Tag: obituary

  • Speaking Volumes: So long, and thanks for all the fish

    (Published in the Business Standard, December 20, 2011.)Except for the books, they had little in common. The writers and book lovers who died in 2011 spanned worlds of experience, from Diana Wynne Jones, who survived a horrifying childhood to become a writer of children’s books, to Vaclav Havel, the playwright who ushered his country safely […]

  • Obituaries: Paul Samuelson, Dilip Chitre

    (Published in the Business Standard, December 2009)Paul Samuelson had a Nobel Prize in economics to his credit, a large and faithful following who venerated him for his resurrection of Keynesian economic theory, the ear of several US Presidents and a tradition of fruitful, running battles with the likes of Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan. But […]

  • The BS Column: Five Lessons from the Teacher Man

    (Published in the Business Standard, July 20, 2009. There are some writers you respect chiefly for the calibre of their work; what they’re like as human beings is almost irrelevant. And there are some writers who become important to you because their work reflects their personality: in Frank McCourt’s case, I loved his writing not […]

  • The BS Column: Kamala Das, Madhavikutty, Suraiya (1934-2009)

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 2, 2009)“Belong, cried the categorizers. Don’t sitOn walls or peep in through our lace-draped windows.Be Amy, or be Kamala. Or betterStill, be Madhavikutty. It is time to Choose a name, a role. “(‘An Introduction’, Kamala Das) A name, a role, a religion, a language: all her life, Kamala Das […]

  • Kurt Vonnegut: Farewell, Hello

    (Published in the Business Standard, April 16, 2007) “Please, please, please. Nobody else die!” That was the first line of the tribute Kurt Vonnegut wrote when his friend, the poet Allen Ginsburg, died. Vonnegut never intended to outlast his fellow hell-raisers, from Ginsburg to William Burroughs to Joseph Heller, but he did, until he took […]

  • Sham Lal’s century of reading

    (Published in the Business Standard, February 27, 2007) For a certain generation of writers, thinkers and intellectuals, Sham Lal was not a man, but an institution. For another, younger and more fashionable set of “intellectuals”, Sham Lal was a half-remembered name, his integrity almost old-fashioned in a time when it was normal to change one’s […]

  • The collector of tears

    (January 26, 2007, Business Standard) In the first few chapters of Kitne Pakistan, the nameless adeeb or writer who holds this mammoth novel together meets an old peasant who collects tears. “I have a laboratory… There, I collect the tears of the dispossessed, the oppressed and the tormented, and of those caught in the tentacles […]