Meher Manda

Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, culture critic, and educator from Mumbai, currently living in New York City. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the College of New Rochelle. She is currently working on her debut prose-poetry collection. She specializes in teaching narrative-focused writing residencies.

Latest articles

It’s Time to Bid Bollywood Masala Films a Definitive Goodbye

The genre that once crackled with all the dramatic possibilities of mainstream Hindi cinema and united a country has devolved into divisive, repugnant storylines.

Meher Manda

December 21, 2021

It’s Time to Bid Bollywood Masala Films a Definitive Goodbye

The Diluted Revolutionary: Bhagat Singh in Hindi Cinema

Shoojit Sircar’s “Sardar Udham” is the latest in a long line of Bollywood portrayals of the Indian freedom fighter, but the first to delve into his humanity and nuanced politics.

Meher Manda

November 30, 2021

The Diluted Revolutionary: Bhagat Singh in Hindi Cinema

How Mughals Turned Into Hindi Cinema’s Newest Villains

From “Mughal-e-Azam” to “Jodhaa Akbar,” Bollywood has long been fascinated with the stories and extravagance of the Mughal empire. But in recent years, films have reduced the Muslim rulers to caricatured villains.

Meher Manda

October 22, 2021

How Mughals Turned Into Hindi Cinema’s Newest Villains

Why Kamal Haasan's “Hey Ram” Tries — and Fails — to Rewrite History

In the daring historical drama, the actor and filmmaker poses the question, “What if a man could be dissuaded from assassinating Gandhi?”

Meher Manda

September 28, 2021

Why Kamal Haasan's “Hey Ram” Tries — and Fails — to Rewrite History

How Mani Ratnam’s Terrorism Trilogy Stoked 1990s Nationalism

Though critically acclaimed, the director’s “Roja,” “Bombay,” and “Dil Se...” pushed jingoistic narratives that persist in Bollywood today.

Meher Manda

August 31, 2021

How Mani Ratnam’s Terrorism Trilogy Stoked 1990s Nationalism

How Bollywood Failed Kashmir

Hindi cinema has long viewed Kashmir through a glossy lens, erasing its people, their agency, and their political histories.

Meher Manda

July 27, 2021

How Bollywood Failed Kashmir

“Fire”: An Inextinguishable Part of Queer Brown Cinema

The 1996 film was the first in India to portray two women in love. Some called it revolutionary. Others called it a war against Indian culture.

Meher Manda

June 30, 2021

“Fire”: An Inextinguishable Part of Queer Brown Cinema

The Devolution of Journalism in Hindi Film

Bollywood’s ethical journalists are increasingly disappearing from the screen.

Meher Manda

May 25, 2021

The Devolution of Journalism in Hindi Film

"Swades" and the NRI Burden

The 2004 Shah Rukh Khan-starrer doesn’t show a glamorous diaspora, but rather, the political responsibility of returning home.

Meher Manda

April 27, 2021

"Swades" and the NRI Burden

How a 1990 Satyajit Ray Film Predicted the Future

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and increasing politicization of society, "Ganashatru" is loudly prescient.

Meher Manda

March 30, 2021

How a 1990 Satyajit Ray Film Predicted the Future
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