Category: Indian literature

  • Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Buy Our Freedoms at Juggernaut “With the idea of freedom becoming a distant memory with each passing day, it is difficult to describe the tenor of disquieting times like this. The recently-published anthology Our Freedoms does just that while amplifying voices that hope to make India’s constitutional morality unfailingly stronger. Edited by columnist Nilanjana S. Roy, […]

  • Sundays with The Modern Review

    Sundays with The Modern Review

    (Note: The Modern Review archives run from 1907, when it was founded by Ramananda Babu, to the 1960s. Since this volume was intended to commemorate Ramananda Chatterjee, we looked only at volumes published between 1907 to 1943, the year of his death, and included a few articles from the August 1947 issue as well. Patriots, […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Swadeshi Essence and asli nationalism

    Speaking Volumes: Swadeshi Essence and asli nationalism

    The firm of Kundoo & Chatterjee, of Cornwallis Street, Calcutta, did a brisk trade in “Swadeshi Essence” in the 1920s. They offered essence of moharaja bukul, moharaja dildaria (“it really makes mind cheerful”), motia, chameli, white rose, cherry and Indian Bouquet: “It is in no way inferior to the Foreign Cashmere Bouquet and is long-lasting.” […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Beyond Human

    Speaking Volumes: Beyond Human

    One way to find out what an elephant is saying to you is to drop by the Elephant Gestures Database. Is the pachyderm in your life attentive, ambivalent, defensive; soliciting play or simply asking you for more spacial proximity? Joyce Poole and Petter Granli started the online database in 2009, based on over three decades […]

  • The Creative Life: Arunava Sinha, Translator

    The Creative Life: Arunava Sinha, Translator

    Arunava Sinha’s bio says: Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Eighteen of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Bloodlines and Revolutions

    Speaking Volumes: Bloodlines and Revolutions

    (Published in the Business Standard, July 28, 2014) It is often forgotten these days that the history of Indian writing in English was built on memories of rebellion, the hope of revolution and a deep anger at the ways in which Indians were their own oppressors. This summer, two novelists – Meena Kandasamy and Neel […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Unbleaching the First World War

    Speaking Volumes: Unbleaching the First World War

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 11, 2014) Mall Singh’s voice carries from 1918 across to this century, telling the story of the First World War as it is only now being told: “There was once a man. He used to eat butter in his native Hindustan. This man then came into the European war […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Reclaiming the past

    Speaking Volumes: Reclaiming the past

    (Published by the Business Standard, May 19, 2014) When I saw that the Murty Classical Library had released its first five titles, it jogged my memory about my MRI-inspired reading project. There are few art materials as beautiful and as disturbing as MRI scans of the human brain. Angela Palmer’s art uses engraved details from […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The messy bits

    Speaking Volumes: The messy bits

    (Published in the Business Standard, May 5, 2014) At the Chor Bazaar in Old Delhi, you used to be able to find Hindi film posters, record album art and what I classified as Readymade Families: discarded photographs gathered in shoeboxes and cardboard boxes. In a faded pink cardboard box the colour and size of a […]

  • (Published in the Business Standard, April 30, 2014) In the great city of Varanasi, there lived a weaver of threads and words, who sent out his poems like incendiary drones into the comfortable world of the Kazis and the Brahmins, neither of whom had much liking for Kabir. The weaver’s verses preached the love of […]