By JASON KEITH FERNANDES
Not too long ago, the décor of a recently-opened pub caused a ruckus in the city of Bombay. Styled “Goregaon Social”, the interiors of the pub made plentiful references to the Gothic aesthetic that marked a significant phase of Western European Christianity, and the neo-Gothic which has an intimate history with the city of Bombay. They included stained glass panels with the figures of Catholic saints, Gothic-styled pews for clients to sit on, and a variety of other paraphernalia that clearly references Catholic worship.
By AMITA KANEKAR
It seems to be Achche Din for attacks on the citizen, economic as well as social, open as well as insidious. The open one is of course the demonetisation of currency. In 50 days there will be a new India, claims the Prime Minister; the ATMs will take 21 days to function normally, say the banks. Such is the gap between the hot air spouted by our leaders, and the situation that is actually killing people on the ground. Enough people—including even the BJP itself in its earlier avatar as opposition to the Congress government’s small demonetisation attempt—have pointed out that demonetisation never fulfils its purported aim of attacking the black economy; what it does do however is to attack the poor. The real aims of demonetisation are reported to be actually something else: to provide a shot of income to banks that were critically in the red, and also to upset the cash calculations of other parties for the oncoming elections.
By ROBERT S. NEWMAN
I’ve always liked Indian pudding. This is a sweet cornmeal dessert often served with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. It does not hail from the subcontinent, but rather descends from Native American cuisine. I also like bagels, originally from Eastern Europe, but am not a great fan of pizza, from Italy or of American Chinese food, though it has its moments. “Soul food” is just another term for African-derived cooking, found throughout the South and often beyond. American food encompasses a lot more, including tacos and burritos, clam chowder, apple pie, and of course hamburgers and hotdogs. When people eat any of these items, do they think in some hyphenated way as in “Italian-American”, “Chinese-American” ? No, I would argue, they don’t categorize their food very often, they just eat it. If they think about it at all, they would think, “Yes, I’m American so I eat American food. All those things are what we eat.”
By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA
The deals that Governments sign with foreign dealers or countries often receive little popular attention because a number of us assume that it does not have any impact on our lives. The reality, however, is that it is more than just a deal between two countries. These deals can, in fact, have a profound bearing on people’s lives.