- To steal perchance a dream
July 20, 2013
A 21-year-old Oxford student, whose debut novel is a fantasy about a young clairvoyant in a dystopian world, is being touted as the next JK Rowling.
- When shoelaces speak
July 13, 2013
Intizar Husain writes about people who like kites, have had their strings cut.
July 13, 2013
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Wherever the flamingo goes, she brings a city's worth of furbelows. She seems unnatural by nature - too vivid and peculiar a structure to be pretty, and flexible to the point of oddity. Perched on those legs, anything she does seems like an act. Descending on her egg or draping her head along her back, she's too exact and sinuous to convince an audience she's serious. The natural elect, they think, would be less pink, less able to relax their necks, less flamboyant in general. They privately expect that it's some poorly jointed bland grey animal with mitts for hands whom God protects.
A Splash of Pink
Last week we carried two poems — by Tishani Doshi and Imitaz Darker representing India and Pakistan respectively — from the Poetry Olympics, a project in London which brought together poets from each country participating in the Olympic games. This week, we bring you US poet Kay Ryan. Ryan, a former poet laureate, is known for writing simple, chopped-up verse that is brutally unsentimental. In this ironic poem about a flamingo, she is both impressed and intrigued by the gorgeous anatomy of this large bird, and wonders what the real story behind it is. Mumbaikars , who wait every year for flocks of migratory flamingoes to arrive and settle in the Sewri mudflats — an annual ritual captured with surreal power in the opening pages of Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s novel , The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay, where a skein of dirty pink flies over Pedder Road bringing all traffic to a halt — will find the poem particularly enjoyable .
Bild Turns 60
It wasn’t just the Queen who celebrated a jubilee recently. Another more colourful institution also did. The German tabloid Bild marked 60 years of existence by delivering 41 million copies of the tabloid’s ‘jubilee issue’ to every household in Germany. This led to some speculation — was it a celebratory move on the paper’s part or a desperate bid to promote sagging circulation? Twenty years ago, Bild sold about five million copies daily; it’s now down to about half that. Indians are more than familiar with the tabloid because every time the Indian media reports some gossip on Boris Becker or Steffi Graf, it’s attributed to Bild. Here’s what the London Review of Books had to say about the jubilee issue: “There was even less news than usual in Sunday’s paper. It was printed a long time before Friday’s football triumph against Greece, and the whole project — all those long-gone headlines from the paper’s history — has a forlorn air about it. Seven of the 16 pages are ads for electronics, phones and cars. The rest is given over to celebrities who’ve appeared in its pages, a happy couple who won 15 million marks in a Bild lottery, a football manager’s family photos. There are no pictures of naked starlets — Bild stopped publishing photos of topless women on its front page earlier this year — but there are three of the pope. ‘Our Joseph Ratzinger is Benedict XVI,’ Bild proclaimed in April 2005. ‘We Are Pope!’ The pope’s private secretary is quoted as saying that Ratzinger ‘smiled when he was told of this headline’ .
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