Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
Salil Tripathi writes in:
Your post on Congress’s “Son Rise” reminds me of my time at Celebrity, the now-defunct magazine edited by Shobha De (then Kilachand), where I wrote for some time before going to the United States to study. It was
early 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi had just been appointed the general secretary of the Congress Party (India Today had the famous cover of Rajiv wearing a Gandhi cap, and the headline asked: Will the cap fit?). We used to have a great time making fun of Rajiv, his friendship with Amitabh Bachchan, etc. We had a gossipy column, where we used to write a quip each month (the magazine came out each month) about Rajiv Gandhi, punning on “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway.
The first was of course, “the son also rises”. Then, we got creative, and said “the son also surprises” (when he did something unexpected), “the son also fetches prizes” (when he was given some honour by some sycophant), “the son also fetches prices” (when pricey T-shirts were sold with his mugshot), “the son also cries” (when he showed emotion in public), and so on. It was modeled after Esquire showing Nixon’s laughing face, saying - why is this man laughing? It was all silly, but then I was in my early 20s at that time.
The only way not to do silly things in one’s early 20s is to die at 19, so all is forgiven. And Celebrity is such an apt name for a magazine in these times. Almost all our publications could call themselves that. No?
Sita Sings the Blues: The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told
Dev.D doesn't flinch from depicting the individual’s downward spiral
9 across: Van Morrison classic from Moondance (7)
6 down: Order beginning with ‘A’ (12)