Soumya Bhattacharya

Soumya Bhattacharya

Soumya Bhattacharya is the editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He is the author of five books of fiction, non-fiction and memoir.

Articles by Soumya Bhattacharya
After a final showdown, Simba emerges supreme. He is the new lion king. It all feels right and good. But what exactly has Simba done to deserve this?(AP)
After a final showdown, Simba emerges supreme. He is the new lion king. It all feels right and good. But what exactly has Simba done to deserve this?(AP)

The Lion King tells me that entitlement is everything

PUBLISHED ON JUL 23, 2019 06:51 PM IST
The movie’s plot demolishes the notion of meritocracy. Monarchies, politics and business will find it familiar
Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island is as much an etymological mystery as a compelling study of illegal migration.(Ivo van der Bent / www.amitavghosh.com; Illustration: Malay Karmakar)
Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island is as much an etymological mystery as a compelling study of illegal migration.(Ivo van der Bent / www.amitavghosh.com; Illustration: Malay Karmakar)

Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh: A gripping parable for our times

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2019 06:28 PM IST
Amitav Ghosh’s new novel, Gun Island, explores many of the writer’s recurring motifs: Irrawaddy dolphins; the Sunderbans; climate change. But at the heart of the novel is the theme of illegal migration and refugee crisis, displacement and renewal. Exclusive interview plus extract from the book
Delhi riots, November 1984.(HT Photo)
Delhi riots, November 1984.(HT Photo)

Review: The Assassination of Indira Gandhi; The Collected Stories of Upamanyu Chatterjee

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2019 10:23 AM IST
Upamanyu Chatterjee’s first volume of short stories, that includes three pieces written in the 1980s, showcases the trajectory of his writing career
Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan viewed from the Chureito Pagoda in Yamanashi prefecture. A Zen master quoted in Iyer’s book says that in Zen practice, when you see a mountain, you become the mountain.(AFP)
Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan viewed from the Chureito Pagoda in Yamanashi prefecture. A Zen master quoted in Iyer’s book says that in Zen practice, when you see a mountain, you become the mountain.(AFP)

Review: Autumn Light by Pico Iyer

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2019 10:01 PM IST
Autumn Light is an elegant meditation on mortality, ageing, dwindling and love
A Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool in January.(REUTERS)
A Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool in January.(REUTERS)

Spinoff by Soumya Bhattacharya: Manchester City and Liverpool’s ace rivalry

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2019 06:19 PM IST
The English Premier League brought out some of the toughest competition seen so far, with each team upping the ante.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their second goal against Chelsea on April 14. The English Premier League is in for a frenzied finish.(REUTERS)
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their second goal against Chelsea on April 14. The English Premier League is in for a frenzied finish.(REUTERS)

In an epic year for the English Premier League, a look at its transformation

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
PUBLISHED ON APR 20, 2019 04:27 PM IST
How did ‘a slum sport played in slum stadiums’ become a globalised TV spectacle awash with obscene amounts of money? Read Michael Cox’s The Mixer
Like all great rivals, the two men inspire each other to ever-greater heights season after season. And yet they couldn’t be more different. Ronaldo comes across as a snarling, primal, elemental, almost atavistic creature. You may or may not like him, but he wrenches admiration out of you.(Reuters)
Like all great rivals, the two men inspire each other to ever-greater heights season after season. And yet they couldn’t be more different. Ronaldo comes across as a snarling, primal, elemental, almost atavistic creature. You may or may not like him, but he wrenches admiration out of you.(Reuters)

Spinoff by Soumya Bhattacharya: The two faces of sporting greatness

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAR 23, 2019 08:45 PM IST
Ronaldo and Messi have both pursued, and attained greatness. The end is the same; the means are different.
The Swiss great defeated Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP Dubai Championship, to win his 100th title. A fifth of these are majors. He’s won 29 titles in his thirties alone.(AFP)
The Swiss great defeated Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP Dubai Championship, to win his 100th title. A fifth of these are majors. He’s won 29 titles in his thirties alone.(AFP)

Courting greatness: In the legend of Federer, the numbers are just the beginning

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2019 07:06 PM IST
Roger Federer, who recently won his hundredth ATP title, has said he was not chasing that landmark. Yet, his achievement is remarkable in all sorts of ways.
James Buster Douglas (right) defeated Mike Tyson at Tokyo Dome stadium, Japan , in 1990, leaving everyone surprised. The unexpected outcome brought an end to Tyson’s dominance in world boxing.(Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
James Buster Douglas (right) defeated Mike Tyson at Tokyo Dome stadium, Japan , in 1990, leaving everyone surprised. The unexpected outcome brought an end to Tyson’s dominance in world boxing.(Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

The unexpected outcome sets sport apart from other fields of popular culture: Spinoff by Soumya Bhattacharya

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2019 11:29 PM IST
The unfolding in front of our eyes of what seems barely credible is one of the enduring and defining charms of sport
A tense Arsenal supporter during a match against Tottenham Hotspur in December last year.(Getty Images)
A tense Arsenal supporter during a match against Tottenham Hotspur in December last year.(Getty Images)

