Author: Archana Ramachandran

Jallikattu—A Tamil Tradition

In Kalithogai, a classical collection of Tamil poems from the Sangam period (spanning c.400 BCE to 300 CE), one can find the following lines describing the electric atmosphere at a…
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Discovering Kathakali | Part III

Like any performance art, Kathakali has seen its share of innovations over the course of time. A major change that occurred in the middle of the 20th century was the…
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Discovering Kathakali | Part II

Lowering the Tirasseela: Every Kathakali performance begins with the tirasseela being lowered. The word tira means ‘waves’ and seela means ‘cloth’. The tirasseela is a piece of fabric held on…
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World AIDS Day: Let’s Give Sex Education Some Uptown Funk

According to a 2013 study, in India there is a wide gap between the number of people who consider sex education as important and the number of people who actually…
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Discovering Kathakali | Part 1

When I was but a wee rug rat, I would sit transfixed for hours in front of our ECIL television every time Doordarshan Malayalam aired Kathakali performances, while my elder…
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Let There be Translations

A few years ago, I embarked on a rather tedious quest to find the English translation of Agnisakshi, a novel of the popular Malayalam writer Lalithambika Antharjanam. Needless to say,…
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