Category: Literature

Vinod Mehta, A Prince among journalists

Vinod Mehta would have been flabbergasted. He would never have expected such a turnout at his funeral – the most powerful politicians, journalists, writers, cartoonists, artists, everybody except… well, in that exception possibly lay the secret of his success. The fixers and their patrons were not there.

The attendance at the Lodhi Road crematorium is not the only outpouring. Newspapers, magazines, TV channels across the country have not stopped looking at what now resembles a void. Arnab Goswami went to extraordinary lengths to pay tribute to a regular participant. The Times Now channel was kept open the whole morning for phone-ins. Continue Reading..
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Conserving and Restoring India’s Ancient Monuments

In a country like India, with so many architectural treasures from ancient times till now it is a difficult task to preserve, conserve and maintain monuments. India’s first conservationist has to be Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq, who writes in Futuhat e Firoz Shahi, “by the guidance of God, I was led to repair and rebuild the edifices and structures of former kings and ancient nobles, which had fallen into decay from lapse of time; giving the restoration of these buildings the priority over my own building works.” He also repaired the Qutub Minar, which had been struck by lightening and added two more storeys on the top to it. As the reigning Sultan he could do whatever he desired but imagine an ordinary mortal or agency doing the same! In 1803 lightening struck the Qutub Minar once more, and in 1828 Church was put in charge of the repairs. This time around however he came in for a lot of criticism for adding some very out of sync balconies on each of the storeys and a totally out of place ‘Bengali Chatri (cupola). Continue Reading..

Rana Safvi
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Rana Safvi

Reflections — Where are you, O God?

When life begins in the mother’s womb
But, it ends up becoming the unborn’s tomb
When casualness meets convenience
And, fledgling life taken without repentance
Where are you, O God?

When an infant is exposed to the elements to die
And, the perpetrator doesn’t even so much as sigh
When patriarchal society degenerates into insanity
And, the girl child suffers such brazen inhumanity
Where are you, O God? Continue Reading..

Cliff Samuel
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Cliff Samuel