Women being flogged at a temple (pic: The Hindu)

Forcibly whipping women in temples?

I learnt today that “evil spirits”, whatever they are, like to reside only in women.  Not in men, and certainly not in male priests. I learnt that anyone can diagnose at a glance that a woman has “evil spirits” in her.  I wonder how one trains for this, but no diplomas seem to be necessary.…

William Safire and the English language

Years ago,  I used to read William Safire’s columns on the English language in Frontline.   His columns made English grammar and usage seem more interesting than Wren and Martin ever could.  I did not know then that he was a conservative political columnist, or that he was Nixon’s speechwriter, or that he worked at the New…

Desis in TV ads

Two good ads have left me wondering. Now, I don’t even watch ads unless I have to.  Watching pre-recorded shows means you can zip through all the ads. But I recently watched two good ads.  The first was the Howie Mandel Buy.com ad with a Spelling Bee theme.  I am a big Spelling Bee fan,…