Lunch With a Bigot: The Writer in the World
Amitava Kumar is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, and Nobody Does the Right Thing, all also published by Duke University Press.
This chapter tells train stories. It is about writing in trains and also narrating stories that take place on trains. “Mofussil Junction” refers to the colonial name for small (or provincial) towns and in this essay the author focuses on Patna, Bihar and Poughkeepsie, New York.
In this chapter, the author narrates a visit to Sopore in Kashmir to interview the wife of Afzal Guru who was on death row after being convicted of terrorism. Guru was later hanged. The chapter describes the reality of life under military occupation—and the reality is that nearly everyone, in some manner, becomes a collaborator.