Bernadette Murphy’s book is a detailed exploration of the most tumultuous period of Van Gogh’s life, and a forensic examination of that December day in 1889 when he cut off his ear
It is now easy to lose sight of the fact that neither the Premier League nor Arsenal had ever seen anything like Wenger before the Frenchman arrived to take charge in north London in September 1996.
In Selection Day, a novel with cricket at its heart, Aravind Adiga has created complex and wonderfully-realised characters
Asif Kapadia’s documentary on Cristiano Ronaldo makes clear that he defines himself -- or is defined by others -- as a sort of anti-Messi.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s new book, written in Italian, is an attempt to reclaim herself and to forge a new direction in her work
In Orhan Pamuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind, protagonist Mevlut’s life is so inextricably woven with that of the city he lives in, that in a way, one becomes the other.
It is in the nature of Test cricket that the surface plays a decisive role in the outcome of the match. All countries make pitches that play to the strength of their bowlers. A phrase exists to describe it: home advantage.
Nadella’s voice is neither baritone nor falsetto; his accent not entirely permeated with the American drawl. He speaks in an assertive, courteous way. When he wants to make a point, he slices the air with precise, emphatic gestures.
The bat didn't always beat the ball and you needn't be disappointed about Team India: here are five lessons that this cricket World Cup taught us.
The second ball of the 46th over of the India innings, bowled by Bangladesh’s quickest bowler Rubel Hossain, was pitched up and on the middle stump. It was a perfectly decent ball in the death overs of an innings.
We have already had more hundreds in this tournament than in the entire 2007 competition. There have been three scores in excess of 400, including the highest ever in a World Cup. Teams are scoring more than 300 - a daunting, impregnable score even a few years ago - and losing. 400 has become the new 300.
Amid the storm of young stars in this Indian side, Ajinkya Rahane – quiet, unflappable and an absolute asset – is the perfect calm. Why do we love to mess around with him?
The last World Cup played in Australia and New Zealand 1992 saw the birth of the modern 50-overs game. This one will reveal to us how far that game has come, and what the ODI will be like in future.
The attraction of ODI cricket may pale beside the wham-bang of Twenty20, but the place of the World Cup in the fan's heart is secure, inviolable. Why it is more than just a game?
Upamanyu Chatterjee's disquieting Fairy Tales at Fifty makes you laugh even as it shocks and disturbs. It defies plausibility to tumble, overwrought, into a sort of hallucinatory, Baroque romp.
Sachin Tendulkar belongs to India, and to the rest of the world. But the opening day at the Wankhede showed that there is no doubt that the claim Mumbai can stake on him is unrivalled. That is why he wanted his farewell Test over here. 38 most-watched runs in cricket | Sachin-mania engulfs Twitter, Facebook
Cricket legend's first innings stand in his penultimate Test lasts 40 minutes. He falls in just 24 balls. Kolkata waits for his second innings, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
One of the many virtues of this searing, remarkable novel is the empathy Jhumpa Lahiri extends to her characters. She does not judge them; readers may, at their peril. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
A third of the way into this uneven, discursive book, James Astill interviews Sharad Pawar, whom he calls the “ruler of world cricket”. Astill faithfully renders the conversation, even conveying the interviewee’s tic of dropping definite and indefinite articles from sentences.
Steven Spielberg talks about filmmaking, his love for telling stories and why he doesn't want to quit
Steven Spielberg is sitting in a well appointed room of the Reliance Centre in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate, one knee crossed over the other, the tip of his soft leather ankle boots faintly brushing the edge of the table that is between us. Soumya Bhattacharya writes...
Two things written by the English poet Wilfred Owen kept cropping up in my mind as I read Nadeem Aslam's remarkable new novel, The Blind Man's Garden. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
Amit Chaudhuri’s new book is a perceptive, beautifully written and often wry portrait of Calcutta/ Kolkata, a book that deals with, among other things, the dichotomies between Calcutta and Kolkata, the pastness of the city’s past as well as its presence in the present, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Of course India can win the next two Tests. But irrespective of the outcome of this series, England have done what India never managed to do when they visited last year: played with gumption, flair and resolve. The comparison with that series is inevitable. Soumya Bhattacharya reports.
