Monthly Archives: November 2012

The BS Column: Legacy publishing and the new game

(Published in the Business Standard, November 27, 2012) There’s a scene in any self-respecting adventure film where the good guys, horribly outnumbered, merge forces to make one last, brave, desperate stand against the arch-villain. The outcome depends on whether you’re watching Lord of the Rings (good triumphs, the world will not be ruled by a […]

Journal: Indira Goswami

The Journey, by Indira Goswami: But my mind was elsewhere and I did not pay any attention to the talks of the guns and terrorists. I was watching the forest flit past outside the car window. I saw the grand veloe trees draped in moss that grew like hair on the legs of long-tailed monkeys. […]

Journal: Arundhati Roy, In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones

In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (Arundhati Roy, born on November 24)

Journal: Nirad C Chaudhuri

Ian Jack, from the Introduction to Autobiography of an Unknown Indian. I knew him during his last two decades, as many others knew him at that time, as a deeply mischievous and superbly entertain- ing egoist. It is impossible to exaggerate these aspects of his char- acter, which are also fully present in his writing. […]

The BS Column: Sacco’s wars

(Published in the Business Standard, November 20, 2012) The @IDFSpokesperson account on Twitter has over 179,091 followers, and is credited with having brought war to social media. Over last week, thousands watched the war unfold in Gaza, tweet by tweet. Many were horrified at the cold-blooded way in which the Israeli Defence Forces laid out […]

Journal: James Tod

From the Introduction to Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: Is it to be imagined that a nation so highly civilized as the Hindus, amongst whom the exact sciences flourished in perfection, by whom the fine arts [ix], architecture, sculpture, poetry, music, were not only cultivated, but taught and defined by the nicest and most elaborate […]

Journal: Tahir Shah

From In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams: The torture room was ready for use. There were harnesses for hanging the prisoners upside down, rows of sharp-edged batons, and smelling salts, used syringes filled with dark liquids and worn leather straps, tourniquets, clamps, pliers, and equipment for smashing the feet. On the floor there […]

Journal: Tagore’s Nobel

November 1913, Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Rabindranath Tagore Telegram of acceptance: “I beg to convey to the Swedish Academy my grateful appreciation of the breadth of understanding which has brought the distant near, and has made a stranger a brother.”

The BS column: Anita Desai’s world

(Published in the Business Standard, November 12, 2012) There is a clear division in the minds of most readers between writers who write guidebook-fiction, and writers who write to understand their world, and end by changing yours. Fiction-as-guidebook writers are often technically dazzling—Jonathan Lethem, Philip Roth—but in essence, they do not write to understand their […]

Journal: Mohammed Hanif

From Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes: Look at the arrangement of fruit salad on my tormentor’s chest, above the left pocket of his uniform shirt, and you can read his whole biography. A faded paratrooper’s badge is the only thing that he had to leave his barracks to earn. The medals in the […]

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