Tag Archives: Vikram Chandra

What Writers and Artistes feel about Kashmir in Ten Tweets


What are writers and artistes tweeting about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir? What is their attitude to the people in this region?

Rahul Pandita, author and conflict writer from Kashmir, tweeted that “In all, a majority of Kashmiris have no idea what abrogation of article 370 means. Argue with them for a minute and one realises they are totally ignorant. All they know is ‘India will now take away everything.’ From our sources we know NSA(National Security Agency) is aware of it. Big challenge.”

Mirza Waheed, Kashmiri writer and novelist who now lives in London, wrote, “August 11, 2019. Day 7 of Seige of Kashmir. We are not allowed to say Eid Mubarak to our families.” But is it a seige or an attempt to integrate the state into the country?

Vikram Chandra, a commonwealth prize winning American Indian novelist, wrote, “In his Aug 8 speech, PM Narendra Modi did say it was for every Indian to share the concerns of the citizens of J&K. Best way to do that today is to reach out to Kashmiris in other parts of India, spending Eid away from home. Make them feel that they ARE at home.”

Actress Shabana Azmi tweeted “Kashmiri Pandit Youth invite every Kashmiri who has been unable to travel home for Eid for a get together…”

Novelist and essayist Chetan Bhagat has taken a stand where he says, “August 5, 2019. Kashmir is finally free. Free to grow, free to make a future. #Article 370 goes. #OneCountryOneSystem.” And also, “Article 370 never gave Kashmiris freedom. It only created selfish leaders who created a terror filled society and robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunity. It is finally time for it to go. Anyone objects, tell them loudly: One Country, One System.” Read more

New Release: The House That Spoke by Zuni Chopra

house-that-spokePenguin announce the release of The House That Spoke by Zuni Chopra. The novel, set in the controversial terrain of Kashmir, beautifully blends magical and historical elements. The book will be released all across India in February 2017.

Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan has always known that there is something extraordinary about her house, which is as inextricably a part of her life as what’s left of her torn, frayed family. Now just before her fifteenth birthday, she find that she has inherited not just her beloved house’s grim secrets but also a battle with an ancient, deadly force of darkness.

Lush and evocative, The House That Spoke is a kaleidoscopic tale that reimagines Kashmir with the colours of magic and is sure to leave you spellbound.

About the Author

Zuni is a fifteen-year-old author and has published two books of poetry. This is her first novel.She is the daughter of noted film critic Anupama Chopra and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The acclaimed writer Vikram Chandra is her maternal uncle.



Who’s who to attend 10th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival from Jan 19

The stage is set for the annual show for booklovers. The Jaipur Literature Festival, to be held between January 19 and 23, is expected to be a veritable feast this year with over 250 acclaimed authors, including Anne Waldman, Swanand Kirkire, Vikram Chandra and Tahmima Anam, to attend the event at the Jaipur’s Diggi Palace Hotel.

Having hosted 1,300 speakers and nearly 1.2 million book lovers over the last decade, the event has grown into the country’s biggest literature festival.

Organisers of the festival, in a press communiqué, said over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular culture icons were expected to attend the event this year.

American poet, Anne Waldman, who has penned over 40 poetry books, will make her maiden visit to the literature festival this year. Read more

Source: Hindustan Times

Adventures in geek mythology: The mystic’s guide to computing

In a stunning new book, author Vikram Chandra explores the mystical complexities hiding in our laptops and iPhones: Salon

vikram-chandraWho knew that Vikram Chandra — the author of three novels, and teacher of creative writing at UC Berkeley — was such a geek? When James Gleick (the author of “Chaos Theory” and “The Information”) reviewed “Geek Sublime” for the New York Times Book Review two weeks ago, I thought the name sounded familiar. And yes, it turned out that I had devoured Chandra’s sprawling, epic novel about India, “Sacred Games,” seven years ago. But of the fact that Chandra had supported his early writing life by working as a programmer, I had not a clue. That he’s as nimble manipulating code as he is at narrative flow was a revelation. Plenty of programmers consider themselves artists, and plenty of writers presume to declaim about programming. But very, very few can comfortably inhabit both worlds with such grace and precision. Read more

Trying to predict the reception to a creative work is a fool’s game: Vikram Chandra

vikram-chandra“I try not to think of anything but the writing while I’m writing,” says Indian novelist Vikram Chandra in his interview with The Hindustan Times.  “The great Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman once wrote that “the single most important fact, perhaps, of the entire movie industry” is “NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING” (all-caps in the original).  That is, trying to predict the reception to a creative work is a fool’s game.  And, during the writing process, the urge to anticipate is hugely distracting.  I do the work for myself and a couple of first readers; what happens after the book’s release, and in the years that follow, is always a surprise.” Read more

The Code of Writing

Vikram Chandra’s quest to recover his Indian self: Anjum Hasan in The Caravan

vikram-chandraThe interest in language takes Chandra to that arch grammarian of Sanskrit, Panini, whose work had considerable impact on modern Western linguistics and thence on programming languages such as FORTRAN. Following Panini, Sanskrit became highly codified, which meant that it remained static over millennia as a formal language even as it quickly atrophied as a language for literary expression. Unlike the organic and messy way in which languages develop over time, in the case of Sanskrit, the emphasis on rules meant that even the poets were concerned less with innovation and more with precision. Loss of linguistic flexibility could mean loss of imagination. The poet and critic Vijay Nambisan has described the degeneration of Sanskrit with characteristic asperity. “After Natya-Sastra, no shades of grey were possible in Sanskrit literary composition … Heroes were all good, villains all bad, heroines always pure and hard done by. If the hero did something wrong it was because of a divine curse or loss of memory. Good always won in the end, evil always came away with hanging head or worse. That dramatists of the calibre of Kalidasa took this seriously shows perhaps the power of the formula that Sanskrit had become.”

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Interview: Writing non-fiction is terrifying: Vikram Chandra

Sunaina Kumar interviews Vikram Chandra for Tehelka

vikram-chandraSeven years since the release of ‘Sacred Games’, which was preceded by an intense transcontinental bidding war between Indian, American and British publishers, Vikram Chandra has written a book which is quiet in tone and ambiguous in form, part memoir, part literary theory and part anthropology of technology. ‘Mirrored Mind, My Life in Letters and Code’ explores his alternate life as a computer programmer.

The first thing that would intrigue a reader is the unusual form of the book, the way you bring in disparate ideas together and join the dots, between technology and art, coding and Sanskrit language. How did you arrive upon the form?

It started as an essay on the anthropology of programming culture, because these technologies are having an immensely profound effect and, I think, most people outside the industry don’t know very much about it. Like any other profession, it’s got its own stars, its own hierarchies and its own mythology, so I wanted to think about that. And also, because I’m dealing with one kind of language when I write fiction, I’ve always noticed very strongly that programmers talk a lot about beauty and elegance.

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