“For one glorious night, New Yorkers lost access to their TVs, to the Internet, to their cellphones, and had to turn to each other, to the warm living humanness of each other.” Suketu Mehta on the New York power blackout. Things work differently in the Third World: over here in Delhi, where “loadshedding” and “power cuts” are everyday occurrences, the sound of a thousand polluting generators gets in the way of our warm living humanness, alas.
The Guardian review of Raj Kamal Jha’s If You Are Afraid of Heights praises his “spare, poetic prose” which also has a “febrile, cold-sweat quality”. It raises an interesting issue of nomenclature by using the term “Anglo-Indian fiction”. Merle Oberon and Cliff Richards were ‘Anglo-Indians’; Jha is a practitioner of a school of writing that lacks a suitable name. Indo-Anglian sounds clunkier but may be marginally more accurate; Indians Writing in English sounds like it has three exclamation marks after it (clever little beggars, aren’t they?); and don’t get the Babu started on the woeful inaccuracy of the new term, “bhasha” writing, used to define Other Writing in India (Not in the English Language). Perhaps we should just call them writers of Indian origin, or maybe just writers, without any qualifying descriptive adjectives, and be done with it.