Kundan was returning home after his monthly entertainment of a night show in the city.  It was past midnight and the heavy downpour had put out the street lamps on the village road.  But Kundan knew the road like the back of his palm and so neither the pitch darkness nor the battering rain slowed him down.

Read the whole story.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Devil

Father Joseph woke up from sleep with a tremor running down his spine.  His body was drenched with sweat.  This had become a routine now: a nightmare would kill his sleep halfway through it.

Read the whole story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is Kasab in Paradise?


According to the lascivious promises made in the Islamic scriptures to the martyrs, Ajmal Kasab must now be in the blissful paradise reclining on “a raised throne woven with gold and precious stones,” wearing “silken garments,” “bunches of fruits hanging within reach,” jugs of wine at hand, served by “Houris with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious), like preserved pearls, a reward for deeds that they used to do”…

Probably, Kasab was not aware of such heavenly rewards when he agreed to hold up the Kalashnikov against the teeming multitude in an Indian railway station.  Somebody with nothing more than primary education and abject poverty as the only resources, Kasab could not have been aware of even the voluptuous aspects of Islamic jihad.  When he was questioned by the police soon after his arrest, Kasab, lying in a hospital bed, said clearly that he had done it for money and nothing else.  He said his father must have been paid lakhs of rupees.  It is that earthly paradise that Kasab was interested in.  And that too, for his family, rather than for himself.  He knew he would die.

He also knew he would die a “martyr.”  So it is not unlikely that he was unaware of the paradise that awaited him in the life hereafter.  His masters must have conjured up a vivid picture of that paradise in the process of brainwashing him.  (One such picture, provided in wikiislam, is what I have given as a link above.  Such paradise cannot be anything but tempting for a young man deprived of even the money to buy a new pair of dress for Eid.)

It is more likely that Kasab died in despair, without even the kind of wisdom that one acquires in solitude or at least the terrifying realisation of one’s depravity.  According to a front page report in The Hindu [Nov 22] which quoted a police official who was present during the execution, Kasab probably did not even understand exactly what was going on.  “It’s also possible he’d ceased to care,” the report quotes.

Perhaps his mind had become numb.  Unable to feel, think or react.  A state that may be called “spiritual aridity,” a state that results from inner emptiness.

Will any god reward such emptiness, aridity, with paradise?  I don’t know.  My knowledge about the supernatural is zilch.

But I know that the kind of thinking that underlies the creation of people like Kasab should change if life on this earth (which can be a paradise too!) is to have some semblance of peace.

Tariq Ali, writer and film-maker, suggests the following: “We are in desperate need of an Islamic Reformation that sweeps away the crazed conservatism and backwardness of the fundamentalists but, more than that, opens up the world of Islam to new ideas…. This would necessitate a rigid separation of state and mosque; the dissolution of the clergy; the assertion by Muslim intellectuals of their right to interpret the texts that are the collective property of Islamic culture as a whole; the freedom to think freely and rationally and the freedom of imagination.” [The Clash of Fundamentalism: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity, Rupa & Co, 2003, pp: 338-9. Emphasis added.]

Alas, a similar suggestion can be made with respect to quite many religions today!

Posted in religion | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Was Thackeray an Anachronism?


Bal Thackeray was the Hitler of Maharashtra.  He not only admired the ‘Great Dictator’ but also tried to emulate him by fighting the non-Marathis with all resources available to him.  The number of people in various parts of India who must have celebrated the death of Bal Thackeray at least in the privacy of their hearts may not be minuscule.

Just as Hitler wanted a Germany of pure Aryans, Thackeray wanted an India of pure Hindus.  His blinkered vision rankled with inveterate hatred for Muslims and Christians, a hatred which went to the extent of getting even cricket matches and pitches dashed to wrack and ruin if the Pakistani team was in the vicinity.  His men, mostly antisocial elements, went around assaulting people who celebrated the Valentine’s Day.  He hated people for loving people.  He did not hesitate to wield his cudgel against Sachin Tendulkar merely for stating that he was a Marathi but also an Indian.

This very same Thackeray had, however, no compunction about forming a political alliance with the Muslim League during the Bombay Corporation elections in the 1970s.  Many of his friends till the end of his life were Muslims who had political or financial clout.  One of the physicians whom he trusted most was a Christian, Dr Samuel Mathew.  He was overjoyed to have Michael Jackson perform for his Shiv Sena.  When Michael Jackson condescended to use his toilet, Thackeray’s bowels moved with ebullience.

