Tag: Kitabkhana

  • Speaking Volumes: Swadeshi Essence and asli nationalism

    Speaking Volumes: Swadeshi Essence and asli nationalism

    The firm of Kundoo & Chatterjee, of Cornwallis Street, Calcutta, did a brisk trade in “Swadeshi Essence” in the 1920s. They offered essence of moharaja bukul, moharaja dildaria (“it really makes mind cheerful”), motia, chameli, white rose, cherry and Indian Bouquet: “It is in no way inferior to the Foreign Cashmere Bouquet and is long-lasting.” […]

  • 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 […]

  • Journal: Kitabkhana on Classified Ads

    From kitabkhana, Hurree babu’s old blog, october 2004: From the Utterly-Useless-Stuff Dept I love the classified ads. Among the hundreds of hopefuls extolling their “gorgette prints”, you have benefactors offering relief for those “tensed and depressed by heavy pressure of creditors”. “Survical body massage by male to male” competes with Tanisha, who will “service only […]

  • Journal: Kitabkhana on the Nobel

    From the vaults: Kitabkhana, Hurree Babu’s old blog, in 2005 on how the Nobel Literature laureate is chosen. This is always a difficult decision: “Vargas Llosa?” “Na, too famous…” “Kundera?” “Na, it’ll look like we’re bowing down to the pressure exerted by a reading public incredulous that we hadn’t given it to him before.” “Okay, […]

  • Bhisham Sahni, best known for his Partition novel Tamas, is in a coma following a massive heart attack. He turned in an impressive performance recently playing the Muslim passenger on the bus in Aparna Sen’s film, Mr and Mrs Iyer.

  • Kitabkhana’s been getting a lot of mail from people who want to know how to be an author, how to get published and all that jazz. The Babu is slightly puzzled at why you would seek advice on this subject from someone who writes a blog, so clearly has a) far more time to spend […]

  • Seymour Hersh isn’t the easiest subject for an interview: “When I first contacted him, his response was unequivocal: ‘Leave me alone!’ When I phoned him to discuss the logistics of a trip to Washington, Hersh erupted, shouting into the phone, ‘What do you want to ask me! What do you want to ask me!’” CJR’s […]

  • * (Salon doesn’t require registration, but it does feature the most irritating pop-up ads in the world.) We don’t say, “Pistols or swords?” anymore. But when you see a cold “Excuse me?” in print, you know it means the same thing. In this case, it’s Charles Taylor at Salon calling A S Byatt out on […]

  • Aparisim Ghosh comes close to explaining why fiction from Asia can elicit such dramatically different reactions in the West and back at the family homestead in a review of Brick Lane: “For those with no personal experience of the book’s central milieu — London’s Bangladeshi community — it might seem a spicy treat, full of […]

  • Meanwhile, Pakistan is sanitising its Eng Lit syllabus. The process began when the wife of a retired general complained to the wife of the President that Vikram Seth was too Indian, W H Auden had written a pro-Jew poem and Adrienne Rich was–shock, horror–lesbian. Then they left the matter in the capable hands of a […]