30 July, 2021

On Guru Dutt’s Passion

Kesavan’s net pulls in topics like memory, cinema, politics, fixes them in a rational gaze, unafraid of common wisdom

On Guru Dutt’s Passion

Reading a collection of essays on a diverse set of subjects is a bumpy enterprise unless one is happy to surrender to the writer and his whimsies. One has little control over where the book will wander off next, and the author’s attempt to couch the piece in some ‘themes’ is always a transparently half-hearted effort. For the reader, such a book is often a tedious project to go through for the assumption that all the scattered ideas that have occurred to the writer at different points of time must necessarily possess value is often incorrect, sometimes acutely so.

Fortunately, when the writer in question is Mukul Kesavan, it is quite easy to get taken for this ride. The book under review, Homeless on Google Earth, is really ‘More Stuff Mukul Kesavan Is Interested In’, and those who have his read his earlier collection, The Ugliness of the Indian Male and Other Propositions, will know that his interests are wide, though not obscure. Barring cricket, which for some curious reason is not represented in this book (the essay on...

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