January 20, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Review: Off the Record: Untold Stories from a Reporter’s Diary by Ajith Pillai

1 min read

Here is reportage that is both passionate and detached, says Amit Sengupta: Tehelka

Off-the-RecordHe enters familiar and unfamiliar corridors like a sleepwalker enters a dream sequence. He walks leisurely like an animal with eyes, who knows how to hunt with precise instinctive movements. He beats the typewriter keys into the carbon like a conductor works his opera. He turns the mundane into the exalted, the primordial into bitter realism and the margins into the mainstream. Like a documentary filmmaker who breaks the shallow, repetitive, didactic medium with an invisible, measured, winged leap of imagination, he scripts his own pulp fiction from the hollow of his reporter’s soul, sometimes uncanny with unrequitted desire, precise like a news story, sardonic and spoofy, holding back yet again, sometimes like a hangover which needs another hard drink.

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