I had never been much of a fan of Jug Suraiya’s column in the Sunday Times of India (STOI). It seemed dull, self indul-gent, trite and even pointless at times. His sense of humour escaped me and the satire was lost on me at the time when I did read his column. What I did realize was that ‘Jugular Vein’, Suraiya’s tartly named column, was much liked by many people. And whether I liked it or not, it became Sunday staple for millions as it radiantly beamed out the writer’s fluffy worldview from its hallowed position in the TOI. Then, sometime after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Suraiya collaborated with a cartoonist from the Times of India to create a spoof on George Bush called Dubyaman.
That was what I knew of Jug Suraiya till I was asked to review this book. What I had was sketchy information at best so this book came as an interesting revelation on the many layers to Suraiya’s personality. His rich in-volvement in Indian journalism is a remark-able story in itself. And the book also solved the quandary of his name. I had always won-dered how someone could be named just ‘Jug’. Well, it turns out, ‘Jug’ is the abbreviated form of Jagdish-a seemingly fuller name which helped me move on to exploring the rest of Jug’s persona through this autobiographical set of connected essays which he describes as ‘A Worm’s-Eye View of Indian Journalism.’