Was he a bundle of contradictions?

I think he was a blatant anachronism: a Hitler born a century late.

Thackeray lived in a time when nations opened up their borders not only for trade but also for migration.  But he chose to live in a small world guarded ferociously by his puny-minded Cossacks.  When the whole world opened up gates, Thackeray chose to close gates.  He asserted that the land should belong to the sons of the soil.  Who had built up that land as an economic fortress, however?  How many Marathis were responsible for the emergence of Bombay as the economic capital of India?  Of course, such questions do not matter of dictators.

Like every dictator, Thackeray loved to impose his views on others.  He justified his perverse inclination by projecting Shivaji as his patron saint and inspiration.  Hitler was the second most important idol in his pantheon.    He admired Indira Gandhi when she imposed her dictatorship on the country in a foolhardy venture called the Emergency.  This admiration also won him the support of many Congressmen in his state.

It may be a mere stint of irony that Thackeray lost his voting rights from 1995-2001.  After all, he didn’t believe in democracy.  Yet that punishment, for rousing communal passion during electioneering, must have hurt him much since he thought his vote was more valuable than a million others’.

Speak no ill of the dead, says the adage.  Let me conclude by saying that Bal Thackeray was a brave man.  Like Hitler.  Like Narendra Modi.  Even like Joseph Stalin whom Thackeray didn’t like because he was Leftist and not Rightist.

Let me conclude this obituary with Modi baai’s words in honour of the dead: “Balasaheb Thackeray was an epitome of courage and valour.  He was full of life.  He fought like a warrior.  I’ve lost someone who always guided me.”

Alas, leaders like Modi, Thackeray, Hitler, Stalin… don’t need any guiding light.  Aren’t they their own lights?  Like William Blake’s Tiger that burns bright in the forests of the night…?!

Posted in india | Tagged | 2 Comments

Novel as history and biography


Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s latest novel, The Dream of the Celt [Faber & Faber, 2012], delves into the history of the colonisation of the Congo and Amazonia as well as the biography of Roger Casement, an Irish nationalist.

Llosa questions the very validity of history many times in the novel.  Most history, implies the novelist, is a “more or less idyllic fabrication, rational and coherent, about what had been in raw, harsh reality  a chaotic and arbitrary jumble of plans, accidents, intrigues, fortuitous events, coincidences, multiple interests that had provoked changes, upheavals, advances, and retreats, always unexpected and surprising with respect to what was anticipated or experienced by the protagonists” (109-110).

A historical novel may be more accurate than documented history because the novelist looks at the events from a wider and deeper perspective than a historian.  For example, Sir Henry Stanley is portrayed in history as the heroic founder of the Congo Free State.  Stanley, along with David Livingstone, was the ideal that drew Roger Casement to the Dark Continent “in an outburst of idealism and a dream of adventure” (24).

Casement will soon be shocked, however, to realise that “the hero  of his childhood and youth (Stanley) was one of the most unscrupulous villains the West had excreted onto the continent of Africa” (29).  After many years of dedicated service for the natives of Africa and Amazonia, Casement would suffer a blatant distortion inflicted on his character by history.

Casement understands that the white man’s burden was merely a mask for what in reality was “horrible plundering, … dizzying cruelty, with people who called themselves Christians torturing, mutilating, killing defenseless creatures and subjecting them, even children and the old, to atrocious cruelties” (88).

The novel is divided into three parts.  The first part deals with the colonisation of the Congo, the second with Amazonia, while the third shows Roger Casement’s struggle for the liberation of Ireland from Great Britain and the tragedy he suffered in the process.

History has witnessed many distortions in all the three cases.  For the colonists, colonialism is the process of bringing light into the darkness of savage existence.  In reality, the civilised white man is more bloodthirsty than the savage, whether in the Congo or Amazonia.  Greed and cruelty are the hallmarks of the colonist.

England has its noble side too.  It honours Casement with knighthood for the great work he did in the Congo and Amazonia by reporting the evils perpetrated by the European colonists.

Soon Casement would be seen as a traitor by the same England.

