Writer’sBlock

If our civilisation is dug out in future and the book, The Lord of the Rings, unearthed, they’ll think it was the history of our times

Arefa Tehsin is a reading, travel and wildlife enthusiast. Her book, Iora & the Quest of Five, has been recently published. At present she is editing Land of the Setting Sun, a storybook for older children.

  • QDescribe your favourite writing space.

    A patch of soft grass by a flowing stream amidst forested hills.
  • QDo you have a writing schedule?

    Creativity strikes any time I open a Microsoft Word document.
  • QEver struggled with writer’s block?

    No. The writer’s block has struggled with me instead.
  • QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?

    The prospect of looking out of a window, on the pretext of work, is inspiration enough.
  • QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?

    I can write with or without caffeine, at a noisy or dull place, in a sad or happy mood. Writing is my overriding habit.
  • QWhich books are you reading at present?

    Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander and The Grasshopper’s Run by Siddhartha Sarma.
  • QWho are your favourite authors?

    Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mirza Ghalib and Dr Watson — the personal biographer of Sherlock Holmes.
  • QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?

    The writers of political parties’ agendas.
  • QWhich is the most under-rated book?

    Begone Godmen, which is out of print now.
  • QWhich are your favourite children’s books?

    Tintin, Tintin and…Tintin.

Mumbai

The collective moral might and high-mindedness of the Communist parties of India miserably failed the country in the critical battle of 2014. Their numbers in Parliament dropped drastically and their presence as an ideological force is dwindling day by day.

Here is something for Dinanath Batra to chew on. While he leads the charge against cakes and candles on birthdays, all things Western, including English language education, millions of Chinese college students take the country’s many standardised English tests every year, hoping to embellish their resumes with language certificates.