Category Archives: Opinion

The Assassination of Rajat Gandy 
Author : Anurag Anand
Publisher : Readomania
Image result for the assassination of rajat gandy book cover

Politics has always been a tricky knotty business and commenting on it even worse. The Assassination of Rajat Gandy is a quick read that takes you to the underbelly of the communal riots and the Hindu-Muslim divide that has been perpetually creating a chasm in the politics of the country, mixing religion and politics in an ugly mesh, causing loss of lives.
The book provides a peek into the minds and psyche of the people who run the show from up there in the government. The reader would find the usage of names very interesting. From Rajat Gandy, Madam (no prizes for guessing who that could be!), Ajit Seth, to Sachin Jaywardhan and my absolute favorite till now- Arunabh Gosain! It is a wonderful interplay on contemporary characters and their conduct in a fictional set up. Things are, of course, derived from the real world of politics but at the same time, have been contrived to reflect incidents and happenings that haven’t occurred and may or may not happen.
When Afsha Khan, a leading political correspondent gets kidnapped right after the communal riots that threaten to tear the secular fabric of the country just before elections, the environment begins to boil and the bigwigs start to take notice. Who has the upper hand in ordering the assassination of the prime ministerial candidate? What relation does that have to the biggest scam one has seen in the country till now? Troll attacks, communal uprisings, kidnapping and sudden accidents leading to the deaths of significant players in the game of political thrones make up this suspenseful potboiler.
Let’s have a chat with the author himself and find out what he has to say about his latest political thriller:  
Aashisha Chakraborty: A burning question that perhaps every reader will have after reading the title of this book- is there any basis for the biggest incident happening in the book? Is it inspired by some actual circumstance?
Anurag Anand: Well, the relationship between facts and fiction is a strange one. More often than not, the two are found jostling to mirror each other. This is exactly the relationship that my book, The Assassination of Rajat Gandy, shares with all that’s unfolding in the Indian political arena today.
However, the story of my book does draw partially from the prevailing political situation in the country. And this, when garnished with some degree of logic and common sense, makes for a plot that might appear inspired, or even a source of inspiration sometimes, for what we end up reading in the papers.  
AC: What made you give away the major plot of the book in the title itself?
AA: The title of the book does give away the central theme of the story, but it intends to keep the readers guessing on the why, who, how and what of it. The objective is to draw readers who are interested in mysteries and whodunnits in general and political thrillers in particular, and if the initial response to the book is anything to go by, it has been received well by the readers.  
AC: The pharma scam- how much truth is there to it?
AA: The pharma scam is entirely fictional, unless of course there is something transpiring behind closed doors that the investigating agencies and media are yet to get a whiff of. The thought, however, was triggered by the ensuing debate around the right of multinational companies to charge a premium for their patented drugs much in excess of the production costs. This is a tough one, for if their commercial prospects are curtailed, it acts as a deterrent for them to invest behind research, and if they are allowed a free reign the drugs remain beyond the reach of the masses.
AC: How difficult was it for you to keep from taking the side of a particular political party in the book?
AA: It wasn’t all that difficult, simply because I am personally not a big fan of unconditional alignment of ideologies with any political party or leader. In fact, the trend of hero worship that seems to be consuming political dialogues lately is toxic and unwarranted. We can witness this toxicity play out in debates on social media and other forums at an alarming regularity today. I believe that as informed citizens of the country, it is our duty to view every action of the government on its merit, irrespective of any biases we might harbor for or against the political entity in power.
As for the story of The Assassination of Rajat Gandy, you will find that I have donned the hat of a demanding and somewhat cynical Indian while writing it. So, if anything, both principal political parties – as and when they run short of pressing issues to focus their attention on – can come up with something or the other that doesn’t agree with them.
