Weekend Reads

  1. “From 300 cartons of soaps per month, orders have dropped to 30 cartons in August.” Sayantan Bera travels through Madhya Pradesh for Mint to get a sense of how deeply the economic slowdown is affecting the lives of ordinary people.
  2. “Unlike the Emergency, the courts have not upheld the government’s actions — so far. What they have done is dodged, ducked, evaded, and adjourned.” Gautam Bhatia, in the Hindu, says that the judiciary has been absent even as important questions of civil liberties emerged in Kashmir.
  3. “We were last at our house in August 1989, and it is now a pile of rubble, I think. The roof was burned off by militants, and snow seeped in to dissolve the rest.” Priyanka Mattoo writes in the New York Times about the Kashmir she once new, and how she remembers it today.
  4. “Kutty’s early years in Pakistan are a window into a country that’s barely recognisable in the present-day din of hypernationalism and jingoism on both sides of the border.” Uma Vishnu writes in the Indian Express about a young teenager from Kerala who in 1949 decided to move to Pakistan.
  5. “I don’t know what the internal workings in the Finance Ministry that took place to come up with the number, but you know am sure that the estimates that they had would have been lower.” Akshay Deshmane speaks to Pronab Sen in the HuffPost about unreasonable economic expectations from the government, and the state of the economy.
  6. “In 2002, the spy case, one of the longest criminal trials involving the Official Secrets Act, eventually saw 12 former staff members in the PMO and Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretariat being sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.” Mahender Singh Manral in the Indian Express writes about the spy Coomar Narain and his step-son, putting together a fascinating story about spies and crime.
  7. “I got this vibe here that it is a place where people still live, so it won’t be trashed like districts where people come just to eat and shop.” Sohini Chattopadhyay writes in Mint about Hindustan Park, a neighbourhood in Kolkata which transition from a middle-class area to a hipster zone.
  8. “How could two humans – seated for hours, exerting themselves in no greater manner than intermittently extending their arms a foot at a time – face physical demands?
    Still, the evidence overwhelms.” Aishwarya Kumar writes on ESPN.com about losing kilos of weight while seated during a game of chess.
  9. “All-out war on climate change made sense only as long as it was winnable. Once you accept that we’ve lost it, other kinds of action take on greater meaning.” This much talked-about (and criticised) essay from Jonathan Franzen in the New Yorker advocates a completely different approach to climate change.
  10. “When we vilify women... for lacking authenticity, perhaps what we are really raging about is the desire for a world where women have permission to live more authentically.” Nayomi Reghay writes in Vox about Caroline Calloway an Instagram personality who was also much discussed this week, because of this piece in the Cut.