Tag: Columns and Journalism

  • Speaking Volumes: Diary of a W-Grade Writer

    Speaking Volumes: Diary of a W-Grade Writer

      (Published in the Business Standard, July 19, 2016) News item:  As a pilot project, the Culture ministry has already graded 185 artistes into three categories — O (Outstanding), P (Promising), W (Waiting).”  Dear Diary, some progress. Met the under secretary to the deputy secretary to the Minister’s personal private secretary today. She assured me that […]

  • Selected journalism

    Selected journalism

    Miscellaneous: cats, creativity, evil   Stray Cat Blues: “Over the years, the other three cats—Mara, Tiglath and Lola—had shown us how easy it is to cross the divide between animal and human. Attentiveness and empathy bridges most communication gaps. This turned out to be applicable to many other species, from elephants and stray dogs to […]

  • Translations: Falling Walls, Upendranath Ashk

    Translations: Falling Walls, Upendranath Ashk

    (Introducing a monthly column on books in translation. The only rule the column plans to follow is on language: if the book under review is from one of the three Indian language I can read, I will attempt a comparison with the original. If a book under review is from one of the many Indian […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Year of the Runaways

    Speaking Volumes: The Year of the Runaways

    In 2013, an employment tribunal in the UK heard testimony from Vijay Begraj and his wife Amardeep, alleging that they had been discriminated against by their former employers. Mr Begraj, who was then a law practice manager, is Dalit, and his wife, who was a lawyer at the same firm, is Jat. The testimony was […]

  • Printer’s Devil: Bookstores under siege

    Printer’s Devil: Bookstores under siege

    Introducing a new monthly column for the Business Standard: Printer’s Devil will look at publishing and bookselling trends across India. The focus is on English language trade and independent publishers, but the column will also include trends from other Indian language publishing from time to time. August 1: Indies: Seagull’s Naveen Kishore and Zubaan’s Urvashi […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Mockingbird and first drafts

    Speaking Volumes: Mockingbird and first drafts

    The problem with Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman starts and ends with the book jacket, where it is advertised as a “landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer-Prize winning masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird”. This is a superbly economical description, not untrue except in its multiple omissions. Charles J Shields has […]

  • 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 […]

  • Fifty Nifty Years: The Cat in the Hat

    Fifty Nifty Years: The Cat in the Hat

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 2nd, 2007) How is that The Cat in the Hat is not out in the cold, though it’s fifty years old? It’s been translated into Yiddish for the benefit of some kiddish, and you can read it in Spanish and see that goldfish vanish. At the Latin high table, […]