Rediff Logo Chat Banner Ads Find/Feedback/Site Index


The Shashi Tharoor Chat

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:09:32 1997 IST):

EVERYONE: I am mystified by all of you asking where I am, I am here!

ravi (Wed Apr 9 21:09:52 1997 IST):

In your novel The great Indian Novel do you think you took the joke too far in the caricatures of some of our leaders? Specifically Indira Gandhi, at the time of the Emergency, looked quite vengeful to me ...Your comments Great book though ..

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:09:58 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor: Do u think the new breed from Mussorie Academy lacks the class and maturity to run the bureaucracy of a country like India. Do u think there should be attempts made to repatriate Indians to join the civil services??

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:10:11 1997 IST):


ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:10:21 1997 IST):

MR tharoor , What do u think is lacking in the current Indian team the motivation ,the game spirit or is it the dirty politics in there too

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:11:12 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor, any new novels coming up... soon?

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:13:22 1997 IST):

Karna: I had been writing fiction for a long time, but in magazines and newspapers; I thought something less perishable ought to be attempted at some point. The concerns in the book emerged from years of indiscriminate reading and slightly more discriminate study of Indian history and politics. The Mahabharata connection occurred when I read P Lal's vivid transcreation: it had such a contemporary resonance that I instantly thought, here is a vehicle for the book I want to write about the forces that have made (and nearly unmade) our country.

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:13:39 1997 IST):

Mr Tharoor , what do u think is the role of india in security counncil &how do find ur trip to India as a asst. to MR. Annan,

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:14:43 1997 IST):

Would you give us your opinion about Arundhati Roy's novel, Mr Taroor?

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:15:36 1997 IST):

MR tharoor , PLease reply Atleast one of my questions

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:15:41 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor, what positive lessons. if any, can India & Pakistan learn from the Mid-East peace process?

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:15:46 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor, If u were asked to choose one place in the world to settle down in... What would it be? Kerela or maybe Florida!!

Sister Carrie (Wed Apr 9 21:16:09 1997 IST):

Hello Mr Tharoor could you tell me why the curiious thing about the chapters in your novel takling off on contemporary Indian novelists--like Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:17:16 1997 IST):

Ranj: I wanted to play cricket very badly, and that's what I did -- I played cricket very badly! For obscure teams in places like Singapore and Geneva. But you don't have to be a great chef to enjoy a good meal, and I enjoy my cricket, as you do too.

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:17:20 1997 IST):

Can someone on the chat tell me the complete name of the SPA movie from Arundhati Roy... please.

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:18:44 1997 IST):

Yep, yep Mr Taroor! Just as we are enjoying your great quotes!

*Prem (Wed Apr 9 21:19:04 1997 IST):

Dr Tharoor, that was a great quote, about wanting to play cricket very badly. Speaking of which, bangladesh has just got Test status. Good? Bad?

Kamini Vatsyan (Wed Apr 9 21:19:11 1997 IST):

Mr Tharoor:What is your first love? Cricket, literature or diplomacy? And Why?

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:19:25 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor, How many times have u been ticketed by NYPD for parking and driving violations in the NY city?

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:20:25 1997 IST):

MR Tharoor, What prompted u to compare the characters of Mhabharat to that of Indian politicians

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:20:50 1997 IST):

Beeta: I'm afraid I haven't read Ms Roy's book yet, so I can't answer your question. But everyone I know who has tells me it's great. Aninda: no new novel coming up immediately --- I'm afraid my recent work for the UN has left me neither the time nor the space inside my head to create and inhabit an alternative universe, which is what fiction writing involves. However, I do have a non-fiction book emerging this summer, in time for the 50th anniversary on August 15. It's called India: From Midnight to the Milennium, and it 's my personal take on the last fifty years, as well as some of the next fifty!

Sister Carrie (Wed Apr 9 21:21:26 1997 IST):

Cheers are you here to serve a subpoena??

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:23:39 1997 IST):

MR.Tharoor, What is ur opinion of the current indian team do u think it is capable of facing the west Indians after great players like Kapildev ,sunil gavaskar,&others

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:24:16 1997 IST):

Mr Taroor, I am a 23 year old Keralite who has just finished her post graduation. At my age, I have heard, you already had a Phd! How did you manage it? And, er, sorry to bring this again and again. But could we please, kindly, frankly, have your opinion about Arundhati Roy's book?

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:24:26 1997 IST):

Sister: In a world of optimists, skepticism often pays!!

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:24:45 1997 IST):

Cheers: I'm one of the great unwashed proletariat of Manhattan who doesn't own a car, couldn't afford to insure it, won't be able to park it, and prefer to walk (or take a ubiquitous cab, usually driven by a Sikh or a Pakistani) pretty much everywhere I need to. So no parking tickets against my name... because of necessity rather than virtue. Prem: I know you're simply pulling my leg (as Azhar said to Ali Irani) but if Bangladesh got Test status, it wouldn't be a bad thing, because it would at last give the Englishmen someone to beat!

Mambo (Wed Apr 9 21:26:34 1997 IST):

Mr Tharoor what do yoiu think about the writing of Shobha De??

*Prem (Wed Apr 9 21:26:36 1997 IST):

ST>> No, was being serious, news came out today, actually. Yeah, right, Atherton could do with a beatable, couldn't he? So could India, you suppose?

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:27:01 1997 IST):

I am sure, "From midnight to millenium" would be an interesting bit of non-fiction, however what do you think about the mood in India, considering we may not even have a well estd. govt. around Aug.15, 1997, given the current political scenario?

