Wednesday, November 05, 2008


When Barack Obama visited Berlin a few months ago, more than 200,000 of its citizens turned up to hear him speak. Victory is theirs.

Less than twelve hours ago, in Chicago, a similar number of Americans joined him in celebrating an extraordinary moment in their history. Among them was Rev. Jesse Jackson, who saw a man fulfil his own unfinished American dream. Victory is his.

Around the same time, a middle-aged, semi-literate man from a West Bengal village, who follows not a word of American English, stood glued to the live telecast on CNN in my house. He was watching with genuine joy another man, thousands of miles and cultures away, who does not speak his language and of whom he knows precious little, be on his way to becoming the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. Because they share the same name, Hussein. Victory is his.

I have nothing to add to the immense body of commentary that has and will be recorded about Obama's election to the Presidential post. This post is a personal tribute to a moment in history that I am proud to have been around for. Barack Obama has made big promises, and it remains to be seen whether he will deliver. His victory reflects the wish for change more than the conviction that this change can be brought about in any certain way. But that the American people have embraced the need for this change, and welcomed it in so triumphant a manner, speaks of good things to come. This is a victory for the minority voice, a recognition of the fascinating hybridity that embodies the American (and global) life. It is a remarkable moment to be a part of. Victory is ours.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Right, so, hullo and everything. Long time n awl.

Here's the deal, you need to close your eyes and think of 3 books that make you happy. The first 3 that come to mind. No thinking hard allowed, tell me just off the top of your head.

Here's what I came up with:

1. My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell
2. Boy - Roald Dahl
3. Abol Tabol - Sukumar Ray

I was a little amazed at what I got. Primarily because the last time I'd read any of these 3 books was over a dozen years ago, sometimes more. Yet these are what came to mind immediately. Now tell me yours.

As an afterthought, maybe we could share some of the less common books with each other, those who are in the same city could, at any rate.