History

The Great Trotter Resurrection

Irwin Allan Sealy’s Trotter-Nama comes alive for the third time. ♦ Originally published in India Today. It’s hard to imagine that the author of a book as gargantuan, complex and exuberant as The Trotter-Nama ever suffered such a crisis of faith in his creation — which had been out of print for an extended period — that …

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Floods and Streams of Anarchy

William Dalrymple discusses his new book on the rise of the East India Company ♦ Originally published in Mumbai Mirror.  “At the dawn of the nineteenth century all seemed dark; the stars were paling, and it was not by any means plain what the day was likely to be,” wrote orientalist historian HG Keene in …

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Gossip Folks

From feuding queens to rebel sultans, the dead are alive in Manu Pillai’s books. ♦ Originally published on VICE India. When Manu S. Pillai (“the S is important”) and I sat down to talk, gossip was at the top of the table. We were at a mutual friend’s apartment, our chat getting progressively boozy as …

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Where Sinbad Sailed His Dhow

The Arabian peninsula’s maritime history comes alive in Oman. ♦ In 1979, British adventurer and maritime explorer Tim Severin wandered the west coast of India, the country of his birth, looking for rope. Severin had already voyaged across the Atlantic in an open boat, approximating the journey of a sixth-century monk. Now he wanted to …

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Eternal returns

William Dalrymple on researching Return of a King, his history of the First Afghan War ♦ In Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, William Dalrymple’s third book set during the decline of Mughal rule, the Scottish historian and adoptive Dilliwala chronicles the first British military foray into the land of Khurasan, between 1839 and …

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Choose your own Delhi adventure

Time Out Delhi’s 5th anniversary issue ♦ “For over five years, Time Out Delhi has brought you the best of what’s happening in town each fortnight, as well as enabled armchair exploration of city culture and cuisine. We hope our special cover story spurs you to action – starting with your fingers, which will have …

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Spirit uprising

Once upon a time, the Old City was besieged by ghosts ♦ Read this article as part of Time Out Delhi’s “Haunted Delhi” cover story. “No native ghost has yet been authentically reported to have frightened an Englishman,” wrote Rudyard Kipling in a short story from 1888, “but many English ghosts have scared the life …

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Driving passion

Three transport museums light up the road ahead ♦ This article is part of a longer story on Delhi’s museums. The words “Guggenheim”and “Gurgaon” have rarely, if ever, been uttered in the same breath. Yet Vikas Harish had the audacity to refer to the New York landmark as he talked about an upcoming suburban museum. It …

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Buried treasure

Digging out the weird and wonderful in Delhi’s museums ♦ For this Time Out Delhi cover story from September 2011, the team visited almost every museum in Delhi and found everything from accountancy methods to dinosaur eggs. Read the full story below, or download it as a PDF here.