Category: Indian writing

  • Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Buy Our Freedoms at Juggernaut “With the idea of freedom becoming a distant memory with each passing day, it is difficult to describe the tenor of disquieting times like this. The recently-published anthology Our Freedoms does just that while amplifying voices that hope to make India’s constitutional morality unfailingly stronger. Edited by columnist Nilanjana S. Roy, […]

  • The Girl Who Ate Books

    The Girl Who Ate Books

      “The two of us loved books and reading and authors for no good reason except that it had been encoded in our DNA by the previous generations, because we had lived in homes where everyone read books, as a matter of course. My father had grown up in a small town with a tiny […]

  • Translations: Pyre, by Perumal Murugan

    Translations: Pyre, by Perumal Murugan

    “The mob was frantic with delays and would hear to nothing but burning at the stake.” In 1899, newspapers in Florida reported the lynching of Sam Holt, a black man who was tortured, mutilated and burned in front of 2,000 people. In 1997, almost exactly a century later, 58 Dalits were massacred in the village […]

  • In translation: Bhisham Sahni’s truths

    In translation: Bhisham Sahni’s truths

    Only four episodes of Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas had been shown on Doordarshan when Ramesh Dalal petitioned the courts in the 1980s, asking them to stop the telecast. He felt that Tamas could disrupt public order, promote feelings of enmity and argued that “truth in its naked form may not always be desirable to be told […]

  • Book review: Incarnations, Sunil Khilnani

    Book review: Incarnations, Sunil Khilnani

      “India’s history is a curiously unpeopled place,” Sunil Khilnani writes, in the very first sentence of Incarnations: India in 50 Lives. “As usually told, it has dynasties, epochs, religions and castes – but not many individuals.” The individuals were mentioned in blurry sheets of emperors or Leaders Of The National Movement sandwiched in between […]

  • Translations: Masud, Shanbhag, Valluvar, Lahiri

    Translations: Masud, Shanbhag, Valluvar, Lahiri

    (Published in the Business Standard in December 2015, January 2016 and February 2016) The Tirukkural: A New English Version Tiruvalluvar, translated by Gopalkrishna Gandhi Aleph Book Company One of my most cherished possessions was a T-shirt, hand-painted by a friend, that said simply: “Mirabai Lived.” It was a typo; she had meant “Mirabai Lives”, but […]

  • The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The prize was set up to “encourage authors from the subcontinent” in honour of Shakti Bhatt, writer and editor of Bracket Books, who passed away after a brief illness on March 31, 2007, at the age of 26. For authors, this is a very special prize — because it’s the only Indian prize for first […]

  • The Creative Life: Arunava Sinha, Translator

    The Creative Life: Arunava Sinha, Translator

    Arunava Sinha’s bio says: Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Eighteen of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Unbleaching the First World War

    Speaking Volumes: Unbleaching the First World War

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 11, 2014) Mall Singh’s voice carries from 1918 across to this century, telling the story of the First World War as it is only now being told: “There was once a man. He used to eat butter in his native Hindustan. This man then came into the European war […]

  • Booklove: KD Singh, Delhi’s gentle bookseller

    Booklove: KD Singh, Delhi’s gentle bookseller

    (Published in the Business Standard, May 26, 2014) The Book Shop in Delhi was a lot like the magical places of fantasy described in the books it carried: larger on the inside than it seemed from the outside. The space it occupied in the lives of city readers was far broader than the compact premises […]