Published and unpublished writing on art, books, cities, food, travel and other reportage.

Poet Verses Delhi

Akhil Katyal chronicles Delhi’s many moods in his new poetry collection ♦ Originally published in India Today. The last line of Agha Shahid Ali’s poem “Chandni Chowk, Delhi” gives Akhil Katyal’s new book its title, but the entire collection seems impelled by the poem’s opening command—“Swallow this summer street…” In these Delhi poems, Katyal imbibes …

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A City in a Fog

In Deepa Anappara’s Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, dangers lurk in the long shadows of Nithari and Nirbhaya ♦ Originally published in India Today. Smog meanders through the pages of Deepa Anappara’s moving debut novel; an oppressive presence, like one of the malevolent djinns that nine-year-old Jai worries might be behind a series of …

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Protest Code

Suñatā Samantā: Emptiness Equality invites you to look beyond the obvious in art to see discontent and dissent ♦ Originally published in India Today. Scribbled on the back of a landing, positioned so that you see them as you walk down the stairs when leaving Suñatā Samantā, are two scraps of text in Hindi and …

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The Philosopher’s Tome

Accidental Magic, Keshava Guha’s debut novel, ponders Harry Potter fandom but is light on geeky delights. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Since Harry Potter debuted in 1997, books, films and fan material related to J.K. Rowling’s novels have proliferated faster than cursed objects in a vault at Gringotts. There are academic treatises, pop literary …

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