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Chintan Girish Modi
Articles by Chintan Girish Modi

Saikat Majumdar, author, The Middle Finger – ‘Novels never feel completed’

The author talks about his new novel where the protagonist is caught between twin identities – brown in the US, savarna in India – that complicate her academic life and her loves and friendships

Author Saikat Majumdar (Tribuvan Tiwari)
Updated on Apr 15, 2022 07:19 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Essay: Food writing in India during the pandemic

Cookbooks that feature the cuisines of specific religious and ethnic communities, others that present healthy traditional recipes, and those that look at the science behind cooking have all provided much food for thought in the last two years. A look at some of the interesting ones

Comfort food (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 14, 2022 05:15 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Report: The Kolkata Literary Meet 2022

With interesting sessions featuring a range of authors including Ghazala Wahab, Cyrus Broacha, Sandip Roy, Amish Tripathi and Javed Akhtar, and personalities like Simi Garewal, Jim Sarbh and Mallika Sarabhai, the Kolkata Literary Meet 2022 stood out especially for the rare intimacy it engendered between writers and readers

Jim Sarbh, Mallika Sarabhai and Shrayana Bhattacharya during a session at the KLM (Courtesy the Kolkata Literary Meet)
Updated on Apr 08, 2022 04:34 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Nicolas Wild, author, Kabul Disco - ‘Being French and White gave me many privileges in Afghanistan’

A graphic novelist from France, best known for Kabul Disco Vols 1 and 2, was at the recent Kolkata Literary Meet. Here, he talks about his books, Afghanistan, and about representation

Nicolas Wild (Courtesy the author)
Published on Apr 02, 2022 06:43 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

JLF 2022: Like walking through a food court for the mind

At this year’s edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, our intrepid correspondent often found entertainment when he was least expecting it

Litfesting in a post-pandemic world. (Jaipur Literature Festival)
Updated on Mar 25, 2022 06:17 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Rashmi Dhanwani, coauthor, The India Literature and Publishing Sector Study commissioned by British Council – ‘Resources for translators are scant.’

On the challenges of making literature written in Indian languages more widely available to international English-speaking readership

Rashmi Dhanwani (Courtesy British Council)
Published on Mar 12, 2022 01:03 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: The Spiritual Path by Gregory David Roberts

Gregory David Roberts’s new book tells you what led him to trust his guru, and why he, a man committed to science, logic and reason, turned to faith, devotion and worship

Back in the day: Gregory David Roberts in August 2006. (Hemant Padalkar/HT)
Published on Mar 04, 2022 11:27 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Pramod Kapoor, author, 1946 Royal Indian Navy Mutiny; Last War of Independence - ‘Histories are written by those who rule’

The story of an uprising by sailors of the Royal Indian Navy who took on the British but were let down by India’s most prominent nationalist leaders

Author Pramod Kapoor (Courtesy Roli Books)
Published on Feb 25, 2022 08:47 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Ali Khan Mahmudabad, translator, The Break of Dawn – ‘This project was a very personal one for me’

On the work of historical fiction set in 1857, the year Indians first rose up in rebellion against British colonial rule and fought for freedom.

Ali Khan Mahmudabad (Courtesy the author)
Published on Feb 11, 2022 05:59 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: Encounters with Kiran; Fragments from a Relationship by Nayantara Sahgal

This collection of the email correspondence between Kiran Nagarkar and Nayantara Sahgal touches on their views on issues like demonetization, the rise of religious extremism, violence against minorities, threats to freedom of speech, and protests led by artists and intellectuals, and the Me Too movement

Kiran Nagarkar at his Mumbai home on 12 March 2016. (Aalok Soni/Hindustan Times)
Published on Jan 28, 2022 03:35 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Lavanya Karthik, author, The Boys Who Created Malgudi - ‘Kids need to see that failure is normal’

Author and illustrator Lavanya Karthik’s new book, The Boys Who Created Malgudi revolves around the childhood adventures of author RK Narayan and his cartoonist brother RK Laxman, who created the fictional town of Malgudi based on their formative years in Mysore

Author Lavanya Karthik (Courtesy the publisher)
Published on Dec 31, 2021 04:21 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

HT reviewer Chintan Girish Modi picks his favourite reads of 2021

Doing their best to survive; Sonal Kohli’s short stories are snapshots of lives that are made and unmade by marriage, war, miscarriage, widowhood, genocide, disability, and economic misfortunes

Short stories that pay attention to the details that go unnoticed in busy urban lives. (HT Team)
Updated on Dec 17, 2021 12:49 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Payal Dhar, Author, It Has No Name – “Online spaces have been my lifelines at various points.”

On her book about a gay teenager in the context of survival, representation, legal reform and queer politics in India

Payal Dhar (Courtesy the author)
Published on Nov 05, 2021 06:05 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: Unsettling Utopia: The Making and Unmaking of French India by Jessica Namakkal

Historian Jessica Namakkal’s book might trouble devotees of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother but it does help readers understand how the past continues into the present

The former French colony of Pondicherry, now named Puducherry. (Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 29, 2021 06:27 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Tishani Doshi, author, a god at the door - “My poems tread between horror and beauty”

Poet, essayist, and fiction writer Tishani Doshi who is also a visiting associate professor at New York University Abu Dhabi talks about her new poems that explore themes of impermanence, disembodiment, isolation, and the need for connection

Tishani Doshi (Carlo Pizzati)
Published on Oct 22, 2021 04:24 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: My Family by Mahadevi Varma, translated by Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita’s translation from Hindi of Mahadevi Varma’s autobiographical work Mera Parivaar will be loved by those for whom the idea of a chosen family embraces not just humans but birds and animals too

Mahadevi Varma at the Hindi Sammelan on 30 October 1983. (Virendra Prabhakar/HT Photo)
Published on Oct 15, 2021 05:14 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Kalki Subramaniam, author, We Are Not The Others: Reflections of a Transgender Artivist

A transgender ‘artivist’, writer and actor who lives in Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, Kalki Subramaniam is also the founder of Sahodari Foundation, which works for the empowerment of transgender persons in India. Here, she talks about her new book, about the ignorance that trans people encounter, and about collaborating with trans artists from across the world.

