Month: May 2013

  •  Dan Brown’s Wikiprose

    Inferno, Dan Brown, Bantam Press, Rs 750, 461 pages From the first sentence of Chapter One—“The memories materialized slowly… like bubbles surfacing from the darkness of a bottomless well”—to the last—“The sky had become a glistening tapestry of stars”—it’s wincingly clear that we are in Dan Brown Land. In Dan Brown Land, it is very […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The contested ground of Anandamath

      (Published in the Business Standard, May 14, 2013)  If it were not for the refusal of Shafique-ur-Rehman Barq, BSP member of Parliament, to join in with the singing of Vande Mataram, I might never have gone back to Bankimchandra’s Ananda Math and rediscovered its many charms. Ananda Math starts with a lyrical description of […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The unchaste page

    Speaking Volumes: The unchaste page

    (Published in the Business Standard,  May 7, 2013) The reading was at a sedate mela; literature was tucked in sideways, between the food stalls and the sellers of heavy machinery. Jeet Thayil read a passage he had read often at literary festivals. It involved a rant from a character meditating on the endless varieties of […]

  • The Babu, the Akhond and me

      … are finally in the same place. Kitabkhana began in early 2003, back when people called the Internet the “information superhighway”. (The past is so much more glamorous than the present, yes?) It was run by Hurree Babu, who didn’t seem to mind being stolen from Kipling’s Kim. Though it’s often referred to as […]