Jul 28, 2023 06:02 PM IST

Thomas Abraham, MD, Hachette India - “India prefers classic crime titles”

Hachette is publishing a range of classic crime fiction and adventure novels called The Great Yellowbacks. Here, Thomas Abraham, who has curated the series, talks about his passion for these titles

Thomas Abraham (Courtesy Hachette)
Updated on Jul 19, 2023 11:49 PM IST

International convention of temples planned in Varanasi

The event will be inaugurated by Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Singh (RSS)

(L-R) Prasad Lad, chairman, International Temples Convention & Expo 2023 and Giresh Kulkarni, founder of Temple Connect and International Temples Convention and Expo 2023. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 15, 2023 05:15 PM IST

Over the rainbow: A Wknd interview with author and poet Ruth Vanita

A new book encapsulates poetry themed on identity, loss, same-sex love; another traces battles for marriage equality in rural India. Much has changed, she says.

 (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 24, 2023 06:13 PM IST

Report: Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

The fourteenth edition of the festival was a remarkable celebration of queer joy that also provided a great opportunity to socialise

Director Onir and actor Raveena Tandon at the festival. (Courtesy the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival)
Updated on Jul 05, 2023 10:21 PM IST

Review: Who Clicked That Pic? by Nandita da Cunha and Priya Kuriyan

An inspiring picture book for children pays homage to Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist

Homai Vyarawalla at an exhibition of her iconic photographs on 18 August 1998. (Girish Srivastava/HT Archive)
Updated on Jun 30, 2023 07:47 PM IST

Srinath Perur – “Language carries associations of both pride and vulnerability”

The translator and chair of the jury of the JCB Prize for Literature, 2023, on translating Girish Karnad’s memoirs

Srinath Perur (Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival)
Updated on Jun 26, 2023 06:09 PM IST

Interview: Paramita Brahmachari – “My covers are in a hand-drawn style”

The winner of the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2023 on her process of interpreting books to make striking jackets and illustrations

Paramita Brahmachari (Courtesy the subject)
Updated on Jun 23, 2023 05:05 PM IST

Queering the screen: Film fest to honour the need of safe space for LGBTQIA+ people

The series aligns itself with the global mandate to give the month of June a special place in the annual calendar in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other marginalized) people who face human rights violations all over the world

Queering the screen: Film fest to honour the need of safe space for LGBTQIA+ people
Updated on Jun 17, 2023 12:53 AM IST

Get to know...Vidur Sethi

Actor, writer and curator Vidur Sethi is nervous and excited about his debut film, Pine Cone. He shares his playlist, and the queer artists to watch out for

Vidur Sethi’s favourite Sunday memory while growing up was watching Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Tarzan. (Dron Chandwani)
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 02:43 PM IST

Review: Hoofprints on the Land by Ilse Kohler-Rollefson

Ilse Kohler-Rollefson writes about the need to promote traditional forms of animal herding over industrial livestock farms and the benefits that will result for animals, humans and the planet

A Raika man with his camels in Sadri, Rajasthan. (Saumya Khandelwal/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jun 09, 2023 07:02 PM IST

Interview : Deepti Naval - “I always knew I wanted to write about my childhood”

The actor talks about visiting her home town, Amritsar, meeting long lost relatives and about her memoir A Country Called Childhood

Actor and author Deepti Naval (Courtesy Aleph)
Updated on Jun 01, 2023 08:38 PM IST

Interview: Maulik Pancholy, author, Nikhil Out Loud

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, the actor-activist talks about his experience as an openly gay Indian-American boy

Author Maulik Pancholy(Courtesy: The Author)
Updated on May 17, 2023 02:41 PM IST

Interview: V Ramaswamy - “I want to rock the system”

On being a Tamilian who translates Bengali novels into English, his activist background, his quest for significant voices, and on translating Manoranjan Byapari

Translator V Ramaswamy (SK Jan Mohammad)
Updated on May 12, 2023 12:34 AM IST

Rohan Chakravarty, author: ‘Humour is a great starting point in discourse’

On immersing himself in discovering micro habitats and in whodunnits to develop his award winning detective mongoose

Author and illustrator Rohan Chakravarty (Courtesy: The subject)
Updated on May 08, 2023 09:57 PM IST

