What the Papers say
To read The Times of India as a western visitor is a bizarre
experience. To start with there is the prose style, a blend of the
formal with the slang of yesteryear, punctuated with as many
exclamation marks as a letter from a teenage girl at boarding school! Headteacher's wife in the soup!Really!!!
Then there are the stories themselves. The frothily domestic reports
of school sports days and exam success, or the comings and goings of
Bollywood starlets sit side by side with accounts of sleaze and
corruption worthy of the most infamous banana republic, of gangsters
running protection rackets and of criminals elected to political
office direct from their prison cells.
In fact, to read the Times of India is to step into a world whose
boundaries are those of the fiction shelves in an airport bookstall,-
Mills and Boon meets macho thriller.
Glitterati or gangsters, who knows who will have the upper hand,- for
India is surely like nowhere else on earth.