Friday, November 24, 2017
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19 Nov 2017

How to be a better writer: Stephen King

19 Nov 2017 | 1:11 AM

FAMOUS author Stephen King writes stories that captivate millions of people and earn him an estimated $17 million a year.

True stories from the Northeast

19 Nov 2017 | 1:11 AM

Once in a while comes a gritty specimen of non-fiction that commands your undivided attention.

Closure in a strange soil

19 Nov 2017 | 1:11 AM

Nabaneeta Dev SEN’S seemingly simple book, in fact, raises some deep queries about identity. Are foreign lands really foreign and strange or do identities resonate in ways that are inexplicable, no matter how distant and different these seem geographically?

‘Cricketers of the earlier era were nicer’

19 Nov 2017 | 1:11 AM

HAVE you ever wondered how the Indian cricket players spent their evenings on a tour of West Indies in 1962? Rajdeep Sardesai, a noted television journalist, did and hurled the question at Chandu Borde, the roommate of his father Dilip Sardesai on that tour.

Busting myths about muslims

19 Nov 2017 | 1:11 AM

It is risky to expound on Islam at a time when the ruling arrangement is consciously engaged in politically marginalising the Muslim community.

12 Nov 2017

An ode to Indian football

12 Nov 2017 | 2:44 AM

Satellite television has strangely divided the psyche of the young football fan of India. So, when a youngster says “this year we’re terrible in defence” or “we should not have signed Dembele”, he’s not talking about his own school or club team — “we” for him is Real Madrid or Barcelona.

World through the windshield

12 Nov 2017 | 2:44 AM

The author’s first and enduring love is wheels. It starts with the bicycle in Aitchison College, Lahore; a Lambretta scooter at St Stephen’s College, Delhi, a motorcycle in Thailand and a rickshaw in Montreal and, of course, cars — a Ford Mustang at one end, and the reliable, trusty Toyota that brought him overland from London to New Delhi, and half-way back, at the other.

Surviving the politics of chauvinism

12 Nov 2017 | 2:44 AM

THE Samata Party was crucial to the formation of the first NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998. (Vajpayee''s earlier stint in 1996 had lasted only 13 days because only the Akali Dal was prepared to join the government.)

Scent of a verse

12 Nov 2017 | 2:44 AM

Petrichor, the ephemeral scent that takes birth as the first drops of rain kiss the parched lips of soil, is as delicate as the pulse of poetry and as impactful as a brush with the stark reality of life.

05 Nov 2017

A story of pre-meditated bravery and gallantry

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

War stories have a different reality, which is why these can be so fascinating! Any story of how a soldier won the Victoria Cross, the highest battle honour for gallantry “in the face of the enemy”, is always so.

Fresh perspectives on current economic scenario

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

Rachna Singh’s latest book, Financial Felicity: Making Sense of Money Matters, presents some interesting and fresh perspectives to the contemporary economic scene that is full of strident voices making dark prophecies of the economic doom.

Of poets as saints

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

The Book of Chocolate Saints by Jeet Thayil is neither about chocolates nor about saints. Thayil''s book is dedicated to Dom Moraes. The book that begins with a prologue, is divided into seven books and ends with an epilogue.

A flawed discourse from a distance

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

When an attempt is made to understand the region and the people from a long distance, the result is distortions and credibility is sought by advancing the failed formulas of the past.

The ‘traitors’ amongst us

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

Krishan Chander wrote Ghaddaar in 1960. Rakhshanda Jalil has translated it in 2017. In the years since, nothing has changed in the country.

The age of ‘howdunit’ thrillers

05 Nov 2017 | 2:02 AM

W hat readers of the thriller genre are looking for is not just a ‘whodunit’ but also a ‘howdunit’, that keeps them riveted till they know all the details.

29 Oct 2017

The man who loved Nature

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

Reminiscing of wildlife in the days of plenty, M K Ranjitsinh (MKR) narrates that “it was common to spot up to 400 blackbuck on a morning’s drive.

The murky world of police excesses

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

An encounter, an honest cop, a corrupt politician, negation of justice, murky deals, internecine fighting, law at stake; that’s the recipe for a perfect pot-boiler.

The elusive cats of Masai Mara

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

Thirty years after Jonathan and Angela Scott first published The Leopard’s Tale, the Kenya-based authors are out with an updated version of the natural history book that focuses solely on the life of leopards in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

The win was empowering, says Bardo’s bard

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

Days after George Saunders’s novel Lincoln in the Bardo won this year’s Man Booker Prize, the US author is still numb.

Poison beneath Punjab’s pastoral land

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

Pargat Singh Satauj, an elementary school teacher from Sangrur, has been awarded the prestigious Dhahan Prize for 2017. The prize, given by an organisation headed by Barj Dhahan, a Vancouver-based Indian origin business tycoon, carries a cash prize of $25,000 (Canadian) (about Rs 12.5 lakh) and is awarded only for Punjabi fiction.

Apocalyptic prophecies

29 Oct 2017 | 1:27 AM

If you have been glossing over the brazen killings of journalists and gagging of the freedom of expression and free thinking as something distant and unrelated, then it is time to wake up and notice how radicalism and fanaticism has tiptoed into your backyard and have taken roots.

