Author: Karan Thapar
Publisher: Harper Collins
I have subscribed to Times of India, The Hindu, Indian Express, and The Economic Times at different points in my life. Somehow The Hindustan Times never got any kind of favor from me, have to actually admit that I have almost never picked up HT ever in my life even casually. The options were always exercised for no apparent or conscious reason. The one thing this book did, was make me regret why I didn’t picked up HT on Sundays for past 12 years of my life.
The book is a compilation of selected articles by Karan Thapar written for the HT column called Sunday Sentiments. Not based on any theme or having an objective behind them, they just take you through a long journey through eyes of a journalist. His take on everything under the sun, starting from his early days as a journalist and sometimes as a student, to the recent times when he was an established TV anchor.
This is the kind of book which is a light and an enjoyable but still a serious read, as casual as a Sunday newspaper and as serious as a newspaper editorial. The articles, most of them are carefully selected to not only leave a good taste of thoughts in your mind, but also to make a chewy and thinkable read along with that. Individual articles are very enjoyable and engaging though the book doesn’t have a story, but Karan Thapar has organized his articles in the manner that they not only seem connected but also maintains a flow in the readers’ mind.
Karan Thapar, has had an elite and intellectual life, born in a diplomatic family and getting educated at Doon along with the India’s De-Facto first family’s children proceeding to further education has Cambridge. He also has contacts and experience with the bigwigs of politics and diplomacy and there have been multiple articles which report the experience and his views on things around him, giving a rich insight of his experiences.
Another interesting thing about the book is the articles written long time back, which one can judge how apt or appropriate his insights, analysis were at that time. With the benefit of hindsight a lot can be judged and one can simply laugh it over how big an issue was at a certain time and on the other hand sometime can learn how some assumptions are the biggest mistakes.
All in all, the entire book is a brilliant read, and also a collectable which one should make a part of their collection. The book captures the essence of India in a wide sense through very narrow collection of articles. Something you would like to pass on to children saying “Humara zamana kuch aisa tha”.
Summary: If you haven’t subscribed to HT and have not followed the Sunday Sentiments column this book is a must read.