Honeyland – A documentary that explores the bitter-sweet dilemmas of bee-ing human

Rarely does a documentary capture a story and its settings in such breathtaking detail. From the sweeping, stark Balkan landscape to the palpable buzz of a bee trying to cling to a floating leaf, Honeyland is as much a visual treat, as it is a narrative masterpiece. Set in a remote Macedonian village, the documentaryContinue reading “Honeyland – A documentary that explores the bitter-sweet dilemmas of bee-ing human”

Reclaiming a ‘breathing-space’: The subversive power of attention autonomy

Choked on emotions It has been the month of mourning. From the cold-hearted murder of George Floyd, to the miserable plight of labourers trying to make their way home, to the millions losing their job as companies try to stay ‘afloat’, to the millions of hectares of forests being cut to make way for moreContinue reading “Reclaiming a ‘breathing-space’: The subversive power of attention autonomy”

A humble new world

It was the third store to have run out of the ingredient I was looking for – yeast. I wasn’t surprised though. Almost a third of the world population has been under some form of lock-down for the past few months in a bid to contain a pandemic that may become a part and parcelContinue reading “A humble new world”

The ecological aesthetics of Hayao Miyazaki

Miyazaki’s films are deceptively simple. Author Maria Popova, once commented on how good children’s books speak “a language of absolute sincerity, so deliciously countercultural in our age of cynicism.” Miyazaki’s films are imbued with a similar quality of tenderness, without compromising on the complexity of the moral landscape. Their universal appeal is perhaps a testimonyContinue reading “The ecological aesthetics of Hayao Miyazaki”

Culture first

“One of the most prized and difficult things to smuggle past the security was that small container of curd…” my aunt said with a chuckle. Then she grew serious, “No, really, it was my only connection to Amma back then. The taste of that slightly sour, and runny curd was the sole reminder of home.Continue reading “Culture first”

Lost and never found: Dispatches from the dispossessed

“My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first.”―Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed “the landscapeContinue reading “Lost and never found: Dispatches from the dispossessed”

Second Nature?

In her early years as a researcher, Ming Kuo came across a seemingly puzzling phenomena – The alarming rates of animal deaths in zoos. Researchers had found that most of the captured animals were unable to thrive despite being given basic food, safety and shelter. It turned out that these provisions did not matter significantlyContinue reading “Second Nature?”

The Greta Question

‘Narcissistic’, ‘Courageous’, ‘Focussed’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘Fear-Monger’, ‘Determined’. These are just some of the words used to describe teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s ‘war’ on climate change deniers and politicians acting like sitting ducks. The wild spectrum of descriptions suggest that she has touched a chord, or a nerve for many (in different ways) thus eliciting reactions thatContinue reading “The Greta Question”

What’s in a name?

I still remember the decisiveness with which I decided to give up biology in higher education after glancing at the books that seemed to be filled with taxonomic nightmares. “How does memorizing the name of plant count as education?” I remarked to a friend. The teachers made no efforts to make the subject remotely interesting,Continue reading “What’s in a name?”

Reanimating the world

Ah! there you are!” I exclaimed to a flat bean and plucked it gently while looking for more. The colour of the beans blends ever so perfectly with the leaves, that they seem to be playing an eternal hide-and-seek with anyone interested in harvesting them. I often lose time when hanging around plants, and trees.Continue reading “Reanimating the world”