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The Ugliness of the Indian Male and other propositions

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Some years ago I was struck by the contrast between the beauty of Hindi film heroines and the ugliness of Hindi film heroes. After researching the matter I concluded that the explanation was straightforward: leading men in Hindi films were ugly because they were Indian men and Indian men were measurably uglier than Indian women ... While my observation was accurate and the ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published 2008 by Black Kite
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Siddharth
Mar 19, 2016 Siddharth rated it really liked it
Examine the nails of any Indian man: the cuticles will be yellow with haldi and the underside of the bitten-off tip will be spotty with accumulated dirt. When you think of where they put those nails, this is not surprising. I’ve seen respectable men conducting conversations with their index fingers two-digits deep in their nostrils, digging with industrial enthusiasm. If you ever see a desi man delicately rubbing the tip of his index finger over the pad of his thumb, beware. Don’t go near him: h ...more
aswin
Jul 06, 2011 aswin rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Someone opened the lid of a pressure cooker and Mukul Kesavan just burst out writing. Social commentary in a short article is something he does regularly (he still writes a column for Telegraph, India) and his comfort with mixing wit and sharp observations shines through. You will be done with his short pieces in one sitting - partly because they are short but mostly because they are damn funny.

The two longish pieces in this collection would require a more patient reading. The one on Indian (Co
...more
Vineet
Jul 24, 2011 Vineet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mukul Kesavan is one the better Thinkers we have. His Book is like a Salad Bowl - good in parts that you like. In a collection of 20 Odd Essays, some are bound to impress you while others you may find hard to agree with. The last Essay - Secular Common Sense, is the longest as well as the best in my opinion.

Mukul Kesavan's depth of knowledge on subjects he chooses is unquestionable. Some of the facts that he reveals with his detailed research are truly stunning. But when he gets into realms of
...more
Nandhini Narayanan
Feb 09, 2012 Nandhini Narayanan rated it liked it
I loved this one! Kesavan's voice is steeped in an Indian cynicism, rooted in disregard for the status quo and is refreshing. His perspective on how Cinema has shaped the modern Indian psyche an vice-versa and particularly, the links between Urdu and Hindi cinema made the entire book worth its weight in gold.
Kevin
Sep 17, 2012 Kevin rated it liked it
The title is the provocative tilt to this collection of 37 essays ranging across political, social and observational writings. The title gives that wit is the style across and moderate secular views is the substance. I personally haven't read all the essays though the ones i sat through were easy read. The opinions may not be agreeable but as they say humour in prose makes for certain agreeableness only if in giving a hear. The ones i enjoyed reading dealt with Konkana Sen, secularism, documenta ...more
Abey Mathew Joseph
Mar 02, 2014 Abey Mathew Joseph rated it really liked it
Shelves: abey-s-bookshelf
An amazing read; especially, the essays about the 'Ugliness of Indian Men'
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Mukul Kesavan is an Indian writer and essayist. He studied History at the University of Delhi and later at Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he received his MLitt. His first book - Looking Through Glass (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1994) received critical acclaim. He teaches social history at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. He's keen on the game of cricket[1] but in a non-playing way. His credentials f ...more
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