Browse Archives

By Category

By Date

My Friend Sancho

My first novel, My Friend Sancho, is now on the stands across India. It is a contemporary love story set in Mumbai, and was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. To learn more about the book, click here.

To buy it online from the US, click here.

I am currently on a book tour to promote the book. Please check out our schedule of city launches. India Uncut readers are invited to all of them, no pass required, so do drop in and say hello.

If you're interested, do join the Facebook group for My Friend Sancho

Click here for more about my publisher, Hachette India.

And ah, my posts on India Uncut about My Friend Sancho can be found here.

Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Category Archives: News

What to do about Moninder Singh Pandher?

I’ve just been watching the TV news channels, and they’re all a little psyched right now. The CBI has announced that Surendra Koli is solely responsible for the Nithari killings, most of which took place when Moninder Singh Pandher was either out of the country or not in his house. The anchors and reporters are bewildered, and are hinting at all manners of dark conspiracies. There are soundbytes of relatives of the victims protesting against the “injustice.” One thing is clear: many of these people decided long ago, after a rapturous media trial, that Pandher was guilty of the serial killings. Now that he’s not even being charged of the killings, they don’t know how to deal with it.

This is especially so because a significant part of the media made it a class issue. They focussed a bit too much on the subtext of a rich, influential businessman killing off poor, defenseless kids in his neighbourhood, and much of the outrage about the Nithari killings came from the class difference. Now that storyline is sinking, and they’re trying to figure out what angle to take. Perverted psychopath killing and eating a whole bunch of kids is less juicy if it’s the servant and not the master we’re talking about.

The whole truth of the matter will hopefully emerge as the trial proceeds, and it might well turn out, as some of the reporters are insinuating, that Koli is covering up for Pandher. But it might also turn out that he’s telling the truth. Either way, should we not suspend our decision until the facts are established?

Posted by Amit Varma on 23 March, 2007 in India | Journalism | News

Air Deccan incompetence, and courtship at Mt Abu

Air Deccan’s getting much attention from CNN-IBN, and rightly so: their disregard for customers has been so blatant for so long that something had to give. Well, Gautam John points me, via email, to an excellent comments thread of people relating their experiences with Air Deccan. One of them, in two parts, by a gentleman named Saurabh Chauhan, is particularly hilarious, and I carry it below the fold.


Posted by Amit Varma on 22 March, 2007 in India | News

Sex education in Madhya Pradesh

IANS reports that “[s]ex education will no longer be imparted in schools in Madhya Pradesh.” MP’s chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has explained his decision with the following words to HRD minister Arjun Singh:

The union government has devaluated [sic] Indian culture and its values. I believe that the text material on the subject was not submitted before you in a proper manner or else you would have not approved it.Instead, the younger generation should be taught about yoga, Indian culture and its values.

How these old fogies take kids for granted! Biology is stronger than culture, and these kids will get their sex education whether the schools provide it or not. As for Yoga, if you teach it to them at school, they might end up hating it for the rest of their lives. Such naïveté.

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 March, 2007 in India | News

Anand Jon and euphemisms

We’ll only know if Anand Jon is guilty of the charges against him when the trial is done, but if there was a law against silly euphemisms, his attorney, one Ronald Richards, would be in serious trouble. Consider the gentleman’s defence of Jon:

These girls fly in for model jobs after months of dialogue filled with flirtation, they have sexual interaction and if he doesn’t put them in the show… then sometime later they claim they had unwanted sex.

“Sexual interaction?” “Unwanted sex?” Dude?

And it’s interesting how a section of the Indian media has jumped to Jon’s defence simply because he is an Indian celebrity in the US. So we have stories with quotes from celebs saying things like “Oh, I met him once at a party, and he seemed so polite. I’m sure he couldn’t have done this!” Joy.

Madhur Bhandarkar should make a film on this.

Posted by Amit Varma on 20 March, 2007 in Arts and entertainment | Journalism | News

“Men who want children should skip the hot tub”

So says Reuters. And what do I say?

Men who have children should boil them.

Posted by Amit Varma on 14 March, 2007 in News | Small thoughts

On rave parties, victimless crimes and shooting the messenger

All the newspapers today are full of the “rave party” that was busted by cops near Pune yesterday. It is a party that I might well have gone to in my youth (I never did drugs, but I did like to rebel), and I feel sorry for the kids who’ve been arrested for activities that harmed no one. It is a pity that so many victimless acts are treated as crimes in our country. If I want to snort a little of whatever it is kids these days snort, what business is it of anyone else? Unlike cigarettes, where bystanders can be hurt by passive smoking, most recreational drugs don’t even harm anyone else.

But then, who cares about individual freedom in this country?

An aside: And do check out the following line in Posted by Amit Varma on 05 March, 2007 in Freedom | India | News

Religion adds to its headcount

A depressing headline, this: “Polio cases jump in Pakistan as clerics declare vaccination an American plot.”

What bugs me the most is that if some people unconnected with religion spread such rumours, and deaths were caused by that, legal or police action would almost certainly be taken against the mischief mongers. But because these guys are clerics, they’re untouchable, immune from the consequences of their actions. It’s a pity so many of us put religion on such a pedestal—and it’s not only Islam I’m talking about.

Recent related posts: 1, 2, 3.

(Link via email from Gautam John.)

Posted by Amit Varma on 17 February, 2007 in Miscellaneous | News

Page 16 of 16 pages « First  <  14 15 16