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How Jeet Thayil ended up with wine on his designer tee.

Bibliofile
Bibliofile
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It isn’t often that a Booker Prize finalist has a spotless white desig­ner shirt splattered with Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of an evening, but that’s the position Jeet Thayil found himself in after a verbal duel with veteran editor Prem Shankar Jha veered slightly off-course. Those present say Jha, who was discussing the virtues of journalism with a Washington Post scribe, casually declared, “You know, I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve covered every story,” or something to that effect. Hearing which, Thayil, son of the acclaimed M.S. Subbulakshmi biographer T.J.S. George, butted in, saying it was the most ‘pompous’ thing he had ever heard. Now Jha is not the sort of person to take a jibe like this lying down. A debate on the merits of journalism versus literature quickly ensued, and as one thing led to anot­her, Jha, on the spur of the moment, splashed the glass he was holding at Jeet, who ended up with the wine-stained tee for all to see. The host, Bhaichand Patel, and others soon joined in the revelry to usher in a very early 2016 Holi. And a good laugh was had by all, including the fashionista who had designed Jeet’s shirt.

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