The capsule

Deborah Treisman defines much of the popular discourse on contemporary fiction. She being obsessed with imagery, I imagine most people under 30 are as well. And to prove that point, here is Jonathan Franzen this week. Then, the Cinderella story happened. Paul Harding’s Tinkers deserves all its superlatives. The greatest pleasure of it though was in the effortless [...]

RTI wants your ass

Unless one is Hendrick Hertzberg, one cannot make a reasonable case for the raison d’être of government being “doing something” as opposed to “prevent the worst thing being done”. Political discourse at all levels, one could argue, is some variation of this dichotomy. Independent India achieved that equilibrium by virtue of government inefficiency. The middle [...]


Initiation rituals are sacred for a good reason. And year-end lists in the era of social media explain that better than most. People who have read less than ten books in the year feel compelled to come out with top 10 lists. 1996 is not even that far away. If John Edwards had died in 2009, [...]


This domain expires in another 10 days. To renew it myself would be stupid. Is there anyone else who wants this? Just in case.


Travel writing in the age of social media is like using an aavin paal cover after you can afford a condom in both economic and social terms. It’s not just gross, it defeats the fucking purpose. Both as an adjective and a verb. The case of writing about Cities, possibly, is a little less annoying. However, if [...]

Issueless Elections #1

Sajjad Lone contested in the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections from Baramulla-Kupwara. The idea, predictably, was hailed by the electronic media. Separatists contesting elections, we were told, is a sign of a maturing democracy; of which, everything apparently is. In 1963, the Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution was passed in Parliament. After the debacle of 1962, when China whooped India’s [...]

South Madras

I don’t know how good a campaigner Meera Sanyal is . Or how good her political communication is — from what I see on TV, it sucks. She is smug and has no charisma to back that up. Then, there is another Independent. This time, from South Madras. Sarath Babuhas fallen into the familiar trap of political idealism. [...]

Notes on short stories

Daniyal Mueenuddin’s depiction of feudal order in Pakistan will shock the young in this country. And, possibly, make some of the old feel unappreciated. At least my grandfather, had he been alive, would most certainly have said, ‘I told you so’. Maybe, readers from North India belonging to parts that still haven’t carried out land [...]

Notes on reading lists

Reasonable people understand fiction as a way of exploring life. Which explains why this category of people will not review Slumdog Millionaire. However, the obvious binary solution space of idiots who did and the rest who did not blurs a lot more when two accomplished story tellers are considered. JM Coetzee and Philip Roth. I [...]

Meera Sanyal

I do not understand South Bombay. A banker wants to contest elections. In 2009. She’s running for national legislator promising local executive type action. And, there are bourgeois boys and girls from the Internets who want to support her. Of course, the same people will also bemoan the way politics gets reduced to a power game when a Mulayam Singh Yadav does the same [...]