The Nutmeg’s Curse, of Colonisation and Capitalism

While I was still contemplating buying Amitav Ghosh’s newest book, The Nutmeg’s Curse, my father had already ordered it from Amazon India. Well, I’m not complaining. I greatly admire his writing, having owned and read several of his books, before I lost almost all of my books to termites at my parents’ flat in Goa.… Continue reading The Nutmeg’s Curse, of Colonisation and Capitalism

A New Social Contract for a New Kind of Economy

Minouche Shafik’s new book, What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract seems perfectly timed, with the world teetering between the 2008 financial crisis and a global pandemic. The book is not written for the general reader, but I think that they too might like it. They would like it for her astute observations… Continue reading A New Social Contract for a New Kind of Economy

Whereabouts, Context and Depth?

The second book that my parents gifted me for my birthday this year, besides Amartya Sen’s memoir is Jhumpa Lahiri’s Whereabouts. I had already read about her attempt to write this book in Italian and then translate it back into English herself and one marvels at the author’s courage. Around three years ago I think… Continue reading Whereabouts, Context and Depth?

Of the Priests, By the Priests, For the Priests

Having just accomplished one of my life’s aims, I ask myself whether it was really worth it. I have just finished reading The Laws of Manu. I can’t think of any endeavour more single-minded, more self-serving and more ruthlessly successful in its purpose. It tells us why we Hindus still have the caste system in… Continue reading Of the Priests, By the Priests, For the Priests

Impressions and Sketches of Another Age

While dusting and spring-cleaning my father’s bookshelves at home in Goa, I happened to discover a book I had never seen before in his collection. When I opened it, I was even more surprised to see his inscription: Daryaganj pavement, Delhi, 1999. He did visit me in Delhi around then and we might have wandered… Continue reading Impressions and Sketches of Another Age

Reading Russell During the Pandemic

In recent days, we in India have been witnessing people throwing caution to the winds, in the name of religious fervour. This, even as the Covid-19 pandemic ravages the country, with the discovery of a new, highly transmissible variant first found in India, the B.1.617. Whether it is the Maha Kumbh Mela, or the celebration… Continue reading Reading Russell During the Pandemic

Cold War Ghostly Presences

Since I haven’t been earning an income in years and am going broke, I have to be careful about buying books. Such a pity really, since I tend to devour them. Yours truly decided to read books that yours truly had gifted father on his birthday last year, instead. The master of spy fiction, John… Continue reading Cold War Ghostly Presences

Protected: Springtime Reading During the Pandemic

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

History of Burma, But Which One?

I am back to reading non-fiction now, as you can tell. My father bought The Hidden History of Burma early this year and I thought it’s time I read it. Thant Myint-U, the author, being the grandson of U Thant, former UN Secretary General, was an important draw, of course. It’s a country I first… Continue reading History of Burma, But Which One?

Machines Like Us. Do They?

The days of the pandemic, when technology is playing an even bigger role in people’s lives and many are singing its praises, is a good time to turn to science fiction. To imagine what AI can do to our lives and our work. More importantly, to our relationships with each other. These days, I read… Continue reading Machines Like Us. Do They?