Writing

Flights of fantasy

An interview with Alia Syed ♦ Experimental filmmaker Alia Syed was born in Swansea, Wales, to Indian and Welsh parents. Over the last thirteen years, Syed’s films have discussed diaspora, subjectivity and narrative, creating mesmerizing visual experiences. From the 24th of December to the 31st of March, Delhi’s Talwar Gallery held Syed’s first solo show …

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Mirdard Lane

Khau gali ♦ New Delhi gives way to the old city as you cross the railway line northeast of Connaught Place. A little before Shahjahanabad proper, however, the area between Ferozeshah Kotla, Gandhi Market and ITO already feels more like Sheher than Nai Dilli. This is where the balance of traffic switches from cars to …

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Charred minars

Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie surveys the world from Guantanamo to Peshawar in an interview ♦ Extending from the callousness of the Nagasaki bombing to the compassion of a spider whose web hid the Prophet Mohammed, Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie’s fifth novel, Burnt Shadows, won praise from critics for its scope and detailing. Shamsie’s characters survive (or …

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Like a surgeon

In Abraham Verghese’s debut novel, fate is stitched together with sutures ♦ Abraham Verghese is a man of science and fact. His experiences as a doctor in small-town Tennessee in the mid-1980s during the early years of the AIDS epidemic led to his first book, the well-received My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story.  After a flurry …

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Eternal outsider

Abraham Verghese talks about Cutting for Stone and the idea of home ♦ This interview was conducted for a feature in Time Out Delhi. Could you tell me a bit about how your family came to be in Ethiopia and the background of Malayalis in that country? I am told that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia …

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Unbreathable

Why taking the air is a bad idea ♦ A cover story on air pollution in Delhi, from Time Out Delhi, March 2009. Read an excerpt of the story below or download it as a prettier PDF here.

The big wheezy

Winter may well be gone, but our ashen city’s pall of pollution lingers on. A close look at Delhi’s visible air ♦ This article anchors a longer cover story on Delhi’s air pollution. Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss may have banned smoking in public areas, but – as any masked Japanese tourist will tell you …

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The collector

Meet Tarun Thakral – a different sort of transport mogul ♦ When the COO of Le Meridien hotel first showed a tendency towards hoarding, it seemed an innocent enough personality quirk. Tarun Thakral was studying hospitality in France in the early ’90s when he noticed that the people around him seemed more interested in their …

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Walk the chawk with Sam Miller

Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity ♦ Journalist Sam Miller’s new book Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity describes the British expat’s walks around town, which followed the same spiral route he’d laid out for himself. We phoned him as he was commuting, by foot, from his office in Hauz Khas to his home in Panchsheel. “I’ll …

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To the Manohar born

Help yourself to a slice of Delhi food history ♦ On a walk through Khan Market’s intestinal middle lane the other day, we came upon a basket of bread, next to the imported strawberries and grapes. The smallish, dark square loaves nestled in the large basket looked impossibly old-fashioned compared to the fluffy white or …

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