Interview

Invisible Man

Aravind Adiga imagines Australia refracted through an immigrant’s eyes ♦ Originally published in India Today. We use the word apocalypse, and these days frequently, to describe the end of the world. But its literal meaning, from ancient Greek, is “uncovering”. No one can say for sure whether Covid-19 is our omega, but there’s no doubt …

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Mother of Invention

Perumal Murugan remembers Amma in his latest book. ♦ Originally published in India Today. I’d been waiting a couple of days to hear back from the writer Perumal Murugan, via an editor who promised to translate my questions into Tamil and his replies to English. That this kind of exchange is possible at all is …

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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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The Book of Waswo

The new miniatures from the studio of Waswo X. Waswo are as captivating as his latest photobook. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Nearly two decades ago, when Waswo X. Waswo was travelling in Pushkar, a group of camel herders started referring to him as “Chacha”. “The name just stuck,” the artist tells me in …

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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.  â€œAt 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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A Photographer Takes the Bull by the Horns in His Jallikattu Series

Ryan Lobo wrestles with the controversial tradition of bull-baiting in Tamil Nadu. ♦ Originally published on VICE India. For the past few years, Jallikattu has been a flashpoint—often covered in the news as a conflict between tradition and modernity, or between India’s northern and southern centres of power. The Tamil celebration—in which men wrestle with bulls in an …

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Beef in Sheep’s Clothing

A chef spills the beans about serving beef in India. ♦ Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals , where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house and back-of-house about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favourite establishments. This time, a Delhi chef tells us about his beef with the ban. …

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