Month: May 2005

  • Business Standard column: Character Map

    (Published in ‘Speaking Volumes’, the Business Standard, May 3, 2005) Two observations: the first is that while Indian fiction has produced entire armies of indelible women characters–practically all of Tagore’s works have at least one great woman in the cast, barring Rajarshi, to name just one author–Indian fiction in English is curiously barren of women. […]

  • Book review: The Red Carpet

    (Published in India Today) This is what makes reviewing worthwhile. About forty books cross my desk each month. Some are junk. Some are just about bearable. Some are freakishly pretentious. And some are like Siddhartha Deb’s Surface, which I’m reading for the second time in a fortnight, and like The Red Carpet…books that make you […]

  • Book review: Dil-o-Daanish

    (Published in The Indian Express) I tried, but there was no way I could use the English title; The Heart Has Its Reasons conjures up the memoirs of Barbara Cartland and of Wallis Simpson, and for the life of me I can’t imagine Krishna Sobti in their company. The Heart Has Its ReasonsKrishna SobtiTranslated by […]

  • Review: Coronation Talkies

    (This was written for the Business Standard, May 2, 2005.) Coronation TalkiesSusan KurosawaPenguin Viking488 pages, Rs 475 Remember the days when patriotic Indians, struggling under the yoke of Empire, swore revenge on the Raj? We did our bit. We introduced Britain to chicken tikka masala and bhangra-rap. We took over cricket, and we did our […]

  • The BS column: The Collecting Impulse

    (This first appeared in Business Standard, Speaking Volumes for April 26, 2005) Which reminds me: if anyone knows of good books on collectors/ collections/ collecting in India, please tell me about them? I’m also looking for books about books by Indian bibliophiles (and yes, I’ve seen Tharoor’s latest). My prejudice against book collectors was formed […]