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...Very few can choose where, when and how they would die. Recent times show us that even more terrifying than the prospect of dying is the reality of ageing. Despite the huge strides that science has made, including gene editing, you cannot still cling on to eternal youth. Ageing is a slow, irreversible process that culminates in death. Robert McCrum, a non-believer, and a long-time literary editor of The Observer, London, takes a close look at life, death and the endgame in his perceptive book, Every Third Thought (Publisher: Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, Pages 199, Rs 699). This is a delightful work about a highly depressing subject. And this not recommended for ordinary readers. McCrum’s effort is a treat for serious book lovers who would know their Prospero from King Lear and he brings in Montaigne (It is not the death, it is dying that alarms me), Leo Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, George Eliot, E M Forster, Samuel Beckett, Susan Sontag, John Keats and John Donne to discuss the endgame and injury time. ...TOI on Sept. 14, 2017, 5:33 p.m.
...This conniption once again exposed Pakistan’s unstinting support for the zoo of Islamist terrorists that it uses to achieve its foreign policy objectives in India, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The timing of this charade is not coincidental: it is contemporaneous with mounting criticisms over Pakistani human rights abuses in Balochistan as it tries to crush any and all opposition to the infamous “China Pakistan Economic Corridor”. Pakistan explicitly counters criticism over its activities in Balochistan with reference to Indian security force’s killings in Kashmir. This is yet another Pakistani false equivalence. It must be said bluntly that in Kashmir, Pakistan has no legal equities. Neither the Indian Independence Act of 1947 nor the Radcliffe Boundary Commission accord Pakistan any right to Kashmir. ...TOI on Sept. 20, 2016, 2 a.m.