The Princess of Arts

The youngest daughter of Maharaja Sir Churachand Singh of Manipur, Binodini Devi, was a feisty beauty who authored the first recognised Manipuri short story, wrote the script for a film that won the Grand Prix at Cannes, and took Manipuri dance to the world. Yet astonishingly little survives of her work on record

A Man of Leisure

Unemployment, especially without vital assets like breasts and long legs is a great vantage point to find out who still has the time of day to talk to you

Even Gods Must Die

Like children listening to tales of kings and queens, my sister and I would listen wide-eyed to stories of the flamboyant Panditji who sang with great relish and complete abandon. We competed fiercely for standing rights in the wings of the stage when God came down to perform, remembers Shubha Mudgal

The Definitive Guide to Detectives

Crime fiction aficionado Zac O’Yeah on why neat-and-clean armchair sleuths like Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple are just not as much fun as down-and-dirty alley skulks like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade

The Man Who Resides in Music

There are no hardships in the world of music, only pleasure, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur had once said. For all who knew this great khayal singer, a man for whom music was religion itself, nothing could ring more true. On his birth centenary, there couldn’t be a more appropriate tribute to the man and his genius than this article written for his 60th birthday by his friend and eminent Marathi playwright and actor PL Deshpande.

A Tipsy-Turvy State

There are few quite like the merry men of Communist Kerala. From a group’s 27-year crusade for senior citizens’ right to subsidised alcohol to others who shoot off indignant SMSes if a liquor shop delays opening its shutters by even five minutes, Soutik Biswas records the desperation of the Malayali alcoholic.

Sholay, the Beginning

Hindi cinema’s biggest blockbuster officially completes 35 years this 15 August, but it was actually born in 1973 in a small room. Screenplay writer Salim Khan remembers how Sholay was conceived.

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