The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Book Review: Gail Honeyman’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’

By Kamalini Natesan
Eleanor reminding us repeatedly through her plain-as-day, in-your-face wisdom how we live after all. She’s full and yet she’s broken, and devises a way of living through daily machinations with unerring regularity: timing herself, feeding herself with the exact same food, and drinking Vodka, plenty of it.


Aquatic invasive fish: A major threat to Indian biodiversity

By Ratna Ghosal
The suckermouth catfish, a native to South America and a popular aquarium species, has spread into the open waters in several states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. These catfish have a hard external armor and are highly oxygen tolerant, with no value as a food fish and face no predation pressure in the introduced range.

Two Poems

By Fatima Zehra
nevertheless I found peace in
your lewd reciprocity and
tragic seasonal violence,
your trapped sunset hues; 

Film: Women in ‘Lust Stories’

By Prashila Naik
Bhumi Pednekar, a generally fine actress, does wonders with this role. The scene where she serves tea to the two sets of parents and then walks towards the bedroom to serve the younger ‘couple’, is a stunning indictment of how deep-rooted class-divides will continue to remain, even if physical and sexual boundaries are crossed.

Many Shujaats Will Be Born

By Rameez Raja
Bukhari’s only fault was his attempt for a peaceful settlement of the unresolved Kashmir dispute. Additionally, he never hesitated to speak against the wrong policies and double-standards of the government in the valley. While he might not have won the hearts of the haters of peace, he is now a role model for the new faces of the Kashmiri people, who believe that pen is mightier than the gun.

Infertility and Women

By Rimli Bhattacharya
If you are desperate to hear the word, ‘Mother’, you can always go for adoption and give an orphan a home. My friend, who I started the article with, dealt with her depression by seeking help from a therapist. When all medical interventions failed, she too went for an adoption and adopted a girl child. While it’s a blessing to pass on the bloodline, it is a double blessing to adopt an orphan. Be kind, be grateful for the fact that you are infertile. So that you can be a mother to all those orphans, who had a mother once but are motherless and in need to love.

India’s consistent penchant for torture violates human rights

By Basit Farooq and Shariqa Naseer
According to NCRB, 1584 deaths occurred in prisons in 2015, suggesting that there was one death every 6 hours. Apart from health issues and age factors, torture as reported by Human Rights Watch was a major cause of these deaths. Agnelo, as stated above, was one of the 591 people who died in police custody between 2010 and 2015 as per NCRB.

We are sex workers; Don’t rob us of our identity!

We have time and again stressed that many women, men and transgender persons voluntary engage in sex work and would request NGOs, governmental agencies, media and others to respect that. Many NGOs and government agencies are using the ‘raid-and-rescue’ and ‘rehabilitation’ strategy that causes immense harm to our communities. Under these circumstances branding us as merely “oppressed women” will only make matters worse.

Poem: The Rohingya

By Usha Nellore
The Buddha said, be detached.
I can’t be detached.
You can’t be detached.  
No one should be detached.
When another human is attacked,
what is it like to be detached
what is it like not to fight back.

The Story of a Secularist in India

By Navras J. Aafreedi
Noticing my parents’ reluctance, when the official there suggested that they give me just any name if they did not wish to pass on theirs, my father perceived it as the expression of doubt on my legitimacy and gave my first name a couple of suffixes, my mother’s caste name, Jāt and the name of the Pashtun/Pathan tribe he comes from, Āfrīdī (He spelt it Aafreedi to emphasize the long vowels in it, and not for any numerological reason.).

Paris: An Immortal Memory

By Jagari Mukherjee
I wanted to see the city which has been immortalized by poets and artists. I wanted to see the city which had formed the backdrop in works like Alexandre Dumas’ Camille, Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, and Sartre’s The Age of Reason, amongst others. I had watched and loved movies like Moulin Rouge (based on Camille) and Gigi (based on Colette’s novelette). As for me, my painting of Paris will be a work of Impressionism rather than Realism as I attempt to recapture its essence mainly through the perfumed mists of memory.