Nepali Times Asian Paints
Special
"A sense of belonging"



Nepali Times: Your book deals with the young JS Calcutta of the 1960s. Is Calcutta home?
Jug Suraiya:
My heart is indeed in Calcutta. But it is a Calcutta of the past, the people and places that made it what it was are no longer there. You can't call the past your home. So where is home for me? I'm not sure. But I'd like to think of home not as a geographical location but as a dispersed domain, a constituency made up of my readership. My home is where people read me.

When is it the right time for a journalist to do a book?
When the irresistible urge to do a book overcomes the almost immovable inertia of laziness. At least, that's the way it was in my case. Like Nike, I knew that I had to just do it.

What is the role for satire when everyday politics itself feels like a tragic-comedy?
No satire or spoof can be as outrageously farcical as the conduct of the great majority of our so-called political leaders, who should more aptly be called our political bleeders because by their corrupt ways they leach all the blood out of the body politic, which is you and me. Can you further satirise or spoof someone who already is a caricature of greed and arrogance? You can't. In our subcontinent, the satirist is a Don Quixote tilting against windmills in a losing battle.

What can we do to make journalism sharper and more hard-hitting so as to get politicians and bureaucrats who rule our daily lives sit up and take notice?

Perhaps one idea might be to have a day-to-day Corruption Report, like we have the daily Weather Report, which would record the exact number of reported bribes paid the previous day, and to whom.

You keep coming back to Kathmandu, what is the attraction?
Desmond Doig introduced me to Nepal way back in 1969. Since then, my wife, Bunny, and I have both fallen in love with the country and have visited it more times than we can count. What is it that draws us here? It's a sense of belonging, which is the gift that the people of Nepal so generously and so spontaneously give to all those who visit the country. We'd like to thank Nepal for the recurrent gift of hospitality that it has always given us.

Read also:
A pen between her toes,
THOMAS BELL

Telling tales?, RABI THAPA

Ani's story
The singer of the hit song Phoolko Ankhama, is coming to Nepali readers as a writer

Quicksand nation
Collection of Wayne Amtzis poetry looks at Nepal's war in the context of the unhappy peace that preceded and followed it

Kathmandu literary jatra schedule



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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