The date of my last post, April 12, is also the third anniversary of the Middle Stage.
How time flies. I was 25 then — I am 28 now; I had a day job then — I don't have one now; I had no burns then — I have sideburns now; I could run only three laps around my neighbourhood park then — I can do ten now; I owned lots of books then — I own lots more books now; I used to live west of the Western line then — I live east of the Harbour line now; I dreamt of being rich and drinking champagne then — I dream of being rich and drinking champagne now.
Regrettably, although the number of people visiting this site refuses to grow, the profusion of books and writers who have come and gone on these pages in the last three years makes it impossible to contemplate the kind of party that I proposed at the end of my first year (also, I am saving up for a vacation abroad, so you would have to bring your own alcohol anyway).
So I thought that all I'd do is thank you, my readers, for taking the time to read my work and often send in illuminating comments. I know it's cheap, but that's me.
I hope you will also read my first novel, which should be out in a while. And I've put together a selection of what I consider to be my best posts from the last two years:
"The Books Interview with Ramachandra Guha"; "Jawaharlal Nehru as a writer of English prose"; "Tigers in the poetry of William Blake and Salabega"; "English and Hindi in Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games"; "Necessary and unnecessary steps in Constantine Cavafy"; "On David Leavitt's The Indian Clerk"; "The sweet voice and harsh words of Osip Mandelstam"; "On Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red"; "Some thoughts on artistic time and real time"; "Words Without Borders, and the stories of Parashuram"; "The Books Interview with Christopher Kremmer"; "On Muhammad Yunus's Banker to the Poor"; "Houshang Moradi-Kermani's "The Vice-Principal" and Literature from the Axis of Evil"; "On Saul Bellow's Seize the Day" and
(yes, I know it's long)
"On Nagesh Kukunoor's Dor"; "Memories of a Borges book, and the old Twentieth Century bookshop"; "On Rajmohan Gandhi's biography of Mahatma Gandhi"; "The tumbfalling prose of EE Cummings"; "Shashi Tharoor, banally in love with India"; "On looking through Ted Hughes's Selected Translations"; "On Patrick French's biography of VS Naipaul"; "Fakir Mohan Senapati's roundabout fictions"; "On Amitava Kumar's Home Products"; "Talking India With Ashis Nandy"; "Wislawa Szymborska, curious about everything"; "On Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age"; "Travelling with Graham Robb"; "On Vinod George Joseph's Hitchhiker"; "Mark Tully and India"; "On the memoirs of President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan"; "The Kitab Literary Festival, and a disquisition on boots"; "On Jeffrey Goldberg's Prisoners"; "The zany fictions of Etgar Keret"; and my Books of the Year roundups for 2006 and 2007.
And from 2006: "A year of the Middle Stage".