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  • 21-Jun-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Missing the Gauls

    There was always something comical about UPA, much like those Gauls we know

  • 25-Apr-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    The scorched earth

    If the south-west monsoon weakens, India beyond the Western Ghats will run even drier

  • 12-Apr-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Loss and found

    The Snow Leopard is not a long book, but Matthiessen's talent makes it extraordinarily nourishing

  • 29-Mar-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Ganging up

    Leaving the newspaper office hasn't safeguarded my bookshelf space. It used to be the case that a dozen books or more were added to the home collection every month - most of them complimentary copies of new titles sent by publishers "for favour of ...

  • 14-Mar-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Smarty hands

    Working from home is a hellish business. There are some conveniences of course - I can make myself filter coffee whenever I want a thought break, the toilet is five, not 63 steps, from my desk, there is natural and not tube light - but the truth is ...

  • 07-Feb-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Customs build

    A book by the late Eric Sloane, a writer and illustrator, shows how a family built everything they needed

  • 24-Jan-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Change from the heart

    My most fashionable friend dumped her handbag on my dining table and announced in wonderment, "I passed a Starbucks in Punjabi Bagh!" Sounds innocuous; actually remarkable. A canny observer, she meant to say that West Delhi - new-rich, but to ...

  • 03-Jan-2014 | Rrishi Raote

    Get back in line

    A bemufflered Kejriwal declared that he had no time to read any books in 2013

  • 20-Dec-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Where there be monsters

    With her fantastic crest of curlers on, and her hair still damp from the shower, my grandmother is known at home as the Sea Monster. She chuckles when she hears this, so plainly she is a kindhearted monster. And a decorative sort of monster, the ...

  • 06-Dec-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Editor ahead

    Publishing is a temperate profession, on the whole. The highs are not pinnacles, the lows are not chasms. Even so, I imagine the mass of commissioning editors in the larger houses - to borrow from Thoreau - lead lives of quiet desperation.Why? Well, ...

  • 22-Nov-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Here today, more tomorrow

    Early in the post-Clinton era, I asked a librarian at the American Center in Mumbai why the number of books on the library shelves was shrinking. "Young man," this stupid person said with a knowledgeable air, "everything is online now. Sit with me ...

  • 08-Nov-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    What the shoes show

    If you want to buy a pair of shoes online - now you can. Shoes, where one size does not fit all, and which a computer screen can never represent in the necessary touch-and-feel 3D. It's the same for a sweater, for jeans, a hat or earrings, all ...

  • 18-Oct-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Inner business

    Old-school businesspeople and trial lawyers have the advantage of Sherlock Holmes, I've long believed. They can weigh and measure a person very accurately just by observing him. Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional 19th-century detective, had a ...

  • 27-Sep-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Rrishi Raote: It is what it is

    Architectural heritage does not exist so that we can practise lost building techniques, employ locals, or decorate a park. It exists because it meant something when it was made, to people who were not

  • 06-Sep-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Stuck for words

    English-language publishing in India is a small world, and as some outside the circle regularly and sometimes resentfully say, it is a closed world - elite, incestuous, blind to the rest, etc. All more or less true, though what degree of blame ...

  • 24-Aug-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Reading with a 'mob'

    If "social reading" is the future, then we are looking at immortalising the impermanent

  • 10-Aug-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Coffee and a paper

    Black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love," and "shot through with grit" - there is your recipe for coffee in 17th-century London. "Yum," you might say, and quite right, it does sound more exciting than the stuff in modern coffee cups. Even more ...

  • 26-Jul-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    Hospital half-life

    Writing of ill health is done by those who suffer and those who heal

  • 28-Jun-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    The small picture

    I'm going to a bookshop opening," said a friend last Saturday, in the morning. Were we in Delhi I'd have been even more excited. How often does any new bookshop open in that city of 16.75 million people? But this is Bangalore and a bookshop launch, ...

  • 15-Jun-2013 | Rrishi Raote

    The gift that keeps giving

    In February and March this year while this column was away there was a sudden efflorescence of articles and blogs in the Western English-speaking world about how to save the bookshop

  • 22-Sep-2012 | Rrishi Raote

    Booked for a lifetime

    The time has come to add another bookcase to the walls at home. I really thought it would take longer. Less than two years since the last set of new bookcases, and the shelves are full. A pile of books half obscures the computer. To turn on the ...

  • 15-Sep-2012 | Rrishi Raote

    Write what we say

    The English dictionary you buy in India is not the same as the dictionary an Englishman uses

  • 08-Sep-2012 | Rrishi Raote

    Heavenly greens

    With factories in India, Dubai, Thailand and South Africa, industrialist Ashish Bharat Ram is lucky that the map of his business interests coincides loosely with the map of his golfing destinations. He is managing director of SRF, a high-technology ...

  • 08-Sep-2012 | Rrishi Raote

    They all profit, except...

    Thank your stars that India is not more richly endowed with natural resources. We have a bit of oil and a bit of gas, a few hillsful of iron ore and a few beachfuls of thorium sand, some bauxite under a forest in Odisha and a nice new vein of ...

  • 01-Sep-2012 | Rrishi Raote

    He manga more

    Foof! What a book. I read all night and finished it at 5 am. Even so I was much less dogged than the writer — a middle-aged Japanese mangaka (graphic book artist/author) who decided to go to India in 2002 to give this country its first ever ...

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