/Culture

Culture presents reflections on such non-serious but non-trivial matters as music, literature and travel.

THE PROSE OF POETS


The Hindu

When Dom Moraes died earlier this year, most obituaries justly focused on the quality of his verse. With his fellow Mumbaikar Nissim Ezekiel, he made Indo-Anglian poetry respectable. He was a Goan Christian, Ezekiel a Bene Israel; both could only have been products of what—despite the endeavours of Bal Thackeray and his followers—remains a stubbornly cosmopolitan [...]

THE SPREAD OF THE SALWAR


The Hindu

Among the most curious of the ‘culture shocks’ I have received was while flipping through the pages of the Islamabad telephone directory. I was in the Pakistani capital for an academic seminar; but had arrived a day earlier than scheduled. This was back before the days of email, so I could not inform my host (the [...]

KEEPING THE WINDOWS OPEN


The Hindu

Writers in Kannada have won seven Jnanpith awards, a record equalled only by one other language, Hindi. But then there are many more speakers of Hindi. And of the seven Kannada awardees three did not even grow up speaking that language. Thus D. R. Bendre’s mother tongue was Marathi. Masti Venkateswara Iyengar’s first language was Tamil. [...]

AN ELEVEN OF THEIR OWN


The Telegraph

My favourite cricketing story, patriots will be pained to hear, has a Pakistani playing the lead role. Not against India, though, but against the West Indies. On a hot day in Bridgetown many years ago, Hanif Mohammad was battling to save a Test match. Among those watching him keep out the likes of Roy Gilchrist and [...]

COMPOSING A CULTURE


The Hindu

Writers in Kannada have won seven Jnanpith awards, a record equalled only by one other language, Hindi. But then there are many more speakers of Hindi. And of the seven Kannada awardees three did not even grow up speaking that language. Thus D. R. Bendre’s mother tongue was Marathi. Masti Venkateswara Iyengar’s first language was Tamil. [...]

THE BIRD MEN OF INDIA


The Hindu

My old home town, Dehra Dun, occupies a special place in the history of Indian ornithology. It was here that Salim Ali spent five years with his wife, Tehmina. While living in Dehra Dun he revised and refined his first and most famous work, The Book of Indian Birds. The Valley has a dazzlingly diverse collection [...]

THE CONVERSATION OF POETS


The Hindu

Those who believe that climate determines social behaviour should take a closer look at the American state of Wisconsin. This is cold in winter and cold in summer. In December, the snow lies high upon the ground; in May, the wind from the lakes cynically neutralizes the rays of the mid-morning sun. Yet despite its deeply [...]

A SALUTE TO THE SECOND-HAND BOOKSTORE


The Hindu

In twenty years as a workaday writer, I have published several million words, of which only about a thousand have actually helped anyone other than myself. These were contained in an article published in a Delhi newspaper in 1992 after the city’s police commissioner summarily evicted the pavement book stalls in Daryaganj, holding them to be [...]

By |2011-11-30T11:49:58+00:00August 3rd, 2003|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

MEMORIES OF 1983


The Hindu

In the history of Indian cricket, there are really only two competitors for the title of ‘greatest victory ever’: the 1971 series win over England in England, and the defeat of the West Indies in the 1983 World Cup final. In 1971 England were arguably the best side in the world: they had just defeated the [...]

CRICKET ON THE VELD


The Hindu

There is a cricket World Cup now in South Africa, and watching the tournament on TV shall doubtless take me back to the one time I did visit the country. That was back in October 1997. Apartheid had recently been vanquished, and the greatest man the world has known since Mahatma Gandhi was in power. The [...]