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Mayank Chhaya
Journalist trying to be a full-time writer
Interests: Everything and nothing.
Recent Activity
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This afternoon I went to a local mall after a gap of three years and perhaps longer. My not going to mall predates the pandemic. I went today only to refresh my memory of what it means to go to... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at South Asia Daily
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Mayank Chhaya at the Fermilab in Batavia, near Chicago. (Photo: MC)* It is time for me to visit the iconic Fermilab in Batavia again. This time to understand whether and how scientists there have found a new force of nature,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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Kuttappan, played with coiled up menace by P.N. Sunny. Dileesh Pothan’s ‘Joji’ is a highly accomplished, subtly polished even if rather spare and austere film. It is one of the best films that I have seen in recent years that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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I have long been an unobtrusive observer of unfolding Nature. To that extent that we all are part of and intrinsic to Nature, one can never be just pure observer. One is unintentionally and ever so gently collapsing wave functions... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Rising sea levels caused by global warming may or may not yet sink the Maldives but the weight of Mumbai celebrities who visit it in a revolving door selfie-fest most likely will. Every other day a Mumbai movie star lands... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Reading the news about gigantic cargo ship Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal and stayed stuck there for nearly a week, now having reflated, I was reminded of this famous line from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar.’ Lest you... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at South Asia Daily
No, I was not imprisoned in 1971 in the run-up to the creation of Bangladesh. Also, I did not engage in Satyagraha either because there was no Satyagraha in Ahmedabad for a non-existent nation yet. Satyagraha was born in Ahmedabad... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2021 at South Asia Daily
I wrote the following post on March 7, 2014. It still works. March 7, 2014 I often wonder whether I have a natural language; natural to the extent that anyone can have one. After all, language is acquired and is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Yesterday was World Storytelling Day. Today is World Poetry Day as declared by the United Nations. So after you tell a story, recite a poem. I have nearly a lifelong association with poetry. It is only fair that I get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Today is supposed to be World Storytelling Day. As someone who began telling extempore, made-on-the-spot stories from the age of nine, I did not need a special day to tell stories. Many of those who grew up with me will... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2021 at South Asia Daily
On the heels of director Hansal Mehta’s critically acclaimed web series ‘Scam 1992’ about the once flashy, brash, flamboyant, then disgraced and incarcerated and eventually dead stockbroker Harshad ‘Big Bull’ Mehta, comes a feature length movie clearly inspired his life.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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Shashi Kapoor in Ivory-Merchant’s ‘Heat & Dust’ Cutting a dashing figure in a three-piece pinstripe suit Shashi Kapoor stood in the large porch of a famous bungalow in Bombay’s Juhu area. His right hand was in the pocket of his... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at South Asia Daily
A relatively new trend that I am intrigued by is the weird success of reaction videos on YouTube. For those of you living under the rock, reaction videos are videos in which YouTubers watch a wide range of videos of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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Woman by Yellow Fence, My latest digital work Merely because the artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple sold his digital work via Christie’s for an astonishing $69.3 million does not mean that I will be able to sell mine... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2021 at South Asia Daily
State Department spokesperson Ned Price yesterday stated the obvious over the issue of whether China has any role in the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama. Lalit Jha, a dear friend and fellow journalist, the chief Washington correspondent of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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Meghan Markle, left, with Oprah Winfrey (Photo: Screengrab from CBS News) My verdict on Oprah Winfrey’s performance during her two-hour special with Meghan and Harry, such as it is, came well before most. I tweeted her this at 8.25 p.m.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at South Asia Daily
I am confused about the sartorial pecking order of the British television dramas about the Victorian era. The servants, especially manservants are often so sharply dressed that I cannot tell the servant from the master. The woman servants, in contrast,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2021 at South Asia Daily
These days, it is the photo-op season in the time of the COVID-19. Social media are replete with photographs of people flashing inordinately wide smiles while getting their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. I have not seen photographs of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Admittedly, there is a measure of cheap thrill in exploring the text of any significant speech on the internet these days and Ctrl F’ing on it to look for specific references. I did that with a nearly 28-minute major foreign... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Sometime last year, in an exceptionally rare appearance I agreed to be a part of a forum about how Indians living abroad were promoting or practicing Hindi. I was amused to have been invited to begin with because Hindi is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2021 at South Asia Daily
In so stunningly not pressing for any accountability for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) after clearly identifying his role in the grisly murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, President Joe Biden is telling Saudi Arabia and, by implication, the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2021 at South Asia Daily
The 61oth anniversary of the founding of Ahmedabad is being celebrated today. That is as good a time as any for me to revive a biography of my hometown that I was commissioned to write by a publisher ten years... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2021 at South Asia Daily
Any news of a ceasefire along any border is always welcome. It is particularly welcome if it is announced by India and Pakistan, as the two perpetually squabbling neighbors have just done, irrespective of how fragile and short-lived it may... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at South Asia Daily
A silver coin from the Maurya dynasty (3rd-2nd century BCE. Pic: The British Museum, London) As I step up to finish at least a dozen unfinished novellas and novels, I am quite immersed in this one titled 'Asoka's Mint' that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2021 at South Asia Daily
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The picture quality is not good because I had a limited window to shoot it since I did not want to stage it. It is quite common for me to wake up at random points at night and find my... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at South Asia Daily