AC: Did you face any difficulty in getting this theme to publishers or getting the book out?
AA: Of course, I did. It’s a sad reality of the publishing industry that commerce takes precedence over everything else, even a good story. The decision makers are only too happy to keep away from anything having the remotest likelihood of stirring up a controversy. So, while I had obtained prior legal opinion on the manuscript of The Assassination of Rajat Gandy, two leading publication houses turned it down in the final stages of discussions. That’s where I would want to commend my current publisher, Readomania – a relatively new publication house, but passionate about bringing good and relevant stories to their readers – for taking up the project.
AC: Your bio states that you have dabbled in all genres. Did you intend that from the start? How has that experience been?
AA: Writing, to me, has always been very personal. It’s not a mere vocation or just a medium of expression for me, but a near-cathartic passion that makes me who I am. While I didn’t embark on this journey with a clear plan around whether I will write in one or multiple genres, I was certain that I didn’t want to restrain my writing. Thankfully, I have managed to keep it that way and write on subjects that I feel like writing about thus far. I can only pray that it remains so in the future.
There have been instances when I have been counselled by people more accomplished and informed than I am, about the need and importance of carving your own niche as an author. I respect their views and good intent, but as long as my readers are not complaining, I am happy to let things remain the way they are.   
AC: How did you start writing? How has the journey been up till now?
AA: I have been a voracious reader for as far back as I can remember. So, writing was a natural offshoot of my love for the written word. At a very early age, I would contribute articles to my school magazine and be elated to see my compositions in print. The euphoria I experienced then has not quite waned, and it is the need to experience it again and again that perhaps keeps me going.
My journey as an author has been a mixed bag, moments of exultations peppered by times of haplessness and despair, but I am not complaining. Each low that I have experienced has left me stronger, and I cherish them as much as I treasure my moments of glory.
AC: How much research did you have to put in for the book?
AA: A fair bit of research went behind the book, but not so much around politics and the machinations that make it. I have been fortunate enough to observe this world at close quarters and hence it didn’t prove much of a challenge to deal with. My research was primarily centered around technology and how it is likely to evolve in the future, making it a potent weapon in the hands of the nefarious and the ill-intentioned. This is a fear that we live with on an everyday basis, and to be able to weave it seamlessly into the plot of the book, I had to spend a fair bit of time perusing recent developments in this space.   
AC: Did your corporate job ever come in the way of writing or vice versa? How did you manage both the professions?
AA: It does become a challenge sometimes, as your personal passions have to take a back seat when pitted against the demands of the workplace. There are several abandoned manuscripts resting in my hard drive which stand testimony to this necessity of prioritization that a day job brings. However, if you happen to be working with an organization that supports individual creativity and colleagues who partake in your successes, the balance becomes much simpler to attain. I have been extremely fortunate so far in this regard.     
AC: Any messages for aspiring writers?
AA: I see aspiring authors often worrying about aspects like how their work will get published or how should they go about marketing it, even before they have set pen to paper. My sincere advice to them would be to focus on the one thing that an author is supposed to do – write and write well. A good manuscript will find its takers and churning out the best that we can needs to remain our primary agenda. 
Of course, another vital suggestion – read as much as you can, it helps you in more ways than you can imagine. And if you are looking for recommendations, you might want to get your hands on The Assassination of Rajat Gandy. 
AC: That was a wonderful exchange, I must say! I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. I am sure the readers loved the extra bytes about the journey of the book. All the best for your current as well as further endeavors!