Review: I Have Autism and I Like to Play Bad Tennis by Debashis Paul

A father’s memoir of raising a son with autism spectrum disorder will comfort parents in similar situations and educate those who know little about the condition

While there was never a formal diagnosis, it is believed that American icon Andy Warhol’s autism shaped his art. (Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images)
Updated on Apr 29, 2023 10:30 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Tilottama Shome, author, The Kailash Temple at Ellora

On World Heritage Day, a look at the architect and translator’s children’s book on the magnificent temple built by the Rashtrakutas

Author Tilottama Shome (Courtesy Speaking Tiger)
Updated on Apr 18, 2023 06:30 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Navdeep Suri, Translator: It’s satisfying translating something from 100 Yrs Ago

The former diplomat talks about his grandfather Nanak Singh being at Jallianwala Bagh on 13 April 1919, and about translating his work from the original Punjabi

Translator and former diplomat Navdeep Suri (Courtesy The Sacred Amritsar)
Updated on Apr 13, 2023 07:54 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: Homeless by K Vaishali

An honest, absorbing, and occasionally funny memoir about the impact of homophobia and ableism on the author’s life

“Much of this book is about a search for love in the unpredictable and frustrating world of dating apps through the eyes of someone who thinks of sex as “a road trip with someone you trust”. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 11, 2023 01:58 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: David Wengrow, archaeologist and author - “All writing is a form of activism”

On George Orwell, the British education system, on how archaeology and anthropology are implicated in colonialism and being aware of bias and context

David Wengrow a the Kolkata Literary Meet (Courtesy the Kolkata Literary Meet)
Updated on Apr 07, 2023 06:14 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Report: The Sacred Amritsar 2023

Revolutionary poetry, discussions on books based on the city, great food and music were all part of the first edition of this immersive cultural festival

Singer Rabbi Shergill performing at Gobindgarh Fort (Courtesy The Sacred Amritsar)
Updated on Apr 06, 2023 07:14 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

A grand mela of dance, music, literature, and culture

The Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival 2023 stood out for its inclusivity and its inspired programming

The Azad, Virasat and Lakshmi bands performed at Safed Baradari during the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival 2023. (Courtesy Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival)
Published on Mar 30, 2023 04:09 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Report: Shyam Benegal Retrospective

The recent retrospective of filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s cinema featured screenings of his classic films and discussions by actors who reminisced about working with him

Director, scriptwriter and documentary filmmaker Shyam Benegal at his office in Tardeo, Mumbai, on September 30, 2021 (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 28, 2023 08:30 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Saurabh Kirpal, senior advocate and author

On his new book, speaking truth to power, and why marriage equality still hasn’t been achieved in India

Senior advocate and author Saurabh Kirpal (Courtesy the publisher)
Published on Mar 25, 2023 11:47 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Sacred Spirit Festival 2023: A river of music that washed away my inner debris

From Manganiyar musicians, Carnatic vocalists, Mongolian throat singers and Uzbek dancers to Bauls and famous players of the Mohan veena, the Sacred Spirit Festival 2023 was an aural feast

A morning concert by the Jaswant Thada Lake at Sacred Spirit Festival 2023. (Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Bling Ping Motion Pictures)
Updated on Mar 23, 2023 08:40 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Ben Schott, author, Jeeves and the Leap of Faith - “There is a clarity in the way Wodehouse uses words”

When and how did you fall in love with the work of PG Wodehouse?When I was a child, my father used to read to me

Author Ben Schott (Courtesy the Kolkata Literary Meet)
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 05:41 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Sharif D Rangnekar, author, Queersapien: ‘Delhi is invested in patriarchy’

Against the backdrop of the government’s opposition to the legalization of same sex marriage, the singer-songwriter and workplace inclusion consultant talks about how discrimination against LGBTQIA people continues in education, health care, homes, workplaces, and in banking and insurance

Author Sharif Rangnekar (Nitin Mantri)
Updated on Mar 15, 2023 10:30 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Mani Rao, translator, Saundarya Lahari: I translate when a text takes hold of me

At the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2023, Rao spoke about ‘Wave of Beauty’, the English translation of the Sanskrit text attributed to Adi Shankaracharya.

Mani Rao, translator, Saundarya Lahari (Courtesy the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2023)
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 08:02 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi
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