That smalltime imp

What, in human evolution, came earlier - consensual intercourse or marriage? The answer is obvious. One could say that the institution of marriage is Time's embroidered garment placed over Nature's plain truth. To what was spontaneous, instinctive and un-guarded, it introduces three new harnesses. Exclusivity is introduced to intimacy, constancy is brought to immediacy and the free-falling dice of animal procreation is replaced by selective processes of legacy-creation. The institution of marriage reflects society's seeking of order, method and system in human relationships as against the anarchy of unruly 'jungle' contact.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

On the hunt

Dates at the click of a mouse do not mean that sexual aspirations have matured with the maturing of technology
Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

Hang on; Dire state; Foul taste; Parting shot

Hang on

• Sir - Today is International Orangutan Day. There are three species of or... | Read»

Dire state

• Sir - It is shocking to see the condition of the healthcare system in Wes... | Read»

Foul taste

• Sir - The article, "Fishy tale" (Aug 8), paints a dire picture. For a maj... | Read»

Parting shot

• Sir - One of the pictures accompanying "Those timeless notes" (Aug 10), h... | Read»

Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

In My Chambers My Giving Gas

Do not begin to imagine fancy chambers, no please. Chambers of pots more like it, the place where chamber pots are stationed. Now you can imagine all and any manner of chamber pots, fancy ones too. Things happen around chamber pots. Fancy things. Furtive things. Fruitful things. Forbidden things. Fuming things. Were you to someday sit down with the authoritative "Chamber Pots, A Complete & Comprehensive History", you'd discover for yourself the astonishingly spectacular array of things that have happened around chamber pots, or in chambers appointed for chamber pots. Illicit assignation. Vile whisper. Plotting. Preening. Conspiracy. Incest. Assassination. Private violation of public facade. Such things and many more things.
LAZY EYESankarshan Thakur Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

A faraway darkness, visible

As the Kenyan Airways Boeing 737 circled around the British built-1950s era Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport, I could spy out the dark blue waters of Lake Chivero to the southwest and the hills of Mashonaland to the north, and a colonial city of tall buildings in the centre surrounded by neat colonies of bungalows set in a dry, rocky plain.
Jayanta Roy Chowdhury Aug 19, 2018 00:00 IST

Hope versus fear

In a book published in 2007, I wrote that "the world over, the rhetoric of modern democratic politics has been marked by two rather opposed rhetorical styles. The first appeals to hope, to popular aspirations for economic prosperity and social peace. The second appeals to fear, to sectional worries about being worsted or swamped by one's historic enemies."

The cruelty and kindness of time

Thirty-six is hardly a die-able age, to borrow Arundhati Roy's phrase. Particularly for an artist. Ponder, for a moment, what art would have lost if the likes of Monet and Gauguin, Picasso and Mondrian - not to mention da Vinci and Michelangelo - had died before 40. Nikhil Biswas (1930-1966) may not belong among such all-time icons; may not have ripened into a Jamini Roy, perhaps, or even a Raza. But then, who knows where his youthful, sometimes brooding, sometimes exuberant, explorations would have led him?
VISUAL ARTS - Rita Datta Aug 18, 2018 00:00 IST

Impelling force

Peter Brook calls it a 'formless hunch': the impelling force, which could be a smell, an image, a colour or a shadow, that drives one to breathe life into an idea or theme or text. Taraye Taraye, a play directed by Koushik Sen, adapted from Srijato Bandopadhyay's novel, Taarabhora Akasher Neechey, explodes with the strength of such a 'formless hunch' - the conflict between creativity and insanity, the blurred margins between normative reality and alternative reality. This play builds on some vignettes from the life of Vincent van Gogh - portrayed by Anjan Dutta - interspersed with fragments from familiar lives around us.
THEATRE - Debaroti Chakraborty Aug 18, 2018 00:00 IST

Layered images

Photography is as much about skill as it is about being at the right place at the right time. Photographers Moinul Alam and Asma Beethe happened to be in Bangladesh when the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar was at its peak last year. Their chronicling of the unpredictable lives of the refugees was the subject of The Influx Passage (June 25-30) held at Boi-Chitra.
VISUAL ARTS - Srimoyee Bagchi Aug 18, 2018 00:00 IST

In Focus

• The life and works of Achille-Claude Debussy - he was born in August - bear an interesting contradiction. The Frenchman was celebrated as an 'impressionist composer', but Debussy rejected this label wholeheartedly. His opposition to the German musical tradition was equally pronounced. He considered the symphony in its classical form to be obsolete. In terms of style, Debussy leaned elsewhere - towards Russia and the far-east that left an indelible print on his early compositions.
Aug 18, 2018 00:00 IST


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