(Published on International Women’s Day on Women’s Web)

Pink streamers welcome me, red roses decorate my desk, I get ushered in like a princess. No, dear, it’s not my birthday. It’s Women’s Day and I belong to the lucky 1 percent of the female population that gets treated like a queen.
So, as a part of the Women’s Week, we had a session over tea with the CEO. There was a nice little pep talk, screening of some wonderfully inspirational videos and an urge to participate and make the whole discussion livelier. The event was proceeding fine, in the sense that no one knew what to say to most of the things. And some were trying to pitch in with their stories. I, of course, kept mum throughout because, well, I am always the life of the party, you know.
I mean, we all know what gender equality is about. The topic is now kind of stale, isn’t it? What else can you add to it?
And then when there was too much quiet and the CEO was like, it’s getting too uncomfy and I am the only one speaking, one of the women saved everyone else’s neck by dishing out some sort of platitude relating to multitasking women, the hard journey of balancing, blah blah blah. And then emerged a question – why don’t we see more women in higher positions despite there being so much brouhaha over women empowerment and shizz like that. (She might have worded the question differently, but this was primarily the essence.) Of course, the answer went like things are changing but the changes cannot be overnight; they will be gradual and happen over time. Und so weiter.  
Then, someone shared a story about a girl fresh out of college who opted to take up sales and told the zonal manager that she had no problem touring outlets with salesmen; she had a scooty and had no qualms about being surrounded by males and stuff like that. Everyone lauded the girl’s grit and the anecdote was heard in good cheer. Of course, me being me could only think of one thing.
Why does this story get attention?Why is the story of a woman raising her voice and charging into a male stronghold such a novel prospect even today? It should be passé by now, shouldn’t it? After all, it has been more than a decade since 8 March, 1917 when women first got enfranchisement in Russia and the International Women’s Day was born. But the struggle for recognition hasn’t ceased yet. It has only changed form and geography.  
Why does a girl need to be all rowdy and cut-throat to be able to storm into a male bastion? Why don’t we accept an ‘un’extraordinary woman in a male domain? Why does a woman have to be just the best to reach the levels that are otherwise crowded with hoity-toity but lazy unremarkable men?
And how come it doesn’t work the other way round? We don’t have soft-spoken men staying away from scary jobs just because they are so. We still have words like ‘manned’ for patrolling and not ‘womanned’. We still have men expecting women to be fiery, as if women can be either fiery or dumb, as if those in between don’t deserve shit.
Men of all types will be accepted but women? Aah well, women need to move through fire and brimstone to deserve the respect of the ‘naturally-competent’ men. 
Why don’t we talk about women who let go of emotionally manipulative men as brave? Why don’t we talk about women who battle inferior treatment from other women as brave? Why do we attribute every bad-tempered woman as someone who must be PMSing?
Do you know the saddest thing about this whole thing?
It’s that the issues today are still seen as women-centric and not people-centric. The fact that women’s day still has to be celebrated to remind the world that there is a species they might have overlooked on 364 days of the year is probably a thought worth giving.

Author Focus 
“Mock, Stalk & Quarrel”

Satire is a kind of poetry in which human vices are reprehended. Or so John Dryden said. What I like best about satire and sarcasm is that they tell the truth, which is why anything even remotely connected to satire piques my interest. 

Mock, Stalk & Quarrel, a collection of satirical tales, identifies powerful voices that can wage an ideological war against issues that matter. Twenty-nine voices, indulgent, tolerant, amusing and witty, were chosen to create this collection. 

This is the book I am talking about:

You might not want to miss the launch of this exciting anthology. So, those in Delhi on 25 November, you might want to drop in to the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi for the launch.

For those not being able to attend, do not despair! We are organizing a Kolkata launch on 26 November, 2016.  

Tête-à-tête with Amrita Mukherjee

Dostoyevsky said, “Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.” 
Let’s hear it from one of the authors of the book- Amrita Mukherjee.

Something about our Author-in-Focus:

Amrita Mukherjee has worked in publications like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Asian Age in India and she has been the Features Editor with ITP publishing Group, Dubai’s largest magazine publishing house. An advocate of alternative journalism, she is currently a freelance journalist writing for international publications and websites and also blogs at Amrita’s debut novel Exit Interview earned the tag “unputdownable” from reviewers and readers alike. 

     1.     Please tell us something about yourself. 

I am a non-conformist, hyper extrovert and positive person. I take a keen interest in other people’s stories and my friends often joke that you never know when you find yourself in Amrita’s fiction.
     2.     When and how did you start writing?

It was a strange juncture in my life. I had lost my brother to cancer, my son was born 20 days later and I had quit my well-paying job after a few months. To grapple with my emotional turmoil I started writing my first book Exit Interview. And my late brother always said I would write one day. It was a way of honouring his memory probably but I hadn’t thought so much then.
     3.     Any challenges that you faced while writing?

My son was 10-months-old when I started writing. So the story had to flow between diaper changes, bathing and feeding time. I was gone the moment I heard him cry when I came back I had lost the plot. I had to start all over again.
     4.     What do you think about the future of writing/publishing industry in India?

Chetan Bhagat often gets the brickbats because many people claim he’s been selling mediocrity but I feel he was the one who allowed Indian authors to dream and opened up the market for Indian writing. Now publishers are willing to take up manuscripts by Indian authors and with new publishing houses coming up the possibilities are increasing. I particularly think Readomania being a comparatively new publishing house is bringing out phenomenally good books and these are the kind of books which you would want to keep in your bookcase and read again and again.
     5.     What do you think is the need for satire in today’s time?

