How To Read In Indian, a collection of selected essays and literary journalism, will be published by HarperCollins India in 2013. Some excerpts:
From the title essay, How To Read in Indian:
“The Census 2001 figures, recently released, revealed that English had effectively become India’s second language, behind Hindi. Many of the new English speakers come from the small towns, or belong to areas of the metros that lie outside the charmed circles of privilege. English belongs to them now as much as it once did, about two-three decades ago, to the old class of writer-Brahmins.
And as this generation begins to tell and write their stories, they may not need to beguile the souks of the West with their Indiennisme.”
“Even for those Indians who are most comfortable in just one language, reading in translation is a reflex, like living in cities with two or three languages on the street signs. (Cross-translations in Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada and Tamil, to name just a few Indian languages, are thriving business—Bengal’s pulp fiction bestsellers used to do a brisk trade in crude translations of Alistair Maclean and James Hadley Chase, and sold Bengali Harry Potter translations by the sackful more recently.)”