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Issue Articles

A Sense of a Community

A Journey of Shared Mourning during Moharram
'The shared expression among women majlis during Moharram of an iconic grief that is both personal and communal seems to create a community of women who mourn, who share a sense of the lives of women in the past, and of their lives now.’

John le Carrè (1931-2020) Who Came In from the Cold

A tribute to the British literary giant of the second half of the 20th century, John Le Carrè, who died earlier this week, with a focus on his most memorable character, the tormented spymaster, George Smiley.

A Memoir of ‘Chalak’ Om

Detective Chalak Om has decided to retire since there are no mysteries any more around, only scandals. His friend and Boswell chronicles the last mystery he solved—The Case of the Missing Tiger Cub, or why the tiger is no longer the national animal.

The Sabars of Singhbhum

A photo-essay on the Sabars, an identified Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, who survive—live is hardly the word—in the most extreme conditions in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

Syncretic Culture of the Brahma Kshatriyas of Hyderabad

A photo essay on the Brahma Kshatriyas of Hyderabad, whose association with the Mughal and the Nizam’s administration produced a unique syncretic culture.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the 75th Anniversary of ‘Nuclear Peace’

'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. Physicist Robert Oppenheimer recalled these lines from the Gita after watching the first nuclear test in July 1945. With the world now sitting on a huge nuclear stockpile, can we hope to avoid that destruction?

Naming and Belonging

A Personal History of a North Indian Muslim Clan
Did my Shamsi clan “come” or “convert”? What qana’at made my family remain in India after Partition? Our lives are a confection of history and happenstance. As belonging is questioned and citizenship interrogated, perhaps these personal histories will suffice.

Desacralising the City of Gods

The Politics of History in Banaras
A personal history of Banaras, the city of many cultures.

When the Past Melts

Bhagat Singh as a Reader
Bhagat Singh always surrounded himself with a library. His eclectic reading tastes ranged from the classical tradition to high modernity. Decoding his reading habits reveals a futuristic paradigm for the Idea of India.

Seeking Sanctuary, Remembering Jammu

Cosmopolitan Ethics Outside the Metropolis
A discussion of the idea of sanctuary for migrants in smaller cities like Jammu, each with a unique history. Based on fieldwork and drawing on memory fragments of a non-metropolitan city, an exploration of how a place like Jammu helps us revisit the cosmopolis

A Cuban Travelogue

Close to half a century after K. Vela Velupillai tried to visit Cuba, he finally travels to the island in the Caribbean Sea. He sees changes taking place; there is also confirmation of the Cuban project. A diary of a 11-day visit in early 2019.

Ye Olde English Humourists

An Old-Fashioned Tribute
An affectionate tribute to the low-brow humorists of the British Empire who wrote in the early-mid 20th century. Or is this a symptom of "a post-colonial condition brought on by the native collaborator’s false nostalgia for colonial master narratives"?
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