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Nirpal Dhaliwal and the white satin bomber jacket

by Sunny on 2nd March, 2007 at 3:22 pm    

You’ve surely made it as a blog when desperate authors try and use you to grind their own axe. Speaking of which, the other day us Picklers got an email from a certain ‘Nirpal Dhaliwal’. I cannot be certain it is the the real Nirpal Dhaliwal who wrote Tourism but I have a feeling it is given the contents. Anyway, the email started with:

i know you guys hate me, but here’s a story for you. am in mumbai for kitab lit fest last weekend.

Ahh yes, it certainly sounds like him. Hate may be too strong a word but Dhaliwal’s pathetic review of Gautam Malkani’s book Londonstani was roundly trashed by Kismet hardy earlier, and it would be fair to say I’m not a fan of his sexist columns either.

The next two lines have been taken out because they’re potentially libellous and, I think, exaggerated. Our friend continues with a related but different incident.

2 weeks ago the NS [New Statesman] printed a piece by kira cochrane, the guardian women’s ed, ridiculing my appearance on newsnight review. i’ve never been on the show in my life. she’d seen another asian on tv and decided it was me. we all look the same afterall. NS printed a correction but not an apology… it seems your lefty mates aren’t as right on as you might like.

have tried pitching this idea to eve stan and times with no success, and am certain the guardian wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

maybe you guys will give this some attention. that is, if you have the courage of your convictions.
nirpal dhaliwal

Do we have the courage of our convictions? I get the feeling ol’ Nirps is trying to goad us, don’t you? After all he’s famous for being the brown man taking on liberal racism.

But there’s a whiff of bullshit about this whole episode, especially since our team detective Katy Newton turned up this little gem in this week’s Private Eye.

The year ‘2006 threw up all the usual articles exhorting the death of feminism, proclaiming that hte women’s movement has made women unhappy and men superfluous,’ opined Kira Cochrane in the New Statesman in January. ‘Quite a few of these articles came courtesy of a new controversialist, Nirpal Dhaliwal, a man apparently determined to make feminists wince, but who simply made me laugh and laugh and laugh by appearing on Newsnight Review in what looked to be a shockingly ill-advised white satin bomber jacket. Really, Nirpal. Never cool. Not even in the 1980s.’

On 19 February the Staggers printed the following clarification: ‘This was a case of mistaken identity. We apologise for this error, and we are happy to make it clear that Dhaliwal has never appeared on Newsnight Review, nor ever owned such a garment.’

Those controversialists. They all look the same, don’t they?

Ooops! That pokes a few big holes in the injustice that The Nirpster apparently faced. Far be it that we accuse him of fibbing, Ms Newton had a better explanation of why he’s so annoyed:

She told the Picklers

I draw the following conclusions:

1. The Nirpster approached as many alternative publications [with the email he sent us] as he has had extramarital flings. I fear that we are not special to Nirps, nor have we ever been. I weep.

2. It is quite possible that the bit of the article that REALLY stung him was the allegation that he owned a white satin bomber jacket and had worn it in public. I have some sympathy with that.

I think we can all sympathise with that. No one wants to be accused of having worn a white satin bomber jacket. That is an insult to The Nirpster’s regular demeanor as a well-dressed, well-groomed and cultured modern man. He treats his wife with respect dammit!

But trying to use all this to take a pot-shot at ‘right on liberals’? You let the side down man… we expected better. We feel cheated because you used to do it with so much flair…

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20 Comments   |   Add your own

  1. justforfun — on 2nd March, 2007 at 4:39 pm  

    I suppose this is the weekend thread :-) - can we just pile in or shall I wait politely for while?


  2. raz — on 2nd March, 2007 at 6:33 pm  

    Just as an aside,

    Kira Cochrane managed to incur the wrath of the unofficial British Army website earlier this year, which lead to some funny shit:


  3. Amrit — on 2nd March, 2007 at 7:32 pm  

    Nirpal Dhaliwal. He thinks so much of himself that I would almost BET ON IT that he DID have a white satin bomber jacket.

    Just read the posts on his Daily Mail articles you link to above… Hilarious. Thank you Nirpal, for enlightening me about the fact that my boyfriend is apparently a woman because he can handle his feelings and cook, and that I need a ‘real man’. Oh wait… he isn’t, and I don’t! Funny that, that females can think for themselves! Your wife might be stupid mate (or in serious denial), as are the female cast of Tourism (probably, I haven’t read it and would rather have a colonic irrigation) but unfortunately there are some of us with a few brain cells. If only the same could be said of you.

  4. Katy — on 2nd March, 2007 at 7:54 pm  

    Actually, his wife isn’t stupid at all - she’s an excellent writer and a hard worker. Her column is the only reason I read the Mail on Sunday.

  5. Amrit — on 2nd March, 2007 at 8:12 pm  

    Well, stupid may be unfair… perhaps overwhelmingly neurotic is a fairer description. God, I only wonder what her parents were like to make her get so hung up about ageing. Good grief! And I really don’t see how being with him is better than being by herself. I don’t understand it at all.

  6. Chairwoman — on 2nd March, 2007 at 8:41 pm  

    If you were with him, wouldn’t you be overwhelmingly neurotic.

