Homepage> Indoanglian Literature> Shashi Tharoor




Interviews With:

Jhumpa Lahiri

R.K. Narayan

List of winners of Literary Awards:

Booker Prize

Commonwealth Prize




Shashi Tharoor was born in 1956 and grew up in Bombay and Kolkata. He is the author of The Great Indian Novel, Show Business and a collection of stories, The Five Dollar Smile. He even wrote a non fiction book From Midnight to Millennium. His latest work is a novel titled Riot: A Novel. He lives in New York and works for the United Nations


-Riot: A Novel

From Priscilla Hart's Scrapbook
July 16, 1989

Learned something interesting about the Hindu god Ram, the one all fuss about these days. Seems that when he brought his wife Sita back from Lanka and became king, the gossips in the kingdom were whispering that after so many months in Ravana's captivity, she could not possibly be chaste anymore. So to stop the tongues wagging, he subjected her to an agni-pariksha, a public ordeal by fire, to prove her innocent. She walked through the flames unscathed. A certified pure woman.
                                 That stopped the gossips for a while, but before long the old rumours surfaced again. It was beginning to affect Ram's credibility as king. So he spoke to her about it. What could she do? She willed the earth to open up, literally, and swallowed her. That was the end of the gossip. Ram lost the woman he had warred win back, but he ruled on as a wise and beloved king.
                                  What the hell does this say about India? Appearances are more important than truths. Gossip is more potent than facts. Loyalty is all one way, from the woman to the man. And when society stacks up all the odds against a woman, she'd better not count on the man's support. She has no way out than to end her own life.
                                                 And I'm in love with an Indian. I must be crazy.