The evils of colonialism persuade Casement to think that Ireland should not be a British colony.  Casement knew that “Patriotism blinded lucidity.”  He understood clearly what G B Shaw meant when he said, “Make no mistake: patriotism is a religion, the enemy of lucidity.  It is pure obscurantism, an act of faith” (170).  Phrases such as ‘act of faith’ in the mouth of a man like Shaw who was a “skeptic and unbeliever” meant superstition, fraud or even worse.   Yet Casement is convinced that colonialism is an evil in any form, even in the civilised form in which it was practised in Ireland.

Casement who was knighted by Great Britain a few years ago now is condemned as a traitor.  His biography is now distorted.  His diaries are produced (fabricated?) vindicating his homosexual affairs.  Llosa thinks that “Casement wrote the famous diaries but did not live them, at least not integrally, that there is in them a good deal of exaggeration and fiction, that he wrote certain things because he would have liked to live them but couldn’t” (399 – Epilogue).

Perhaps the crux of what Llosa wants to show through the novel is expressed succinctly by the novelist himself in the Epilogue: “it is impossible to know definitively a human being, a totality that always slips through the rational nets that try to capture it.”  Llosa’s novel is an imaginative attempt to capture that totality, an attempt that is grounded on solid reality, however.


  1. The page numbers given in brackets refer to the 2012 Faber & Faber paperback edition of the novel.
  2. While I obstinately use British English in my writing, I have retained American English spellings in the quotes from the novel.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Parivartan in the Palace


The Cast


Chatterjee – Minister

Mrs Pandey – Minister

Patel – Minister

Sharma – Minister

Patnaik – Leader of Opposition

Nath – Opposition Member

Mrs Nanda – Opposition Member


Soldier 1

Soldier 2



The King’s Palace.  There’s a throne in the centre.  Chairs on sides.  When the curtain rises all the ministers and opposition are standing on the stage talking among themselves softly.

Drum beat.  Bugle call. Silence on the stage.  All stand at attention.

Soldier 1: (from side) Attention, attention!  The Great King, the Champion of champions, the Warrior of warriors, the Conqueror of the world, the Eliminator of enemies, his Excellency, the Mighty Shatrughna Vikram Singh Bahadur is on his royal waaaaay.

Royal music as the King arrives in royal robes attended by Soldier 1 and Soldier 2. 

All:       Hail the King, His Excellency!

King sits on the throne and waves hand for others to sit.  All are now seated. But all will stand soon as the drama unfolds.

King:    My loyal ministers and members of the Opposition, Ladies and Gentlemen, We wish to congratulate you on passing the Bill to allow foreign direct investment, FDI, in our country, India.  We are informed that our Opposition has some objections to the Bill.

Patnaik: Yes, your majesty.  Bringing FDI into our country will ruin many of our small shopkeepers and retail dealers.

Nath:   Your Excellency, from the time we started liberalising our economy, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.  Thousands of farmers and other poor people commit suicide every year.

Mrs Nanda: Regarding food availability, 75 percent of the country’s population do not eat a healthy diet.

Patnaik: It was only 58% in 1993-94, when we started liberalising the economy.

Nath:   It rose to 68% in ten years.

Mrs Nanda: And now 3 out of every 4 citizens of this great country do not get proper food.

Pandey: Your Excellency, the members of the Opposition are trying to divert our attention.  We are discussing FDI, not poverty.

Chatterjee: FDI is meant to bring in more wealth.  More wealth means less poverty.  [Pointing at the Opposition] Why don’t you understand that?

Sharma: Ye log badmaash hai.  They want to stop the flow of foreign wealth into our country.

Patel:   They are enemies of the country.  Gaddar.  Gaddar.

Patnaik: Don’t use unparliamentary language, you semi-literate country bumpkin.

Patel:   [Moving toward Patnaik with clenched fist as if to hit him] You dare to call me names, you silly foul-mouthed thief.  I know how much money you have already received as bribe from a foreign company for passing the FDI Bill without opposition.  Why do you pretend to oppose it now?

Chatterjee: Because he wants to fool the people.  He wants the people to see him on the TV opposing the Bill.  That’s all.  Just showing off.

Patnaik: Your Excellency, these ministers are raising false charges against me.  I can prove that it is they who have received huge bribes from foreign companies…

Sharma: Chup, chup!  Don’t speak another word.  We all know that bribes are part of politics.  There is no rajniti without rishwat.

