Month: July 2015

  • Speaking Volumes: The Pleasure of Reading

    Speaking Volumes: The Pleasure of Reading

    There is a word for the awkward way people stand when examining other people’s bookshelves: ahenny. Douglas Adams made it up, and it is best used like this: “She was standing ahenny when he entered; he understood at once that he had been judged for his books and found wanting.” I wish some other benefactor […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Unequal Murders

    “Those who killed, killed in the open. Thugs committed their thuggery in the public eye, with a spring in their step. .. A dark, frightening cloud of reality had descended, one that no one had expected.” Uday Prakash, ‘Mangosil’, The Walls of Delhi In the 1980s, Kulbir Natt and other journalists chronicled the period in […]

  • Upendranath Ashk: The telescope and the microscope

    From Upendranath Ashk’s ‘Falling Walls’, translated by Daisy Rockwell, Penguin Books. On editors: “The editors of daily papers toil away like plodding oxen from noon to six in the evening, and then again from nine at night to two in the morning. When they get tired, they make incredibly obscene jokes among themselves. Their faces […]