As a Delhi reporter sent to Gujarat to feel the pulse of its people, I’m still trying to make sense of the Congress landslide in that state. Technically speaking, the Narendra Modi-led BJP with 15 seats is right there at the top. But how did the Congress win even 10?
A single-digit score would have been perfectly respectable considering that most people whom I talked to spoke of Modi as if he was a wrathful but just God who crushes the evil, feeds the poor and doesn’t let any power bring dishonour to Gujarat’s asmita. Read more
This month I traveled to six places and did six things which I had never done in Delhi.
No book browsing in Surat
I was in this pretty Gujarati city for three days and did not browse in any bookshop. I had no choice. There is no Khan Market in Surat. A fellow booklover who spent his childhood there told me that he had left the town as soon as he turned 18 because… there were no bookshops. Perhaps he was exaggerating. There are actually two bookstores in Surat but they are, in the words of a friend, good for nothing. Read more
She is known as Surat’s Phoolan Devi, that gutsy bandit queen who carried guns in her hands and gaalis on her lips in the jungles of central India during the 80s.
Ms Asmita Dinesh Bhai Makwana deserves that kind of reputation. Her back is straight, her head unbowed, her eyes fiery. In a conservative town like Surat where most women sport bangles and managalsutras, her accessories include a long, sharp butcher’s knife. Read more
Delhi is like The Complete Works of Shakespeare. You may read just that book and nothing else in your whole life and you would still be wiser. But if go to other cities, walk in their alleys, talk to their dwellers, you would realize that how enlightening it is to read other books.
In other words: Shakespeare is great but not everything; Delhi is great but not everything. Read more