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Ready to Rumble?

from Kitabkhana…
The Babu is thinking sadly that Indian literary awards would be so much fun if you could just take the Tournament of Books model and tweak it a little. Like put the authors into the ring (free boxing gloves provided), sit back and watch as Anita Desai tries to punch out Nayantara Sahgal, Amit Chaudhuri loosens a couple of Raj Kamal Jha’s teeth, Naipaul and Rushdie judder around whining about their black eyes… Ah well. Back to work, Hurree.
Writerly sports are evidently in. Check out Putu’s blog for the IWE cricket XI as well.
Though if we have to have a writerly slugfest, theres nothing like a Royal Rumble. Since Im sure that most of the readers of this blog have no idea what a Royal Rumber is, follow this link to find out.
30 Indian writers could be found easily enough…and im sure theyd be only too happy for the chance to throw one another over the top rope. nilanjana s roy would be the ideal referee.
itd be a tough match…i dont see anyone managing to forklift Khushwant Singh or, say, Ruskin Bond particularly easily. But they could be double-teamed and thrown out over the ropes…I think, with my combination of weight, power, speed and stamina, Id start out as one of the favourites to win, along with, lets see, Indi, maybe Ashok Banker though i think hed be quite slow, or Taslima Nasreen if shes allowed to compete. wait, cancel that, shes become all slim and page 3 types now .more fashionable young’uns like Sarnath, Shangvi and Rana wouldnt stand a chance..theyre all too wispy, no staying power. amitav ghosh is too gentle, chaudhuri too plodding, mathur too tired. shobha de’s a clear winner in a standard brawl, but in a rumble match her build is a disadvantage. naipaul wouldnt stand a chance…at least five people would gang up on him and toss him. arundhati roy could be a contender, though…if she flashed those eyes and spoke to me in Capital Letters, i think id jump over the ring myself out of fear. we’re not letting regional language writers compete…last thing i want at this point in my life is a brawl with sunil gangopadhyay.
So, Im ready. Like the Rock says, Just Bring It.
Or, like Booker T says…Can You Dig It..Sucka?

wrote first column, but not too happy with it.


About Samit Basu

Novelist. Best known for fantasy and science fiction work. Most recently, The City Inside (Tordotcom)/Chosen Spirits (Simon and Schuster)


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Copyright (c) Samit Basu. Images copyright respective holders.
February 2005


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