Author: Raj ChatterjeePublisher: PenguinYear: 2008Language: EnglishPages: 206ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143063162
"Amid the flurry of stories of the rise and fall of governments, the power games of politicians, the reportage of murder and mayhem, there is a special space reserved in a newspaper every day. That honour goes to the ‘middle’. A middle writer adopts a contemplative style, looking back in time, taking a gentle jab at the future, and dwelling—nearly always with humour—on human frailties, particularly his own. For forty years, Raj Chatterjee has been doing just that. This ‘undisputed monarch of the Middle Kingdom’, as Jug Suraiya acknowledges him to be, began his professional life as a ‘burra sahib’ in a British firm, but retired prematurely to do what he loved most: write. The result was a library’s worth of pieces pondering everything from the temperature in Multan in July 1938 (inside a club that did not admit Indians) to the moot question of whether Adam was really a pygmy. Khushwant Singh says of his friend, contemporary and fellow compulsive writer: ‘Raj Chatterjee became a household name, not as a boxwallah but as a middleman who wrote the most readable “middles” for leading Indian journals.