Book Excerpts · Longreads

How Lata Mangeshkar Became the Queen of Indian Concerts Abroad

One day some concert organizers came to my father and asked if they could hold a jalsa where my father Deenanath Mangeshkar, a celebrated classical singer, would perform. I was standing nearby and overheard the conversation. I said, ‘Baba, I want to sing too.’ ‘What will you sing?’ he asked. ‘You taught me Raga Khambavati,…… Continue reading How Lata Mangeshkar Became the Queen of Indian Concerts Abroad

Book Excerpts · Books · short story

Short Story: Intizar Husain’s ‘The Death of Sheherzad’

Short Story: Intizar Husain’s ‘The Death of Sheherzad’ Sheherzad told over a thousand stories and gave birth to three sons in a thousand and one nights. The listener prospered and so did the teller. The teller of the stories, Sheherzad, was granted life through her stories and, in turn, allowed countless virgins to live, virgins…… Continue reading Short Story: Intizar Husain’s ‘The Death of Sheherzad’

Book Excerpts · Books · short story

Short Story: ‘The Transistor’ by Shahnaz Bashir

An exclusive excerpt from Shahnaz Bashir’s Scattered Souls, published by HarperCollins. Set in Kashmir, it’s a story of a man whose transistor triggers paranoia in his neighbourhood. The Transistor Ignorance and impetuosity are inseparable twins as are rumours and misunderstandings—all fused at their heads. With each bullet pumped into him, all his great memories of loyalty to the…… Continue reading Short Story: ‘The Transistor’ by Shahnaz Bashir

Book Excerpts · Books · International

This Is What It’s Like to Be Smuggled in a Wheelchair across Continents in Overloaded Refugee Boats

Nujeen Mustafa with Christina Lamb FROM the beach we could see the island of Lesbos – and Europe. The sea stretched either side as far as you could see and it was not rough, it was quiet, sparkling in the sun and flecked only by the smallest of white caps dancing on top of the…… Continue reading This Is What It’s Like to Be Smuggled in a Wheelchair across Continents in Overloaded Refugee Boats

Book Excerpts

Independence day in Pakistan: An Excerpt from ‘Karachi Raj’

Jashn-e-Azadi came around soon after she concluded the census. Six decades on, the wonder of Independence remained fresh, a miracle that by rights ought never to have happened in the first place. National songs blared constantly on the radio: ‘Ay watan, pyare watan’, ‘Main bhi Pakistan hoon’, ‘Jeevay, jeevay Pakistan’. A mela, held in what…… Continue reading Independence day in Pakistan: An Excerpt from ‘Karachi Raj’

Book Excerpts

The Census and the Merchant Ship – A chapter from ‘The View from Kollam’

The gangway was lowered in silence as the harbour launch that brought the collector, the DSP, his fellow officers, me and the tehsildar from the port to the large cargo ship at anchor some distance away bobbed around in the high swells. […] As we climbed up the narrow gangway along the steep sides of…… Continue reading The Census and the Merchant Ship – A chapter from ‘The View from Kollam’

Book Excerpts

Of Dates, Darlings and Daddies: An Excerpt from ‘Me, Mia, Multiple’

My bladder is pretty heavy by this point, but I am not sure if I should ask his permission to use the washroom. In fact, I am not sure of anything right now. I am not sure if I should lift that cup of tea placed in front of me, lest it rattles in the saucer and makes me…… Continue reading Of Dates, Darlings and Daddies: An Excerpt from ‘Me, Mia, Multiple’

Book Excerpts · Uncategorized

An Introduction to ‘Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets’

In 2003, at a time when politicians and other establishment figures of Tamil Nadu were caught up in a surge of Tamil chauvinism, a group of men and women, setting themselves up as guardians of Tamil culture, objected publicly to the language of a new generation of women poets, particularly in the work of Malathi…… Continue reading An Introduction to ‘Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets’