Reader's Comments

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With great and enduring joy I have read and re-read Desani's work for a chapter in my doctoral dissertation on postcolonial satire. This website is a wonderful and welcome tribute to an underappreciated writer. I thank you for your work on it.    

— Amy L. Friedman, Dec. 14, 2005

What a pleasant surprise to re-discover my old philosophy professor. 

— Ben Norwood, Dec. 10, 2004

Hi. I just saw my own piece, which drew on Desani's absolutely fantastic novel, in a blog. And I felt stirred enough to add a few comments: First, I began my journalistic career formally at the now-defunct The Illustrated Weekly of India' as cub-sub-editor in the mid-1970s. That's where I first heard about Desani from R. Gopalakrishna, who was better known as R.G.K. in the world of Indian journalism.

Gopal was, by then, Senior Assistant Editor and spoke very highly about Desani (who had also worked at the Weekly along with Gopal). Gopal had also been in irregular touch with Desani after the latter moved to Texas. I was sufficiently inspired by Gopal's talk (for all his legendary punctiliousness in matters editorial, Gopal used to mispronounce his name as `Deshani') to buy Desani's novel in a Penguin paperback (with a Souza pai from a book coupon I won in a TV Quiz program). I found the book unputdownable and read it in one gargantuan orgiastic gulp. Thereafter, I was hooked enough to read everything I could lay my hands on by the Master. He was magical.

Gopal had moved away from Bombay by the time Desani died. So, when I met him in Mumbai a couple of years ago, Gopal, who was 80, was deeply saddened to hear about Desani's demise from me. As usual, we were sitting at a Mysore cafe, with me trying entice my anorexic mentor into taking a few bites from the goodies.

A few days later, Gopal too was dead, without fulfilling his promise of staying with me...

I should end by confessing how diminished I felt by both these deaths. But on a more hopeful note, like Desani, of late I too seem to have fallen into the compassionate raft that the Buddha built... so such a sentiment would be most inappropriate. Desani's isness lives on, vibrant in every font of that marvelous book.

-- Vithal C Nadkarni, Assistant Editor, The Economic Times, The Times of India Building, Dec. 24, 2004