Madhusree Ghosh

Madhusree is a feature writer who loves Kolkata, is learning to love Mumbai. She loves to travel, write and bake

Articles by Madhusree Ghosh

From film to book, Devashish Makhija’s Oonga is a moral with a story

The 2013 film — about a young Adivasi boy’s bid to see good win over evil in his village — received critical acclaim around the world, but never had a commercial release in India. Now, Makhija has turned the story into a young adult novel of the same name, hoping it will finally be heard.
Oonga (played by Raju Singh in the film) becomes obsessed with local stagings of the Ramayana. If good is destined to win against evil, he reasons, couldn’t he harness it and save his village from losing land to industrialisation and lives to the conflict between Naxals and government forces?
Oonga (played by Raju Singh in the film) becomes obsessed with local stagings of the Ramayana. If good is destined to win against evil, he reasons, couldn’t he harness it and save his village from losing land to industrialisation and lives to the conflict between Naxals and government forces?
Updated on Jun 18, 2021 10:16 PM IST
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In India’s YA fantasy fiction space, it’s a pitched battle for page views

The stories are there. The readers, too. But Indian writers aren’t getting the kind of aggressive promotion that draws youngsters to fantasy fiction from the West.
 (Photo-imaging: Malay Karmakar)
(Photo-imaging: Malay Karmakar)
Updated on Jun 05, 2021 12:03 PM IST
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Boy wizards to queer princesses, how young adult fantasy fiction is changing

Twenty years after the release of the first Harry Potter film, the genre has gone beyond cauldrons and spells to include gender fluidity, heroines of colour, address racism and violence against women. Meet authors from the subcontinent creating new worlds and see how they ply their craft.
 (Photo-imaging: Malay Karmakar)
(Photo-imaging: Malay Karmakar)
Updated on Jun 05, 2021 12:06 PM IST
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Meet the Barbie doll staging feminist protests at museums and art galleries

Professor Sarah Williamson of the UK uses her ‘Art Activist Barbie’ to hit out at the objectification of women, and the lack of works by women on display.
Refuse to be the muse, says a Twitter post by Art Activist Barbie in April 2020. Williamson says she likes to highlight the fact that when women do make it to canvas, they tend to be forced into passive, peaceable or useful roles — sewing, mending, smiling, reading or, of course, in the nude.
Refuse to be the muse, says a Twitter post by Art Activist Barbie in April 2020. Williamson says she likes to highlight the fact that when women do make it to canvas, they tend to be forced into passive, peaceable or useful roles — sewing, mending, smiling, reading or, of course, in the nude.
Updated on May 28, 2021 05:00 PM IST
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From Mumbai to the Marvel cineverse: The unusual journey of actor Harish Patel

How did he go from garment exports to Shyam Benegal films, Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre and now the MCU? Loads of luck, Patel says with a laugh. But it’s his talent that’s had filmmakers and viewers hooked for decades
 (Satish Bate / HT Photo)
(Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Updated on May 17, 2021 03:52 PM IST
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How to cope with compassion fatigue

It’s defined as a sense of emotional exhaustion triggered by a widespread period of distress. It’s not callousness. And it’s not just you.
 (HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
(HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
Updated on May 07, 2021 08:16 PM IST
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ASMR on request: When you’re hooked on a feeling, they step in

As more people identify the specific sounds that give them a thrill or ease their stress — a phenomenon called autonomous sensory meridian response or ASMR — they are turning to social media to ask for whispers, Velcro, brushing or scratching.
Vaiva Ignataviciute, 25, a web developer from Denmark performs scratching sounds for a client. With video, she charges a minimum of $30 per 10 minutes.
Vaiva Ignataviciute, 25, a web developer from Denmark performs scratching sounds for a client. With video, she charges a minimum of $30 per 10 minutes.
Published on Apr 09, 2021 07:54 PM IST
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The millionaires club: 10 young Instagrammers discuss living with 1 mn followers

