Blogging at HuffPost India (+interview)

 HuffPost India runs an extensive blog section and I had to get in. To start it, this week, I have posted an updated version of the blog about Rajnikanth and a community that lives near my home. Next week, something sinister is coming up. Keep a track 🙂

Marketing for my book has taken over my life currently. I’ve been writing and talking, furiously. Nothing fictional, but something that is somewhat more difficult: it’s all about myself, about Cult of Chaos, about Anantya Tantrist, so much that I see friends getting the tired ‘there she goes again’ expression sometimes. But then, I’ve worked on this book for two years and so have to do this for a month or two more, hoping that the books takes off, gets some wings before I sit back in my corner and start writing again. So I got an interview done for a blog Locomente. Here’s a bit of my favourite part.

Tell us something about your kickass tantric heroine – Anantya Tantrist.

Anantya’s a spunky independent girl who lives in Chandni Chowk. She has had a violent, abusive past, but she doesn’t feel like a victim. In fact, she’s quite the opposite. She has shifted to the city recently, but made it her own. Her profession, that of a tantrik detective, is her own choice completely. She has shrugged her father’s patriarchal legacies and the luxurious life she was offered to make it on her own in Delhi. She is not a goody-goody girl in any way. She smokes beedi, spews gaalis, glugs drinks at a seedy bar, and has one-night stands with various species. She lives by her own morality and ethics and doesn’t care two hoots on what the society thinks of her.

Professionally, I think she’s attracted to danger and unsolvable mysteries. She’s quite good at this detective thing she has fallen into. She enjoys being in the centre of action and likes to solve cases and help the underdogs of the supernatural underworld. She hates most of the tantriks around her though.

The complete interview


Lastly, I’ve started a giveaway on Goodreads. I love the way they take complete control. All you have to do is say I have a copy of the book and I will send it to someone by post. As a reader, all you have to do is click and hope that you win the lucky draw.

What about people who don’t fit into your boxes?

In reply to my post on The Problem I have with Census 2011, a Swiss friend who has been married to an Indian friend and living in India for years with her husband and daughter, wrote a blog on her experiences with the census and dealing with daily prejudices. Being a Swiss, resident Indian with a PIO, she has faced it all. Do read it to understand why our government needs to wake up to the fact that people are mobile and not like furniture!

Then there’s a Facebook discussion it triggered. Sharing it here to understand the extent to which everyone is irritated by the Census. Is anyone listening?

  • G Yesss! and also so intrusive and leaves no space for anonymity. It’s like the big daddy watching and knowing everything about your life. HATE IT! Just got my friendly visit this morning!!!! In the name of census, this is how they accumulated data in Gujarat and massacred thousands of Muslims and changed the country forever! Left me feeling so exposed and vulnerable!
  • K They came to our place in Bangalore, and guess what? They didn’t even ask me about the other languages I know. Only the “head of the family”. I don’t think I have been asked my caste in ANY other official context. After a lifetime of answering curious foreigners, “hmm…yeah, I am not a practising anything”, it IS shocking to be asked these details by the government of my ‘own’ country.
  • A Wait till they ask you to enrol into UID .. give away your Picture, both you Iris scans and all ten Fingerprints
  • G Oh and you’ve got to check out the “PSA” for the census and the freakin justification! Please give govt all info so govt can plan and provide for every citizen! WTF! Do a little better than that if you must!
  • A And in case this missed the news .. The National Intelligence Grid – “According to informed sources, the data with 21 agencies and departments of government will now be forwarded to the NatGrid for integration. The data will include Pan car…d, voter ID card and ration card details, income tax returns, degrees obtained from schools and colleges, bank account numbers, financial transactions, travel documents, passport details, police stations and jails across the country among others.” DNA STORY
  • G Welcome to the gameshow! Big Brother’s watching your every move!
  • A Sometimes i wonder if its just a bunch of computer science / IT people od-ing on how cool will it be technically to integrate various data
  • G And marketing the idea to the govt babus to make money for their OD-ing trips! Totally!
  • K The thing that is really scary is that it would require just one inefficient, unscrupulous and/or corrupt babu for all the data to be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes

Blogging with!

I came across this interesting ongoing project called ‘Digital Natives with a Cause’ which is a collaboration of youngsters and internet addicts from across the world and how they are using the online space to change their lives and the lives of those around them. Since I am a curious cat, I wanted in. After persuading Nishant and Hasina, I am in and blogging with the website! Check out my latest post on the blog

Why I fell in love with this project

Submitted by redpixie on Wed, 10/13/2010 – 08:59

Hi Everyone!

I am a new entrant to this website, so thought will introduce myself and the reason I wanted to be here. So desperately that I bugged poor Hasina, pushing constantly at the closed doors of DN (more about tht later) till I could get an elbow or aleast a toe in.

So my toe’s in and I hope to squeeze in completely slow and steady 🙂

I am a writer and a journalist based in Bangalore, India. I got to know abt DN when I did a story of it for Time Out Bengaluru last year. Spoke to Nishant then and fell in love with the project. It was at the back of my mind till the workshops started to happen. I wanted to get in it with a passion that drives vague people who make up and listen to stories.

I dont know what DN still means. And I dont plan to find out. It’s such an academics term! What I plan to do here is hear, listen, talk, chat and learn. Internet and this kind of a get together is such a dynamic space. As a writer, I want to hear different voices, try out new things, new perspectives, different cultures…different ways people express emotions, connect to internet, the idea of their space…you get the drift.

Most of the times, all I get to hear are voices of elders, respectable adults, authority and people who know what they are saying and what they want us to do. It is in spaces like these where one can hear uncertainly, the feeling of getting lost, of searching or just ambling along sheer darkness, of inguenity, of illogical ideas which work.

To read the complete post, click here.