Excerpts

The Meaning of Civilisation

The Meaning of Civilisation

By Naguib Mahfouz

Click here to buy The Meaning of Civilisation The Scarecrow The scarecrow is a type of effigy meant to frighten, and I use this as a metaphor for the type of bureaucracy prevalent in an administration but which serves a slightly different role. A scarecrow does not, as in the origin of the word, defend crops from birds, but forms an [...]

The Leopard’s Tale

The Leopard’s Tale

By Jonathan and Angela Scott

Click here to buy The Leopard’s Tale One morning, in July 1978, as I sat in my vehicle photographing the Marsh Lions, I noticed another car flashing its headlights, a sure sign that the driver was either stuck or had seen something special and wanted to share it with me. It turned out to be Joseph and my heart missed a beat as he told me that a leopard had been [...]

Shiva’s Drum

Shiva’s Drum

By Chandrasekhar Kambar

Click here to buy Shiva’s Drum. Baramegowda heads Shivapura. Didn’t I say that Shivapura, which only had mythology, entered history with the coming of the British? The first historical figure of Shivapura was Dyamegowda. He was born in the Gownda clan, whose folk had seen small-time glory as subsidiary rulers under the Muslim king of Pashchapura. Gowda’s people had [...]

Comeuppance

Comeuppance

By James Tooley

Click here to buy Comeuppance Near the entrance to the Admissions Block, a senior official in immaculate prison khakis, whose rank I think was Assistant Superintendent (ASP), was waiting for me. There were several jailers nearby, standing with their lathis ready. The ASP was in his thirties and very tall. He stood erect, his face grim. He called me over [...]

A Thousand Yearnings

A Thousand Yearnings

By

Click here to buy A Thousand Yearnings Like many other literatures, Urdu literature begins with poetry. But, like the modern languages of Europe, Urdu had to establish itself as a literary medium in the face of a convention that only a classical language could be a fit vehicle for poetry. In medieval Western Europe this language was Latin. In [...]

Guldaar

Guldaar

By Stephen Alter

Click here to buy Guldaar Islamabad ‘Very old. Three hundred years.’ The Afghan tossed a rug on the terrazzo floor. Knowing nothing of carpets, the diplomat pretended to inspect the texture, his fingers brushing the tasseled border, then feeling the weight of the knotted wool. The first few carpets were traditional Bokhara patterns, with medallions [...]

Is That Even a Country, Sir!

Is That Even a Country, Sir!

By Anil Yadav

Click here to buy Is That Even a Country, Sir! It was the fifth day of the new year. In the afternoon, Yakku looked out of the window of his taxi and shouted, ‘Mr Writer, happy new year has happened in Dhankheti!’ A little joy was also mixed in his voice. The neighbourhood of Malki-Dhankheti was about 200 or 250 metres on the slope above, on the road [...]

The Elephant in the Temple

The Elephant in the Temple

By John Lockwood Kipling

Click here to buy The Elephant in the Temple Yet at the worst there is little more difficulty in decking the elephant than in dressing a fidgety child for church. First he must be washed, sometimes at a well-brink, where, if properly taught, he draws his own water, but an irrigation cut or tank is generally preferred, where the great baby [...]

One Out of Two

One Out of Two

By Daniel Sada

Click here to buy One Out of Two Now, how to say it? One out of two, or two in one, or what? The Gamal sisters were identical. To say, as people do, “They were like two peas in a pod,” the same age, the same height, and wearing, by choice, the same hairdo. Moreover, they both must have weighed around 130 pounds—let’s move into the present—: [...]

Dispossessed

Dispossessed

By Ashwin Parulkar, Saba Sharma, Amod Shah, Shikha Sethia, Rhea John, Anhad Imaan and Annie Baxi

Click here to buy Dispossessed From ‘To See and Be Seen’ by Saba Sharma It is a Tuesday, and this means many residents of the basti will go out into the city to beg for food, rice, money and sometimes the rotting vegetables discarded by others. You take what you get— as Savitri puts it, ‘some people give, other people don’t. [...]

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