Image source: Pocketmags

A couple of days back, I was talking to a friend about this one Indian journalist. We spoke of his strong and brave political opinions. We compared his reportage to some of his peers and wished there were more of his kind. The conversation took turns, went through alleys of political reporting and investigative journalism, and ended up at Gauri Lankesh. A bullet has been earmarked for this one too, we concluded.

We said this with a smirk and a stumbling giggle, but none of us actually found it funny. More than our fandom for the said journalist, the idea…


It has been a sobering week.

On my way back from the doctor’s clinic the Wednesday before previous, handed a lengthy prescription of anti-chickenpox medication, I had expected a fortnight of fatigue and body ache. For the first few days, my body followed the script.

I was laying in bed last Sunday, watching an India vs West Indies cricket match and casually scrolling through Twitter, when I found the video of students from Jamia Milia Islamia forming a human shield to protect one of their friends against the peaceful, lathi-wielding, Delhi Police. …


I wrote this as a submission to a prompt which asked writers to bring a favourite picture to life with their words. The idea was to make the readers see the scene without necessarily having to look at the photo. I didn’t exactly adhere, because I chose a photo that needs to be seen, but it is one that struck something deep within me. I guess that works?

Cast your mind back one year. What is the first thing to strike you? A world before coronavirus, yes? People moving, milling about, socialising. Dinner plans, dates, parties. …


At the post-match presentation, Rishabh Pant bore a half-smile. With eyes squinting from the sun and one hand behind his back, he spoke of his improved wicketkeeping as a product of heavy practice and carry-over confidence from his batting. Harsha Bhogle, still shocked from the day before, asked him about the reverse flick against Jimmy Anderson. Will you play it again, especially if you’re on 89?

This is where Pant broke into a full, beaming smile and said — “if the opportunity arises, why not.”

Rishabh Pant’s reverse flick will be canonised into highlight reels and looped videos. It will…


Jonny Bairstow was dismissed before he took guard. On Thursday afternoon, under a softening Ahmedabad sun, Bairstow walked out from the dressing room with England 0/1 in the second innings. He had scored a first-ball duck in the first innings, dismissed by the same bowler standing across the pitch now. Axar Patel is tall and skiddy, had notched up twelve wickets in his last two innings and one ball, and possesses a mean arm ball — the most potent weapon on a spinning track.

The plan must have been clear for England — just scratch through to somewhere near 175…


Image Source: Joe Baker

As the sun went down one final time in 2020, Munawar Faruqui was preparing to taste fame. He was on his first pan-India tour. There was a carefulness in his speech, almost a reluctance. He was yet to reach the Instagram stories of Tanmay Bhat or the promotional posts of Netflix India. In Munawar’s line of work, success and fame are often measured in such social-media currency. His first resolution for 2021 would have been to scale the million-subscribers mountain on YouTube.

On the first evening of 2021, Munawar was on stage at a cafe in Indore when his life…


For half an hour today morning, between 7:45 and 8:15 am, Vivek Razdan and Murali Kartik dissected Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling. They were on Sony’s Hindi commentary duties for the ongoing Test match between India and Australia.

Ashwin has had a middling match. To their credit, Australia’s top-order batsmen have played him better than in the last two games. His flight and bounce variations haven’t fetched him the success that a depleted Indian bowling attack would’ve hoped for. Focusing the spotlight on him made sense from a commentary perspective.

But what Razdan and Kartik did right, and it will stay long…


On a bright January morning in 2019, I walked into an F45 Fitness studio. You had to climb three flights of stairs for the reception and gym floor, which I presumed was their idea of a warm-up. The blue-and-white F45 branding was plastered on the walls which ran along the staircase. Loud, bass-y music was accompanied by a loud and bass-y human voice asking someone to push harder.

I walked up the three flights, panting and puffing, and found the receptionist. He was warm and soft-spoken, quite unlike most gym receptionists I have met. But when I asked him about…


Artwork source: Dribble
Artwork source: Dribble
Artwork source: Dribble

Leila had been on my mind for a long time. My countdown to its first episode started on the day I saw the announcement poster. In the days leading up to its release, the Netflix social media machinery was on overdrive. Promotional pictures and videos kept popping up unannounced on my timelines. I complied with the like button.

I cleared out an entire weekend to binge-watch its six episodes: lunch dates and mid-summer beer sessions were unapologetically rescheduled. The house chores, which I otherwise delay until the weekend is slipping out of sight, were wrapped up before breakfast on the…


It has been a peculiar month. I would use the word difficult, but under the current circumstances, it may not belong to me. So I’ll stick with a synonym for unusual because we are all dealing with change. This period of restricted mobility and social distancing has come with its mental challenges.

In between watching mornings melt into afternoons and afternoons into evenings from our windowpanes and balconies, we’ve learnt to lean on the internet as our sole friend, bartender, and therapist. I have often found sanctuary shuttling between different corners of YouTube. …

Sarthak Dev

Sport and a little bit of life, but mostly just sport.

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