Month: April 2012

  • The Business Standard column: Lives, Unsanitised

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 24, 2012)Before the digital camera age, the venerable photo studios in most large Indian cities offered a tactful service for the recently bereaved. Just as honeymooners were offered fake backgrounds—castle, Kashmir lake, eerily white Himalayas, portraits of the dead could be retouched to make the departed’s resemblance to a […]

  • Playlist for aspiring authors

    Selling your manuscript:You Gotta Have a Gimmick The right agent and editor will help you prepare for the rigours of authorhood:Let Me Entertain You The media, on the other hand, suggests:Be A Clown Shocking readers is also good:Anything Goes …and remember, you’re only doing it for your art:Zip Success from the author’s perspective…:When You’re Good […]

  • Book review: The Man Within My Head

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 2012) BOOK REVIEW: The Heart of The MatterThe Man Within My HeadPico IyerPenguin India, Rs 499, 242 pages There is nothing passive about the act of reading. It may seem mysterious that one writer exerts a powerful undertow on your life while another leaves not even a watermark impress, […]

  • Lunch with the Business Standard: Amit Chaudhuri

    Stepping into Larry’s China at the Ambassador is like stepping a decade back, into another city. Chosen in haste, out of expedience because of its proximity to the IIC, it turns out to be the right setting for Amit Chaudhuri. It could be a respectable Chinese restaurant from either Bombay in the 1990s or Calcutta […]

  • The Books Column: A charpai of her own-Ismat Chughtai

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 2012.) What would you do if you were a young Indian woman reader looking for inspiration in the lives of other writers? Would you look to Jane Austen, trapped in a tiny corner of the English countryside, using her wit to create epics on two inches of ivory? To […]

  • The Books Column: "Poems good enough to eat": Adrienne Rich

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 2012. Rich was the first poet I read who gave me a blueprint for how to live, allowing me–and so many other women–to imagine what our lives could be, if we were willing to take them out of their steel dabbas and Tupperware containers.) “Adrienne Cecil Rich,” wrote Sylvia […]

  • If authors took April 1 seriously

    From A Suitable Boy:‘You too will marry a boy I choose,’ said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter. Lata avoided the maternal imperative by looking around the great lamp-lit garden of Prem Nivas. The wedding-guests were gathered on the lawn. ‘Hmm,’ she said. This annoyed her mother further. ‘I know what your hmms […]