THERE WAS was something about Maqbool Fida Husain that almost every journalist who met him in his forced exile days noticed, unfailingly. What’s more, most of these scribes ended up creating the edifice of their stories on this particular facet. But then, there was an irony here. These words were in almost cent per cent cases, ac- cording to my guess — hardly spoken at all! And yet, one ended up ‘reading’ it almost every moment one spent with him. His eyes would say it. His body language would churn out ample indications. Those bursts of sudden, almost unannounced, silence would say it all. HavingRead More →

WITH ALL due respect to this lexicon that has somehow found its way into Queen’s English, a dog, actually’ doth not eat a dog! As the consequences — both short term and long term — of the News of the World fiasco become more and more opaque, and the dust refuses to settle down, one idea that often strikes us, we journos, is precisely that very saying: dog eat dog. As always, spin doctors are ready and set with their bows – already shooting off, in fact – aiming at those running without a cover (cover, shall we say?). ‘We told you so!’ ‘These journos,Read More →

ONLY A moron would question his greatness. V.S. Naipaul is, of course, one of the greatest and arguably the best English writers of his era. Generations have grown up admiring his voluminous works of literature, including some that are set in India. No Indian student of English literature, at least, can consider his education complete unless having pored through in detail the various nuances of the myriad of his characters and by corollary his characterization of the Indian history and polity. Quite naturally, therefore, what happened in Mumbai last week at the Tata Literature Live! Festival— has kicked up a dust that is fast enveloping theRead More →

FIRST THINGS first. Nobody in his right senses would deny that a stronger Lokpal would go a long way in fighting the deep-rooted and well entrenched malaise of corruption in India. For far too long the political class has been playing Footsie with the Lokpal Bill, shamelessly hiding under the garb of procedural nuances. It has been more or less a similar story with the Women’s Reservation Bill as well, and the nation has watched with utter horror how some politicians have stooped to abysmal levels of parliamentary decorum, with the sole objective of deferring the legislation to some other time and session, which theyRead More →