This article is an in-depth analysis of the 2021 regional South-Indian Malayalam movie ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ and It examines the socio-cultural and religious manifestations of patriarchy in the Indian society. I have approached and analyzed this movie using my mental models and some secondary research on subjects of menstruation and sex in the Indian society. Please note that this essay contains spoilers. If you haven’t watched the movie, I’d totally recommend watching it (link)—it also has subtitles for those who do not understand Malayalam. I have used several screenshots from the movie to make/support my arguments—they do not belong…


Everytime I eat an orange, I get reminded of my late paternal grandfather, Dhandu thatha ❤

Every day this past week, I throw two tiny mandarin oranges into my lunch bag as I head out to work. Usually, I forget about them until afternoon hits—like an internal metronome for an alarm—for after lunch, I wish I was doing anything but work. When the weight of adulthood and deprived afternoon naps stare heavily at me, I pause everything I do for a few minutes to retrieve those two oranges from my bag. One by one, I pluck their crowns, attempt to peel the entire skin in a go (and fail), take apart the pieces and its strands…


Memories work in mysterious ways. You listen to a song, watch an old cartoon, hear a certain word, or sometimes simply ‘feel’ a moment — you’ve been immediately transported to a memory, into the universe of what was, even if only for a brief second. I am an extremely sensory person and little triggers send me back in time. One of my strongest triggers though, is food. My urge to write of memories, of what was ,and how that makes me feel now reaches the crescendo through smell and taste…and there enters this food series: Plateful of Memories.

On the left is my cup of ginger-elaichi chai and on the right is a platter of urlakizhangu (potato) bhajjis* —this combination of snacks and beverage elicits a sense of strong yearning for the beach and home.

It was…


The simple pleasures of Karacha Maavu (Mixed Flour) Dosa | The plate I ultimately ended up making/eating

My mother is an excellent cook — she can look at ingredients and it would turn into simple comfort food and royal meals. She tastes something new and would recreate the dish—street food, fusion food, international, no bar. Millets that don’t yield to any force surrenders in my mother’s hands. Growing up with that level of excellence and intuition in cooking has passed on me to me without my own knowing—I make my way around the kitchen trusting my intuition and remembering how the kitchen should smell at different points of cooking a certain dish.

Mother’s food is hard to…


2020 has been an unforgiving year—an international pandemic, natural disasters, a tough socio-political situation, to name a few highlights of the year gone by. We couldn’t hug our friends, go to art shows or cinemas, or catch a bite to eat at our favourite restaurants. It’s been a taxing year, 2020, throwing all our plans for a toss. That said, it has also given us more time than ever to connect with ourselves, consciously build our relationships in new ways, and reconnect with our hobbies which “life” usually gets in the way of. I designed this infographic poster to quickly…


This article is an examination of Devarakonda’s two movies, Geetha Govindam and Arjun Reddy, that which seems to have taken over South India by a wave in its so-called ‘romance’. They are claimed as the bold experiments of the actor in choosing such radically different movies. But…when you distill the essence of these two characters, they’re not antithesis (as claimed) of one another but just different personas of the same archetype of Indian men…patriarchal, misogynistic, and entitled. Here’s why these movies should jolt you.

L to R: Arjun Reddy and Geetha Govindam

The super-hit Telugu song Inkem Inkem Kavale from the movie Geetha Govindam has been captivating the…


This piece was originally published on my website/blog here.

I had the opportunity to visit Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights museum on May 12th, and spent close to three hours at the Civil Rights Movement Exhibition. It told the story of the history of the freedom movement from Atlanta’s perspective. Now, as a person who hops around museum and takes her own time like nobody’s business, I went in armed with my watercolors and ink, but also my new iPad for digital sketching to experience museums the way I do- alone, and over a long period of…


I asked women to share the ‘little’ things they do every day to protect themselves from sexual harassment on the streets of India (and the world) and share their #MeToo stories. I then researched the sh*t out of it.

I have written this from the POV of a heterosexual cis-woman, but aim to encompass all women, women-identifying, and third gender. This post is by no means an erasure of sexual harassment men undergo themselves, but to focus on the large realities of women’s experiences through first-hand recounts and personal experiences in tandem with secondary research.

A summary of what you’re about to read: This article concerns every woman’s everyday obstacle race in our country, in its discussion about gendered spaces in our cities (masculine and feminine). ‘Women are coerced through consent’ to adopt into socially-conforming measures in navigating a city which ensures that public spaces remain largely male-dominated and heterosexual. Beyond sexual abuse and harassment, this…

Hemalatha Venkataraman

Artist, design researcher, architect, poet and writer, and everything at those intersections | Social innovation | Community building | Cash me outside w/ chai.

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