Thursday, April 17, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
Well, no one knows.
India said it will join the search and quite forgot about it. Well, um, it happened in our back yard, the Indian Ocean and we forgot about it. How else do you explain the virtual blanking out of India from the references by the experts. "!@#$%^&* unka plane gaya hai, hamara kya jata hai," they must have said in hushed voices. But there were Indians on board and Indian planes should have been sent for the search in the Indian Ocean. Of course, a great public relations opportunity of making use of a much international aeronautical disaster to display our advancements and achievements was lost. An Indian plane should have reported that it has spotted debris. We owed it to the world and the families of the compatriots on board. Largely situational albeit a significant positioning as a power of consequence in the Indian Ocean. On the other hand China offered to snoop around in our territorial waters (the ingenious Chinese know their diplomacy and war tactics much better).
Well, we wait, we wait for what? For Godot? For some news from Australia, China, Malaysia, even Thailand. No, not India.
Friday, March 21, 2014
I saw him at Tata Litlive, a frail old Sardarji, talking to someone at the Experimental Theatre where he was going to receive a lifetime achievement award. I wanted to go and introduce myself. But what do I introduce myself as? As a writer I don’t anything substantial to talk about, all I have is a bunch of short stories, poems, a blog, and a novel permanently in a state of suspended animation. Well, er, hum. Here is a man of substance, considerable amounts of it, charm, wit, and achievement and I was overwhelmed. That is to say I didn’t muster the courage to speak to him. And, damn! I bungled that opportunity, which will never come again. I thought writers like him are immortal, they don’t just die. So, no worries, maybe, after the novel is published I could introduce myself and give him a copy of my magnum opus.
Alas and Alack, that’s not to be! The sardarji in a light bulb is no more. Mario’s cartoon of him, pictured him in a light bulb. Why I don’t know, because Mario is also no more. It could be that he wrote at night, or, it could be that ideas for his columns spring to mind like a light bulb, a sixty watt one. Writers are such mysterious creatures.
My first acquaintance with his writing was through the Illustrated Weekly of India which he edited. My dad would bring the magazine home from office and immediately all the neighbours would want to read it. (Actually they wanted to ogle at the semi-nude pictures.) It contained salacious bits of information no newspaper dared to print in those days. He would not spare the holy cows of society. He satirized Amrita Sher-Gill’s paintings, he rubbished Godmen like Rajnish, he spoke boldly against Bhindranwale. Nobody was above his acerbic wit, he spared no one: neither self-styled gurus or punch-drunk divas. Sometimes you hated him for his frank criticisms; sometimes you loved him for demolishing an icon. His style was simple and he gave his journalists full freedom. I have read his articles and columns but not his novels. I mean to, soon. This is a loss that must be recorded in letters of black in our literary history.
As I am writing this I receive a call from a friend who worked with him in the Times group. He says he used to come to office in a tee-shirt and mostly his pheta would be either blue or yellow in colour, and that he was jovial with the staff. This is quite a departure from the norm because those were the days of casteism in the editorial echelons. Forget editors, not even assistant editors would drag their stiff asses to the copy desk to see how a story was going. But he changed it all and we got a new crop of editors – Akbar, Karkaria, Nair, D’Monte – all who believed in his style of running a publication.
Rest in peace Khushwant Singh, man in a light bulb!
Monday, March 17, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
|The David Sassoon Library|
|The Certificate of appreciation|
Accepting this in my own humble way (IMHO), I said a few words about the library and how I came to be associated with it. (I confess I didn't do much good for the library except select some good books for it.) Which went thusly:
I was appointed editor of the Bombay Management Association's journal AMBIT by none other than Mr. M.B.Bhaskare, former MD of Greaves Cotton. The association is situated in Army & Navy Building, where Westside is at present. Actually Westside used to be the atrium of Army & Navy Building. And further, in actual fact, this atrium was the entrance to the Army & Navy Stores back in the halcyon days.
Ah, how the memory wanders over these stray threads of my past. Those were humongous times spent reading in the DSL and watching shows of Hussain, Raza, Monet and Picasso at the Jehangir Art Gallery and the NGMA, National Gallery of Modern Art for those who came late.
Thanks DSL and Adv. Vivek Ajgaokar for this honour.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Now what I have done is upload my novel to my Kindle and, there it is, as if it (read I) have already been published. The formatting is as of a published book and everything is so presentable, it makes me wonder why I didn't buy a Kindle earlier.
Of course, during the reading I am watching for bloopers in the plot and the language,
How I went about it is as follows:
When you buy Kindle you get a Kindle email address, something like email@example.com. This is just a concept email and don't try to open it on your Outlook or elsewhere. When you mail your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org you
Simple? Do let me know if it works for you. Just imagine the joy of having hundreds of boring documents in a free-flowing Kindle format for you to read in trains, in cars, in monrail, in metro,
I think Amazon and kindle should pay me for this recommendation. Yeah they should.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
We finished another painful editing process on the novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard. This time it was copy editing, removing silly spelling mistakes, respecting word territory (we make this mistake too often, i.e., using same words repeatedly in close proximity), removing needless footnotes (there were too many, in the final copy we intend to eliminate all footnotes), deleting self-indulgent passages (of this there were too many), eliminating literary flourishes (Ahem!).
All this because, in the madly competitive world of today, where anyone owning a laptop is writing a novel (ya know, "am writing a novel" is the best pick-up line there is, beats "I have seen you somewhere"), publishers depend too much on literary agents to turn out publishable manuscripts. And, this is the sorry part, literary agents won't look at manuscripts that have simple flaws, no matter how good they are (they receive too many submissions that are utter tripe). We don't blame them, poor fellows, much harried as they are about copyrights, territories, and suchlike.
Now, boo hoo, we have to sit down and carry out all those corrections, 350 pages of them. Writing sucks. Why weren't we a painter, an architect, a musician?
Monday, January 20, 2014
|Singing and strumming... it isn't easy. My right hand is a blur!|