I first encountered Vinod when he asked me to write for his Sunday Observer, and I wrote some pieces for it. I was in Delhi at the time, writing regular political commentary for The Indian Express and The Sunday Standard and it could not have escaped his notice that I was unpopular with the increasingly authoritatian political establishment. Years later, in September 2004, Woodstock School in Mussoorie asked him to introduce me at the function where they gave me their distinguished alumna award. Later, in Outlook, Vinod recalled what he had said on the occasion. “I said that novelists and intellectuals are suckers for being seduced by power. I gave the example of Norman Mailer.... This niece of Jawaharlal Nehru remains uncorrupted by power. Deliberately and without regret, she decided to stay out of its embrace and opted to concentrate on her writing.” At the time, I told Vinod I could have wept when he paid me this compliment. He declared it was simply a fact and a matter of his own observation.