The times we live in we need satire to keep our sanity. We live in such insecure times that we really don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and hit us like a bolt-from-the blue. Did any of us think that one fine day at 8pm our Rs 500 notes would become defunct? I guess that’s when you need satire to look at a serious situation with a tinge of humour and survive through the process.
     6.     What do you think are the easiest and the hardest thing about writing short stories?

If you have the story figured out you can actually finish it in two days but you haven’t then God help you. You might keep struggling with it for months and still not get it.
     7.     Any writing rules/rituals?

I try to create a structure in my notebook or in my mind before I start writing. I also keep notes sometimes of incidents, happenings, research that I would want to include in my future stories.
      8.     Tell us something about your story in MSQ. How did it come about?

I was working with Dipankar Mukherjee, the owner of Readomania for my next book. He told me this competition Mocktales is on and asked me to send a story. I had never written on a theme so I wasn’t sure how I would fare. But an incident had happened in Kolkata around a woman in shorts when this idea came to my mind. My story is named The Dress Code.
      9.     Tell us about your previous work.

By God’s grace my debut novel Exit Interviewpublished by Rupa Publications in June 2015 was well received and critics and readers said it is “unputdownable”.  It was on the Starmark Bestsellers List for months and did well in Dubai as well, where I lived as an expat. The book is based on the life of a woman journalist who moves through the ups and downs in her life as she travels from Kolkata to Dubai to Egypt.
      10.What is your current project or your next release?

My next release is a collection of short stories published by Readomania.
      11. Trivia:
     Favourite food: Crabs
·        Fave books and authors: Keeps changing but Chander Pahar and Hungry Tide are my all-time faves. I love Ruskin Bond, O’Henry and Jeffrey Archer.
·        What makes you happy? A hug from my son.
·        What gets you angry? Disrespect.
·        Your best piece of work till now…I guess yet to come.
     12. How do we connect with you?

Twitter: @amritamuk

     13. Any message for the readers?

It is wonderful people still read despite such busy and stressful lives that we all live in. And I would want to thank my readers for all their appreciation for my blogs and my first book that enthused me to keep writing. 
10 ways to avoid the Snooze drug

  • Coffee. Tea. Yes, some of those well tried-and-tested stuff before classes. They work like a charm.
  • Eat. Yes, eat. Keep some biscuits and snacks handy and stuff them into your mouth the moment you feel your control slipping.
  • Drink. Water. Like every five minutes.
  • Talk. Chat. Keep blabbering. It’s rare to find people falling asleep while in the midst of a conversation.
  • I saw a fellow friend wet her handkerchief with water and dab her eyes with it. Have never tried it but seems like a good idea.
  • One way to find out if you are drunk, sorry, sleepy is to write. Work your pen on paper. If you find yourself inventing vocabulary, making strange connections or anthills and going past well-defined lines, you know your zombie mode is on.
  • Use your five sense organs as far and as much as possible. Touch, smell, taste, see and hear. Any of the faculties stops responding, you know it’s the sleep drug at work.
  • Sit on a blunt nail. It might scratch your ass off but you are less likely to sleep your way to oblivion.
  • Pinch, punch, hit. Do whatever to distract yourself. Remember the sleep mistress is sly and easily inviting. She is sexier than you and has the upper hand. But you got to keep yourself from succumbing to her evil clutches, right? So be the Sati Savitri of Indian mythology and bring your Satyawaan back.
  • Take a pen and stick the pointy end into your palm. Just take care not to create a hitting rhythm that might lull you off to further sleep.

Some victims and their complaints/comments:
“The visions merge so seamlessly from one form to another that it becomes impossible to distinguish between sleeping and waking hours. Until obviously someone clicks an embarrassing picture of your tongue lolling out of your mouth and your head thrown back in some weird posture of slack.”
“Sleep is a bitch. Whether you sleep for six hours or one, eight hours or none, nothing can ever stop you from dozing off in classes. I wonder why people bother with sleeping pills. They should just enroll for some course and attend classes again.”

