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Sreemoyee Piu Kundu
Saturday , November 23, 2013

The Tehelka tales: Whose privacy is it anyway?

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This blog is about Tehelka. And Tarun Tejpal. But it doesn't begin there. A few weeks ago at my urban, upmarket South Delhi gym one afternoon, I was witness to an occurrence of what perhaps I can only describe as an act of 'sexual harassment.' A young, personal trainer leaned in closer than usual to a middle-aged lady on her treadmill, singing lewd songs in her face and clearly trying to 'act fresh.' The lady looked away at first, smiling shyly and perhaps being polite, hoping as most women am sure do at first, in such trying circumstances that the man in question would get the hint/let go/leave her alone. After he had finally departed from the scene, she confided in me, perhaps completely desperate by then saying that this was a usual ritual for the trainer in question, who had even gone to the extent of telling her once....

Thursday , May 30, 2013

RIP Rituparno Ghosh...

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'I DON'T WANT TO BECOME A WOMAN...' RIP Rituparno Ghosh - a man who stood inbetween the sexes... defiantly. My first novel 'Faraway Music' was launched in January this year. In my first ever interview, a journalist asked me about the recent trend of books getting transformed into films, and which Bollywood director I'd pick, if indeed I could have a wish list. I remember I laughed, saying, 'Only Rituparno,' to which the lady on the other end of the line laughed saying, 'Spoken like a true blooded Bengali.' I smiled. In Bangalore, a month or so back, a journalist again raised the same question. And my reply remained consistent to which he added, 'But why only a Bengali director? As in isn't someone like Karan Johar perhaps more lucrative or an Anurag Kashyap?' I remember what I had said, and his answer too. 'Have....

Thursday , May 09, 2013

Out of the closet with K Jo

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I'm not writing this piece as an angry blogger or a highbrowed ex-Lifestyle editor or an author. I am here tonight to tell you all a little secret. Something personal - though I was forewarned about, on this portal before I came on, that the blogs here must say something larger, something more topical, connected to a larger social cause or be about expressing an honest opinion. But, what the hell, I've paid my dues; I've acted the part... I've been good all this while, right, and bloody angry on some occasions? I even recall using a few cuss words in a few of my earlier pieces (God don't you just love swearing, someday I'm going to try my hand at some nice-sounding Bengali slang!) Okay, so why exactly am I messing with your head here, you're probably wandering? So, I'll get down to the point now.....

Tuesday , April 16, 2013

From a Delhi street brawl to the Boston blasts, 'Up Yours' all the way

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It was perfect. Everything. On a day, like yesterday. It was also my New Year. Bengali New Year that is. I was wearing a brand new blue chiffon dress and my new retro reading glasses. I was calm. I had just finished my fourth book. I could even be called happy. We were out. On our way to India Gate. In my car. It was my idea. To take my house helps for a long drive and some ice-cream at night - to say thank you to them for selflessly working in my household all year long. There were four of us. Driver included. And little Geru - my cook's four-year-old who sat in front, perched on my lap, looking resplendent in her bright, pink kurta and printed patiala. Suddenly looking more grown up. Talking about her new school. Her new life. The radio was....

Friday , March 08, 2013

International Women's Day: 'Badi aayi Kareena Kapoor!'

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It's weird being a woman. Today. It's odd to have to constantly defend what you stand for - to have to play the part - the one that is not necessarily just defined by your sexual delineation. To have to chose between 'freedoms' - of myriad kinds - the one in your kitchen, the one in your cubicle, the one in your bedroom, the one in a movie hall, the one in the mall - the one in your head. It's confusing to be a woman today. Spoilt for choices - so you can learn kickboxing instead of Kathakali, date a bunch of guys before settling down or chose to remain single, so 30 is mostly a statistic, so you can have a whole of sex, even after marriage, get pissed drunk on Wednesdays, chat up a guy atop a fancy rooftop bar, somewhere. Anywhere... So you....

