History & Culture

Finding solidarity in human books
History & Culture

Finding solidarity in human books

Twenty-four-year-old Sanchana Krishnan knew she was bipolar from a very young age. As she grew older, she found that it became more difficult discussing the illness with her family but she never gave up trying. On a recent trip to meet her parents in Dubai, the Gurgaon-based writer and photographer […]

Wonder Women, a millennium ago
History & Culture

Wonder Women, a millennium ago

Historical fiction was a genre I stumbled upon writing, not something I had planned. I have always had a love for history, and my reading of Sangam literature led me to essays on the Chola empire, and their naval expeditions. I started making margin notes in these books (my books […]

The Aranmula Regatta
History & Culture

The Aranmula Regatta

Sunset. In the gathering dusk, soon after deeparadhana at Sri Mahavishnu temple at Kattoor, Kottayam, a beautifully decorated traditional boat filled with grains, pulses, spices and vegetables smoothly glides away to the accompaniment of prayers, firecrackers, drums and cymbals. Heavy with the weight of tradition and belief, the long snake […]

The Sufi and the necropolis
History & Culture

The Sufi and the necropolis

The Paigah Tombs are among the to-visit landmarks of Hyderabad. Hidden behind the naqqar khana (welcome arch where drums used to be played) is the path that leads to a discovery of ornate craftsmanship on the tombs, the intricate karigari on the marble sarcophagus, and funerary practices of one family […]

‘In Egypt, there is no separation between the political and normal’
History & Culture Life & Style

‘In Egypt, there is no separation between the political and normal’

In 18 days, a 30-year-old regime crumbled under the weight of its people’s protest. The January 25 Egyptian Revolution would turn the world’s eyes on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where protestors of President Hosni Mubarak called for ‘bread, freedom, and social justice’. Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy, 37, captured the exhilaration, the […]

Delhi’s lost ambience
History & Culture

Delhi’s lost ambience

Delhi has lost much of its cherished ambience because of the changes brought about by time. Many of the melas, pastimes and odd professions have gone out of vogue. Up to the 1960s, the streets of Old Delhi still had remnants of this vanished culture. There used to be a […]