Monday, April 29, 2013


35 years of fabulous cartoons: KAL from The Economist. Please join the fan club! (Featuring a KAL cartoon of Indira Gandhi that got The Economist's edition featuring the cartoon banned in India!)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

  1. लाल तीन की छत (निर्मल वर्मा) (पुनः) (tr. Red Tin Roof (Nirmal Verma) (again))
  2. तिरिछ (उदय प्रकाश) (tr. Bent (Uday Prakash))
  3. और अंत में प्रार्थना (उदय प्रकाश) (tr. And in the End, Prayer (Uday Prakash))
  4. प्रतिनिधि कवितायें (केदारनाथ सिंह) (tr. Representative Poems (Kedarnath Singh))
  5. नेताजी कहिन (मनोहर श्याम जोशी) (tr. Sayeth Mr. Politician (Manohar Shyam Joshi))
  6. पत्थर अलपत्थर (उपेन्द्रनाथ अश्क) (tr. Stone Al-Patthar (???) (Upendranath Ashq))
  7. रसीदी टिकट (अमृता प्रीतम) (tr. Return Ticket (Amrita Preetam))
  8. Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia (S Hussain Zaidi)
  9. अरेबा परेबा (उदय प्रकाश) (tr. Areba Pareba (???) (Uday Prakash))
  10. मोहन राकेश की यादगारी कहानियां (मोहन राकेश) (tr. Memorable Stories of Mohan Rakesh (Mohan Rakesh))
  11. Life & Times of Michael K (J M Coetzee)
  12. अग्नि और बरखा (गिरीश कर्नाड) (अनुवाद: रामगोपाल बजाज) (tr. Fire and Rain (Girish Karnad) (Translation: Ramgopal Bajaj))
  13. हयवदन (गिरीश कर्नाड) (अनुवाद: बी वी कारंत) (tr. Hayavadana (Girish Karnad) (Translation: B V Karanth))
  14. मोहन दास (उदय प्रकाश) (tr. Mohan Das (Uday Prakash))
  15. The Master of Petersburg (J M Coetzee)
  16. जलती झाड़ी (निर्मल वर्मा) (पुनः) (tr. Burning Bush (Nirmal Verma) (again))
  17. पीली छतरी वाली लड़की (उदय प्रकाश) (tr. The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella (Uday Prakash))
  18. Waiting for the Barbarians (J M Coetzee)
  19. खामोश! अदालत जारी है (विजय तेंदुलकर) (अनुवाद: सरोजिनी वर्मा) (tr. Silence! Court is in Session (Vijay Tendulkar) (Translation: Sarojini Verma))
  20. घासीराम कोतवाल (विजय तेंदुलकर) (अनुवाद: वसंत देव) (tr. Ghasiram Constable (Vijay Tendulkar) (Translation: Vasant Dev))
  21. तुगलक़ (गिरीश कर्नाड) (अनुवाद: बी वी कारंत) (tr. Tuglaq (Girish Karnad) (Translation: B V Karanth))
  22. काशी का अस्सी (काशीनाथ सिंह) (tr. Kashi's Assi (Ghat) (Kashinath Singh))
  23. दूसरा सप्तक (संपादक: अज्ञेय) (tr. Second Saptak (Editor: Agyeya))
  24. हर बारिश में (निर्मल वर्मा) (पुनः) (tr. In Every Rain (Nirmal Verma) (again))

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ऐसी भी क्या जल्दी है?

अब मैं सुराखों में 
और दरमियानों के ठहराव में 
जीना सीख गया हूँ,
मुफ़लिसी थामे है उंगली 
घूरे है सहमी, कातर नज़र से
जब कौंधे मन में ख़याल 
"झटको पल्ला,
उठ बैठो तुनक के
खदेड़ो दूर इस कुलच्छिनी की प्रेतछाया को"
हाथ टिकाये ठोड़ी पर,
सोचूँ मैं विस्मय से,
यारों से क्या कभी 
यूं बेमुरौवती करते हैं भला?


Now, in the holes in walls
And in the stasis between moments
I have learnt how to live
Poverty clutches at my fingers
Stares with eyes awash in fear
When the thought strikes
"Spurn her company
Stand up and arrive
Chase away the unholy shadow of the skank"
Holding the chin in my hands
I wonder in amazement
Does one, with their friends
Be ever so heartless?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lit Noir: When Dickens Met Dostoyevsky

Which he didn't...ever.

A long, literary detective story of the fake article that caused the hoax to be so persuasive - even to experts. Link: When Dickens met Dostoyevsky.

Do read it for its fabulous Borgesian twists and turns (whose works NF is currently devouring on his subway commutes). You will also be reminded of Benno von Archimboldi - the elusive fictional writer featured so prominently in Bolaño's 2666.

The meandering, somewhat long-winded article however, will appeal only to the literary minded and fans of either Dickens or Dostoyevsky or both. Be warned. 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Party Pooper

Readers are enjoined to read through the long, trenchant, scathing and fabulous piece Evgeny Morozov has penned about Tim O'Reilly (the internet/open source evangelist) : The Meme Hustler.

For those of you who are unaware of Morozov, he's the eternal skeptic of the power-of-the-internet 'cyber-utopians' (a term he's coined) pointing out that the effects of such technology is not necessarily simple and emancipatory; and so while Twitter and Facebook and other internet tools may aid civic protests, they also aid large scale repression in China, Russia and other more protest-unfriendly places. 

One can't but help notice the similarities between Morozov (who's only 27!) and the great documentarian Adam Curtis - for questioning deep ideological biases implicit even in the best technocratic proposals and for underlining how even the best technocratic intentions can be hijacked and turned into harrowing nightmares for common, unsuspecting people.

Do read it! His is a voice that needs to be heard.