Spinoff by Soumya Bhattacharya: The sports fan and his embrace of torment

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2019 05:07 PM IST
Masochism is built into the mental makeup of the ardent sports fan. Throw him as many unpalatable results as you like, he will keep coming back
A great deal of mutual respect underpins the relationship between tennis players Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.(Getty Images)
A great deal of mutual respect underpins the relationship between tennis players Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.(Getty Images)

Spinoff by Soumya Bhattacharya: There’s no better time to be a sports fan

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2019 03:54 PM IST
Football, tennis and cricket are all illuminated by the talents and collective greatness of athletes who count as among the best ever to have played their chosen sports.
Arsenal fans celebrate in the stands at Wembley stadium, London.(Getty Images)
Arsenal fans celebrate in the stands at Wembley stadium, London.(Getty Images)

The agony and ecstasy of a sports fan

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON JAN 11, 2019 10:18 PM IST
SPINOFF: Soumya Bhattacharya writes about the purpose a sport serves to those who follow and watch sport but have no stake in it in terms of money or a career.
The fame of successful sportspersons such as Cristiano Ronaldo blind their followers in to believing that their icons can’t do any wrong.(Getty Images)
The fame of successful sportspersons such as Cristiano Ronaldo blind their followers in to believing that their icons can’t do any wrong.(Getty Images)

Because idols can’t err. Or can they?

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2018 05:45 PM IST
SPINOFF: It’s not fair to expect elite athletes to be role models in terms of personal conduct, writes Soumya Bhattacharya
(left) Novak Djokovic of Serbia with Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland during the ATP Heritage Celebration in New York, 2013.(Getty Images)
(left) Novak Djokovic of Serbia with Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland during the ATP Heritage Celebration in New York, 2013.(Getty Images)

On top of the game: age and injuries no bar

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
PUBLISHED ON NOV 30, 2018 08:31 PM IST
Left: Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team; MS Dhoni, former captain of the Indian cricket team(HT Photos)
Left: Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s cricket team; MS Dhoni, former captain of the Indian cricket team(HT Photos)

What MS Dhoni can learn from Mithali Raj

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON NOV 21, 2018 08:13 PM IST
‘Indian male cricketers, and only they, seem to decide when to stop playing. Not time, not the selectors....’
The margins are fine in elite sport. The ability to discern a turning point, win it, and change the narrative of a game is the hallmark of all great teams. This current India team has consistently failed to do that outside Asia.(HT PHOTO)
The margins are fine in elite sport. The ability to discern a turning point, win it, and change the narrative of a game is the hallmark of all great teams. This current India team has consistently failed to do that outside Asia.(HT PHOTO)

Kohli & Co: Swagger is no substitute for success

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON NOV 04, 2018 01:59 PM IST
SPINOFF: He is undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era, but as a captain, Virat lacks tactical nous, says Soumya Bhattacharya
South Korea fans inside the stadium before the match. The Asian nation defeated Germany -- making the European football powerhouse exit the FIFA world cup in group stages for the first time in last 80 years.(REUTERS)
South Korea fans inside the stadium before the match. The Asian nation defeated Germany -- making the European football powerhouse exit the FIFA world cup in group stages for the first time in last 80 years.(REUTERS)

The 2018 World Cup has seen a renewal in the quality of football

UPDATED ON JUN 28, 2018 07:42 PM IST
The big beasts of world football have not been able to bully the so-called lesser teams. The first round of the 2018 World Cup in Russia has showcased the joy, drama, excitement, and sheer quality that international football on the biggest global stage still has to offer
In this frame from video, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows during their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, May 19. Even the vows the couple exchanged were different from what they had been when Diana married Charles.(AP)
In this frame from video, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows during their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, May 19. Even the vows the couple exchanged were different from what they had been when Diana married Charles.(AP)

A royal wedding like no other: Diana would have approved

PUBLISHED ON MAY 22, 2018 07:18 PM IST
In that most insular, class conscious and whitest of white cliques, aka The Firm, this was a magnificent, unprecedented celebration of diversity. The monarchy appeared accepting, even encouraging, of a new reality
Of passion in English suburbia: A street in a suburb of Birmingham, UK.(UIG via Getty Images)
Of passion in English suburbia: A street in a suburb of Birmingham, UK.(UIG via Getty Images)

Review: The Only Story by Julian Barnes

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAY 18, 2018 06:42 PM IST
Love, and what love has to do with truth, have been the central themes of Julian Barnes’s oeuvre
Cristiano Ronaldo (C) scores during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg football match between Juventus and Real Madrid, Turin, Italy, April 3, 2018(AFP)
Cristiano Ronaldo (C) scores during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg football match between Juventus and Real Madrid, Turin, Italy, April 3, 2018(AFP)

Ronaldo’s goal shows how sport can transcend tribalism in its ability to share joy