Nath:   But the ruling party always gets more rishwat.

Pandey: So your problem is that you are not getting enough rishwat.

Mrs Nanda: Your Excellency, stop this nonsense.  These people are forgetting that they are leaders of a great country.  They’re behaving like petty thieves on the streets.  And for the information of all of you, I must say that I have never received any bribe.

Chatterjee: Do you want it?  We can find some foreign company for you.

The ministers and members of opposition laugh.

King claps his hands twice.

King:    Order in the durbar!  Behave yourselves.  Don’t think I am a fool just because I don’t speak much.  Hazaron jawabo se achchi hai khamoshi meri, na jaane kitne sawalo ki aabru rakhe.

A moment of silence.

Then Beggar’s cry is heard from outside.

Beggar: Bread, bread.  Give me bread.  I’m hungry. I’m dying of starvation.

King:    What’s that?  Who dares to make such noise in the palace premises? [To soldier 1] Go and see.

Soldier 1 goes out.

Chatterjee: It’s a beggar.  A mad man.  He goes around shouting that he’s hungry.

Pandey: He’s always hungry.

Patel:   I wonder why the people of our country are always hungry.

Sharma: People are always hungry.  First for roti.  Then kapada.  Then makan.  Then naukri.  Then mobile phone, TV, computer, car… Ha! Their hunger will never end.

Mrs Nanda: Is that why you’re giving them foreign retailers?

King:    You mean to say that you knew this beggar for a long time?

Chatterjee: Yes, your Excellency.

Pandey: Very long time.

Patel:   Very, very long time.

Sharma: From the time of Independence.

Patnaik: From the time of the Mughals.

Nath:   From the time of the Vedas.

Mrs Nanda: From the time of evolution.  From eternity.

King:    Why didn’t you do anything about it then?

Chatterjee: We did, your Excellency.

Pandey: We cut off his tongue, your Excellency.

King:    How can he speak then?  Can’t you hear him?

Patel:   He grew another tongue.

King:    What!  It is treason to have more than one tongue.

Patnaik: Yes, your Majesty, we must arrest him for treason.

Nath:   And hang him to death.

Enter Soldier 1.

Soldier 1: [Bows] There is no one outside, your Excellency.

King:    No one!  And he grows another tongue!  From eternity!  What’s all this?  Is he a ghost?

The cry of the Beggar is heard again.

Beggar: Bread, bread.  Give me bread.  I’m hungry.  I’m dying of starvation.

King:    [To Soldier 2] Go.  And don’t come back without getting him.  It’s an order.

Exit Soldier 2.

Mrs Nanda: Do ghosts eat bread?

Sharma: As far as I know, ghosts drink blood.

Mrs Nanda: I can understand.  There’s no blood left in the veins of people.  Haven’t you people sucked it all already?  That’s why the ghost is asking for bread.

King:    If there’s no bread, can’t he eat cake?  Oh’ he’s giving me a headache.

Enter Soldier 2 with Beggar in chains.

Soldier 2: [Bows] Your Excellency, here’s the beggar.

King:    Are you the beggar who was crying for bread?

Beggar: Are you the king?

Sharma: Don’t ask questions to the king.

King:    I am the king.  And I order you not to beg.  Don’t you know that you are living in a country that is going to be an economic superpower?

Beggar: I … I don’t understand.

Chatterjee: The king commands you not to beg for bread anymore.

Beggar: I … I don’t understand.

King:    [shouting] DO NOT BEG FOR BREAD ANYMORE.

Beggar: I … I don’t understand.

King:    Ah!  He is as deaf as a stone.

Soldier 2: Pardon me, your Excellency.  He is not deaf.  He understood me easily when I spoke to him outside.

King:    Are you deaf?  Can you hear me?

Beggar: I can hear every word perfectly.

King:    Why don’t you take my order then?  Are you pretending to be deaf?

Beggar: King…

Pandey: Call him, Your Excellency.

Beggar: [looks puzzled at Pandey] Your Ex… Ex – lens…

Patel:   [cynically] He’s not only hungry, but illiterate too.

Mrs Nanda: What an achievement of an economic superpower!

King:    Quiet, all of you!  [To the Beggar] Why are you always hungry?