Freebies, perks, an unrelenting pressure to perform, occasional but crippling self-doubt — see how they got to where they are, and what it takes to stay there.
Ten non-celebrity Instagrammers — Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchlani, Prajakta Koli, Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha and Niyati Mavinkurve, Niharika NM, Sanjyot Keer, Ranveer Allahbadia, Dolly Singh, Shaaz Jung and Meghna Kamdar — talk about the ups, downs and non-stop hamster wheel. (HT Illustration: Malay Karmakar)
Ten non-celebrity Instagrammers — Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchlani, Prajakta Koli, Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha and Niyati Mavinkurve, Niharika NM, Sanjyot Keer, Ranveer Allahbadia, Dolly Singh, Shaaz Jung and Meghna Kamdar — talk about the ups, downs and non-stop hamster wheel. (HT Illustration: Malay Karmakar)
Updated on Apr 03, 2021 06:13 PM IST
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Draw, dance, dream: The stereotype-busting newsletter for boys

In his newest project, activist Rajat Mittal — co-founder of Menstrupedia — tells the story of men who defied restrictive gender norms to find joy.
Episode 3, released in March, was about Zumba instructor Mohsin Syed. After it was released, a lot of people reached out, he says. ‘My mom, who is very orthodox, reached out and said she was proud of me. That was my best gift.’ (Illustration: Ajin Mohan)
Episode 3, released in March, was about Zumba instructor Mohsin Syed. After it was released, a lot of people reached out, he says. ‘My mom, who is very orthodox, reached out and said she was proud of me. That was my best gift.’ (Illustration: Ajin Mohan)
Updated on Mar 27, 2021 01:23 PM IST
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All together now: How team-building is changing in the pandemic

It’s been hard even for the experts to navigate the new anxieties and questions, learn how to tackle the isolation. Here’s a look at new hacks and programmes that they say are starting to work.
 (HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
(HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
Updated on Mar 27, 2021 01:29 PM IST
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Helping a star to shine: Meet the woman who lit up Mumbai’s Rajabai clock tower

We decided to go for subtle revelation rather than dramatic effect, says lighting designer Kanchan Puri. The approach worked. The iconic tower now stands bathed in gentle gold, each detail seemingly illuminated.
When Puri was approached to light up the tower — a heritage gem visible for miles, its façade an intricate collection of niches, arches and curves — she says she knew it would be her firm’s biggest challenge yet. (Photo Courtesy SNK)
When Puri was approached to light up the tower — a heritage gem visible for miles, its façade an intricate collection of niches, arches and curves — she says she knew it would be her firm’s biggest challenge yet. (Photo Courtesy SNK)
Updated on Mar 14, 2021 06:25 AM IST
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Meet the composer creating a crowdsourced soundmap of the world in lockdown

Frogs croak on city streets, birdsong is audible, the public announcements have all changed. “I want it to be like a museum. Because in 10 years’ time we will all be looking back on Covid in a different way,” says Pete Stollery of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Stollery’s aural archive on Google Earth includes sound clips taken on the streets, in hospitals, at deserted airports. This one features a group chanting, and was taken by the sender during a solitary walk along the A1198 underpass in the UK. (Maps Data: Google, ã2021)
Stollery’s aural archive on Google Earth includes sound clips taken on the streets, in hospitals, at deserted airports. This one features a group chanting, and was taken by the sender during a solitary walk along the A1198 underpass in the UK. (Maps Data: Google, ã2021)
Published on Mar 12, 2021 06:26 PM IST
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Meet the young inheritors of the Sindhi legacy, with Saaz Aggarwal

The author’s new anthology, Sindhi Tapestry, features young people from around the world who have interpreted their identity in different ways, while acknowledging a shared history.
This pre-wedding celebration in Mumbai is one of many moments that capture contemporary Sindhi life in India. The community that moved to India from Pakistan after Partition has spoken of horrors and resilience. (IMAGE COURTESY SMRITI NOTANI)
This pre-wedding celebration in Mumbai is one of many moments that capture contemporary Sindhi life in India. The community that moved to India from Pakistan after Partition has spoken of horrors and resilience. (IMAGE COURTESY SMRITI NOTANI)
Updated on Mar 08, 2021 06:08 PM IST
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Up in the air: The future of travel

