My friend ‘Speedy’

S P Dutt (Speedy, to friends) and I have been friends since college days in late 1950’s.  We aren’t touch in the routine way, in the sense. We don’t e-mail each other. I don’t have his phone number. And yet I hear from him every other day, even though I don’t respond to him.

Speedy has this delightful knack of staying in touch with friends – his e-mail contacts –  by sharing with them links to a media story or magazine article that he finds interesting or useful enough to be shared.

I don’t read everything he sends me. And Speedy, presumably, doesn’t care what his e-mail recipients do with the media links he religiously sends to  e-mail contacts every other day. Some of his forwards are fascinating ‘finds’ I wouldn’t have accessed, had it not been for Speedy’s. I suppose he is aware of this. Which is why he keeps sending us his links, without expecting so much as a ‘thank-you’ mail from blokes like me.

The latest link I got, along with 14 other Speedy’s e-mail contacts,  relates to NYT book review of Nikita Lalwani’s novel, The Village.  The story relates to a film crew that goes to film the life and living in a unique Indian village. What is unique about the place is that this village is peopled by convicts who live there with their families.

I was surprised to learn about the place, of which I had not heard till now.The Uk-based author, Ms Lalwani, says she had visited about a decade back this Indian village modelled on a open-prison.  The convicts are allowed to seek work outside the village; and, according to the author, the village hasn’t reported any incident of escape in the last five decades.