On a poet
As a poet he did not get his due, but then his poetry had yet to be fully explored and articulated. With age and steady practice he would have arrived at his centre.
But he abandoned poetry rather early for the spirit (the ashram) and his bread (advertising). Along with Dom and Nissim and Arun, he will be missed. Alone, with no girl in red beside me, I can still claim to mourn his absence.
 On a novel
To write about not writing — that’s the theme of Bartleby and Co, a recently translated Spanish novel by Enrique Vila-Matas. Vila-Matas’s hero is a humpbacked clerk who feigns melancholy at the office, goes on med ical leave, and sits down to meditate on all those writers who, for one reason or the other, gave up writing. This slender, beautiful and honest work is about invisible writers and their phantom books.
 On a musician
Even as it claimed those million (or more) lives, the partition of the Punjab dealt a body blow to a once unified, syncretic, tradition of literature and music. A small slice of that tradition, however, was preserved in the shape of Allarakha Khan. I do not know how, and what in circumstances, Allarakha came to live in India rather than in Pakistan. But in doing so, he passed on his art — and his craft — to a man who, in background and demeanour, is as far from being a Punjabi Muslim as one can imagine. Yogesh Samsi comes from the other end of the subcontinent as his master. Whereas Allarakha was (as I remember him) burly and big, with a loud laugh and long, white hair that flew spectacularly about him as he played, his disciple is small, slight, bespectacled, and soft-spoken. Yet, through a delicious accident of history, it is this Konkani-speaking Saraswat who carries on, in his mind and through his hands, the great Punjab tradition of tabla-playing.
 On media
If Justice J.S. Verma and his fellow civil society eminences — Dipankar Gupta, Ram Guha, Nitin Desai, and Kiran Karnik want to weigh in with enforceable regulatory guidelines that ensure that the media is an asset and not a menace in times of national stress, the time is now. Otherwise it will be clear that they are just letting their names be used by a bunch which is determined to cling to its freedom to run amuck.
Take a look!