Month: January 2004

  • Ananya Vajpeyi on the real issues behind the attack on the BORI Institute in Pune: “…[Are] we prepared to defend acts of violence perpetrated in the name of our identity, our beliefs and finally, our sentiments? The work on Shivaji by the American professor James Laine must be judged on the cogency of its arguments […]

  • M K Chakrabarti echoes the uneasiness I’ve often heard expressed in India about Monica Ali’s Brick Lane: “The truth is, London?s East End Bangladeshis do not live in a hermetically sealed community. No immigrants in London do. The world is too globalized, too interconnected, too interdependent to allow for that. The rest of British society […]

  • William Dalrymple reviewed Bernard Henri-Levy’s Who Killed Daniel Pearl? for the NYRB recently. Dalrymple didn’t pull his punches, but he had cogent points to make: “Lévy shows an intermittent disdain for Islam, and something approaching hatred for Pakistan. He rightly criticizes Pakistanis for their anti-Semitism, and for regarding Israel as evil incarnate, but then goes […]

  • The Babu thinks he needs to do the disappearing act more often–Peter “Zig” Griffin is clearly as good a guest in a home as he is on a blog. If you’re missing him, as I am after the great and very thorough job he did at Kitabkhana, do drop in here. Meanwhile, the Babu’s own […]

  • Glad to inform you that Hurree is back in civilisation, bursting with tales of faraway lands and strange sights. So this is the last you’ll hear from me, at least until The Babu next goes walkabout. A few links to remember me by: A bit dated, but… Esquire’s 70th Anniversary selection of the greatest stories […]

  • “Thanks to Miss Mitchell and Scarlett, right now I can say any damn thing I want to, and people will listen.” Alexandra Ripley, author of Scarlett, the officially sanctioned sequel to Gone With the Wind, died on January 10 at her home in Richmond. She was 70. “Ms. Ripley is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth […]

  • TL: ….because most writers would be deeply embarrassed to say “I am an artist”. HK: Do you think? TL: Actually say those words… HK: I think I’m an artist, I do. But why – are people thinking of themselves as entertainers or commentators? TL: It’s the social embarrassment of suggesting that in some way you […]

  • Graham Robb, who, if Google and Amazon serve me right, wrote biographies of Rimbaud, Balzac, Hugo, turned his attention to another aspect of the 19th Century with his book Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century. One of his conclusions: Sherlock Holmes was gay. Laura Miller, in NYT*, begs to differ. Zig at Zigzackly

  • The other MS we hate Mark Simpson, the chap who first inflicted the term metrosexual on an unsuspecting world, interviews himself at Salon. Or as the more entertaining blurb on his site says, “‘Metrosexuality is a textually transmitted disease’ – Q&A with Mark Simpson on his bastard child.” (*Salon Premium requires registration or viewing several […]

  • You can say “f**k” on TV. For now. Jan Freeman, in the Boston Globe, writes about the debate on the use of the F Word on TV. (For those who came in late, Bono’s use of it in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last year started a minor storm, bringing in the FCC. […]