Reading matter

1. A year ago today, authority dithered and allowed Lehmann Brothers to collapse. Marking the anniversary, Pulitzer-winning journalist and Columbia U prof James Stewart has a 24-page insider account of the final days of Lehmann, due out in the New Yorker Monday US time. Watch for it; meanwhile, Politico has a sizable sampling from the story to whet your appetite. If you’ve read Heart of a Soldier, you know how Stewart writes; if you haven’t, here’s a taste: the New Yorker story that eventually grew into that book. And back to the crisis for a moment, Spiegel Online on how the meltdown has played out in New York.

2. Remember Stephen Farrell, the NYT reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban and blogged about it [the link is part of this post]? Tunku Varadarajan addresses a dilemma that lurks just beneath the surface of that episode.

3. Candy is just dandy but commonsense would be better, says David Wood in Afghanistan.

4. Amit Varma on Baba Ramdev and, um, Yogic Jogging. And on the third world war.

5. Moral of the story: Never discuss a favorite movie with a mathematician.

6. A death to commemorate: Raj Singh ‘Rajbhai’ Dungarpur — princeling, raconteur [especially brilliant after that first post-sundown whisky at the CCI], cricket administrator and friendly acquaintance. A round up of tributes on Cricinfo to the man so well liked that Lord’s flew its flag at half mast in his honor. I’d only add of him that his head and his heart were often, if not always, at the right place at the right time, together.

7. Writing a book can all but kill you — as William Manchester found out when he attempted to write the authorized book on the JFK assassination.

8. Introducing Tajik Jimmy.

9. Time to move on from Ram Temple and suchlike issues — to more important things like, um, beer.

10. Meet the Usain Bolt of the animal kingdom.

More, if and when I stumble on them.

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5 thoughts on “Reading matter

  1. A must read book based on India. Mystery & comedy book.
    The Case of the Missing Servant: A Vish Puri Mystery
    by Tarquin Hall

  2. The problem is with us – we want a quick fix in everything. Since we know learning asanas and progressing in it takes years we start following such teachers in the thousands. A genuine teacher doesnt get this much publicity. Mediocrity leads to mass following and mass following leads to media attention and it keeps going.

    • Bang on.

      I was talking to this 75-year-old gurukal of a Kalari in Calicut on my last trip home. Some 10 years ago, that kalari was in a state of disuse, but it’s begun to bustle again, with about 30 students each day — all this with no publicity.

      I was asking the gurukal whether it was not possible, with better publicity, to really up the ante.To which he laughed and said, If I put the students in stylish loose costumes and call this the 18 Chambers of Kalari or whatever, yeah, I could flood this place possibly — but I’d rather the people who come to study with me appreciate this art in its purest form.

  3. HI Prem
    If nothing I would credit Baba Ramdev for revolutinising Indians in shunning couch potato life style and get up and do yoga
    Now a days Yoga is the in thing-it is no longer a fad but stylish to do yoga-
    When I was growing up in Hyderabad we used to have a park-those days it was only used on Sundays by kids to play cricket and the rest of the days Bufalloes used to graze on the left over grass-Now the same park is fenced off,grass neatly trimmed and a canopy placed-every day I see people young and old-of all religions take a morning walk to energize themselves and then do yoga collectively for about an hour before they go to work.
    I learnt yoga in UK under a amazing English lady-Now I am approaching 40s but I feel more energetic then I was in my early 30s when I had a sedentary life style.
    I agree that some of his claims are ludicrous-to cure homosexuality,curing AIDS but the good he did to people far outweighs his negatives-A quick wikipeida search says that he has 85 million followers all over the world,which means that 85 million people at some point of their lives are thinking of doing yoga inspired by him
    If I had the power I would credit him with Bharat Ratna just for making Indians healthy

    • Ram, I accept that basic premise [like you would credit a Ravi Shankar with having made a worldwide fad out of Pranayama and Sudarshana Kriya]. I think Amit’s objection — and mine, too — is with the over the top claims he makes, that dilute the good work and make him a figure of fun.

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