Some years ago I was struck by the contrast between the beauty of Hindi film heroines and the ugliness of Hindi film heroes. After researching the matter I concluded that the explanation was straightforward: leading men in Hindi films were ugly because they were Indian men and Indian men were measurably uglier than Indian women ... While my observation was accurate and theSome years ago I was struck by the contrast between the beauty of Hindi film heroines and the ugliness of Hindi film heroes. After researching the matter I concluded that the explanation was straightforward: leading men in Hindi films were ugly because they were Indian men and Indian men were measurably uglier than Indian women ... While my observation was accurate and the data I had gathered reliable, I made the mistake of attributing the ugliness of the Indian male to nature. I know now that Indian men aren’t born ugly: they achieve ugliness through practice. It is their habits and routines that make them ugly. If I was to be schematic, I’d argue that Indian men are ugly on account of the three Hs: hygiene, hair, and horrible habits ... Why are Indian men like this? How do they achieve the bullet-proof unselfconsciousness that allows them to be so abandonedly ugly? I think it comes from a sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child that grows up in an Indian household. That, and the not unimportant fact that, despite the way they look, they’re always paired off with good-looking women.’ ...
|Title||:||The Ugliness of the Indian Male and other propositions|
|Number of Pages||:||301 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Ugliness of the Indian Male and other propositions Reviews
Examine the nails of any Indian man: the cuticles will be yellow with haldi and the underside of the bitten-off tip will be spotty with accumulated dirt. When you think of where they put those nails, this is not surprising. I’ve seen respectable men conducting conversations with their index fingers two-digits deep in their nostrils, digging with industrial enthusiasm. If you ever see a desi man delicately rubbing the tip of his index finger over the pad of his thumb, beware. Don’t go near him: he’s rolling the bogies he’s mined into little balls.Pitch-perfect, squirm-inducing descriptions of the Indian male apart (Indian men aren’t born ugly: they achieve ugliness through practice), this anthology of essays and columns straddles the diverse planes of cinema, books, travel and politics. Kesavan’s powers of observation are keen and unsparing, his insights sharp and intuitive, his delivery witty and sure. It’s a recipe for devouration (which seems to be an actual word).There’s a plausible history of Congress Nationalism that is both unsparing and redeeming, a stout defence of Indian Secularism that is a separate bookella (not an actual word this time) of its own (Secular Common Sense), and a theory that attributes India’s atrocities within its own borders (Kashmir, the North East, and now in the jungles of Central India) to the anti-colonial struggle. Documentaries, Georgette Heyer’s Jews, French Secularism and Eric Hobswawm also come under his scanner. The only thing that’s conspicuous by its absence is cricket – Kesavan’s column on commentary without context (http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140703...) is proof that this book would have been the richer with a healthy helping of his essays on the sport.Bonus Read - The title essay of this book: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070809...4.5 Stars. Read in October 2015
Someone opened the lid of a pressure cooker and Mukul Kesavan just burst out writing. Social commentary in a short article is something he does regularly (he still writes a column for Telegraph, India) and his comfort with mixing wit and sharp observations shines through. You will be done with his short pieces in one sitting - partly because they are short but mostly because they are damn funny. The two longish pieces in this collection would require a more patient reading. The one on Indian (Congress) Nationalism has a clear goal of correcting school textbook-ish narratives and offering a more plausible account of the Congress years of the anti-colonial movement. Outside of dedicated books on history, this is one of the best such articles I know of.The second one on "Secular Common Sense" is more of a collection (part rambling) of thoughts without any coherent direction. But, I will count this to his credit. The issues surrounding religion, caste and their role in politics in India are truly complex. Rambling out in the open is certainly an important part of grappling with them.
Mukul Kesavan is one the better Thinkers we have. His Book is like a Salad Bowl - good in parts that you like. In a collection of 20 Odd Essays, some are bound to impress you while others you may find hard to agree with. The last Essay - Secular Common Sense, is the longest as well as the best in my opinion. Mukul Kesavan's depth of knowledge on subjects he chooses is unquestionable. Some of the facts that he reveals with his detailed research are truly stunning. But when he gets into realms of opinion and his beliefs, you can't agree with everything he says. The essay named - "Veiled Insinuations", is a case in point. Some will completely agree with Kesavan while others may vehemently oppose his views. But even if you don't agree with him, his moderate and inclusive style ensures that you see why his beliefs carry weight. The Travel essays are enjoyable read too.
I loved this one! Kesavan's voice is steeped in an Indian cynicism, rooted in disregard for the status quo and is refreshing. His perspective on how Cinema has shaped the modern Indian psyche an vice-versa and particularly, the links between Urdu and Hindi cinema made the entire book worth its weight in gold.
This book is a collection of Mukul Kesavan’s essays on topics ranging from Indian men, to Bollywood, to linguistics, to politics, religion, cricket, travelogues. What sets him apart as a columnist in today’s age is his knack of maintaining his vitriolic & sarcastic style consistently in all his essays. He presents his arguments on the most sensitive and critical topics with utmost clarity.
The title is the provocative tilt to this collection of 37 essays ranging across political, social and observational writings. The title gives that wit is the style across and moderate secular views is the substance. I personally haven't read all the essays though the ones i sat through were easy read. The opinions may not be agreeable but as they say humour in prose makes for certain agreeableness only if in giving a hear. The ones i enjoyed reading dealt with Konkana Sen, secularism, documentaries and the travel writings especially Istanbul. A good set of commentaries that one can sit with on a Saturday afternoon if watching TV re-runs and siesta is not an option.
Strong opinions, strongly held. Some of them correct, many of them not. Some amusing, others obnoxious.
An amazing read; especially, the essays about the 'Ugliness of Indian Men'