Tag: Journal

  • Joan Didion and writing

    Joan Didion and writing

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion did an interview with Tom Brokaw. “It’s the only aggressive act I have,” she says of writing. “It’s the only way I can be aggressive.” Didion died this week at the age of 87, leaving behind a towering legacy as a journalist, a memoir writer, a novelist. Over the years, […]

  • A seat at the table

    Where I grew up, we were taught – or we didn’t have to learn, it was in the air, something you could catch like a virus that settled in your gut – to pay attention to men. If those men were geniuses, then they were owed more than your attention. Adulation, or an unquestioned acceptance […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Journal: Reading with intent

    Journal: Reading with intent

    There was a time in my twenties and thirties when I read (or speed-read) about 30-40 books a month, as part of my job as a book reviewer and columnist. In some weeks, the number of books I read ran higher than 10, though 15 was the maximum I could safely attempt. People almost always […]

  • Journal: The elsewhere rains

    Journal: The elsewhere rains

    Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever become a) less absent-minded b) more practical and when I put this question out to the Universe, all I get back is a belly laugh. Unlike almost everyone who’s in Delhi this summer, I haven’t minded the heat, because I was absent-mindedly waiting for the monsoons to roll in […]

  • Writers on writing

    Erica Jong, writing in 1988: “Perhaps the literary artist is born like a woman with all her eggs present in their follicles; they have only to ripen and burst forth -and ripeness is all. But sometimes it takes half a lifetime for them to ripen.” Susan Sontag in 1961: “The writer must be four people: […]

  • Softspeakers

    Softspeakers

    Those who lived in that city woke up late, not knowing why they felt so rested or what had brought them such an unusual sense of peace. Some woke to a sound they remembered from their childhoods, before the city had expanded and grown clamorous: the morning chorus of birdsong. Some woke to the sound of traffic, as they had for years, but the wheels of the trucks were hushed, and the car horns honked quietly, as though from a long distance away…

  • Friends, Romans and country cats

    Friends,  Romans and country cats
  • Journal: Indira Goswami

    The Journey, by Indira Goswami: But my mind was elsewhere and I did not pay any attention to the talks of the guns and terrorists. I was watching the forest flit past outside the car window. I saw the grand veloe trees draped in moss that grew like hair on the legs of long-tailed monkeys. […]