*Good to have Pico Iyer back in form–the Babu loves his non-fiction, but has to admit that the fiction leaves him umm, kind of lukewarm. Anyway, here’s the man on jet-lag, and yes, this is from a soon-to-be-published book. Yay.

“I often think that I have traveled into a deeply foreign country under jet lag, somewhere more mysterious in its way than India or Morocco. A place that no human had ever been until 40 or so years ago and yet, now, a place where more and more of us spend more and more of our lives.”

Suketu Mehta wrote the script for this. Someone give me the screenplay. Please.

“This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath, and then just a little bit longer. So listen as fast as you can.” Chuckie’s back.

Here’s a nice piece on Anu Garg. What, you haven’t visited Wordsmith yet?

“VS Naipaul is read alongside Sam Selvon and George Lamming. Salman Rushdie is compared with Aamer Hussein and Kamila Shamsie; and, mercifully, he reads Zadie Smith in the light of developing trends and ideas among the body of migrant writers and theorists.” Amen to that.

The Vagina Monologues will not be staged in Chennai. This quote kind of sums up the story: ??Obviously Madras has no vaginas. If Madras has no vaginas it must be full of a**holes,?? Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, one of the organisers, said.

More on the IIM imbroglio: the human resource development ministry turns up the heat. Shekhar Gupta comments in The Indian Express: “[Joshi] has got it all wrong, like a mofussil intellectual caught in a time warp. Of all the senior BJP politicians with an RSS background, he should have been the last to be so uncomfortable with English-speaking elites. But he has chosen to be that way, and the bureaucratic, ideological, academic ? and utterly marginalised ? sycophants who hang around him have told him, attaboy, way to go.”

Disney signs a deal with Judy Blume: “I think both of our intention is to very much keep the spirit of the books, keep the flavor of the books, keep the core stories of the books, but understand that in order for the books to have a successful translation to the film the stories need to be opened up and made visual rather than internal.” It’s just my macabre imagination at work, but I can’t quite banish a mental vision of Blume pegged out on a dissection table while Disney technicians wield their scalpels to the accompaniment of a chorus of cute little humming birds.

* “Mr. Amis is alive and kicking and, in case anyone’s interested, up for grabs.” The NYT speculates that Martin Amis is fishing for another book contract in the US. It’s kind of weird to read the term “marketable” in a story about the man.





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