Month: November 2005

  • Chomskygate

    The Guardian says it’s sorry. Very, very sorry. It’s pulled the original interview, so you can’t read it on the site (though you can read it here), but it seems they got a great deal wrong: From the apology: “The readers’ editor has considered a number of complaints from Noam Chomsky concerning an interview with […]

  • Gr8 Xpct8shns

    The new, abridged classics: From Yahoo!: Dot mobile, a British mobile-phone service aimed at students, says it plans to condense classic works of literature into SMS text messages. The company claims the service will be a valuable resource for studying for exams.Academic purists will be horrified. Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be, […]

  • Chai break

    I love this story about Laxman Rao, the tea-vendor with 18 books to his credit, who’s making waves with a novel called Ramdas. Though his book has done well, Rao still lives off his chai-dukan earnings, but there are some interesting aspects to his story.Like so many Indians, Rao is something of a voluntary exile; […]

  • Amrita Pritam

    I wasn’t a fan; her poetry left me unmoved. But I felt she deserved better than Khushwant Singh’s “tribute”, with its gratuitous emphasis on her beauty and her good looks, and the assumption that this is what earned Amrita Pritam her fame. Anees Jung is far less condescending:“I had first met her in the late […]

  • Death of a Salesman versus Free and Clear

    From Elia Kazan’s ‘A Life’, the story of how Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ was nearly renamed: “Art and I decided to pass the script on to another good friend, Kermit, and his associate, Walter Fried… Kermit told me he’d consulted theatre owners and box-office treasurers, and everyone had cautioned him that the word […]

  • We’re So Not The Booker

    That’s the thing about the Whitbread: they try harder. Even if that means leaving off Barnes and Zadie Smith and Ishiguro–what do they have here, an anti-popularity quota? You get more than a certain number of great reviews, high sales figures and shortlist calls and sorry, Cinders, you can’t come to the ball? Sheesh. Anyway, […]

  • Mama, I’m Coming Home

    Oh, I could make excuses, say I was busy, ill, feeding cats, hosting orgies, missing broadband (come back, MTNL, all is forgiven), whatever. The truth is the Babu quite enjoyed his blog break. He spent it meeting authors while he was sober, meeting authors while they were sloshed to the gills, meeting a publisher who […]

  • Madhavan Kutty

    It’s been that kind of week; first Nirmal Verma died after a long illness, then Amrita Pritam died yesterday, and just as the last fireworks were fading into the Delhi night, I heard that Madhavan Kutty had died of a heart attack.The Village Before Time, the book for which he was best known, captured his […]