Satire as a monitor of governors and public behaviour had an effect on society that was immediate and self evident. It was a bit like sports coverage in the electronic media today, one got to see the action and subsequent repartees 'deferred live'. Foremost at the receiving end of Hootum's firing line was Calcutta babu. While Bankimchandra Chatterjee's inventory of baby's includes the clerk, teacher, the man of Brahmo faith, businessman, doctor, lawyer, magistrate, landlord, newspaper editor and the National- Theatre frequenter; Hootum's is a more streamlined list, comprising the landed agent, the rich patron, the neophyte Brahmo and depraved Young Bengal Prototype. In Chatterjee, the middle-class bhadrolok category could well be counted a babu, but in Sketches by Hootum, mostly the baby commands power, pelf and/ or prestige, even if he may be actually bankrupt. From the Introduction. _____ In the 1860's Calcutta, a century old British city-colony. The steam locomotives have arrived while the Indigo movements are about to break out and the melodramatic Opera and Khyamta are the only entertainment. Calcutta was experiencing puberty, the journey from a marshy land to the metropolis was not easy; an entire society of middle-class was emerging, who were getting educated with western liberalism and trying to keep their traditional learning intact. And one prolific writer was observing this transition. Kaliprasanna Sinha at age twenty one was many things: a philanthropist, playwright, newspaper owner, social critic but first he was the Night Owl, Hootum. Hootum wrote series of sketches, on society and culture in a city caught in the throes of tumultuous historical shifts. The book is a story of Calcutta, that has always been termed as a dying city. Yet the city survives and staggers through the uncertain times of confusion and Hootum is here to lampoon it's progress. Sketches by Hootum the Owl: A Satirist's View of Colonial Calcutta by Kaliprasanna Sinha, is available on Flipkart, Amazon and bookstores around the country.