Kalki Subramaniam (Courtesy the author)
Published on Oct 01, 2021 06:41 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Jyoti Jafa, author, Meera, Sanga and Mewar

The author reveals that her fascination with Meerabai is connected to their shared bloodline, and her lifelong immersion in Rajput history, traditions and customs.

Author Jyoti Jafa (Illustration: Mohit Suneja)
Updated on Sep 03, 2021 06:34 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Essay: Arriving at the truth about Afghanistan through fiction

While reportage allows you to see disasters as they happen, fiction can reveal the complexity of a situation. Some novels on Afghanistan that help the reader arrive at a deeper understanding of what’s happening there

The Taliban in Afghanistan on 18 August, 2021. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 27, 2021 06:52 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: The Longest Kiss; The Life and Times of Devika Rani by Kishwar Desai

Pieced together from sources like romantic missives, film reviews, minutes of board meetings, resignation letters, records of court cases, and interviews with family members and friends of Devika Rani and her husbands Himanshu Rai and Svetoslav Roerich, The Longest Kiss offers a deep dive into Devika Rani’s professional accomplishments and her personal misfortunes

Devika Rani (1908-1994) (Courtesy the publisherr)
Published on Aug 20, 2021 06:22 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Irwin Allan Sealy, Author, Asoca: A Sutra

The author of The Trotter-Nama, The Everest Hotel and The Brainfever Bird is back with a historical novel woven around the life of Mauryan emperor Ashoka, who is best remembered for his change of heart on the battlefield in Kalinga. Confronting the suffering caused by war made him embrace Buddhism and take a vow of ahimsa in the third century BCE

Author Irwin Allan Sealy (Sami Mitra)
Published on Aug 13, 2021 08:38 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Sanjena Sathian, Author, Gold Diggers‘The American Dream is a deeply dangerous idea’

A work of social satire and magical realism, Sanjena Sathian’s Gold Diggers, which draws on her experience of being raised in the US by Indian immigrant parents, is built around ambition, alchemy and the American dream.

Author Sanjena Sathian (Tony Tulathimutte)
Published on Aug 06, 2021 07:54 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife by Kareem Khubchandani

The author, a performance studies scholar, a drag queen, and a transnational desi, documents the pleasures and perils of being ‘out’ at night in Bangalore and Chicago

The Queer Pride Parade in New Delhi on November 27, 2016. “Hijras do drag labour for queer India, dancing publicly at marches and performing item numbers at melas and pageants during pride month, reinterpreting film songs for our entertainment and nostalgia, but never at the club,” writes Kareem Khubchandani. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Archive)
Updated on Jun 24, 2021 06:16 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Srini Ramaswamy and Ramkrishna Sinha, co-editors, equALLY: Stories by Friends of the Queer World

It’s Pride Month and Ramaswamy and Sinha speak about why it is important for straight supporters of the LGBTQ+ community to talk about being allies

Marching with friends: A gay pride parade in Mumbai in 2019. (Kunal Patil/HT Archive)
Published on Jun 18, 2021 05:11 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Manan Kapoor, author, A Map of Longings;The Life and Works of Agha Shahid Ali

Manan Kapoor’s work looks at the life of the Kashmiri-American poet who pioneered ghazal writing in English, translated the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mahmoud Darwish, and was a prominent voice against injustice and oppression.On the Kashmiri-American poet who was a prominent voice against oppression

Manan Kapoor (Satvika Kundu)
Published on Jun 11, 2021 05:46 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Amitav Ghosh, author, Jungle Nama: A Story of the Sundarban

“Climate change is the greatest crisis that humanity, as a species, has ever faced,” says Amitav Ghosh, who has teamed up with artist Salman Toor to retell the legend of Bon Bibi, Shah Jongoli and Dokkhin Rai in his new book

Author Amitav Ghosh (Samir Jana/HT Archive)
Published on May 28, 2021 08:46 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Review: Mahavir: Conqueror of the Self by Arvind Bhandari

A book that provides insights into the difficult choices Vardhamaan Mahavir had to make as a man, son, husband, father, prince, and as a seeker of liberation from karmic entanglements

Thane’s Jain community celebrates Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the 24th Jain Tirthankar Bhagwan Mahavir, in April 2019. (Praful Gangurde/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Published on Apr 30, 2021 04:32 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview with Christophe Jaffrelot, co-author, India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-1977

On the political scientist’s new book which tells the story of India’s experience with authoritarian rule under Indira Gandhi

Christophe Jaffrelot (Miriam Perier / Sciences Po)
Published on Apr 16, 2021 10:23 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview with Ranjit Hoskote, author, Hunchprose

Ranjit Hoskote’s new poetry collection, Hunchprose, is strewn with references to literature, ornithology, music, archaeology, cinema and history and engages with contemporary political questions as well as matters of the heart

Ranjit Hoskote (Nancy Adajania)
Published on Apr 10, 2021 06:52 AM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi

Interview: Lubaina Bandukwala, Editor, Thank God It’s Caturday

The curator of the Peek-a-Book storytelling festival for children talks about editing a collection of short stories featuring cats, written by some of India’s best loved authors

Lubaina Bandukwala (Courtesy Westland)
Updated on Mar 25, 2021 04:17 PM IST
ByChintan Girish Modi
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