[HS Recommends] From the politics of Sarkar to the girl who ate a wasp, some top picks this week


In our new series, HS Recommends, to be published every Saturday, we will bring to you music, movies, books, apps, and more...

The ghost of Kevin Spacey lingers

With women sweeping the US mid-term elections last week, we’d like to think woman power is here to stay. And so, we recommend you binge watch the sixth and final season of House of Cards. The absence of Kevin Spacey notwithstanding, Robin Wright as Claire Underwood (now Hale) holds the finale on her own terms – belligerent, powerful and ruthless. There are inferences to today’s political climate and you are left to connect the dots. While Madam President wants to leave the past behind, it always catches up as Spacey’s character lurks throughout – from Episode one to eight. The last scene is dramatic and a little OTT, but there’s something you can’t help but wonder - why didn’t Claire come out of her husband’s shadows earlier?

(House of Cards – Season 6, now streaming on Netflix)

The girl who ate a wasp

Anita Nair’s new book, Eating Wasps, is a stinging reminder that as women, we all have to traverse different paths and make some tough choices. The author interweaves stories of the daily lives of women who are connected with - wait, hold your breath - the remains of the finger of a woman who took her own life. The setting for the story is Near-the-Nila from the author’s earlier book, Mistress, where the characters flit in and out – between the past and the present as they grapple with their own lives and insecurities. The main character in the story, the one who committed suicide, is Sreelakshmi, a child with a fondness for honey, who mistakes a wasp for a bee and eats it. Therein lies the story – of trying hard to find happiness in the struggle.

The politics of it all

If the politics happening around us was not enough, we need a politically slick movie to talk about. Now that the crowds have eased a bit after Diwali, you can go ahead and watch the much-awaited Tamil film Sarkar – not just for Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s acting prowess, but for the controversy it has courted in the last few days. The social entertainer begins with the imminent visit of the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world Sundar Ramaswamy to India to do what we are all supposed to – vote in the upcoming elections. Our hero then finds that his vote has been stolen and cast by someone else. The film is a reflection of Tamil politics and supposedly alludes to the AIADMK and former Chief Minister Jayalalitha in some scenes. With some of the scenes now cut, Sarkar has made a point – politics always rules!

(Sarkar - Tamil, running in theatres)

Pin it and be safe!

Long before pepper sprays came to a woman’s aid – we had in our handbags, an endless supply of safety pins. We used it to good effect on gropers while travelling on public transport. But now with harassment more rampant than ever before, and not just on public transport, it’s time to bank on technology to help us feel and be safe. My Safetipin is a personal safety app that helps women take travelling decisions, especially during the night, based on the safety score of the area. This is how it works – the app calculates the safety scores of areas based on different parameters – walkways, crowds, security, visibility, lighting, etc and pins the safe locations on the app. So, if you enter an unsafe location, the app alerts you immediately, following which you can share your location with emergency contacts and invite them to track you.

(My Safetipin is available on Google Play and The App Store.)


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