It will be years before we jet about again, as we used to. But closer to home, new kinds of experiences are already taking shape.
Demand is growing for tree-houses and boathouses as people seek to isolate better while on holiday, says Airbnb.
Demand is growing for tree-houses and boathouses as people seek to isolate better while on holiday, says Airbnb.
Updated on Mar 06, 2021 03:59 PM IST
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How pandemic redefined happiness

If you are happy and you know it…it’s probably because the past months have made you re-examine what really brings joy, and what was just superfluous noise
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)
Published on Feb 26, 2021 09:39 PM IST
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India from the front seat: A project to record lockdown tales

Two men, a car and an epic journey across a nation in lockdown. Siddhartha Dutta and Ahmer Siddiqui’s Road Ashram project offers a firsthand look at how we suffered and survived through the pandemic
Ahmer Siddiqui and Siddhartha Dutta travelled across 30 states over 77 days, starting from first week of October 2020 to bring attention to the humanitarian crises resulting from Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns.
Ahmer Siddiqui and Siddhartha Dutta travelled across 30 states over 77 days, starting from first week of October 2020 to bring attention to the humanitarian crises resulting from Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns.
Published on Feb 26, 2021 09:20 PM IST
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Politically correct! Teaching English with a twist

Madri Kakoti, a linguistics professor, draws on current affairs to teach grammar in her social media posts.
“I decided I would raise my voice through my skill in teaching the English language,” Kakoti says.
“I decided I would raise my voice through my skill in teaching the English language,” Kakoti says.
Published on Feb 19, 2021 08:49 PM IST
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In fitness and in health: Tech offers a doomsday alternative

To what extent can the digital world make up for the real, when it comes to fitness, and what are the downsides? Take a look.
 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 21, 2021 07:10 AM IST
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A world of worry: Inside the industry anxiety boom

Apps, games, stickers and web series are rushing to help you relax. But can you buy your way out of the sense of dread?
 (HT Illustration: jayachandran)
(HT Illustration: jayachandran)
Updated on Feb 21, 2021 07:12 AM IST
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In a different key: Meet the Boston Typewriter Orchestra

They create music (as well as comedy and satire) by jabbing away at old-school, mechanical typewriters. The group performs live, and even has three albums out.
Members of the Boston Typewriter Orchestra get ready to jam without paper jams.
Members of the Boston Typewriter Orchestra get ready to jam without paper jams.
Updated on Feb 14, 2021 07:46 PM IST
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Unchained melody: AR Rahman discusses his new platform, maajja

The Oscar-winning music composer behind classics such as Dil Se and Jai Ho is extending a hand to independent musicians, with an initiative that promises global reach to a new generation of voices.
Unchained melody: AR Rahman discusses his new platform, maajja
Unchained melody: AR Rahman discusses his new platform, maajja
Updated on Feb 07, 2021 06:42 AM IST
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A canal, a school, 200 toilets: Actor Rajshri Deshpande’s new double role

Deshpande has been spending part of her time in drought-prone rural Maharashtra, helping rebuild in a village called Pandhari. “My father was a cotton farmer and I can never forget his struggle,” she says.
Rajshri Deshpande with the children of Pandhari. She helped rebuild the crumbling local zilla parishad school and has set up a sewing centre for women in a neighbouring village too. She continues to work as an actor. “I want to continue doing memorable things in both worlds,” she says.
Rajshri Deshpande with the children of Pandhari. She helped rebuild the crumbling local zilla parishad school and has set up a sewing centre for women in a neighbouring village too. She continues to work as an actor. “I want to continue doing memorable things in both worlds,” she says.
Updated on Jan 29, 2021 06:35 PM IST
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Loads to Carrie: Can Sex and the City’s second coming be better than its first?

