Month: October 2005

  • Remembering Nirmal Verma

    Pratik Kanjilal pays tribute to Nirmal Verma, the Hindi writer who pioneered the Nayi Kahani movement: The last time I met Nirmal Verma at home, he was recovering from a bout of the long illness which finally claimed him last night, at the age of 76. We were speaking of his early life, before he, […]

  • Making up your mind

    Charles Fernyhough writes an essay on the brain in literature: No professional group is more interested in the workings of the human mind than writers of fiction. Novelists as different as David Lodge, Jonathan Franzen and Ian McEwan have turned to the language of neuroscience in exploring venerable ideas about human experience. Even those writers […]

  • Editor’s Notes We’ll Treasure Forever

    Preceding Martin Walker’s pursed-lips article on Harold Pinter’s anti-war, anti-US poems: Editor’s note: This article contains poetic obscenities and vulgarities. Sublime. Truly sublime. Oh, and if Pinter’s reading ‘American Football (A Meditation on the Gulf War)’ any time soon, the Babu plans to be there. And so does Christopher Hitchens, not.

  • Six Things IIPM* Could Use

    (For the background on the IIPM free speech controversy, go here or here or scroll down for more posts.) *Legal disclaimer: IIPM refers to the Indian Institute of Ponytail Management, ranked number one in its field by Split Ends magazine, recipient of the annual Scrunchy award from The Office of Unwashed Greasy Hair Shampooing (TOUGHS), […]

  • We’d REALLY like to thank the Academy!

    I heard Harold Pinter reading from ‘Cancer Cells’ at Edinburgh a few years ago; stood in line to shake the man’s hand afterwards, for the trenchant remarks he’d made criticising Blair’s policy on Iraq. Heh. That makes four Nobel laureates whose paws I’ve patted, which is a strange and bizarre factoid of no possible interest […]

  • We’d like to thank the Academy…

    …for breaking its code of omerta and offering some sort of gossip.First, the Academy delayed the announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature by a week, sparking off rumours that its members had agreed to disagree. (This is always a difficult decision: “Vargas Llosa?” “Na, too famous…” “Kundera?” “Na, it’ll look like we’re bowing down […]

  • Chicken run: The IIPM affair (2)

    This was the second post: Consider this. A youth magazine runs a standard feature checking out the very tall claims made by an institute that offers high-priced management degrees. The claims don’t check out; the magazine prints its findings. The institute sues the magazine. It sues the magazine’s editor. Vicious and obscene comments pop up […]

  • Chicken run: The IIPM affair

    (Crossposted on Kitabkhana. India Uncut, DesiPundit and Sambhar Mafia were the first to speak out and have been monitoring the situation; Gaurav Sabnis’ Vantage Point is here, Rashmi Bansal’s Youth Curry is here.) This was the first post. It’s just a summary of what’s been happening; please do visit the blogs listed above for the […]

  • The BS Column: The Booker shocker

    (There I was up at 4 am IST waiting to see who’d win the Booker, thinking I had all the bases covered: Ishiguro was my frontrunner for this year’s prize, Barnes my backup and I had outside bets on Smith n’ Smith. And they gave it to Banville–great writer, wrong year–for a book only a […]

  • Last word: All about us

    (What can I say? It’s a soppy column. I’m still a cynical bastard deep down inside, where it really counts. Written for The Kolkata Telegraph, October 2005) This one’s for all the women in my life, from the toddlers to the grandmothers. But most of all, it’s for the thirtysomethings, those of us who’ve survived […]