Month: June 2009

  • The Vodafone-Crossword shortlist, 2009

    …is here. My apologies, meant to put this up earlier but had computer and Net problems. English fiction contenders: Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ (Random House)Amitav Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Poppies’ (Penguin India)Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ (Random House)Neel Mukherjee’s ‘Past Continuous’ (Picador India)Manjula Padmanabhan’s ‘Escape’ (Picador India)Anuradha Roy’s ‘An Atlas of Impossible Longings’ (Picador India)Preeta […]

  • The BS Column: Will you take offence? One cup or two?

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 22nd, 2009; this is the longer, uncut version of the piece that appeared in print) A few years after the ban on Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in India, I happened to be browsing in a London bookshop. (*Corrected thanks to Rahul Siddharthan–the original line mentioned incorrectly that Khomeini’s fatwa […]

  • The BS column: Welcome to the tilism

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 16, 2009)Here is the single best reason ever proffered for attempting a translation of a long-lost, half-forgotten book: “What if all the storytellers are also still with us ‘in spirit’? And what if one day this battalion of ghosts feels nostalgic, and enters a bookshop to check the latest […]

  • The BS Column: Habib Tanvir

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 9, 2009) The distance from Raipur, where Habib Ahmed Khan was born, to Bhopal, where Habib Tanvir died recently, is little more than 630 km—a narrow compass. But Habib Tanvir’s life as a playwright and a poet, “Tanvir” being the takhallus he adopted as a young man, was broader […]

  • The BS Column: Kamala Das, Madhavikutty, Suraiya (1934-2009)

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 2, 2009)“Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sitOn walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or betterStill, be Madhavikutty. It is time to Choose a name, a role. “(‘An Introduction’, Kamala Das) A name, a role, a religion, a language: all her life, Kamala Das […]

  • Book review: Eat My Globe

    Eat My GlobeOne Man’s Search for the Best Food in the WorldSimon MajumdarHachette, Rs 295, 278 pages “I may not be the first person to have eaten rat in China, elk in Finland, barbecue in Texas, crickets in Manila or cod sperm sushi in Kyoto, but there are not too many people out there who […]