Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm halfway through "Lucknow Boy", and I find it fascinating

If you want to understand journalism as it is practised in India today, its joys and its pitfalls, I can recommend no better book than this one:

  • Read exclusive extracts from Lucknow Boy in the latest issue of Outlook: "Close encounters".
  • I bought Lucknow Boy for my students last week; I'll place the copy in the Commits library after I finish reading it.
  • If you want to read a review of Lucknow Boy, here's the best one: "Vinod Mehta, Unedited" (The Hindu, December 4). 
UPDATE (March 11, 2013): A book Vinod Mehta had written in 1978, The Sanjay Story, has just been reissued by HarperCollins India. Mehta was interviewed by Mint last week in connection with the book. Read the one-on-one here: "Politicians and journalists should never be friends".

1 comment:

  1. I haven't got the chance to lay my hands on the book, but I've read a couple of reviews and some excerpts. The way Mehta speaks of Arun Shourie and Dileep Padgaonkar, is really saucy and spiteful, nevertheless making it a good read...

    It may be mentioned that another journalist of stature, one Nihal Singh, in his memoir, also bashes Shourie to some extent. He even drew the ire of the grand old Khushwant Singh (In an Op-Ed piece in the Hidustan Times, Singh writes how Shourie and he were friends, but fell out after Singh realised that the canker of right-wing politics had already crept inside his journalist friend)
    It seems like Shourie was an eyesore for many...

    But, what surprised me in Mehta's account was his views on Dileep Padgaonkar... The little I've read about him, he always came out as a suave, sophisticated connoisseur of everything stylish (Jug Suraiya's 'JS & The Times of My Life')... But, may be, Mehta is better suited to give an unbiased opinion on his contemporaries than me...

    Talking of Suraiya's book, try it if you haven't already. You'll get a taste of the journalism scenes in both Calcutta and Bombay (as they were known then) in the 70s and the 80s... I particularly liked it as half of the book deals with the place I work and it's easy to relate to the gothic arches and the mammoth gargoyles mentioned by Suraiya:-)

    Lastly, I'd really wait for the memoir of Arun Shourie. I mean, he has never been outspoken in the Parliament, but I'm sure he has some tongue-lashing in store for his hermanos:-)


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