Look out for other ‘sleep special’ posts ahead!
Every so often, we come across events and happenings. Something or the other is always up in Delhi. Meets and fests, weddings and parties, lunches and launches… 
Here is a brief account of something that needs to be ‘spotlight’ed. Yes, it is a book launch. Readomaniahas come up with this innovative novel set to grab eyeballs. Every day, we see, hear and read mediapersons on TV, internet and in print. But not every day do we hear the story of a journo. On 17 June, 2016, you will hear one at the launch of :
That’s News to Me! 
by Manjula Lal

Dogs can be trained to fetch newspapers for their masters. Should a journalist be treated as a retriever of news by his masters? Told with verve and wit, this is the story of Manush, a talented, independent-minded journalist who tries to stick to the core values of his profession while keeping body and soul together. Out in the field, he enjoys the adrenaline rush of getting scoops and the challenge of solving real-life mysteries. Back in the office, he has to tackle toxic bosses who don’t give a toss about talent and are insecure about their own jobs. And at home, there is emotional distress from a marriage only in name. As the action shifts from a magazine in Noida to a newspaper in Delhi to a website in Gurgaon, the world around Manush changes while he continues his dogged pursuit of career goals and fascinating women. Will forces out of his control make him go into a free fall? Will friends and family give him the respect he deserves? Or will he realise redemption lies elsewhere?
About the Author

Manjula Lal currently works as Deputy Editor with Tehelka. In a career spanning 30 years, she has worked for Economic Times, Pioneer, The Times of India, Indian Express and a host of smaller banners.
Born in Ballia, a remote village of Uttar Pradesh where her father was a district magistrate, the author spent 11 years in a convent boarding school in the hill station of Nainital. After attending college in Lucknow and getting her master’s in political science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, she went to Pennsylvania State University as a teaching assistant. Her stint as the first columnist of foreign origin for the local newspaper gave her a taste of celebrity that made her impatient to return to New Delhi and plunge into journalism.

With a ‘punny’ title, That’s News to Me! is all set to hit the stands. Don’t miss it!

~This post has been written in association with Readomania as a part of its book pre-launch activity~ 
~Published as my contribution on gender stereotyping on Incredible Women of India for the 6th Women Scream Art and Poetry festival, Kolkata Chapter~

The clock has barely struck eight when her phone starts singing a mad tune. Rakhi glances at her phone screen and sighs.

“I got to go, Megha…”
“But it is barely eight!”
“I know…but you know as well…”
Both the girls sigh in an implicit understanding and Rakhi turns to go.
Where you ask? Why, to home sweet home! The curfew has struck. Cinderella needs to be back or in this shadowland of crime and grime, she would not just lose her impressive attire but her life itself.
As the moon ascends in the purple sky, we see gals hurrying away, their family frantically waiting to usher them home, even as guys order another round of beer. When I was a kid, I kept hoping to grow up, thinking that adulthood was the license to stay late. I couldn’t be more wrong.  
To validate my statement, just plan a trip with a couple of your girlfriends. If you get an instant nod from all family members, then please inform me. I would like to meet the great souls. At least once such a question or one of its variants might come up- “An all girls’ trip? I hope there would be at least one man with you people?” As if that one man would be some kind of Hulk or Hanuman. I agree the security issues are huge especially in the country we reside in, but my naïve mind wonders if hemming all women in by a certain time of the evening is a really good idea? Doesn’t it steadily give rise to an all-men night? What a weird dystopian thought!
The curfew timings for girls may vary and in some cases, might not even exist. But in most parts of the country, women today do have such a time. I call it the Cinderella time. What is your Cinderella time, if I may ask?
If you are a Y chromosome, you might not have heard of this phenomenon before. But then you might surely have accompanied a Curfew-ridden Cinderella back home or at least offered to do so? Well, isn’t that what a knight-in-shining-armor supposed to do? Or for that matter, a chivalrous prince? Hold the delicate hands of the dainty princess and walk her down the aisle. Or lay down your life for your lady love. It does sound so wonderfully Victorian era-ish, doesn’t it?
But what if the knight doesn’t feel strong enough? Or the damsel is not really in distress? Do they still need to play their god-ordained, or shall we say society-ordained, roles? For the sake of romanticism perhaps. Or for saving face in front of the policing ‘society’ which has nothing better to do than pass judgments and provide unwanted critiques. The very same society which rushes to call a man effete who doesn’t feel up to some ‘manly’ task and which deigns to look at a woman who is way too good for its liking. The questions just keep coming…why is it such a pain to put up with a more successful woman? Why cannot we readily find examples of hypergamy among men?  
Talking about stereotypes, how many of you have cringed at the thought of being driven about by a woman? Or marveled at a gal steering an SUV? Somehow the idea just doesn’t seem to stick. We still feel the need to respond extraordinarily when we see such otherwise pretty ordinary happenings. Add to that, the preconceived ideas of women considered inept for certain roles leading to biases against female managers or women in top roles. No doubt, the likes of Chanda Kochhar and Mary Barra are storming male bastions but the examples are few and far between.    
Oh but let us not forget the famous Indian dilemma! The moment a girl reaches adulthood or turns into a lady, before greying hair can give her the news of her age, her family does the honors. How you ask?
Like job offers, marriage proposals pour in from all conceivable corners. Guys can wait, but a woman unmarried at say, 30 must surely be an old maid!
‘What’s wrong with her?’ people will whisper. ‘Facing too many rejections perhaps!’ they venture. And the poor parents rush around begging for decent in-laws. Sigh!
I agree the biological clock is ticking. But why do we have fairness creams and age-defying gels directed primarily at women but no brand yet claiming to keep a man young? We will drool over George Clooney (okay I admit I do so too) calling older men sexy but see an ageing woman as a crone?
There are just too many Cinderella moments in women’s life. Sometimes the curfew time, some times, the biological clock. Oh dear Cinderella! What a race! Running and always running…