Sachin Tendulkar believes that the single biggest change in cricket between when he started playing for India in 1989 and today is the laptop. “It has altered everything,” Tendulkar said in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times. Soumya Bhattacharya reports.
In a rare, exclusive interview, Sachin Tendulkar tells Soumya Bhattacharya about the most agonising period in his career, bringing up his children, contentment and the only void in his life. There is more to Sachin than just runs
Philip Roth's immortality is assured even if he doesn't write another word. Soumya Bhattacharya wrires.
In the end, Zoo Time, a darkly comic work, is a devastating play on notions of success and failure. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
What do you wear when you meet Hugh Hefner? Sherlyn Chopra, the first Indian to model naked for Playboy, talks about the man, the magazine and the Mansion. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
If you aren’t an Amis fan, Lionel Asbo may not be the best book for you to get into him. It has neither the ambitiousness and formal ingenuity of Money and London Fields, nor the flat-out, irony-dripping, scabrous satire of his early work (The Rachel Papers, Success, Dead Babies).
Now that advertisers seem to be not so keen on the IPL, now that ticket prices are being slashed to lure spectators to stadiums, and now that TV viewership figures are dwindling compared to those of previous editions, a couch purist ought to gloat. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
The intensity of Kolkata's relationship with Ganguly, its penchant for cosmic, comic hyperbole when it comes to the player, is unique. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
It was such a relief. Such a relief to watch cricket (well, not cricket, but more of that in a minute) in which I didn’t have to withstand the despair of India being decimated. Such a relief to see the enthusiasm at the ground – exemplified, in particular, by Nita Ambani’s frenzied flag waving, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
One hundred international hundreds. Say it aloud. Slowly. And then think of where it puts Sachin Tendulkar — prodigious, peerless, generation-straddling poster boy of a sport that defines the world's most populous democracy — in cricket's pantheon. Soumya Bhattacharya writes. A-Z of Tendulkar
What's so funny? Dour and touchy, Indians are quick to take offence and often find it hard to see humour in a situation. If only the British had left behind, along with a rail network, more of their sense of irony and self-deprecation, says Soumya Bhattacharya. Banned, banished, battered — recent victims of our 'offence culture'
In India, books about parenthood tend to be written by mothers. They turn out to be either celebrations of motherhood, and the bond between mother and child; or they are wrung-out gripes about the (truly) tricky demands of managing home (which now includes the growing child) and the workplace. Soumya Bhattacharya reviews.
Alan Hollinghurst speaks to Soumya Bhattacharya about his new novel, being on the Booker longlist and no longer being ‘just a gay writer’.
That moment comes back to me as I write what is the final instalment of this column. I shall stop because I no longer want to do it badly enough. There are, of course, all the usual reasons. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
Over the past five years, India has been changing incredibly rapidly. Today’s children, natural inhabitants of a digital world, are growing up faster, becoming more mature, worldly wise and knowledgeable than their predecessors ever were. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
The firecrackers started going off at 9.58pm. That was when Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi hoicked a full toss from Harbhajan Singh, and Virender Sehwag — keen not to drop the World Cup — took the catch with cautious glee.
Despite Mahela Jayawardena's final-overs onslaught, despite the early losses of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, not once did the sense of purpose flag, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
India were lucky. India were plucky. They held their nerve as Pakistan, unable to conquer their inner demons, spectacularly imploded in a dramatic semi-final, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
I have never gone to a cricket match with my daughter. That’s because she follows cricket in a desultory way. Football is the game she is passionate about keeping up with, with tennis a close second.
Zaheer Khan was magnificent. Yuvraj has turned this tournament into his own. And with Ashwin clicking, and the fielding not as insipid as it has, the quarterfinal was India’s most rounded and spirited performance so far, Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
The implosion of the batting and some baffling moves concealed a few promising signs for India, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Of course, all men behave with their daughters in a way they do with no one else. You might disagree (saying that they behave with their sons in exactly the same way as they do with their daughters), but I'm afraid that we'll then have to agree to disagree on this one. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
As the World Cup gets more and more interesting, India will have to adapt and innovate, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Sometimes, when she is not aware of it, I catch myself looking at our daughter carefully. It is during moments in which she is utterly absorbed in something or the other. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
As the World Cup is about to complete its first 15 days, here are the five things we have learned from it so far. Soumya Bhattacharya writes. See special
Sachin’s lesson on how to pace an innings:Not that we needed this particular innings for that particular tutorial, but Tendulkar – in his sixth World Cup – showed us again why he is the most durable batsman of all time. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
Clark Whelton, who was a speechwriter for New York City mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, has written a fascinating article for the Winter 2011 issue of the City Journal.
