Month: October 2012

  • Writers, October: Amrita Pritam

    Amrita Pritam’s short story, Wild Flower, from The Little Mag:    Angoori was the name of the very new wife of the very old servant of the neighbours of my neighbours. One reason for her being new was that she was his second wife. In Punjabi, they call a man who marries a second time […]

  • The BS column: English Vinglish

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 2012) The annual birthday party for English is held on October 25, Thomas Babington Macaulay’s birth anniversary, and celebrating it might become a new Dalit tradition. Over a century ago, Savitrabai Phule, the first woman to teach in the first women’s school in India, wrote a classic ode to […]

  • 140-word fiction: Nine Lives

    (Sunday Mid-Day asked for a cat story, in 140 words. Here it is.) My nine lives? I had a house, once, and Bigfeet of my own: then they packed everything, except me, and left. There was a word for kittens who wandered outside for the first time: prey. Seven bird kills, eight battles with rats, […]

  • Writers, October: A Ayyappan

      From A Taste of Earth, found on Talent Share (  ‘I am the fever of the sun not cooled by moonlight. Remembering the rain, I become the butcher’s laughter.’  (A Ayyappan, born 27th October, 1949)    

  • Writers, October: Ismat Chughtai

    The Lihaf trial, from The Journal of Urdu Studies:  “There was a big crowd in the court. Several people had advised us to offer our apologies to the judge, even offering to pay the fines on our behalf. The proceedings had lost some of their verve, the witnesses who were called in to prove that “Lihaaf” was […]

  • The BS column: A Swiftly Tilting Planet

    The Itinerary is a reminder of how old the bestseller is (Published in the Business Standard, October 23, 2012) Ludovico de Varthema set out to see the world in 1502, leaving Europe four years after Vasco da Gama had reached the shores of Calicut. His voyage to “Oriental lands”—Egypt, Arabia, Persia, through India to Sri […]

  • Writers, October: Aravind Adiga

    From ‘City of The White Tiger’, carried in Live Mint: The white tiger was locked up in the heart of the city, like the biggest secret in Delhi: like an Iqbal poem behind black bars. And the secret that the white tiger knew was this: Beauty is freedom. All through south Delhi runs a red […]

  • Blog post: What the Haryana Khaps could do

    If the khaps can ban so much, let them ban rape I don’t know how many khap panchayats there are in India, but Haryana (and parts of Uttar Pradesh) in particular appears to be ruled by these all-male village councils. It’s easy to make fun of the pronouncements of the khaps, especially when they blame […]

  • The BS column: “Carve out my own heart”: Mo Yan

    Mo Yan’s books speak louder than the writer’s public silence (Published in the Business Standard, October 16, 2012) If the task before a writer is to be a spokesman against injustice, a defiant risk-taker who is unafraid to criticize his state openly and often, Mo Yan is a failure. As many dissident Chinese writers and […]

  • The BS column: A variety of absences

     The boom in litfests, and what’s missing from Indian book culture  (Published in the Business Standard, October 8, 2012) “Hyderabad, Kovalam, Shillong, Goa, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bombay—two festivals—Chennai, plus Jaipur, plus the ones in Delhi.” When publishing insiders discuss the map of new literary festivals in India (not counting Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Karachi and Dhaka), […]