It’s been 17 years and the world has changed in ways that can’t be ignored. The long-promised reboot — And Just Like That... — will need more people of colour, more opinion, more shades of the rainbow.
 (HT illustration: Monica Gupta)
(HT illustration: Monica Gupta)
Updated on Jan 29, 2021 02:16 PM IST
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Wheels of fortune: How one cycle shop fared during a long and winding year

Business stalled, then restarted with a bang. Mumbai’s iconic Happy Cycle Shop, a stone’s throw from Gateway of India and smack in heart of the Colaba tourist district, has had a ringside view of how the city coped in the pandemic.
“Whether it’s a toddler getting on their first bike or an office-goer getting back on a cycle after decades, I am always happy to see it,” says Abdul Hamid Khan of Mumbai’s iconic Happy Cycle Shop. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT)
“Whether it’s a toddler getting on their first bike or an office-goer getting back on a cycle after decades, I am always happy to see it,” says Abdul Hamid Khan of Mumbai’s iconic Happy Cycle Shop. (Anshuman Poyrekar / HT)
Updated on Jan 24, 2021 06:37 AM IST
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What the next few seasons will look like for the fashion industry

Overnight, the buying stopped. Covid-19 altered silhouettes and buying patterns too. What is the way forward? A return to the classics, conscious creation and relaxed silhouettes, designers say.
Designers have been rethinking their collections. Above, a printed jumpsuit with relaxed silhouette by Nachiket Barve. An Anita Dongre lehenga with pockets, made up of pieces that can be reused separately. A powder blue chanderi kurta with trousers meant for comfort, by Ritu Kumar. A dressy sweatsuit with statement sleeves by Twenty Dresses. A woollen sari by Anavila Misra.
Designers have been rethinking their collections. Above, a printed jumpsuit with relaxed silhouette by Nachiket Barve. An Anita Dongre lehenga with pockets, made up of pieces that can be reused separately. A powder blue chanderi kurta with trousers meant for comfort, by Ritu Kumar. A dressy sweatsuit with statement sleeves by Twenty Dresses. A woollen sari by Anavila Misra.
Published on Jan 22, 2021 10:02 PM IST
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Clothes are becoming a little more needs-based, says designer Ritu Kumar

To thrive again, in the pandemic, the fashion industry must return to its roots — the unique and sustainable handloom and handicrafts, the veteran designer says
“We’ve had a whole year to think about the effects of fast fashion and how we spend. We have had the time ask ourselves, do I need so many things? The answer, most probably, is no,” Ritu Kumar says.
“We’ve had a whole year to think about the effects of fast fashion and how we spend. We have had the time ask ourselves, do I need so many things? The answer, most probably, is no,” Ritu Kumar says.
Published on Jan 22, 2021 09:25 PM IST
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Queer eye: There’s a new trans news magazine in Madurai

The free fortnightly online magazine offers updates on the news, tips on fashion, health and home decor, lists products made by members of the community, and lists job openings too.
A Trans News cover. “Its most special attribute,” says editor Priya Babu, “is that the models for all the photos used with the stories are transgender people.”
A Trans News cover. “Its most special attribute,” says editor Priya Babu, “is that the models for all the photos used with the stories are transgender people.”
Published on Jan 22, 2021 08:54 PM IST
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‘Govt spending, private sector incentives crucial’

Sumit Jalan, an investment banker, and managing director and co-head of India investment banking and capital markets at Credit Suisse Securities (India), assessed that 30% to 40% of existing business models were deeply impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, Jalan predicted a reverse of 2020 — still a tale of two halves, but with the first half seeing the bulk of capital markets activity.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
In 2021, Jalan predicted a reverse of 2020 — still a tale of two halves, but with the first half seeing the bulk of capital markets activity.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Published on Jan 21, 2021 07:48 AM IST
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How to reclaim the lost art of doing nothing

In times of chaos, it’s even more important to wipe the slate clean. Here are tips to help you get started, and a primer on why you should.
 (HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
(HT Illustration: Jayachandran)
Updated on Jan 16, 2021 10:14 AM IST
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Meet the dream catchers at work in Khwaabgaon, a village of art in West Bengal

An initiative by a group of artists is helping villagers earn more through arts, crafts and now tourism, and opening up new worlds to their children.
Residents and visitors get together to paint the walls of the mud houses in Khwaabgaon, in the initiative led by artist Mrinal Mandal. There are also workshops where visitors can try their hand at arts and crafts, and exhibition spaces where villagers sell their crafts.
Residents and visitors get together to paint the walls of the mud houses in Khwaabgaon, in the initiative led by artist Mrinal Mandal. There are also workshops where visitors can try their hand at arts and crafts, and exhibition spaces where villagers sell their crafts.
Updated on Jan 10, 2021 04:21 PM IST
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022