Beggar: King, you have taken away our lands.  For building national highways.  For constructing shopping malls.  For special economic zones.  For resorts.  We were left with a little land after all that.  There you asked us to cultivate foreign seeds.  Then you asked us to buy foreign fertilizers.  Foreign insecticides and pesticides. Our lands took all that poison and lost their fertility.  Our lands died.  Nothing can grow in them anymore.

King:    This man is a traitor.  Hear what he says.  We brought development to the country.  And he says we killed his land.

Chatterjee: He must be punished.

Patel:   Throw him in the prison.

Pandey: Torture him.  Break his hands and legs.

Nath:   Hang him to death.

Sharma: Organise a party rally and burn him to death in public.  His death must be an example to everyone.

Beggar: You can do anything you wish with me.  But there are millions out there.  Millions who will rise in revolt.  Millions who will demand Parivartan.  Parivartan. Change. Revolution.  You can kill me.  But there will arise a million in my place.  There will arise Anna Hazares and Arvind Kejriwals, Medha Patkars and Teesta Setalwads.  How many murders will you commit in order to stay on in power?

King:    Quiet!  [Calmly] Parivartan!  He says parivartan.  What’s that?

Sharma: Kranti.  Rajya kranti.  He is a militant.  He should be executed.

Mrs Nanda: Your Excellency, he’s demanding a paradigm shift.

King:    Para- what?

Mrs Nanda: Paradigm shift.  A shift, a change.  A change in the way we see and do things.

Chatterjee: What’s wrong with our way of seeing and doing things?  We are becoming an economic superpower.  We are doing what America is doing…

Mrs Nanda: Why should we do what America is doing?  Why should what America does be right?

King:    What do you suggest, Mrs Nanda?

Mrs Nanda: Your Excellency, what we now have is a system based on wealth and only wealth.  That should change.

Sharma: Without wealth, it is death.

Chatterjee: Your Excellency, don’t listen to this woman.  She’s crazy.

King:    Never mind.  I want some crazy ideas now. [To Mrs Nanda] Go on.

Mrs Nanda: Let us create a new social system.  One which is based on the old values of compassion and cooperation.  Let us show people that it’s not merely wealth that keeps life going.  Let us show people we can live together happily, helping one another, sharing what we have with each other…

Patnaik: This is insane!

Nath:   This is not politics.

Patel:   This is religion.

Pandey: This is communism.

Sharma: Foolish ideas from a silly woman!

Mrs Nanda: Your Excellency and my friends, how long do you think we can go on fooling the people?  How many spectrums, 2G or 3G, or anything, will we go on selling stealthily, before the common man sees through the darkness of our deeds?

Beggar: How many times can you turn your head pretending that you don’t see?

Mrs Nanda: How many thousands of acres of forest land will we steal from the tribal people and forest dwellers in the name of development?  How many millions and billions will we stash away in Swiss banks before we see the people starving below our nose?

Beggar: How many times should you look up before you see the sky?  How many ears must you have before you hear the people cry?

Mrs Nanda: We have been cheating, Your Excellency.  We have been cheating the people all along.

Beggar: How many times will you raise prices of everything from cooking gas to transport means before you see the thousands committing suicide in this country?

Mrs Nanda: How many scams and scandal must rock this palace before we open our eyes to the truth?  How many…

Chatterjee: Stop this woman, Your Excellency. She’s in collusion with this beggar.

Patel:   She’s calling us thieves and scoundrels.

Beggar: What else are you?

Sharma: People like her and this beggar should be killed.  They are rebels.

Patnaik: Yes, death to rebels. Kill them.

Nath:   Kill them.  Let’s avert a rebellion in the country.

Pandey: Your Excellency, I think Mrs Nanda has a point.  Why not listen to her fully?

King:    Silence!  Silence! Mrs Nanda, don’t you know that people are selfish and they don’t like to share and care.  They only care for themselves.

Mrs Nanda: It’s because of the system, Your Excellency.  Change the system.  What do we know about the people?  We live in air-conditioned palaces.  We travel in air-conditioned vehicles.  Have you ever seen a poor man like this [points at Beggar], your Excellency?  Have you felt the pulse of his veins?  Have you experienced the love that flows in his blood?  Have you ever stopped to touch a person with love?  Even to smile at a person with concern?  What did we do?  We made economy the basis of everything.  Money, money, money.  What about relationships?  This is the parivartan that is needed, Your Excellency.  Build a system founded on relationships.

