Daily Archives: 12 December 2006

‘Bhaiyya, Chlormint kyun khaate hain?’

Every night when Shantila Maria Barnes closes shop and heads for home, she dips into her Louis Vuitton bag and pulls out Chlormint and other lozenges that may be in reach, and hands one to all in her vicinity.

The beneficiaries, usually, are B B Subhash, and Basavanand Swamy and K N Purandar and, lately, Srinivasa Raghotham

The question is why? At least, a mouth freshner would make sense before start of play. But why at draw of stumps?

Dead people. Deadly prose.

Obituary writing has evolved into something of an art-form in the US and UK. Gone are the days of dryly reporting the death of people, with their age and names of survivors.

Instead, a stylish new form of literature has emerged.

In The Dead Beat, a tome on the deadly business (Harper Collins), Marilyn Johnson says a good obituary writer possesses “an ability to write well, to capture a person with economy and grace, and work in the hurricane of emotion that swirls arond the newly dead.”

This lead in a New York Times obituary shows how lively writing on the dead can be:

Selma Koch, a Manhattan store owner who earned a national reputation by helping women find the right bra size, mostly through a discerning glance and never with a tape measure, died Thursday at the Mount Sinai Medicinal Center. She was 95, and a 34B.”