Tehelka Tarun Tejpal Tattered

Tarun J. Tejpal, Editor-in-Chief, Tehelka
Tarun Tejpal, who wrongly calculated 'The Alchemy of Desire' and who is now surrounded with strange faces in 'The Valley of Masks', will now have a tale to tell, 'The Story of My Assassins' (his assassins being his uncontrollable desires, so to say!). It was he who penned down 'The Alchemy of Desire' in 2005, 'The Story of my Assassins' in 2009 and 'The Volley of Masks' in 2011. But let's not sit on judgement here! It is just that the high-profile editor of Tehelka, Tarun J. Tejpal, is left with a tattered image now. The magazine Tehelka has lost the key staff and the remaining staff has lost its morale. After remaining in controversy the Managing Editor of Tehelka, Shoma Choudhary too has resigned. 

As far as his books are concerned, he is known for each one of them. Having achieved the status of a celebrity rather than a writer can be attributed to be the reason. Nevertheless, his skills of writing have received praise from the most famous of names. Khushwant Singh is of the opinion, ‘The Alchemy of Desire puts Tarun in the front rank of Indian novelists. I am inclined to agree with Naipaul: his book is a masterpiece.’ It was published in Washington Post about 'The Alchemy of Desire', "A bold, sensual novel about art, inspiration and the disintegration of a relationship...Tejpal's writing is unpredictable yet strikingly disciplined, and his explorations of matters physical and spiritual point out often painful truths." The novel tells us the story of a young couple, who don't have a penny with them but are absolutely in love. They are kind of obsessed with each other. The boy wants to be a writer. He is working on a novel. He takes a break from his writing only to feed his desires centred around his beautiful wife. Things take a strange turn when they start the renovation of an abandoned cottage that they have purchased. There are some unsettling things that take him away from his wife, life and everything. He turns out to be alone. The backdrop of the novel is India, what it is at the turn of the millenium. 

In 'The Story of my Assassins', Tejpal has taken in his viewpoint both the India living in cities and that living in villages. "This is a book of multiple roads to brutality, of multiple explanations for the central event. Policemen, crooks, village elders, journalists, venture capitalists, businessmen, lawyers, street children, whores – no one escapes Tejpal’s sharp pen which he sometimes uses like a caricaturist, at other times like a poet...The generation of Vikram Seth, Rushdie, Amitava Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Arundhati Roy is still writing and at the top of its form. But the literary equivalent of the cricketing question, “Who after the Fab Four?” continues to be asked...by taking on a big theme and finding in it a commentary on India – neither dark nor shining, but merely a world that is what it is – Tejpal has staked a claim to being taken more seriously than most others." - Mail Today 

Tarun Tejpal has been a regular at Jaipur Literature Festival. Even last year I attended his session, where he was in conversation with Shashi Tharoor. Let's see if he can make it this time!

Malala banned in Pakistan

Malala Yousafzai’s book “I Am Malala” has been banned by Pakistani Private Schools Association. The office bearers have claimed that the young activist’s book does not show proper respect for Islam. They have also labeled her as a tool of the West. It must be remembered here that Malala is the girl, whow as shot in the head by the Taliban because she criticized Taliban’s interpretation of Islam as far as limiting the access of girls to education is concerned.
Her memoir, “I Am Malala”, co-authored by British journalist Christina Lamb, was released in October. Talking about Salman Rushdie in her book Malala has mentioned that her father considered “The Satanic Verses” as “offensive to Islam but believes strongly in the freedom of speech.” She has quoted her father saying that first one must read the book himself and “then why not respond with our own book”.
One of the reasons, as mentioned by Kashif Mirza (Chairman of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation) that has led to the banning of the book is her mentioning the name of Prophet Mohammad’s name without using the abbreviation PBUH (“peace be upon him”) as is the tradition in many areas of the Muslim world. “Malala was a role model for children but this book has made her controversial”, he added. “Through this book she became a tool in the hands of Western powers.”