Monday , January 21, 2013

Rahul Gandhi in Arabic

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I'm a political escapist. A modern day cynic. On most days I'm just like one of you - cursing India. Calling her names. Standing in a haphazard queue at the Passport office or watching a man drop his trousers in Kolkata in front of my ancestral home, pee in full public view. Despite the warning - the repeated reminders. 'Yahan par pishaap karna mana hain.' In Hindi. Our Rashtriya Bhasha. Every time a rule gets flouted. Every time a cop lowers his face and squints his eyes. More than once hinting surreptitiously at a bribe. Every time a woman is checked out. By a bunch of hairy men. In a discolored bus somewhere. The same bus that overtook a car. Anywhere. Here. In this damn country, I say. I curse. I raise my middle finger. And so I don't know why I did the following.....

Monday , December 24, 2012

'Nice Boobs'

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This is personal. It has to be. It must. This is the truth. It's plain and simple. The way all truths are structured at the core, sans excuses. This is painful. Not anger. Just the pain... the kinds you feel when the anger dies. Somewhere, after the sense of shame. Somewhere towards the end...a dark, closed ball of rage. The kinds that you see every night. Eyes shut. Lips pursed tight. Lines appearing on your forehead... before they disappear. I was around twelve. I had my periods early. Or so I was told. I never asked whether that was common. If girls my age bled for four days, clutching their stomachs, writhing in pain, sitting out at the school basketball tournament, walking cross-legged, slinging their heavy satchels over their backsides, hoping to hide a faded blotch of redness. I don't remember much else. Except that we were....

Thursday , September 27, 2012

Season of scams!

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My mother said the most bizarre thing to me this afternoon over a very elaborate Bengali lunch. Claiming she had read it in the papers. 'Is the Cabinet Reshuffle now being postponed?' was the question from my end that precipitated her reply. 'The Shradh is on, so it's not an auspicious time,' she replied sucking on a fish bone. I laughed. 'What Shradh?' I retorted, laughing off her simplistic deductions. 'It's a religious thing, in North India people believe it staunchly, it's not a good time, I mean if one is going by the almanac,' she added, staring diffidently at me. Is this for real? Or was my mother mouthing a dialogue from one of the many multi-colored serials that she religiously watches. Stuff that I label 'regressive.' How else can she say what she just said? I mean, c'mon....

Tuesday , September 11, 2012

We The People!

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I was at an upmarket South Delhi mall this evening. Waiting for my car. To my right, a young child wailed in his mother's arms, a young lover whispered sweet nothings in front, sometimes breaking out into a delicious giggle, covering their mouths, a group of youngsters gawked at a plush store window, their constantchatter overpowering the din wafting in from inside. My driver was caught in a bad traffic, another ten minutes he informed apologetically as I stared impatiently at the bystanders in and around. That's how I noticed. That's when to be more precise. More youngsters had joined in the first lot of youngsters, more young ladies this time. And no, they weren't admiring the clothes on the mannequin this time around, instead they seemed to be engaged in an animated conversation, reading and distributing some kind of pamphlet - albeit crude, with scribbles....

Thursday , August 30, 2012

Kasab Qatar Mein Hain....

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I was at a South Delhi cafe this evening where I happened to over hear a rather animated conversation between a group of youngsters glued to the slim LCD monitor that flickered overhead. 'This Kasab'sa real dude man, he looks so young and still,' paused a twenty-something man with gelled hair and a pierced eyebrow as the girl sitting next to him added, "Imagine brutally killing so many people, and then cooling your heels in prison, gorging on State funded biryani, f*** this happens only in India." "You're lucky you're pushing off to US soon, pays to be a businessman's only daughter. At least you are in a country with balls. Osama ki dhajiya udha diya saalo ne, and look at us... took us years to even get a bloody Court verdict! F******* Indians," another young man with green eyes, clad in khaki shorts interrupted, wrapping his....


More about Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

Sreemoyee Piu Kundu is the author of 'Faraway Music' just out from Hachette India. Her next offering is an erotica 'Sita's Curse', followed by a lad lit 'You’ve Got the Wrong Girl' being published by Hachette. An ex lifestyle Editor with publications like TOI, MetroNow, India Today & Asian Age and PR head, she’s currently working on her fourth title – 'Cut!' Based in New Delhi, Sreemoyee calls herself a 'rebel romantic’ whose writing helps her discover ‘music in the mundane.’ She is an intrepid traveler, an incurable fashionista and an avid poet too.


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