Kafteh. Syrian Restaurant in the Diaspora, Aroos Damascus in Deira, Dubai retains a semblance of a community with a shattered homeland. No service staff spoke in English, which in a global Dubai is refreshing as this is an an Arab Muslim City, which is conveniently lost in the Tagalog and Urdu or Malayalam cacophony. Language … More Damascus in Dubai: Reconnections through Food
Home is a past Where atrophied dreams Seek empty reconciliation Innocent, reckless aspirations Who had told you to build castles In the ethereal web of firing neural networks Home is where one finds one Let it be a dream, stunted At least I am me For a flicker of a thought
India’s Gulf Policy is not run through South Block, thankfully but through the souqs of the port cities, the entrenched Bania/Malayali Diaspora and power networks flowing through Surat, Mundra, Mallapuram, Trivandrum and Borivali and Dahisar in Mumbai. JNU does not know a thing😊
The neoliberal museum is a space of selective cultural consumption where history with a capital H is packaged in to an experience, neatly sorted in to thematic areas. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was on my bucket list since I arrived in the UAE for my latest consulting gig 6 months back. As a weekend historian … More An Ethnographic Take on Louvre Abu Dhabi
A key aspect missing in the planning or sociology literature about the Gulf is the absence of the backlane as a typological entity in urban space. The backlanes of the cities have unique sub cultures with informal spaces not listed on Zomato. I found plenty of eating places run by various communities which are lifelines, … More Writing the Gulf.
In cities like Dubai and Singapore, Malls are more than retail consumption spaces/ they are extended home spaces or community hang out nodes where it is cool, safe and family friendly. Artificial yet organic, contradictions galore. Malls are extensions of the community or rather is an anchor of the community in the GCC. The commentator … More Mall Spaces as Community in GCC
The financialisation and securitisation of the climate change discourse is the best thing to have happened. People take climate change more seriously. Lifestyle Environmentalism is incremental in nature. Climate Change Resilience is implemented through technology, finance and buy in from communities. And green politics also helps. We need more than tree hugging to save lives … More Practical Climate Resilience Building; Some Thoughts Beyond Adaptation
Environmentalists, in the corporate, consulting, civil society, research, regulatory and academic spaces need to understand that scientific data is a social construction. There are many parties in the production of the data on which policy, planning and implementation decisions are taken. The political economy of the environment, with its multiple manifestations in climate change are … More The Political Economy of Environmental Data
Article 15 is a master class handling a sensitive topic such as entrenched caste discrimination in Northern India. It takes a saviour lens to the topic with a Stephenian Delhi Boy Character taking on caste based power hierarchies in delivering justice to disenfranchised members of subaltern community In Uttar Pradesh. The film has amazing documentary … More Article 15; A Movie Review
Masjids in the Urban life of the Gulf are cornerstones of the spatial configuration of the city. Faith is public and private, an anchor in transient lives.