Author Archives: Nilanjana Roy

2013-11-24 19.11.11

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  I remembered [the town] as it was: a good place to live where everybody knew everybody else, located on the banks of a river of transparent water that raced over a bed of polished stones as huge and white as prehistoric eggs. At dusk, above all in December, when the rains had ended and […]


The woman’s vote

  Women want in: my piece for The Guardian on what the steadily climbing voting turnout among Indian women says about their unmet expectations from Indian politics and politicians. Read it here: In 1952, a decade after the Indian independence activist Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the flag of the Indian National Congress at the Gowalia […]

#flashreads for free speech:

Free speech primer: a user’s guide

Prem Panicker and Nisha Susan asked me to do this for Yahoo! India; it’s a compilation of the work done by many other people, writers, lawyers and activists, on free speech issues in India over the years. Read the primer here: How to Fight Censorship and Remain Free One of the earliest references to the […]

Book review: The Museum of Innocence

Speaking Volumes: Romila Thapar-the memory keeper

  (Published in the Business Standard,  April 15, 2014) In 2003, a study asked 569 college students what their memories of 9/11 were. 73 per cent “remembered” seeing television footage the first plane crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center; so did the neuroscientist Karim Nader, who was in New York at […]


An open letter to S Anand

From The Hindu: The Delhi-based publisher Navayana has decided to cancel the agreement for release of the English translation of Mr. D’Cruz’s first Tamil novel Aazhi Soozh Ulagu (Ocean Ringed World) in the wake of his recent political stand on Mr. Modi. An open letter to S Anand and Navayana Dear Anand,   Somewhere along […]


Book review: Filomena’s Journeys, Maria Aurora Couto

(Published in the Business Standard, March 2013) Filomena’s Journeys: A portrait of a marriage, a family & a culture Maria Aurora Couto Aleph Book Company, Rs 495, 290 pages In the introduction to her book, The Liar’s Club, Mary Karr writes about the time her mother’s kitchen was retiled. Redoing a panel, the tile man […]

The Jungle Trees of Central India, Pradip Krishen

(Published in the Business Standard, March 2013; this is the long-playing version.) So many of the world’s best books happen on foot; far more writers are walking animals than sedentary ones, returning to the desk to set down an account of where their travels took them.   Very rarely, the walking doesn’t just enable the […]

Khushwant Singh, RIP

(Khushwant Singh died at the age of 99, just before his 100th summer. An old profile, in tribute.)   What do smart sardars and UFOs have in common?You hear a lot about them but no one’s actually met one.(Politically incorrect joke found on the Internet.) I don’t know where you’d go to meet a UFO, […]


Journal: All of love’s freedoms

Last week, my husband I celebrated the anniversary of our almost two-decade old marriage. We had a lot of trouble with that “marriage” business, and the term “husband” and “wife” when we decided to live together all those years ago. He and I didn’t like the fact that husband was a verb, while wife wasn’t: […]

Speaking Volumes: This Outsized Reality

(Published in the Business Standard, February 4th, 2014) In 1997, Granta 57 turned its entire issue over to India, commemorating the 50th year since Independence. The Golden Jubilee edition was greeted with cautious praise and what would become a trademark suspicion of any book that attempted to cover all of this vast, noisy republic. 17 […]


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