Dear Friends,
pleased to share that ‘PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines’ is having a good run. It is now long-listed for the Atta Galatta Bangalore Literature Festival Non-Fiction Book Prize.

More here …

Fingers and toes crossed! Pray, Buy!

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Dear Friends,

gives me a lot of satisfaction that PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines is long-listed for the Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay award for non-fiction books by the New India Foundation, Bengaluru.

See more here …

Fingers Crossed! Wish the book well!

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10
Oct

Down To Earth excerpt: PANJAB

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

even if they appeared briefly, the farmer, labour, arthiya, small shopkeeper protests against Farm Laws are fast moving out of the pages of newspapers and TV channels. Yet, memory cannot be erased.

Thank you to Down to Earth and Rajat Ghai for choosing to run this extract from PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines which talks about similar protests in the greater PANJAB area more than a century ago – in the early 1900s.

The piece questions what we call the ‘Green Revolution’, portrays the rebellion spearheaded by Sardar Ajit Singh Sandhu and in the second half a sort of listicle on the laws enacted by one the greatest lawmakers – Sir Chottu Ram of the Unionist Party.

The real tragedy of Panjab is our governments since Independence – both state and Centre – have ignored what their predecessors had set up. Unless core issues are solved, protests will continue.

Solidarity!

Please read more here …

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10
Oct

Indian Currents: Myth of Freeing the Farmer

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Dear Friends,

upon nudge from Jaswant Kaur, thank you, I wrote on the implications of the three Farm Bills – the reasons behind the huge Bharat Bandh yesterday by farmers, labourers, trade unions and political parties. In the essay I try to sketch a brief context in which the Bills were presented and dubiously passed by the Parliament.

Please read here …

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10
Oct

Curating for Culture: Making of the book Panjab

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

On September 26, 5 pm to 7 pm IST, on invitation by Ishita Shah and her curatorial entrepreneurship ‘Curating for Culture – Constructing Personal Archives 2020′, I spoke on the Making of PANJAB.

The book PANJAB, its structure, its chapterisation, its voice and tone, all came from my journeys, the way the journeys were structured, the challenges I faced and Panjab’s hospitality. In this session we looked deeper into the process.

The talk is available here …

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10
Oct

KREA University Talk: Land – Panjab

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Dear Friends,

it was my pleasure yesterday to talk about one theme from my book PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines with students and faculty of KREA University. Thank you Seema Dhody Natesan for the invitation.

Owing to the recent voting in Lok Sabha on the Farm Ordinances, the timing of the talk was perfect. Though I focused on the Ordinances only towards the end of my talk. My intention was to give the future generation a background to what ‘land’ means in an agrarian community like Panjab. A community that most urban folks left behind just a generation or two ago.

It was a meaningful conversation and I was impressed by the questions the students and faculty asked. More power to them!

Pictures: one of me on Seema’s computer and another of Seema on her computer.

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10
Oct

Times of India: Onam Ashamsakal!

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Dear Friends,

a few days back Sabin Iqbal very kindly invited me to write for a Times of India supplement on Onam. I got a chance to assert my Malayali connection and make a prayer that like Mahabali returns to Kerala, Shaheen comes out of his cage. He did! The supplement appeared on August 27.

Here is the piece:

About a quarter century ago, I first saw Onam celebrations at the University of Hyderabad. The whole Malayali community on campus, irrespective of religion, had put up a show. A friend told me the Mahabali story. I was impressed. Then there was sadya -a joint meal to which all of us were invited.

Then I did not know that one day I would become an honorary Malayali through marriage. I would enjoy not only my Onam sadyas but the warmth and love my wife, her parents and through them Kerala has showered over me through the years.

Just before the lockdown a kitten adopted us and enslaved us. Yes, there is no other way to name the relationship. Through the lockdown restrictions, for many weeks, at home a budding new life helped us negotiate the time. A month and a half back, the kitten broke its leg. It was a comminuted fracture, needing a titanium rod insertion and six weeks of cage time for the kitten.

During the lockdown, the cat in the cage, looking out of the window, reminding me of all of us. The fact is that the virus has put all of us in cages. Since God exists in every atom and serving a caged kitten is akin to worship, my prayer this Onam is like Mahabali returns to Kerala, our kitten comes out of his cage.

Who knows? The kitten might be actually either Mahabali or the God in disguise? For the people of Kerala, for all celebrating this festival beyond the barriers of religion, my hope is that the coronavirus threat is mitigated, an effective vaccine is available soon, and we get together next year for celebrations.

Onam Ashamsakal!

 

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Dear Friends,

Roll of Honour had a brilliant run when it appeared but then sort of faded out. Over the years some researchers have told me they are working on my books for their MPhils and PhDs.

Recently I found a paper on the different types of masculinity in Roll of Honour written by Central University of Himachal Pradesh research scholar Jaspreet Sivian and published in a Literary Journal.

Please see here …

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29
Aug

A Blog’s Book Of July: Sepia Leaves

   Posted by: aman   in Sepia Leaves

Dear Friends,

thank you for all your wishes for the translation of ‘Sepia Leaves’. As I said in that post, every few weeks there is a new friend reading, talking, commenting, sharing about the book. I feel very satisfied that the book continues to resonate with us.

Here is a new blog I accidentally tumbled upon. Reader Smitha Murthy says, ‘Simple prose, haunting images, and relentless in its portrayal of the author’s beautiful family, ‘Sepia Leaves,’ reminded me of all the sepia-tainted memories of my life. The people, shadows, ghosts, thoughts, scars, words – all brought up in vivid technicolor. This book isn’t perfect. Just like us. And that’s perfect.’

Thank you Smitha.

Please read here …

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29
Aug

The Hindu: Lockdown Reading List

   Posted by: aman   in Other

Dear Friends,

Senior journalist Soma Basu from The Hindu recently asked me to name a few books I was reading in these COVID times. Here is a brief mention including works by Hoshang Merchant and Manjul Bajaj.

Please see my selection here …

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