Jug Suraiya

The rediscovery of a literary ‘greeneland

Greene attributed his conversion to a youthful romance and has shrugged off the label of being “a Catholic author”, preferring to be called an “author who happens to be Catholic”.

06 Jan 2019

A remembrance of Calcutta christmases past

The mainstay of Calcutta’s Christmas tradition was the Anglo-Indian household, to which an invitation had to be inveigled if one wanted the true savour of the season. 

01 Dec 2018

We Indians need to spit it all out

Yaaaaarnk! The blood-curdling sound freezes me to the spot.

03 Nov 2018

When Durga comes visiting in Kolkata

Durga Puja is around the corner, evoking in me memories of how this festival was celebrated in what was then called Calcutta, and where I spent most of my adult life.

04 Oct 2018

Down memory lane on Kolkata’s park street

Every now and again they talk about renaming Park Street, in what is now called Kolkata.

08 Sep 2018

An Israeli-Palestinian take on Shakespeare

The other day I saw a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino playing Shylock.

11 Aug 2018

From blood and sand to flaming heart of Spain

What redeems bullfighting from being an act of senseless cruelty is the courage of the matador who while dealing death coolly faces it himself.

14 Jul 2018

Madrid represents all of Spain—or none of it

Perhaps the best aperitif to the city is a morning stroll through the Plaza Mayor, the vast, cobblestoned square designed by Philip III in the 17th century.

16 Jun 2018

The state has lost its monopoly on violence

In one of the most dangerous developments facing the country today, a fundamental public sector undertaking (PSU) of the nation is being subversively privatised: violence.

19 May 2018

Mauritius: Caught in the crosscurrents of time

A lot of change to be crammed into so small an island, measuring only 1,865 sq km in area and with a population of little over a million.

21 Apr 2018

The obscene ‘Spirituality’ of the terrorist

In Kashmir or in Palestine, in Syria or Sudan, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

24 Mar 2018

There is no inappropriate laughter

Renuka Chowdhury has been rebuked by the ruling party for her ‘inappropriate’ laughter in Parliament.

22 Feb 2018

Slang happens when language walks the talk

When John le Carre was asked by a British interviewer why he did not immigrate to France or some other country where taxes were less punitive than in the UK, the novelist replied with an anecdote.

06 Jan 2018

When language laughs at our attempts to make use of it

They’re a writer’s nightmare, call them what you will: misprints, literals, typos, errata, printer’s devils.

04 Nov 2017