Month: April 2013

  • Speaking Volumes: A is for Apple: what college won’t teach you

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 30, 2013)   Back in my day, which was of course when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Delhi University suffered from a serious case of envy.  It had the St Stephens’ versus Hindu battles, the dazzling brilliance of the Kirori Mal dramatic society, the nerdy appeal of Sri Venkateswara, the […]

  • The Gospel of Twitter, In Seven Tweets

      1)   In The Beginning Was The Tweet, And The Tweet Was With God, And The Tweet Was God. 2)   Thou Shalt Worship Only The God Of Twitter, Putting Aside The False Gods Of Reddit, FaceBook, FourSquare And All Other Abominations. 3)   Lead Me From The Word To The Tweet, From Facebook To Twitter, From […]

  • The crisis in our community

    (Published by The Hindu on April 22, 2013. To read the final edited version with comments, please click here.) Why “stopping rape” isn’t possible unless we change the way we tackle and think about ordinary violence. Some images stay branded on your mind. The brutality visited on three young girls, before their bodies were found […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The biases we miss

    (Published in the Business Standard, 23 April, 2013) “You need to learn to think like a fox,” writes Nate Silver, New York Times political forecaster. I went to Silver to see what one of the leading statisticians of our times has to say about human bias; the fascinating subject of where our prejudices come from […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Anthropology

        How to write about the poor:   He knows he won’t get very far if he thinks about them as “the poor”, or as “them”. The reader will sense the impenetrable barrier between him and his subjects, and an acute reader will feel the clunkiness of the dialogue he put into their mouths. […]

  • Wave: Writing about the unimaginable

    Midway through the first written story known to the world, The Epic of Gilgamesh, there occurs a passage of terrible grief. Gilgamesh, the hero, loses his closest friend and fellow warrior, Enkidu. There is nothing they can do, despite the many battles they have fought, to stave off death. Enkidu, forewarned, rushes into anger, and […]

  • Achebe and the war of stories

    One day, when Chinua Achebe was a young boy, his teacher took the whole class outside for a change. They sat under the spreading branches of a mango tree; in its generous shade, the teacher began his lesson, drawing a map of Great Britain on the blackboard. The schoolchildren listened, and so did the village […]