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Mayank Chhaya
Journalist trying to be a full-time writer
Interests: Everything and nothing.
Recent Activity
In so much as joint bilateral statements mean anything at all, the one that came at the conclusion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Washington is quite sanguine. It followed President Donald Trump’s description of India as a... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at South Asia Daily
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House on June 26. (Photo: Jay Mandal/On Assignment) I have always enjoyed analyzing major diplomatic visits from peripheral, even ridiculous standpoints. Prime... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at South Asia Daily
17, Sharda Kunj, Ahmedabad, The house where I spent my formative years in the 1970s. (Photo: Paresh Pandya) Nostalgia needs a physical context even if it is as rundown as the house above where I grew up in the 1970s.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at South Asia Daily
Thick in the midst of it, as a 14-year-old I did not immediately sense the political and cultural disaster that was the declaration of a National Emergency by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on this day 42 years ago. The most... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at South Asia Daily
‘MC in Pain’ by MC There is an embarrassment of pain choice this morning--stomachache, headache and knee ache. These are warning signals of an impending doom. Perhaps. So what better time to republish a short rumination about failure than now?... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at South Asia Daily
As India’s prime minister prepares for his first meeting with America’s president, this much is clear. Narendra Modi will not address him as Donald and Donald Trump will not address him as Narendra. In a somewhat dubious claim Prime Minister... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at South Asia Daily
Let’s do with this quick work titled ‘Fencing’ for today. It is somewhat illustrative of what I have to do with myself metaphorically to get by. In this case both the fencers are me. So far both are losing. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at South Asia Daily
Solstice Yoga by MC These days my days are too long even without there being the summer solstice when the day is at its longest. That is today. Although I am a lifelong morning and day person by temperament, these... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at South Asia Daily
For close to 40 years, ever since I started reading physics, it has been my default philosophical position that the universe has no particular point or purpose the way our limited human mind understands either. When I first came across... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at South Asia Daily
Reading live the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy final rather than watching it live yesterday was a strange experience. The figures came alive way more than those men behind them. When Pakistan scored an eminently defendable 338 for 4 wickets in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at South Asia Daily
I don’t know why I should write about this. I suppose one is tickled by such trivialities. A couple of days ago, I chanced upon the trailer of "First Man" on Curiosity Stream and was struck by a shot in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at South Asia Daily
‘Wadi’ by MC A few weeks ago I did the watercolor and crayon above titled ‘Wadi’ (Valley). My vantage point as its painter was behind the brown rocks in the foreground with hills contrasted against the sky. The expanse in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2017 at South Asia Daily
The quarter moon Was like a red sickle Slicing through clouds Is it any wonder that It rained blood today? --MC Blood Moon--MC Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at South Asia Daily
The Toilette, 1882. Pearwood, Paul Gauguin A gorgeous exhibition of Paul Gauguin comes to Chicago’s Art Institute from June 25 through September 10. “The exhibition features some 240 works, including the largest-ever public presentation of his ceramics, the reunion and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at South Asia Daily
Trappist by Mayank Chhaya I read this fascinating study titled ‘Enhanced interplanetary panspermia in the TRAPPIST-1 system’ by Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Panspermia means seeds of life can hitch a ride on planet... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at South Asia Daily
The other day I gave my life’s first job interview. This morning I received an email informing me solicitously that I have not been selected for the position. There could be any number of reasons for the rejection but I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at South Asia Daily
The problem with odious, deliberately provocative comparisons between any two wrongdoings as a way of criticism is that unless the scale and proportion of the two significantly match, they can come across as ludicrous. More importantly, they tend to undermine... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at South Asia Daily
Talaja Morning—MC If it mattered to me how many people read this blog, I would have stopped writing it in less than a week of having begun it. Readership is incidental to what one writes here. Response is even less... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2017 at South Asia Daily
The Bridge--MC Africa—MC I cite these two recent paintings of mine — ‘The Bridge’ having been done yesterday and ‘Africa’ a few days earlier — as examples of how creativity has often nothing to do with one’s state of mind.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2017 at South Asia Daily
On his sixth death anniversary today I reproduce a short comment and an earlier IANS wire piece I had written. The short comment was on the day he died on June 9, 2011 and the wire piece was a year... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at South Asia Daily
Whether it is “most likely” as the U.S. says or a “conjecture” as China says, the possibility of a Chinese military base in Pakistan has to be a source of great concern for India. I was reading the U.S. Department... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at South Asia Daily
No matter what you might be doing today, I suggest you take out 50 seconds of your time and watch the video of the great Japanese master Katsushika Hokusai’s works. Hokusai (1760-1849), who remains most famous for his masterpiece ‘The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at South Asia Daily
One is not interested in things. I was wondering what might sum up that feeling visually. And this illustration drew itself. So that’s that for the day. The line “One is not interested in things” should tell you how little... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at South Asia Daily
On World Environment Day today, it strikes me that almost all my paintings are dominated by Nature. None of them is painted from real life but from a combination of imagination and heightened memory. To mark the day, which really... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at South Asia Daily
Seven years after it was published, London-based author Shrabani Basu’s book ‘Victoria & Abdul’ is now the basis for a feature film by the same name. Directed by Stephen Frears the movie features Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in what... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2017 at South Asia Daily