22 Oct 2017

Bringing artist to the fore

22 Oct 2017 | 2:09 AM

In Manaku of Guler, Dr BN Goswamy pays a tribute to the golden age of 18th century Pahari art in an anthology packed with unusual and stimulating perceptions and poetic interventions.

Memories that matter

22 Oct 2017 | 2:09 AM

When an attempt is made to glance over the past, quite often a process is initiated to realise and rediscover a great many things still relevant to the present.

Perspectives on Partition

22 Oct 2017 | 2:09 AM

Partition remains a gaping hole in the heart of Indian subcontinent. Discourse on Partition has changed radically over the past 70 years.

Written in stars

22 Oct 2017 | 2:09 AM

Destiny has been a much used and abused word that means different things to different people. While some feel that it is what is engrained in their stars and something that can’t change, others are of the opinion that destiny is what you make of it.

Making of an institution

22 Oct 2017 | 2:09 AM

This memoir by Dr Khalid Aftab is about the 150-year–old Government College, Lahore, and its transformation into a university.

15 Oct 2017

“Writing it was a fun-and-exciting ride”

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

“At my age I want to think more, hear less and talk even lesser,” says Sir Mark Tully. Though he immediately clarifies, “No, no, it’s a pleasure talking to you.”

Decoding the mysticism of Rumi

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

Listen! Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues. —Rumi

Stories from the soil

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

When one of India’s most beloved vilayatis writes a new book, the legion of his desi fans are naturally agog to grab a copy and see what this Indophile, who loves Indian culture, society, gastronomy, faiths and history and knows its polity and people better than even most Indians, has to say.

A pale shadow of the original

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

A few years ago a series appeared on the bestseller lists across the world. Stieg Larsson and his Millennium trilogy had arrived and he took the literary world by storm. Readers were hooked.

Fat, and being hated for it

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

Have you ever felt that being invisible would be a blessing so that you could escape the judging stare of people? What is a normal body and who gets to define it? Imagine those around us we fail to acknowledge but who are going through agony every living moment because we, as a society, make the world a terrible place for them to live in — both consciously and subconsciously.

Technology first, people foremost

15 Oct 2017 | 2:44 AM

The man who gave up his Green Card to get a wife was unusual enough, but when Microsoft picked him up to be their third CEO, he found himself in the spotlight, under a microscope, and in a leadership position at the PC-centric behemoth.

08 Oct 2017

Traversing the treasure of tales

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

Curating anthologies is a tricky proposition as variety has to be strung on a common thread. And it is for these very reasons that these are difficult to navigate for readers too as the undercurrents of monotony can distract one from savouring the experience.

Grounded in the real world

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

With his three adult sons, Nero Golden, the enigmatic billionaire, migrates to Greenwich Village near New York on the same day as Barack Obama takes his oath as President.

Blood on the streets

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

The early 1990s had added a few words to the collective vocabulary of the people of Assam, which we, as Assamese, would have been better off without — like human rights violation, custodial death, fake encounter, state-sponsored terror and so on.

Will they ever be friends?

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

THE sheer volume of memoirs, travelogues, strategic assessments, war histories on the India-Pakistan story can easily fill a US Presidential Library.

Memories of dislocation

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

The Partition narrative in the book weaves an intricate tapestry of political and religious facets along with cataloguing the emotional and psychological experiences. Bridge Across The Rivers is an anthology of 14 translated short stories.

Short Takes

08 Oct 2017 | 12:03 AM

FOR a few years in the early 1990s — at a time when the embers of a violent agitation for Gorkhaland were slowly dying down — Parimal Bhattacharya taught at the Government College in Darjeeling.

01 Oct 2017

Objects as cinematic tools

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, two titans of Bengal, have fired our imagination like no other. Many books have been written on them individually but Shoma A Chatterji has brought together the two stalwarts in her book.

A story selectively told

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

This year has been good for Indian foreign policy watchers. First, former National Security Adviser (NSA), Shiv Shankar Menon, weighed in with his thoughtful take and now former Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, provides another intimate and equally content-rich perspective, but from the trenches.

A woman extraordinaire

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

Oshima Zaranghez Samandari Raikhy lived a life that was one of its kinds. An Iranian by birth and a Punjabi by heart, Oshima managed to do much for the country she called her own while also adjusting and adapting to its ways, and maintaining her fiercely independent streak at the same time.

The dead carry tales

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

The most clichéd of the shortest stories is "Ek tha raja, ek thi rani, dono mar gaye khatam kahaani". Qurratulain Hyder''s Chandani Begum is almost fated to be such a micro tale, when the raja and his two ranis die in the initial chapters. The reader is bound to wonder — now what? But then Hyder knows how to keep the story going even after the death of her three main characters.

A courtesan’s journey

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

Once upon a time the Mumbai bar dance industry flourished. The mujra mehfils and high-end dance bars had patrons ranging from diamond merchants, film producers to businessmen and underworld dons.

A retelling of history

01 Oct 2017 | 12:09 AM

Historically, India has usually been projected in a light that has suited foreign powers in the past. Even now it continues to reel under the effects of these skewed perceptions.