Month: November 2009

  • The BS Column: Darwin’s Savage Reviewers

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 24, 2009) On this day, one hundred and fifty years ago, the publishing house of John Murray brought out a condensed and abridged treatise on The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in a first printing of 1,250 copies. The author, Charles Darwin, was delighted when John […]

  • Book review: The Museum of Innocence

    (Published in Mail Today, November 2009) The Museum of InnocenceOrhan PamukFaber and FaberPOUINDS 12.99, 536 pagesISBN 978-0-571-23699-2 “What I am trying to explain,” Orhan Pamuk wrote in Istanbul (2005), “is the huzun (melancholy) of an entire city, of Istanbul.” Pamuk, the most celebrated of Turkey’s writers, has had to carve out an unusual path in […]

  • The BS Column: The Man Who Would Map the Mind

    (Published on November 15, 2009, in the Business Standard) Only the steady tide of readers overflowing into the aisles of the Gulmohar Hall indicated that this was not just another book discussion at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi. Vilayanur Ramachandran’s lecture drew students, fellow neurologists and inquiring readers in such numbers that we could […]

  • The BS Column: Civil Lines, Redux

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 10, 2009) “Civil Lines hopes to appear irregularly, twice a year for a start.” Among the many promises this magazine of “fine unpublished writing connected with India” made and kept, the first part of their opening manifesto was religiously adhered to. It is only now that the best of […]

  • Ved Mehta: The time traveller’s life

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 7, 2009. Images taken from www.vedmehta.com) Indian writing has little space for the family album. The few portraits of parents, siblings or partners that emerge are like the photographs that hang in our homes: officially posed, formally garlanded. Ved Mehta’s Continents of Exile series is one of our few, […]

  • Food column: Sliced baboon for breakfast?

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 7, 2009) The UK restaurant critic A A Gill is as well known for his acerbic outrageousness as for his (formidable) knowledge of food, but even he couldn’t have predicted the storm he would create with what will go down in history as the “baboon confession”. In his Sunday […]

  • The BS Column: Asterix at 50

    (Published in the Business Standard, 3 November, 2009) The year is 50 BC, and all Gaul is occupied. All, except for one indomitable village, and by Toutatis, its inmates have maintained their grip on our hearts and minds even though we’re awash in a sea of neo-Disney comic book characters. Fifty years after the team […]