A day ago I put up a mock post on Facebook saying I was starting an Indian Grocery store in Germany. I got over 75 comments and 275 Likes. Friends were so encouraging. It is nice. I felt a lot of people have by best interest in their mind.
Yet, I have a different interest. I want to write. I want to write to get reviews like this one Sakoon N Singh did for ‘Roll of Honour’. To be reminded of greats like Amitav Ghosh and Agha Shahid Ali in a review by someone who has been an insider to Punjab all these decades and is a Professor of English literature. Thank you Sakoon. I am touched.
‘… here is an attempt to unearth Punjabiyat as a more valid marker of identity as opposed to religion. Sandhu does a good job with deconstructing a lot of Punjabi lore, Sikh shabads and mannerisms in an attempt to take the wider readership into the heart of Punjab.’
Please read, you will relish this review. …
Tags: 1984, Khalistan, Roll of Honour, Sakoon Singh, Sikh
Friends, my comment piece on the ban on the film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ in today’s Hindustan Times.
The issue with the movie is that: ‘In Sikhism, we do not give a physical representation to the Gurus.’ Yet, for more than a hundred years Sikhs have been turning towards image and idol worship – ‘but prasti’. I do not understand these calls for bans every few months. The bans are becoming a joke while the need is for reconciliation over the events and ideologies of the past decades and reform in the religion.
‘If the Sikh clergy now resists ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’, because it depicts the Guru in a human form, it would do well to consider how blasphemous the Sikh community has been with the images and icons of the Gurus.’
Please read …
Tags: ban, movie, Nanak Shah Fakir, Punjab, Sobha Singh
Friends, here is a piece on the Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship in which I make an argument for more such Fellowships. Hope the article can initiate discussion and action towards more Residencies on the Indian Ocean rim and mainland. Thank you Mr Jean-Baptiste Joly and The Hindu.
Reead here …
Tags: Alademie Schloss Solitude, Europe, India, Residency
A short candid film by Lakshmi and me on our interaction with ‘A Boatman in Benaras’ who holds forth on birth, life and death. Hope you like viewing it. (7 minutes).
Please see here …
Tags: Benaras, Boatman, Kashi, Lakshmi Karunakaran, Varanasi
The Solitude Atlas is the current publication project of Akademie Schloss Solitude, which will be published in 2015 on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The 143 participating authors, all former or current fellows at the Akademie since 1990, were invited to hand in a subjective text about the cities they are living in. I extended the definition a bit to etch in words a connection between the town I was born in and Germany – a realization which hit me strongly in the recent days.
A big thanks to Srikant Kuanar who allowed me the use of his gorgeous panoramic picture of the Rourkela Steel Plant. This piece posits a historical way of looking at identities that goes beyond the narrow ways in which we are sometimes forced to define them in recent days.
See here …
Tags: Akademie Schloss Solitude, Atlas, Germany, Krupp & Demag, Rourkela, Ruhr, Srikant Kuanar
Happy, humbled, and proud to announce the publication of an anthology on different kinds of writing around young boys – ‘Being Boys’ by Tulika Books. The idea of the collection is to overturn popular stereotypes about boys – the usual dominant male image that is enforced from all sides as they grow up, and pressures conformity. Thank you Deeya Nayar.
Happy because given all the gender related changes our society is experiencing and the horror of atrocities against women, I feel there is a crying need to talk about boys, to shape narratives around how boys grow up, could grow up. Humbled because the other authors are really first class and I wonder how I am there. Proud that my story ‘Rinku’s Hair’ is part of the anthology.
Bless, buy, read more here …
Tags: adolescence, Being Boys, Rinku's Hair, Tulika Books
India’s drive to drum up support for ancient science has attracted a lot of international support: England, Germany, Czech Republic.
Illustration by Lakshmi Karunakaran, please read here …
Tags: Ancient Science, aviation, India, Indian Science Congress, Macbeth, urine
Preeti Singh read and reviewed Roll of Honour. Then she interviewed Daljit Ami, the translator, and me for her article on the book and the process of translation. I wish more such pieces are written on the efforts of translations between languages worldwide, all books.
Read on …
Tags: Daljit Ami, Gwah de Fanah hon to Pehlan, Preeti Singh, Roll of Honour
Sumana Roy and Manjiri Indurkar remain kind to me on their satire and humour website Antiserious. They published a new piece on something that affects most of us while we take care of the piles and piles of documents in bureaucratic India.
Read on …
Tags: antiserious, bureaucracy, India, policies, satire
When I was asked to review V S Naipaul’s seminal book An Area of Darkness, on the occasion of 50 years of its being banned, I approached the text with a mixture of feelings: respect for the craft of the writer but also a bit of apprehension about how he has talked about India in his articles, books, etc. I made sure I read him closely and question my own assumptions about Naipaul’s India. Unfortunately, he did not give me a chance to vindicate himself. It is sad, but it must be said that through his career Naipaul has played to a western gallery, a stereotype.
‘Thank you for your supercilious attitude, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. We could really have done without your writing. Yet, while I was reading the book on a plane, a foreigner in the seat next to mine quickly took down the name of the book and told me she would read it. It is, after all, by a Nobel laureate. ’
Read full review on the book that is freely available now. …
Tags: An Area of Darkness, India, The Hindu, V S Naipaul