“Scoop!” is a collection of essays by Kuldip Nayar. Anyone who has been atleast cursory readers of Indian English news papers must be familiar with this name – Kuldip Nayar. I believe many vernacular newspapers also should be carrying on translated versions of his columns, for I see Nayar’s writings regularly in “eenaadu”. I don’t know much about the foreign news papers, but Nayar mentioned that he used to write for them too.
So, I need not introduce the author. Coming to the book, its a collection of several inside stories about the events that happened in India in particular and the subcontinent in general – from the times of partition. It covers all those sensational stories that Nayar made as a journalist and their background information. As Nayar himself mentioned in the book, he interviewed almost all the presidents and prime ministers of India and some of these encounters find their place in this book.
It tells us hitherto untold stories from Indian politics. We know that China war happened. We know that Bangladesh was formed.We know that Pakistan also made Nuclear bombs. This book does not tell you that. Nor does it tell you how all these happened. This book tells about some inside stories related to this sort of incidents, which are scoops indeed. This tells us about how Nayar got his information, how he extracted it from the people, his relations with the leaders of the sub-continent for the past 60 years and the personalities of some of those leaders. It is a very interesting book to read for one reason that most of us have the curiosity to know “inside stories” about anything… owing to our natural penchant for gossips (heehee) and Nayar provides them amply in this book.
I will not be a spoilsport by telling whatever Nayar mentioned there. I don’t want to be accused of copy right violation either :)
These are a kind of history books, which are not big, which are not boring and which are highly unputdownable. Another positive point of this book is that the essays are short and crisp. You can sit for a few minutes, read an essay and complete it. I don’t think I completed any non-fiction book so fast in recent past. My admiration to Nayar began to grow since I read his “judgement”‘s telugu translation. Now, it grew even more. The very thought of how he did all these news stories is mindblowing to me. I used to fantasize on journalism as a profession (and I still do sometimes) and here is one of my heroes at his best!
This book made me inquisitive to read more such books by journalists…. I am also seriously waiting for Nayar’s autobiography, about which he talked in this book.
Publishers: Harper Collins & India Today group
Cost: 250 Rs (book reading is turning out to be a very costly hobby these days!!)