Byline anthologises M.J. Akbar's finest writings over the last decade, bringing together essays that reflect the author's versatility and range. The book is divided into five seamless sections, each with its own identity, woven together by M.J. Akbar's delectably informal prose.
'Travel' is the first section in which the author shares his passion for history and the occasional fable, the obscure detail, the glorious and the ludicrous. This is followed by 'Politics and History' in which the reader is provided a view of some events and people in the recent past with all the quirks and whims that characterise the great as well as the mundane. The reader then moves on to 'Sidelines' (those delightfully off-centre pieces). M.J. Akbar says in an essay in this section: “The train of thought has moved. But that is the way with trains. They must travel.”
'Memories' is the most personal and autobiographical part of the entire selection, mixing regret, nostalgia and deeply felt sorrow for the friends and times gone forever.
Byline ends with a short section entitled 'On a Personal Note' in which James Bond must live to die another day, The Telegraph has to learn to live beyond the age of twenty and Dev Anand remains young forever.