Be prepared," someone with experience in such matters told me. "It will come your way sooner or later." Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
All is as it should be, we have walloped Bangladesh (although, to remember 2007 - and other Favourites vs Minnows in non-cricket-World-Cup openers - we shouldn't sound so smug). But what are - as the marketing bozos say - our takeaways from this one? Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
A writer friend who became a father a few months ago has had his writing life turned on its head. His rhythm is shot, and he finds eking out time difficult. He teaches at an American university, and he says his day job is hardly demanding. But still...
So there we were, my nine-year-old girl and I. In our ersatz Arsenal shirts, hunkered down in front of the TV at 5.30 pm on a Sunday, mouths a little agape in the manner in which all followers’ are when they watch their team play, waiting for Arsenal to kick off against Huddersfield Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Given that some of our channels prefer to show a bit of cricket between the ads rather than some ads between the cricket, I watch the cricket at home with the TV on mute.
Published to howls of outrage in the US, the most controversial and provocative parenting book of recent times will be out in India early next month.
Trouble is brewing in a school near Liverpool in England about a 12-year-old girl's right to wear a nose stud to class. The school does not allow students to wear ear or nose studs to school. Parents sign up to this rule when they admit their children.
Still rerunning in my mind images of the just-concluded India v South Africa Test series — for my money, the most absorbing Test series of recent times — I am forced to come to this conclusion: our daughter will not grow up to be a cricket fanatic. No, she won’t even grow up to be a proper cricket fan, I think.
New Year Resolutions are made to be broken, but they must at least be made. In my case, if for no other reason than that they make knocking off this simple column (yes, I repeat, any of you could have written it) simpler still.
Penelope Lively, one of England's most well regarded writers, won the Booker Prize in 1987 with her novel, Moon Tiger.
Sachin Tendulkar is the most complete and durable batsman of all time. Whether he is greater than Don Bradman is a question that can't be answered with certitude. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.Praise pours in from all quarters | Mr consistent | Annus mirabilis | The one weak spot | Numbers tell the story
So it's nearly upon us, the final term-ending school break of the year, and our nine-year-old girl, my wife and I are looking forward to it with a sense of keen anticipation. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
Memoirs often work when there is something universal in the writer's experience, something that makes a lot of readers nod in assent and say, "Ah, I know this, this happened to me too. This writer is speaking on my behalf". This creates a bridge of empathy, understanding and familiarity between a writer and his reader. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
It's funny how, when a baby is born, friends and relatives will say - with a great degree of certitude - whether she resembles the father or the mother, and whom, and to what extent. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
The slab of rectangular sunlight on the floor looks warm and inviting. From the windows of my 17th floor hotel room, I can see arrayed masses of green.
So the number of word files on the laptop keeps going up. They are lists, these files, lists of things to take, things to do, places to go, stuff to eat, books and DVDs to buy.
You shouldn’t be wearing those socks,” she said, pausing her skipping around the room to throw my way a look of troubled concern. “They bunch up around your ankles.”
Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker prize this week. It may finally bring the author the mass following that has eluded him so far. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
I was last in Kolkata during Durga Puja in 2003. Our daughter was two years old at the time. In the midst of the school term and, till this year, examinations, she has never quite felt the thrill of Puja, never had the chance to absorb its pervasive influence in terms of either culture or entertainment.
There is nothing like a spot of unexpected excitement and unforeseen jubilation to liven things up at home. And there's been a fair bit of all three (excitement, jubilation, livening up of things) this past week.
This was our nine-year-old girl's new diary, one in which she had decided to faithfully record the minutiae of her days. She was reviving a habit she had developed a couple of years ago — a habit that she had abandoned as impulsively as she had taken up, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Our nine-year-old was having dinner, and I was sitting at the table, chatting with her, having just recovered from a spectacular bout of coughing and hawking. I'm not particularly surprised that the cough doesn't really go away these days, but I have grown used to it in the manner of anyone who is resigned to live with an affliction that one will never quite be rid of, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
It doesn’t matter who my father was, ”said the American poet, Anne Sexton. “It matters who I remember he was.” How do we remember our fathers? And, more importantly perhaps, how do we think our children will remember us?
