For Indians of my generation, the defining memory of Ravi Shankar remains the Bangladesh concert. You probably know the story. In 1971, when the Pakistani army let loose a reign of terror in what was then East Pakistan, the world grew agitated as stories of brutality began to emerge. And though India hosted 90 lakh refugees, Western governments refused to take action. Read more
One of my lasting regrets, each time I go to the United States, is that my favourite bookshops have all closed. So, for that matter, have all the record (or CD) shops that I used to frequent. Read more
There is an unwritten rule of cinema and TV direction. It goes something like this: if you are making a period picture or TV series then you must settle on a tone. Read more
Anybody who grew up on superhero comic books knew the rules. D.C Comics had the better heroes (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern etc.) but Marvel had the better stories. Read more
I don’t know if you read the story on trolls in last Sunday’s Brunch but everyone I know who has looked at it has ended up shaking his or her own head and saying things like “it’s so sad that the internet is being contaminated by people like this.” Read more
One measure of how much a man’s life has been worth is how his own people remember him. I was in London when Keith Floyd, the television chef, died and wondered how the papers would treat his passing given that it coincided with the tragic death of Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze, who lost his battle with cancer on the same day. Read more
Just in case you are not fed up of Michael Jackson stories, here’s a question for you: why has MJ’s demise become such a big international story?
Or put it anther way: why was MJ such a global phenomenon? Here’s my theory: he had risen above nationality, race, colour or gender, to the extent that he belonged to the whole world. Read more
You will have heard all the usual stuff about television and the election. You will have been told that TV focuses on superficialities, that it does not reach the masses, that TV debates are an irrelevance etc etc.
I don’t want to get into all of that. But there’s one way in which TV has changed the rules of electioneering. And I find that it does not get enough credit for that. Read more