India Insight

Man caught urinating kills girl as India deals with an eternal problem

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Thomson Reuters)

Indians don’t like it, but they live with it: the daily sight of people urinating, defecating and spitting in public. Most of us cringe and look away.

One woman who didn’t was Sadmani Khan, who scolded her neighbour Javed for urinating on the stairs of their home. Javed, according to an interview with Sadmani’s husband Aslam Khan, was “drunk stiff” when he relieved himself, according to an interview in the New York Times.

She argued with the man, who threatened to kill her, according to media reports. He came back with a gun and shot her and her 17-year-old daughter Binno in their home. The daughter died.

Such a tragedy is not the outcome of most of these encounters. But you can be sure that people will think about the possibility the next time they walk the streets of their towns and cities.

Nilanjana Roy on writing, English and telepathic cats

From Ahmed Ali’s “Twilight in Delhi” to William Dalrymple’s “City of Djinns”, many books have tried to unravel the layers of Delhi’s history. First-time fiction writer Nilanjana Roy took a less-trodden path in her novel “The Wildings,” which came out in August in India — and which might come out in the United States as soon as next year. She wrote of life in the alleys of Delhi, but chose to do it from the perspective of cats in her novel.

“The advantage of writing about animals is that you can make it all up,” she said. Walking around Delhi, the journalist and literary critic took a fancy to the secret lives of cats, got a kitten, and a couple of years later, wrote about them.

“I started noticing cats and dogs and all these subterranean creatures, and I stopped thinking of the city as a human space,” she said. “And at some point it occurred to me that there was something interesting going on in here.”