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:27:43 1997 IST):

Beetha: Congratulations on your academic accomplishments. Yes, it's true I finished my PhD at 22, but I had a powerful incentive: fear. I was terrified my scholarship would run out while I was halfway through research and I would spend the rest of my life working too hard to find the time to write it. The day I got to the States on a scholarship I was earning more (after conversion to rupees) than my father earned in India to support a family of five in what most people would consider style. So...

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:27:51 1997 IST):

Taroorji: Why shying away from Arundhati Roy? Any particular reason?

Mambo (Wed Apr 9 21:28:24 1997 IST):

Aninda we don't have one now and you are neng such an optimistic that you think we'll have one by 15th August??!!!

*Prem (Wed Apr 9 21:28:27 1997 IST):

ST>> Keep reading a lot of hype in the (Indian) media about the great new Indian writing in English. In your view, how good is it, judged by world standards?

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:28:52 1997 IST):

HEY emizola,karna Where r u guys off the chat

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:30:27 1997 IST):

Mr. Tharoor: U must be perhaps a very rare breed of UN diplomats in NY City. I understand NYPD is thoroughly disgusted with UN diplomats violating traffic rules and not paying the tickets. As far as proletariat goes, I wish I could be that modest myself as well. Three Cheers!! Shashi

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:30:39 1997 IST):

Ranj: The current Indian team certainly has some very impressive players (like Dravid) and some occasionally impressive players (like Ganguly) and players who would impress if their shoulders didn't give out (like Srinath). I am not sure, though, that we are so richly gifted we can afford to leave out a batsman who has scored two double centuries and averages over 50 in Test cricket, or send inexperienced openers when someone like Sanjay Manjrekar is languishing in Bombay.

Beetha (Wed Apr 9 21:30:42 1997 IST):

Taroorji, thanks for your reply. But I still find you skipping out of Arundhati Roy's way. My god, is that book so uncommentably bad? And here I was ready to rob my father's purse to buy it!!

John Major (Wed Apr 9 21:31:50 1997 IST):

Mr Tharoor: Which Indian English novelist you love most? Why?

Mambo (Wed Apr 9 21:32:08 1997 IST):

Shashi how do you find the time to write a book given your hectic schedule? what is your day like?

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:33:17 1997 IST):

Shashi: Any comments from this expat on the idea of repat'ing the drained brain back to services for Indian civility??

Rushdie (Wed Apr 9 21:33:27 1997 IST):

Shashi do you actually make any money writing your books?

ravi iyer (Wed Apr 9 21:33:48 1997 IST):

Dr. Tharoor: Are you bullish on India in the long run - socially, economically and geopolitically?

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:35:21 1997 IST):

Kamini: About my first love. I must be congenially promiscuous because I think all three are first loves... It's only just that I try and emphasise one or another at different times. Beetha: You must have missed my answer about Ms Roy. I wasn't avoiding your question: I just haven't read her yet, but intend to do so, and have heard she's very good. Prem: I think the general crop of Indian writers in English is amazingly good. I think they're doing some of the most exciting, innovative writing being done in English today, breathing new life, new concerns, and yes, new language into English literature. I've personally reviewed a number of Indian writers very favourably in the US media and have been pleased with the attention these reviews have got. They are being read seriously and highly praised; perhaps they are not selling as well as they deserve, but that will follow before long.

ranj (Wed Apr 9 21:35:22 1997 IST):

MR tharoor, How do u see Sachin Tendulakar as a captain don't u think it is too early for him to handle such a big a responsibilty

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:36:42 1997 IST):

Shashi: Next question - What do u think about Indians in US (and specifically in US). Do u think they are a confused and disillusioned lot? Always talking about how to improve things back home but doing nothing about it' attitude...

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:37:04 1997 IST):

Dr. Tharoor, what do you think would be the factor(s) which would enable India to get a seat on the Perm Council in the UN in the near/distant future?

*Prem (Wed Apr 9 21:38:50 1997 IST):

ST>> So it's not all hype, huh? :}}} Related question - do you, and the other Indian writers (Vikram Seth excepted) actually get to make money out of writing?

SHASHI THAROOR (Wed Apr 9 21:39:03 1997 IST):

Mambo: Short answer is, I don't, or there would have been a lot more of them -- I have far more book ideas than books, or evenings and weekends to write them in. Basically I see myself as someone with a number of responses to the world, some of which I express through my writing, some through my work (for refugees initially, then in peace-keeping, now in the office of the Secretary General). I'm not sure I could easily cut the UN and world affairs out of my life -- you can't stop living in order to start writing. But I have to write too: as George Bernard Shaw said, I write for the same reason a cow gives milk....

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:39:12 1997 IST):

Hey Cheers! If you look closely Indians are indians no matter where they are. If you think Indian's in India are any better than Indians in India.. how come things at home (india) are so bad???!!!

Cheers! (Wed Apr 9 21:39:23 1997 IST):

Shashi: Ina world of trade blocks, regional military arrangements and uncompromising extremist states do u think UN still has a business case to exist?

aninda mitra (Wed Apr 9 21:40:29 1997 IST):

ooops i mean't... indians in india vs. indians in the US...

Jesus Christ (Wed Apr 9 21:41:01 1997 IST):

Tharoor: What is your vision for India in the year 2000AD? Do expect the Indian cricketers to be the world's number ones?