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2018 09:16 PM IST
Cristiano Ronaldo’s heartstopping goal shows how, unlike in music, films or literature (which are admired as a work in its entirety), a single, discrete, defining moment in sport can communicate joy which is unrivalled in its purity
Sachin Tendulkar wants India cricket team to play according to the conditions in South Africa. Having won easily at home may give Indians over-confidence, he hinted ahead of the second Test in Centurion from Saturday.(BCCI)
Sachin Tendulkar wants India cricket team to play according to the conditions in South Africa. Having won easily at home may give Indians over-confidence, he hinted ahead of the second Test in Centurion from Saturday.(BCCI)

Sachin Tendulkar’s three commandments to Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team ahead of 2nd Test

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Soumya Bhattacharya & Soumitra Bose
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2018 11:01 AM IST
Sachin Tendulkar said that the Centurion Test against South Africa will show how well the Indian cricket team can play under pressure. India are down 1-0 in the three-Test series
Varnika with her father Varinder Singh Kundu, Panchkula, August 7, 2017(Sant Arora Hindustan Times)
Varnika with her father Varinder Singh Kundu, Panchkula, August 7, 2017(Sant Arora Hindustan Times)

Chandigarh stalking case shows one person’s fight against the system can pay off

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON AUG 13, 2017 09:02 PM IST
Varnika Kundu’s fearless response to her ordeal shows that, however heavily weighted the system may be in favour of the powerful, an individual can, on occasion, successfully fight it. But for that to happen, certain circumstances need to come together in her favour.
Legend: Scotland’s John Wark marks Brazilian captain Socrates at the 1982 World Cup Finals in Seville, Spain on June 18, 1982.(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
Legend: Scotland’s John Wark marks Brazilian captain Socrates at the 1982 World Cup Finals in Seville, Spain on June 18, 1982.(Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Review: Doctor Socrates by Andrew Downie

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2017 09:00 AM IST
Andrew Downie’s biography of footballer Socrates, Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend, is the fascinating story of a true legend.
Refugees at the Idomeni camp on the Greek Macedonia border on March 11, 2016(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Refugees at the Idomeni camp on the Greek Macedonia border on March 11, 2016(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

‘...the end of a couple is like a death...’; Review of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAY 05, 2017 08:03 PM IST
Mohsin Hamid’s new novel Exit West can lay claim to being one of the first post-Brexit, post-refugee-crisis fictions
Reading from cover to cover: Children immersed in their books at Green School in Badung, Bali, Indonesia.(Getty Images)
Reading from cover to cover: Children immersed in their books at Green School in Badung, Bali, Indonesia.(Getty Images)

Review of The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri: A meditation on book covers

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON MAR 18, 2017 08:54 AM IST
Jhumpa Lahiri’s new offering ponders about the aesthetic and commercial purposes of book covers and their relationship with the writer and the reader
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during his side’s UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich.(REUTERS)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during his side’s UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich.(REUTERS)

‘Arsene Out’: Why it’s time for Arsene Wenger to call it a day

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2017 04:52 PM IST
Arsene Wenger has been a polarizing figure among the Arsenal fans for quite some time now and the defeat against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League can prove to be the tipping point.
Virat Kohli has won 15 of his first 23 Tests as skipper; only Steve Waugh won more – 17 – after his first 23 Tests as captain.(AFP)
Virat Kohli has won 15 of his first 23 Tests as skipper; only Steve Waugh won more – 17 – after his first 23 Tests as captain.(AFP)

Could this be the greatest India team of all time?

New Delhi | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2017 05:28 PM IST
After the forthcoming home series against Australia, India play Tests away against England, South Africa and Australia. How India fare in those arduous series will tell us where this side stands in the pantheon of great India Test teams.
United States' Serena Williams, right, celebrates after winning the Australian Open championship in Melbourne on Saturday. She beat sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4(AFP)
United States' Serena Williams, right, celebrates after winning the Australian Open championship in Melbourne on Saturday. She beat sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4(AFP)

Serena vs Venus: The most amazing sister act in history shows America what it is

UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2017 06:30 PM IST
Serena Williams pushed sentiments aside in an emotion-charged 6-4 6-4 defeat of sister Venus to win the Australian Open on Saturday and a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era
Alumni of Presidency University participated in a rally to mark the bicentenary celebrations of the Hindoo College, Kolkata, which was renamed Presidency College in 1855. The college, affiliated to the University of Calcutta, was given the status of an independent University in 2010. the institute .(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Alumni of Presidency University participated in a rally to mark the bicentenary celebrations of the Hindoo College, Kolkata, which was renamed Presidency College in 1855. The college, affiliated to the University of Calcutta, was given the status of an independent University in 2010. the institute .(Samir Jana/HT Photo)

‘At Presidency, we sought and found worlds within words’

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2017 08:33 PM IST
Soumya Bhattacharya writes about his time at Presidency College, which, he says, laid some sort of foundation for the best years of his life.
John L Carre offering his whippet a grape, circa 1990.(Terry O’Neill/Getty Images)
John L Carre offering his whippet a grape, circa 1990.(Terry O’Neill/Getty Images)

The consummate storyteller; Review of The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carre

Hindustan Times | By Soumya Bhattacharya
UPDATED ON DEC 24, 2016 12:24 PM IST
John le Carre entertains and enlightens readers with a wealth of stories from his life.
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