    BTW ageing doesn’t bother one until one does it. Joan Collins actually summed it up very succinctly. It wasn’t growing old that bothered her, she said, it was the dying bit at the end that she wasn’t keen on.

  7. Kulvinder — on 2nd March, 2007 at 9:58 pm  

    Actually i agree with Amrit, i find them both equally annoying.

  8. David T — on 2nd March, 2007 at 11:03 pm  

    Oh, he’s a horror, but an amusing one.

  9. Bert Preast — on 2nd March, 2007 at 11:28 pm  

    Raz - I post on ARRSE, and it is indeed deeply depressing for us to know that our every word is being monitored by the press in the hope of showing us up as the bloodthirsty savages they’re sure we really are. I feel nothing but pride when the bloodthirsty savages make the journos look like halfwits because I can guess how much that annoys them. Soldiers are not permitted to talk to the press, and which part of “unofficial” do the press fail to understand anyway? ARRSE does some damn good work - part of it is explaining to journalists in no uncertain terms the concept of “chain of command”. Viva!

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd March, 2007 at 1:22 am  

    Ah Nirpal. How he inspires me to wax lyrical.

    The sky is blue. She walked by and I noticed her breasts. They’d surely be winking at me if only she had the courage to rip off her nun’s habit and fuck me red raw. Set the scene check. Sexual reference. Check. Controversy. Check. Hm. Something’s missing. Oh yes. Asian men. Bunch of cunts aren’t they. Pretending to look like me. I’m the only one in the village you bastaaaaaards. The sky is still blue.

    The end

  11. El Cid — on 3rd March, 2007 at 10:50 am  

    I quite like him, even if his whining on this occasion is pathetic, but then I am a bit dodgy as you know.

    I think this is the perfect cue for fashion disaster confessions: c’mon own up

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd March, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

    9/11 was a fashionable disaster

  13. El Cid — on 3rd March, 2007 at 12:29 pm  

    I reckon this might just be a classic Kizzie look from his youth:

  14. Chairwoman — on 3rd March, 2007 at 12:46 pm  


  15. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd March, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    It’s funny because it’s true

  16. Amir — on 3rd March, 2007 at 3:43 pm  


    Could you reply to a post of mine?

    You strike me as somewhat of an anachronism: English-Bangladeshi, Asian patriot, proud father, blimpishly middle-class, creative/political writer, agent provocateur and unapologetically populist, sexually promiscuous but with a decent sense of “right” and “wrong.” Let me quote a passage of yours on the subject of pornography:

    It’s poetic to think the makers did it because they were championing sexual liberties but we know that’s bollocks

    It was about men making money from other men that treat women as sex objects

    I have much more respect for hardcore porn that doesn’t pretend to be anything but degrading

    I can remember saying to myself: Kismet Hardy is one cool dude.

    [The same goes for El Cid if he’s reading. I’m eager to hear his opinions on the matter.]

  17. El Cid — on 3rd March, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    Kizzie is cooler than cool, he’s ice cold baby (shake it, shake it)

  18. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd March, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

    Amir, it all comes down to whether you believe in syllogism or Disneyland. I’m happy for Mickey Mouse fans to enjoy the chimerical kennel of Goofy’s mongrel, but being a non-believer in planes beyond this earth, I cannot subscribe to the concept of doggie heaven

    Assuming that’s what you mean by Plutopia

  19. Jagdeep — on 5th March, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    So Nirpal Dhaliwal reads this blog.

    Yo Nirpal! I chuckled at some points when I read your novel! I even appointed myself your defender on this blog out of sympathy for the underdog, seeing as how everyone else seems to hate you. My wife hates you too. Anyway, I thought that your review of Londonstani, while vicious and aggressive, was also quite funny and true in some respects.

    Let me give you some advice Singho. Keep writing for the literary pages in the Times and other places if you can get the commissions — your nuanced close reading of Tishani Doshi and Jeet Thayil this weekend showed a sensitive literary sensibility at work. Your other article about your debt to Naipaul was interesting too. Try and learn from them and be less of a posturing journalist in your next novel. Some of your prose was as flat as the tuva we cook rotis on. I mean, become a writer, and less of a journalist. You seem to be stuck in this rut of thinking literature has to be all about ‘truth’ and related to the experience of the novelist, but that’s just bogus. Lose all that and you could actually become a decent novelist, with hard work, introspection and humility.

    Also, Kismet hates you because he wishes he had a book contract, Sunny hates you because you’re a Punjabi dude from west London with a high profile in the media like him and he wants to be the only gay in the village (just as your Londonstani takedown was partly inspired by that as Kismet Hardy points out!) — I don’t know why the rest of them hate you. I think Amrit actually takes your jackanape articles in the Daily Mail seriously.

    But what I want to know is who was the Asian dude on Newsnight Review wearing a white bomber jacket? My theory is that it was Bobby Friction he’s been on it before, and yes, it is hilarious that the moron called Kira Cochrane couldnt tell the difference between two swarthy Pakis, uhhh, sorry, I mean, two Indian dudes.

  20. sonia — on 5th March, 2007 at 3:12 pm  

    :-) heh heh

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