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Podcast #24

Book trailer of ‘Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi’ by Swapna Liddle

What we know today as Chandni Chowk was once a part of one of the greatest cities of the world—the imperial city established by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the seventeenth century, and named after him—Shahjahanabad. This is the story of how the city came to be established, its grandeur as the capital of an empire at its peak, and its important role in shaping the language and culture of North India. It is also the story of the many tribulations the city has seen—the invasion of Nadir Shah, the Revolt of 1857, Partition.

Swapna Liddle draws upon a wide variety of sources, such as the accounts of Mughal court chroniclers, travellers’ memoirs, poetry, newspapers and government documents, to paint a vivid and dynamic panorama of the city from its inception to recent times.

Click here to get your copy of Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi.

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‘In 1987 after leaving Lahore I was driving a taxi in Minneapolis (USA) when I [happened to] pick up a Pakistani. He was the son of a wealthy influential family and basically the story of Jack/Yaqub in the book is roughly his story. He hated his father, Pakistan and had become a criminal. But when I asked him why he didn’t return to Pakistan he told me he would rather die than go back…’Click here to read an excerpt from the interview of Nate Rabe with Images.

‘I wanted people to move past the idea of Indian food being greasy, spicy-hot food you got for cheap in a dive. I wanted them to explore beyond samosas, tandoori chicken, naan and tikka masala, which were all delicious, but only represented a tiny portion of India’s rich culinary diversity.’
In Shared Tables, Kaumudi Marathe shares family stories and recipes from Pune to Los Angeles.

‘In The Ring of Truth: Myths of Sex and Jewellery, she takes us from the good girl trope of Doris Day and bad girl trope of Marilyn Monroe to William Shakespeare to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, with little asides on French history, Indian mythology and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn along the way.’
Kaveree Bamzai, DailyO lists out six things from the book to know about sex, jewellery and some popular Indian myths.

Reviews

India Dissents: 3,000 Years of Difference, Doubt and Argument edited by Ashok Vajpeyi leaves you with thoughts that make you understand the value of Indian citizenship, while at the same time questioning what the leaders have dragged it down to.’ Click here to read the full review.

‘I did not want the book to end is what I have to say after completing Ruskin Bond’s Lone Fox Dancing, My Autobiography. Enamoured of his writing skills, I have always enjoyed reading Ruskin Bond, but his endearing autobiography, which allows readers to get further up close with the author, weaves an enchanting web from which they may find hard to break free.’ Book review of Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography by Ruskin Bond.

‘India was home and yet he was alone, England was never something that attracted him and though, as a 17 year-old he did go and spend four years in London, at heart was the determination and the conviction that he would return “home” to India. And return he did… Mostly alone, looked after by maids and cooks, they still preferred to stay on in the new India. The book provides fascinating insights into the kind of low level British who have rarely been written about.’ Book review of Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography by Ruskin Bond.

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