The Babu wonders what Salman Rushdie finds more irritating–speculation about his on-off relationship with Padma Lakshmi or questions about the fatwa years. He answered both fairly patiently at the PEN awards recently (yup, the woman who provided the inspiration for Nila in Fury seems to be back in his life; for all we know she was never out of it…).

How great is the time lag between reviewers in Delhi and their counterparts in the US? The Babu had always wondered about this, but was slightly startled when he spotted these two reviews. The Telegraph, one of India’s better-known English language dailies, featured a pretty well-written review of a Simon Winchester book, about two days after the New York Times reviewed a Simon Winchester work as well. Thing is, the Telegraph’s reviewed The Map That Changed the World–the book that came out before Winchester wrote the one reviewed by the NYTKrakatoa. Ah well. They’re both well-written reviews–and books.