Manik Sharma

Manik Sharma writes on Arts and Culture.

  • Why Our Fathers and Mothers Cheer for Brazil at the World Cup

    For second-generation Indians, football has existed like a good book, only in translation, with Brazil writing the most musical of sentences and poetic of thought all along. For them, Brazil’s preposterously stylised brand of football is the only version of the game worth watching.

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  • WorldCup We Cheer for Iceland, But Why Are We Clueless About the Rise of Real Kashmir FC?

    This year, the tiny country of Iceland is grabbing headlines for its World Cup debut. And while there’s nothing abhorrent in finding inspiration in Iceland’s rise, it undermines the heroism of teams like Real Kashmir FC, who, despite the modesty of the game in our country, not only dream, but also deliver.

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  • delhimetro Dilli Heart: The Capital’s Endless Romance with the Delhi Metro

    The Delhi Metro’s final stretch connects the city’s two extremities of Noida and Gurgaon. The Metro’s crowning achievement is that it exists at all. It is a reminder that in city where everything and everyone seems to be going the wrong way, the Delhi Metro feels like the only thing going right.

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  • ShailBalaSharma Murder: The Price of Your Hill Station Holiday

    The shooting and murder of Shail Bala Sharma, the Kasauli corporator, has exposed the rotten heart of the mountains. And we – who retreat to the hills every chance we get – are responsible for the corruption hill towns are steeped in. The problem is that our relationship with these pieces of paradise, is all take and no give.

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  • Stop Press! We Need Some Solidarity

    The World Press Freedom Day is a reminder that the one thing missing in our journalistic values is solidarity. Now, in the era of fake news and manufactured misinformation, the media needs to rally together. We need to stand up for each other’s right to speak.

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  • QSQT Papa Kehte Hain: The Anti-Poetic Anthem for the Angsty Soul

    Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which has just completed 30 years, was a first of many firsts. It gave the nation an anthem whose strains we can still hear today. Anand-Milind’s “Papa Kehte Hain” changed the country’s music for good.

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  • selflove Why Self-Love and “Main Apni Favourite Hoon” Should Die

    Our cultural zeitgeist is the closest we have come to an epidemic of self-love. From frantically chasing body types in the gymnasium to manufacturing them on Instagram, the self-image is seminal. But we do little for the mind that suffers every day, except perhaps to bypass that question altogether.

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  • FakeNews The Fake News Factory Must Shut Down: Here’s Where to Begin

    Earlier this week, Narendra Modi withdrew an order from the I&B Ministry proposing to cancel the accreditation of journalists who were spreading fake news. But if we are serious about combating fake news, let’s begin with the IT cells of political parties.

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  • LadyBirdFilm The Predictably Short Flight of Lady Bird

    Greta Gerwig consistently understates the industry she inhabits, and remains herself, howsoever flawed or naïve. There must be a word that defines this lightness of being. Might we call her Lady Bird?

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  • RobertPattinson A Good Time To Be Robert Pattinson

    Pattinson’s live-wire turn as Connie in Good Time – his best showing by some measure – is the most tragic character played on film last year. But does it compare with the two leading contenders for the Best Actor Award at the Oscars?

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  • Gandhi A Modern-Day Guide to Gandhigiri

    How can one fit the Gandhian model to the average Indian millennial? Maybe the next time your Uber driver makes the wrong turn, think before you shout at his human fallibility.

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  • Why Rohith Vemula Will Never Be Forgotten

    How did Rohith Vemula’s death galvanise a movement, strengthen a Dalit voice in the way that so many others could not? What stood out here was that the anger took birth in defeat, in the loss of the promise that a young boy held and the path he walked away from.

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  • Brocode How Men Talk When Women Aren’t Listening

    Not all masculinity is toxic. But there is a sense of ease between two men, because they agree on one thing – the treatment of women. Overtly, and often, through a brotherhood of silence.

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  • NirbhayaDelhiGangaRapeSexualAssaultRapeMenIndia Delhi Gang Rape and the Change We Need in India’s Sons

    After the Dec 16 gang rape, change arrived, but not necessarily in the place it should have. The definition of rape expanded; punishment for sex crimes became harsher. Yet, this was merely a change of equipment. What needed to change was the substance. Not India’s daughters but India’s sons.

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  • ApocalypseNostradamusExtinctionIAmLegendTheRoad Oymyakon and the Apocalypse in the Making

    We’ve been taught by Nostradamus and science fiction alike, that the apocalypse is going to be a cinematic spectacle. But it is unlikely to be an event in the pipeline of history. The apocalypse is simply progression. Just ask the residents of Oymyakon.

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  • CPSurendran India’s Angry Poet and Other Stories

    While CP Surendran’s early work could be seen as the walk away, in his new poems he firmly occupies the inside of the fence, and looks prepared to observe and contemplate.

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  • MadameTussaudsDelhi Behind the Scenes at Delhi’s Madame Tussauds

    Why does one go to a Madame Tussauds at all? The cult of celebrity drives many of us in this country, but what convinces us to spend money to indulge in what I can only explain to myself as necrophilia of the eye?

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  • NirmalVerma Nirmal Verma: Extraordinary Writer of the Ordinary

    It has been 12 years since Nirmal Verma passed away. The novelist did not write characters. He wrote people: The ones who got left behind, the ones who were forgotten by the magnetic narratives of the city.

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  • u17worldcup U-17 World Cup and the Loneliness of Indian Football

    Being a footballer in India is an exercise in loss. It comes burdened with aggressive cynicism. And the U-17 World Cup might match up to the spectacle of the IPL, but I wonder what it will do for the sport.

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  • IndianIndependence The Future Speaks Through Films of Our Past

    SNS Sastry’s 1967 film, I am 20, featuring ordinary Indians hopeful about India’s Independence, seems to belong to the future and asks the question: Might we at least get back the India we already were at some point?

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  • Shimla They Sullied My Shimla

    With the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl, Shimla has collectively lost something – its innocence and sense of calm.

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  • HafizJunaid The Train to Lynchistan

    Violence, of the kind done to Hafiz Junaid, is our reality now. The normalisation of a warring approach to settle imaginary debts we believe are owed to us by history... this is us.

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  • ArundhatiRoyBarkhaDutt Angry Indian Trolls vs “Power Bitches”

    Why do we fear our female public intellectuals like Arundhati Roy? What causes us to direct personalised hostility and abuse toward them?

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  • What Millennials Aren’t Taught About Caste

    Upper-caste millennials grow up cocooned, oblivious to how caste affects those around us, because we never have to confront it. We discount the role it plays in shaping our destinies.

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  • TheSwiftRiseandFallofArvindKejriwal The Swift Rise and Fall of Arvind Kejriwal

    With great hope comes greater disappointment. The Delhi CM’s meteoric rise has been just as speedy as his fall appears to be, if the AAP routing in the MCD elections is any indication.

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  • When Sonu Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

    Sonu Nigam’s story could have been different. But over the years, Sonu Nigam, the flashy star, has effectively overtaken Sonu Nigam, the ethereal singer.

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