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Meet Pande Baba [पाँड़े बाबा ], gunslinger/teacher/student: 1980s Bihar through a biography

By Dev N Pathak Life options: double-edged choices! The former Vice-President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma was stunned to hear the speech of a class six boy named Mukund Mani Pandey, at Mawlankar Hall in New Delhi (India). The boy was taken to Dr. Sahrma after the ovation thinned. Dr. Sharma exclaimed, ‘well done my boy! Where are you from?’ The boy said, ‘ I am from Vatayan school’. A perplexed Dr. Sharma asked, ‘I have never heard of this school! Where is it?’ The boy answered with a swelling chest, ‘it is as small a school as me in a small town called Siwan in a big state... 

about the biography of Center for the Study of Social Systems, JNU…

By Dev N Pathak JNU: a classroom! The irony of our times is not that we do not know; it is that we refuse to reckon with all we know! Following the norm of institutional narcissism, for which the sociologists of education have critiqued elite schools aplenty, the Center for the Study of Social Systems (CSSS) celebrated fortieth year of its existence. And it was done through a three day long conference titled ‘Sociology Matters (predicate is not important). A conference, though, with only panel discussions and symposia! Yes, some sprinkling of art and culture here and there which either seemed... 

Art of Politics and Politics of Art in Sri Lanka: reasons to rediscover South Asia

  By Dev N Pathak   Anura, ‘Invasion’ (Photo by Dev Pathak) ‘The State had us believe that it was celestial violence, it was divine providence; and we feel sick that we believed in state-sponsored ideas; now we are patients with disease’, says Jagath Weerasinghe, the eminent artist and archeologist from Sri Lanka, while he takes the viewers on a tour of his work at Espace Gallery, in New Delhi on 10 December 2012.The exhibition of the contemporary visual art from Sri Lanka titled ‘Narratives of Resistance’ is literal as well as metaphorical. Jagath’s work titled ‘Soldier’... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – Connecting South Asia via Sri Lanka

Dev N Pathak By Dev Nath Pathak  Artists, Art Historians, Archeologists and such creatures with self-centered behavior are rarely inclined to talk to sociologists and anthropologists. Certainly not if the latter ask unsettling questions and raise doubts over the fixed categories! For, nobody except the social scientists seem to wish to leave their comfort zone. Even the majority of social scientists would only choose to be rocked in a comfortable armchair rather than a dialogue with other disciplines. But then, Sri Lanka is a tropical land with immense fertility even if the low population presence... 

हाय!हयात

Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB हाय!हयात By Dev Nath Pathak मानसून की बेवफाई से इस साल एक मामूली सा हादसा ये होगा कि बियर बहुत बिकेगा बियर बेली बहुत बढेगा काली कोक और पीली माज़ा भी बिकेंगी शेक में थोडा सा बेचारा आम होगा किसी का मुनाफा और किसी का नुकसान होगा और... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – Chhuk – chhuk chhuk – chhuk Inequality: true face of Indian (Bihar) Railways

  Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB Chhuk – chhuk chhuk – chhuk Inequality: true face of Indian (Bihar) Railways By Dev Nath Pathak Bihar Sampark Kranti superfast express is a train of dubious distinction. In the folklore of Maithil travellers this train has a ‘good’ reputation of efficiently connecting the northeastern town Darbhanga with the metropolis Delhi. Known for its punctuality and sincerity this train often has the berths reserved nearly three months in advance from the date of journey round the year.It came in existence at the time when the previously famous... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – Gangs of Waaseypur: a drain inspector’s movie?

Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB Gangs of Waaseypur: a drain inspector’s movie? By Dev Nath Pathak The filmography of Anurag Kashyap cinema presents a case for critical study. In a short time of twelve years, starting with a short film Last Train to Mahakali in 1999, with an unreleased controversial Paanch (The Five, 2003), coming to notice with his first full length feature film Black Friday (2004), Kashyap could manage to direct over half a dozen films which earned critics’ rave reviews. In the meantime he wrote scripts for some of the noted Ram Gopal Verma films such as Satya... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – Screaming the hell out against ‘the channels of communication’!

Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB Screaming the hell out against ‘the channels of communication’! By Dev Nath Pathak It is difficult to find a place in this city where one can scream one’s head off in peace. Scream at what? Well, the phone calls that come at odd hours; sometimes very early in the morning when I am just about to have the first sip of my first cuppa tea of the day or it may be exactly at a time when I am deep in the middle of something excessively important at work. Sometimes my phone begins to buzz right when I am brooding over the most beautiful woman in my life.... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – In delirium:Thank you heat stroke, for respite from the popular crap!

Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB In delirium: Thank you heat stroke, for respite from the popular crap!  By Dev Nath Pathak The scorching heat of Delhi could be a blessing in disguise. When the mercury rises, the streets become a predictable site of delirious violence. Diseases are distributed evenly – mosquitoes bite indiscriminately, and the heat wave affects anybody who takes to the road unprotected, whether rich or poor. But the interesting part about heat strokes is the syndrome of road-rage. The raging heat could make you pull out your gun and shoot the man at the wheel... 

Dear home: Letters from an NRB – A Bihari in Male refuses to be ‘a paranoid Tourist’

Dev N Pathak Dear home: Letters from an NRB A Bihari in Male refuses to be ‘a paranoid Tourist’ By Dev Nath Pathak In the dead of night when I disembarked the flight number UL…(let it be)… of Srilankan airlines, distraught at the unsettling services on board by the crew members (a case with most of the airline services in South Asia, especially in India), I was welcomed by a gust of musty wind. The airport, as clumsy as Patna airport, with a due humility of the localized ambience, soothed me further. With a bit of difficulty in convincing the customs officer that there is something... 
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