Aparisim Ghosh, who has covered some of the bloodiest combats across the globe for Time magazine, was in New York the other day, taking a small break from covering the battlefields of Baghdad that he has been reporting on for the last three-and-half years.
The day before Aparisim -- Bobby to his colleagues -- was to leave for Baghdad, recalls Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, he was telling his editors and fellow reporters about the harrowing descent into Baghdad airport, and the nerve-racking drive on the Highway of Death.
And that conversation, Stengel writes in the latest issue of Time, led to Ghosh writing the issue's cover story Life in Hell: A Baghdad Diary.
The first person story, some 8,000 words long, mixes drama -- his opening narrative on the flight's descent into Baghdad is harrowing even from the comfortable confines of your armchair -- with insight, looking at the political situation and also at the hardships ordinary Iraqis endure.
'Our staff of 25 Iraqis snort disdainfully as news broadcasters announce the daily deaths in the Levant,' he writes. The bureau chief Ali al-Shaheen says, 'They count their dead in dozens. We count ours in hundreds.'
Apparently Ghosh is popular not just for his writing skills, which on the evidence of this and earlier reports out of Baghdad are nonpareil, but also because he is a world-class cook of Indian food, always eager to take his turn with the tawaa.
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