‘म’ se Museum

2024-04-25 15:32:20

Rita Kothari, Francesca Orsini, Shobhaa De

‘म’ se Museum


May 11, 2022    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

“Yaar, my schedule is poora packed today. But I don’t want to miss the MAP Talk!”

“Which one? Kaunsa wala?”

“Arrey, the Hinglish wala event bro! I’ve been looking forward to it.”


Does this exchange sound familiar to you? If not, let us introduce you to the phenomenon of Hinglish that has taken pop culture by storm. 

Hindi-speaking Indians around the world have added a dash of chaat masala to English, blending the colonial language with a desi garnish. Historically, and culturally, a section of Indians have spoken multiple dialects in their lifetimes, weaving in and out of two or more languages in daily life. The Empire added English to the mix, and Indians have made it their own as well.

In this mazedaar session on the pleasures and politics of language moderated by Francesca Orsini, join us as Shobhaa De and Rita Kothari go on a masaledaar journey and discover the fascinating world of apna Hinglish – from columns and books to filmi naach gaana.

Rita Kothari

Professor, Ashoka University

Rita Kothari is a Professor of English at Ashoka University where she also runs the centre for translation.  A distinguished translator, Kothari is a leading theoretician of translation studies, internationally known for books such as Translating India : The Cultural Politics of English,A Multilingual Nation, Chutnefying English and Decentring Translation Studies. Her translations of note include Angaliyat: The Stepchild from Gujarati; Unbordered Memories from Sindhi and the Patan Trilogy by K.M.Munshi from Gujarati. 

Her work on partition and borders intervened to bring the unusual Sindhi experience in books such as The Burden of Refuge and the study of the Indo-Pak border region in Memories and Movements. Kothari is a multilingual scholar and her translation interest is manifest in the way she moves between various languages through research and pedagogy. She also writes extensively on language politics, partition, literary and social traditions of Gujarat and Sindh, and Hindi cinema.  Her recent publication is The Greatest Gujarati Stories Ever Told (Aleph Publishing, 2022).

Shobhaa De


Shobhaa De has written extensively on India’s socio-cultural-political contours for over four decades. Her books include several bestsellers such as Socialite Evenings, Starry Nights, Superstar India, Seventy…And to Hell With It! and many more… A widely read columnist in leading publications, she is known for her outspoken views, making her one of India’s most respected opinion shapers.

Bold and highly individualistic, De’s outspoken provocative writing on urban India has influenced millions of young Indians. She is the recipient of several awards for her journalistic contributions, writes prolifically for Indian and international publications, and is recognised as an important social commentator and something of an authority on popular culture. She is also credited with having given birth to the journalistic usage of “Hinglish” – a heady, irreverent mix of Hindi and English that spoke to readers in an entirely new way!

Francesca Orsini

Professor, SOAS University of London

Francesca Orsini is Professor Emerita of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London, a Fellow of the British Academy, the author of The Hindi Public Sphere (2002) and Print and Pleasure (2009), and editor of, among others, Love in South Asia: A Cultural History (2006) and Before the Divide: Hindi and Urdu Literary Cultures (2010). Hinglish Live (with Ravikant) has recently appeared with Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi (2022). 

She is interested in literary multilingualism in the longue durée and has just finished a book provisionally entitled Multilingual Literary History: North India and World Literature. She has also recently completed a research project (funded by the European Research Council) called Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies: for a new approach to world literature from the perspective of North India, the Maghreb, and the Horn of Africa. 

She is currently co-editing with Debjani Ganguly the new series Cambridge Studies in World Literatures and Cultures; is an editor of the Journal of World Literature; and is part of two research projects: one led by Anastasia Pilliavsky (KCL) on Fugitive Words: India’s politics in its vernaculars, and the other led by Phiroze Vasunia (UCL) on Comparative Classics: Greece, Rome, and India.

Other Events

Subscribe to Map Newsletters

A one-stop docket of all that's happening at MAP, from upcoming exhibitions to talks, workshops and events for the following month.