Dastaan-e-Dilrubai: The life and times of Farzana Joanna Nobilis Sombre Zeb-un-nissa, or Begum Samru
long-reads

Dastaan-e-Dilrubai: The life and times of Farzana Joanna Nobilis Sombre Zeb-un-nissa, or Begum Samru

Too many accounts of Begum Samru's life convey an almost tabloid-like fascination of her possible romances with European men, and describe her as an upstart | From #DastaanEDilrubai, a series by Shreya Ila Anasuya.

In virtual escape room games, a chance to solve lockdown mysteries — and save the world from coronavirus
Lifestyle

In virtual escape room games, a chance to solve lockdown mysteries — and save the world from coronavirus

Welcome to a new crop of escape rooms, set in the COVID-19 era and played virtually in groups ranging from 2-20 over WhatsApp and Zoom calls.

In Bangladesh, internet restrictions, rumours worsen COVID-19 fears in Rohingya camps
long-reads

In Bangladesh, internet restrictions, rumours worsen COVID-19 fears in Rohingya camps

Of those tested in the camps near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, 35 Rohingya people were found to be infected. A further 850 residents who had come into contact with the infected are now in quarantine. The only good news is that 618 Rohingya have completed their quarantine without contracting the disease.

How public spaces could be customised to suit the post COVID-19 world: Read in new comic by the Leewardists
Lifestyle

How public spaces could be customised to suit the post COVID-19 world: Read in new comic by the Leewardists

The Leewardists' latest comic looks at designers' attempts around the globe to shape existing public spaces to fit into the post-COVID-19 world's mould.

Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is a no-nonsense portrait of contemporary India that refuses to avert its eyes
Lifestyle

Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is a no-nonsense portrait of contemporary India that refuses to avert its eyes

It’s really tough to create something that has both the gut-punch impact of good literary fiction, and the sheer kinetic energy associated with genre masters. Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is that rare debut.

Kew's Director of Science: Time to decolonise botanical collections, challenge imperialist view that downplays indigenous knowledge
World

Kew's Director of Science: Time to decolonise botanical collections, challenge imperialist view that downplays indigenous knowledge

For hundreds of years, rich countries in the north have exploited natural resources and human knowledge in the south. Colonial botanists would embark on dangerous expeditions in the name of science but were ultimately tasked with finding economically profitable plants. Much of Kew’s work in the 19th century focused on the movement of such plants around the British Empire, which means we too have a legacy that is deeply rooted in colonialism.

Pages from the Wild: To engage with and write meaningfully of nature, try these prompts and exercises
Lifestyle

Pages from the Wild: To engage with and write meaningfully of nature, try these prompts and exercises

In this edition of #PagesFromTheWild, Urvashi Bahuguna compiles prompts and exercises to help those wishing to try their hand at writing about nature (however tangentially)

Once Hyderabad aristocracy's favoured weave, how 'Telia Rumal' gained new lease of life post-Independence
Lifestyle

Once Hyderabad aristocracy's favoured weave, how 'Telia Rumal' gained new lease of life post-Independence

Hailing from a family of weavers in Puttapaka, Gajam Goverdhana has dedicated 50 years of to the Telia Rumal and filed for the recently secured GI tag in 2015.

On identifying ragas, and how the intoxicating and often frustrating challenge for a lay listener can become an obsession
Lifestyle

On identifying ragas, and how the intoxicating and often frustrating challenge for a lay listener can become an obsession

Raga is a crest jewel in the world of melody, each raga offering possibilities for endless exploration with their limited melodic material.

For global fashion industry, impact of coronavirus pandemic presents both crisis — and opportunity to recast itself
Lifestyle

For global fashion industry, impact of coronavirus pandemic presents both crisis — and opportunity to recast itself

The fashion industry has taken a hard hit due to the COVID-19 crisis. From the material to the spiritual, the supply chain to the ideological basis of its existence — every aspect of the industry is being wrung out to dry because of what’s being called ‘fashion’s Darwinian shakeout’.

Indians have made Chinese food their own; boycotting it only betrays our culinary culture and middle-class
India

Indians have made Chinese food their own; boycotting it only betrays our culinary culture and middle-class

In the wake of the conflagration at the border, Ramdas Athawale, union minister, has decided that the patriotic Indian must launch a boycott of Chinese food. What he does not realise that Chinese food in India has as much to do with China as a Japanese curry has to do with our korma and qalia.

On Dombivali Fast: As protests erupt across the world, revisiting Nishikant Kamat’s examination of continued battle against a crooked system
Entertainment

On Dombivali Fast: As protests erupt across the world, revisiting Nishikant Kamat’s examination of continued battle against a crooked system

In Nishikant Kamat’s Dombivali Fast, middle-class bank employee Madhav Apte slowly erupts from a complacent existence filled with peripheral examples of injustice in nearly every corner of society.

As Perry Mason returns to TV in a new HBO series, a look at the character's history
Lifestyle

As Perry Mason returns to TV in a new HBO series, a look at the character's history

In 1933, Erle Stanley Gardner finished his first Perry Mason novel. When he died in 1970, he had finished more than 80 books in the series.

A summer without the summer blockbuster: A pop culture staple is lost amid closed theatres, social distancing
Entertainment

A summer without the summer blockbuster: A pop culture staple is lost amid closed theatres, social distancing

Since Jaws, the summer blockbuster has become shorthand for a genre of films with immediate, wide appeal, serving audiences an entertaining concoction of adventure and spectacle. There’s a certain packaging or universally recognised template that has come to define the summer blockbuster.

In US, African-American protesters send out a powerful message of reform by dressing in their 'Sunday-best'
long-reads

In US, African-American protesters send out a powerful message of reform by dressing in their 'Sunday-best'

Almost every protest movement has its visual signifiers: images etched in the collective memory that crystallize the causes for which they were fought.

Forgotten by time, 20th century Andhra Art Renaissance nurtured local styles and produced prolific female artists
Lifestyle

Forgotten by time, 20th century Andhra Art Renaissance nurtured local styles and produced prolific female artists

The Andhra Art Renaissance, led by Damerla Rama Rao and taken forward by his wife Satyavani and sister Digumarthy Butchikrishnamma, was unusually bold for Rajahmundry, which was the centre of this movement

India-China border tensions: Call for ban on Chinese goods ignores economic realities and will hurt Indian companies
India

India-China border tensions: Call for ban on Chinese goods ignores economic realities and will hurt Indian companies

To stop drinking tea and eating momos – because Chinese soldiers have occupied a section of Indian territory in Ladakh – is surely not going to cause much distress to China. Nor will uninstalling TikTok and Zoom cause them to flee Galwan valley.

The Friday List: From NCPA's World Music Day festivities to a masterclass on travel writing, your weekly calendar of virtual events
Lifestyle

The Friday List: From NCPA's World Music Day festivities to a masterclass on travel writing, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.

Indian upper caste outrage against racism in the West is in jarring contrast to apathy towards marginalised at home
India

Indian upper caste outrage against racism in the West is in jarring contrast to apathy towards marginalised at home

While 'Black Lives Matter' needs and deserves all the attention coming its way, the sudden outrage by India's upper caste on this issue seems rather hypocritical, considering their long history of brutality against Dalits and Adivasis.