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  • Which would you say is the better one?

    Broadcast On December 23, 1998

    This is the story of two airlines, two cities, two experiences but one night of dreadful fog. I guess you can imagine what I’m writing about. A dear friend and her husband were expected from Japan. ...

  • He’s not such a bad fellow

    Broadcast On December 30, 1998

    It’s a funny time to be in London. The city is obsessed with a political scandal. It concerns the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the house he bought in Notting Hill. Believe it ...

  • Remembering Zahid

    Broadcast On January 5, 1999

    I thought it was a cliche but I was wrong. The truth is often best expressed in the simplest of aphorisms. If it sounds silly it’s only because we’ve become blaze. Well, I often am but today I’m in ...

  • Sub-Inspector Sharad and the truck-driver that got away

    Broadcast On January 12, 1999

    When Nikhil Kumar as Police Commissioner told me not to judge all policemen by the few bad ones I might meet I smiled but paid little heed to his advice. After all you would expect him to say that. I ...

  • J’Accuse

    Broadcast On January 19, 1999

    he BMW accident is one of those macabre events that has captivated public attention. Everyone is talking about it, some are speculating, others criticising, a few re-constructing events and the privileged ...

  • The cost of a wedding

    Broadcast On January 25, 1999

    There are times when I lose respect for my countrymen altogether. One such is weddings – particularly the grotesque garish sort that occur at rented farmhouses in Chattarpur and Vasant Kunj and especially ...

  • A woman is smarter

    Broadcast On February 1, 1999

    Is a woman’s place at home? If you think the very question is risible you’re right, but I raise it because it was the subject of a recent debate at the FICCI Ladies Organisation. It was one of those ...

  • Liar liar lipstick

    Broadcast On February 8, 1999

    ... you gave him last night.” “I beg your pardon?” Nisha questioned. “Yes” the Minister blithely continued. “Karan didn’t eat a thing. What was it you cooked?” “Was that his explanation?” Nisha ...

  • My kind of place

    Broadcast On February 15, 1999

    “Why don’t you write about some of the nice restaurants you go to?” I’m often asked. “That would be a helpful thing to do. Lots of people would like to try somewhere new.” Perhaps but then that also ...

  • The Ladies of Lahore

    Broadcast On February 22, 1999

    Atal Vajpayee’s journey to Lahore reminded me of my own first visit to that city. It was in 1980 and I was still short of 25. The Russians had just invaded Afghanistan and I managed to convince The Spectator ...

  • Cleaning up the mess

    Broadcast On March 1, 1999

    The Finance Ministry and its mandarins are quite different to the rest of us. Not only do they do things differently but they look upon ordinary folk as the odd ones out. Perhaps this is why the twain ...

  • Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. Vajpayee and the question of luck

    Broadcast On March 8, 1999

    Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make unlucky. Actually the ancient Greeks phrased themselves slightly differently but my version is no less correct. In fact in my case the opposite is ...

  • The Silver Lining

    Broadcast On March 15, 1999

    ... excuse. At this point Ashwini walked in. He had on a pale yellow polo shirt, beige slacks and looked as if he had sauntered off the golf course. But Ashwini’s looks only pleased to deceive. “Karan, ...

  • The price of politics

    Broadcast On March 22, 1999

    We look upon politicians as scoundrels who have secured the best deal for themselves. Occasionally, however, that’s not the case. There are some whose life is a story of tragedy. A few even who have ...

  • The little things one remembers

    Broadcast On March 29, 1999

    ... town. I bumped into her at the Pakistan Day reception or, rather, she found me and ensured that she bumped into me. “Karan” she exclaimed. “Your hair has gone white. Does that mean you’re now an ...

  • Made for television

    Broadcast On April 5, 1999

    War as entertainment? It might sound odd but increasingly it’s true. I’m not referring to the surfeit of Oscar-winning films such as Saving Private Ryan or The Thin Red Line. They, after all, are part ...

  • The Rakshas explains

    Broadcast On April 12, 1999

    ... was a rookie reporter and I was at a friend’s wedding. Suddenly I noticed someone break out of the crowd of guests and head towards me. “Are you Karan Thapar?” the man asked. “Deny it” my wife ...

  • To read or not to read

    Broadcast On April 19, 1999

    There are times when you wish someone would tell you what to think, give you their judgement on an important event and save you the trouble of finding out for yourself. I know it’s not fashionable to ...

  • It’s the little things that always matter

    Broadcast On April 26, 1999

    Have you ever done something silly and then worked yourself into a frightful tizzy about it? I do it all the time although that’s no excuse or explanation. In fact it happened again last tuesday. I ...

  • A reverie at a book-reading

    Broadcast On May 3, 1999

    Sometimes when you meet a person you can end up seeing them not as they are but through the prism of memories. In such instances the past overwhelms the present. It’s a strange but wonderful experience. ...