The memory of the holiday from which we had returned four months ago has lost its vividness, and the pictures brought back to all of us not merely the physical environs of that fortnight, but also the thrilling, blessed nature of the period. Soumya Bhattacharya writes.
It was a dainty, delicate thing, the rakhi, with trimmings of golden thread around a satiny, red centre. She slipped it on to my wrist, and turned my hand this way and that to see how the rakhi looked on it.
So there I am, sitting in the rocking chair that no longer rocks, twisting myself around so that my book catches the best of the light from the lamp on the small glass table alongside the chair.
So she has begun the anxious, daily countdown from August 1. Nineteen days to go it was when it started, and it will become, finally, “zero days”.
Enid Blyton’s publishers are “sensitively and carefully” revising the texts of 10 books of her Famous Five series, ridding them of expressions that might seem outdated now and replacing them with what they think are contemporary and immediately comprehensible phrases.
I hate travelling. Sorry, that's not right. That's not right at all. What I really hate are the logistics of travelling: the leaving early for the airport; the crawling paranoia that something, anything, can go wrong at any time; the delays; the no-smoking signs glowing as much like stern reproaches as calamitous reminders of how trying to stay alive is killing me.
Indian sport’s first global brand, Tendulkar is the generation-straddling poster boy of a sport that defines the world’s most populous democracy. Soumya Bhattacharya tells more.
Every so often, fatherhood returns me to childhood, a phase of my life I am very thrilled to have left behind. When I was a child, childhood didn’t seem to be entirely unredeemed. In retrospect, I view it with a sort of malevolent curiosity, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
This fatherhood business is important and complex in ways that nothing else is — or could be. Soumya Bhattacharya tells why.
If you were a small boy in Kolkata in the 1970s, you supported only one international football team: Brazil. My father and uncles and all their friends supported Brazil; and all my friends did as indeed did their fathers and uncles.
If you were a small boy in Kolkata in the 1970s, you supported only one international football team: Brazil. My father and uncles and all their friends supported Brazil; and all my friends did as indeed did their fathers and uncles. Sporting allegiance is often passed on from generation to generation.
So the holiday is over, and the holidays are over. Life has returned (as it was always supposed to have done) to the predictable rhythms of monotony, anxiety, stress and annoyance, occasionally redeemed by the benedictions of love, literature, sport, music, movies, and serendipity, writes Soumya Bhattacharya
Okay, okay, I know you are too polite to write in and say this (those of you who do write, write to say nice things) but I feel you have every right to be tired of listening to me banging on about my experiences of the pleasures and perils of 21st century fatherhood, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Hanif Kureishi spoke to Soumya Bhattacharya about a changing world around him, his desire to be part of it, fatherhood and drugs.
She kicked away the cushion, slithered across the sofa, put her hand on my knee, and said: “Would you like a drink?” It was 1 am. Barcelona was playing Inter Milan in the semi-final of the Champions League. The score was nil-nil. Writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
The two characters in the following anecdote/story/parable will go by the names of Girl A and Girl B, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
As you read (or not read) this, the final of IPL3 will be merely some hours away. Like millions of my fellow countrymen, I am counting the minutes for the start of the game, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
There is a beautiful, persuasive moment in Jhumpa Lahiri's story, A Choice of Accommodations, in which a father, devoted to his two small daughters, realises how precious a commodity solitude has become in his life, and how keenly he treasures those moments of being on his own, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
As a boy, the one great promise that the beginning of a school term held was the incontrovertible fact that one day — later rather than sooner, but one day! — the term would come to an end. The inevitability of this matter always made a school term endurable.
I think it’s the American poet and essayist, Mary Karr, who said something like this about how ghastly childhood is, but being the thieving magpie that I am, I have borrowed and appropriated the line for myself, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.
Our eight-year-old daughter spent rather more time than expected going through the news and photographs of the fire on Kolkata’s Park Street that killed 33 people, writes Soumya Bhattacharya.