Beggar: [elated] Hurrah!  There’s someone with sense in here!  Listen to her, Your Ex – Ex – lens.  Listen to her.  Throw away your shiny robes and golden crown.  Get out of this stuffy room that smells of foul air.  Go to the open fields and listen to the birds chirruping.  See the sun shining and the moon beaming.  Stand in the falling rain or jump into the gliding river.  And then clean the earth.  Clean it of all the filth that your old system created.  Wash away the greed.  Then there will be a new earth beneath our feet, and a new heaven above our heads.

Mrs Nanda: A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH.  Yes, Your Excellency.  That’s parivartan.  A new heaven, and a new earth.

King:    Yes, I want a new heaven and a new earth.  [Taking off his crown and handing it to one of the soldiers] I want parivartan.  And I start it with myself.  I am going to be the change that I want to see in the country.

Mrs Nanda: Thank you, Your Excellency.  Here, today, at this moment, let us begin the parivartan.  This is the moment of a new beginning.  The beginning of a new era in this country.  Let us celebrate this new beginning with a song.  I’m sure, you, Mrs Pandey, will be happy to join me in this song, I’d like to build the world a home.  I’m sure, your Excellency, that you, and all of you gentlemen, would like to join in.  Please do.



I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
That’s the song I hear
Let the world sing today
A song of peace
That echoes on
And never goes away

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I’d like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company

Curtain falls slowly as the song ends.

Acknowledgement: This play was inspired by THE BEGGAR AND THE KING (a play in one act) by Winthrop Parkhurst. 

Posted in Literature | Leave a comment

Book man and his follies


Those who live by the book will die by the book’s folly.

“After all, as a book man, I should judge a book for its literary merit, irrespective of its subject matter.  Poppycock.”

The above quote is from Vikram Kapur’s article in today’s [4 Nov] Hindu Literary Review.  I would have certainly expected more sense from The Hindu editors than this poppycock from Mr Kapur who claims to be “a book man” but depends more on Google than books.

Mr Kapur’s article is poppycock par excellence.  He says Hilary Mantel did not deserve the Man Booker Prize for her first novel, Wolf Hall, merely for:

  1. Thomas Cromwell’s name had to be searched by Kapur on Google.
  2. Henry VIII married 6 times.
  3. Thomas Cromwell did not have the temerity to murder Henry VIII unlike Oliver Cromwell who did possess that temerity to kill his monarch and hence is familiar to Kapur.
  4. The theme of Wolf Hall is not relevant today since “there is no altercation between the Protestants and the Catholics.”  The altercation is between “the West and fundamentalist Islam.” [emphasis added]
  5. The novel is not set “in the days of the Crusades.”

I wonder why Mr Kapur did not bother to consider the title of the novel at least.  And the repeated statements in the novel about “man being wolf to man.”  Wolf HallI is about the theme of man being wolf to man, a theme which is relevant at any time.

Kapur admits that he did not even bother to read Mantel’s novels.  Having searched the Google to ascertain that his knowledge about Henry VIII’s 6 marriages and Thomas Cromwell’s role in the monarch’s life, Kapur decided that it was “the end of my desire to read Bring up the Bodies [Mantel’s second novel to win the Man Booker Prize, Mantel being the only writer to win the Prize two times in the 44-year history of the Prize] or, for that matter, its predecessor Wolf Hall.”

In short, Kapur did not even read Mantel’s books.  What right does he have to write anything about her books?  Why did The Hindu publish his “poppycock”?  And that too in a literary review supplement?

Kapur thinks Mantel won the Prize because of the British nostalgia for its ancient eminence!  But why on earth would The Hindu want to support the British nostalgia?  I don’t know.   Why in hell would The Hindu publish an article on an author by a writer who has not even bothered to read the author?  That indeed is a mystery to me.

Is The Hindu really competing with The Times of India? J

If yes, I won’t laugh really.

But I am also a man who loves books.


Welcome to my earlier blog on Wolf Hall:

PS. I have already bought Mantel’s second Prize Winner novel.  Looking forward to time for reading it after completing all the never-ending duties assigned to me by my ever-increasing number of bosses…

Posted in Books | Tagged , | Leave a comment