“Oh, that clock! Old killjoy. I hear you. Come on, get up, you say, Time to start another day. Even he orders me around. Well, there’s one thing. They can’t order me to stop dreaming.” (Cinderella)
A mudra is a symbolic hand gesture used in Indian dances. ( And this must be the briefest prologue ever written by anyone.)

“This is the way to do it. Its one of the most important mudras.” A tall slim woman, not so young and not so old, spread her five long fingers into a graceful curve, which appeared to me like a faint outline of a chalice. “And the more beautiful because of it. It is called ‘alapadma’.” That was the name my dance teacher gave to the charming shape her hands had conjured up.
I still remember that dance class of mine when this very vital mudra of Bharatnatyamwas taught to me and how quickly I adopted it as my own personal mudrain all kinds of classical dances that I performed. I became so obsessed with it that I started looking for ways to use this hand formation whenever I could. For instance, while asking ‘wh’ questions like where are you going, who are you going with, which place and so on.
I soon realized that a lot of others share my feelings towards this ingenious ‘hand’iwork. Especially the drivers on the roads. When you release the clutch a little too soon and your car bumps to an abrupt halt just when the traffic light turns green and the cars behind you start honking madly as if you had set them on fire, at that point, the overtakers show you this beautiful hand mudra, with an expression that says if looks could kill, you would be dead by now. Or when you forget to switch on the car indicator before turning left or when your car is parked  a little way off the imaginary LOC (Line of Car Control), you get this ‘alapadma’. I have begun to equate it with the middle class’ middle finger. Alapadma– the middle finger of mediocre India. The tauter your fingers and the more precise your mudra, the angrier you are and the more the tendency to wring someone’s neck with those graceful fingers of yours. The degree of your ire can also be calculated by the number of hands you use. One slack hand shape indicates that you touched a nerve. A tensed accurately formed shape means you are in trouble. Two hands though mean that you are in great big trouble. This sort of proves that dance is a popular form of expression. In more uncanny ways than one.
This gesture is not just limited to irate drivers or irascible people on the roads. You will see the people around you utilizing this dance feature as well. This mudra is often accompanied by a slight tilt of the head that spells intense derision and utter disdain in the doer’s mind. “What the hell, dude?” it seems to say.
Hands today have come to mean a lot of things. They seem to have become more expressive than either expressions or words combined together. Its not just art forms like dance that use hands extensively for the depiction of emotions and senses. When you are trying to ward someone off, you say “talk to the hand”. Owing to the dearth of time we face today, sign language is a popular lingo wherein interplay of fingers can create a myriad of signals from a ‘pataakamudra showing the Congress ‘haath’ or the ‘shikharmudra viz. ‘thumbs-up’ sign doubling up as the most popular ‘like’ statement ever (courtesy of facebook) or the newest signal of aggression/annoyance/inquiry -the alapadma-our question mark -our own trademark middle finger.
Sign language is not a new invention. It is an age-old mode of expression, dating back to paleolithic man. Man in his quest to develop more and ever more, sometimes seeks solace in the simplistic symbols of articulation. Hands are the new words and alapadma is the new middle finger.
My dance classes coming pretty ‘hand’y now, huh?