The Doomscrolling of J. Alfred Prufrock

The evening is spread out against the sky, and I am spread out on my couch. The bright, wretched gloom of the tube light is no match for my phone, whose glare forms the perpetual backlight to my life. Last night, I had decided that today would be different. But my purpose was drained out of me by morning Zoom classes. Now I lie here, stagnating in the mixture of apathy and stale hope that hangs in the air. Prufrock is back, then. Or rather, he never left. His quivering spirit is everywhere all

On Being Photogenic

My body leaves me behind as she gets up to go read in the balcony. I watch her, gathering her knees up to her chest, letting her hair loose. I watch it cascade past her shoulders, covering just the right amount of her face. She runs her hands through it; every strand is perfect. She would hate to discover me here again, watching her as she goes about her morning. But I cannot help my compulsive need. This is all I’ve been taught to do. I am sitting inside the room, hunched over on a chair, and

Lessons in Paratha-Making

My first lesson in paratha-making was that they go best with tea. I learned it expeditiously, in the Delhi home of a distant aunt. It didn’t take much more convincing than spending a winter’s worth of lunches at her dining table. All the other lessons, however, took longer to master. Obtaining the perfect paratha is entirely contingent on the cook. No expensive pan or divine intervention can salvage the situation if you don’t know how to. I made several mistakes when I was learning – if the doug

Ummeed Ke Naam – Kailash Tandel

“My family is originally from Kore, a village in Palghar, where my grandmother used to sell fish. Decades ago, she came to Mumbai with her six children, and settled here for better business. I’ve always lived in Mumbai, at the Macchimar Nagar at Colaba. I am one of five siblings, and four of us are visually impaired. My father and brother went into the fishing business, which is the primary source of livelihood for our community, the Kolis. Currently, I am an IITB-Monash joint PhD student, doing