‘Five Jewish men influenced the history of Western civilization.
Moses said the law is everything.
Jesus said love is everything.
Marx said capital is everything.
Freud said sex is everything.
Einstein said everything is relative.’
As an Indian, I’m with Einstein. A liberal attitude is essential to being happily human. I hate the way it’s being driven into the darkness by extreme Islam and extreme Hinduism, with fatwas against writers and vandalising books and libraries. Read more
I found lyrics by Woody Guthrie in my mail this week as part of a debate that was also marked to me. It flung me straight back into morning assembly in Bombay and a whole schoolful earnestly singing:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean
From the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea
This land was made for you and me. Read more
“The first time I saw an aghori eating flesh at a midnight ritual on a ghatin Varanasi,” said Bala to me over the phone, “I felt disgusted. But then I got used to it.”
Bala is the rocking noir Tamil filmmaker whose much-awaited film, Naan Kadavul (I Am God) was released last Friday in Tamil Nadu. Read more
Hey, I just got a book from a dear friend who lent it on the assumption that I was off to Iran this Sunday. Looks I’m not going after all, but I’ve been there before (loved the place and the people) so perhaps another time. And because I thought I might go, I read two fascinating books on Iran, so nothing’s wasted – and now, here’s a third. It’s called Strange Times, My Dear, edited by Nahid Mozaffari and its other name is ‘The PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature’. Here’s the first thing that jumped out of it to catch my eye and it’s so totally Mangalore that I thought I’d better share it with you right away, two lines from the great Iranian poet Hafiz (this book spells it ‘Hafez’ the proper Iranian way): Read more