By Vikram Shah, NLSIU.

Nitin had a peculiar problem. Well, not as peculiar as certain other problems but peculiar nonetheless. Hair did not grow on Nitin’s face. Now this would not have been a problem, forget a peculiar one, had Nitin had been a child, or even a teenager. But Nitin was a full grown man. He had walked this earth for a little more than twenty-six years now, and there was still no sign of hair on his face. Not a single one. Not even of wiry strands similar to the ones that his fourteen year old nephew had begun to sprout on his mousy little chin.

At the bus stop on his way to work each morning, he found himself darting glances at the young men from the neighborhood who were on their way to college. Most of them, he noticed, had perfectly sculpted stubbles, like those fiery, bronzed foreign men he had seen on the travel and lifestyle shows on television. When he had been growing up, he had asked his mother why bits of hair had not started appearing on his face, like all the other boys at school. His mother had asked him to be patient, and said that soon he would have a moustache as glorious as the ones the thakurs in their village sported. He did not want to have anything that was like the thakurs, he had thundered in the judgmental rage of childhood, never would he have anything to do with them, look at how they had treated  his father and other members of their community.

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A New Year’s Message

By Antara Jha (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad)

You could sit and judge the choice of typeface. You could also try and read this.

I don’t have a right to preach. I haven’t done anything that’s worthy enough. And even if I do something, it’s not going to amount to anything substantial. It’s not going to result in anything concrete.

We live in a bubble, so secure, so warm, lit by the fires on the BBC, that it’s comfortable not to know what’s going on, on the outside. Yes, I know, we don’t all own  television sets and not everyone buys newspapers. Along with BBM updates, maybe RSS updates might be worth checking . Stumble-upon is bookmarked on your browser, you could try looking at Google news too. But that’s so much of an effort isn’t it? And then we can sit, cosy with our coffees (with extra coffee powder) and discuss what a sham Indian politics is. Modi, won. Elections are over, how many of us have marked fingers? Cynicism is brilliant, jaded is in. We’re so cool that we can pretend to care, for the five minutes while we’re on that topic, then we’ll go back to discussing how sleek the iPhone 5 is. We could not care less.

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