Category Archives: History

The kind of history that cannot be bulldozed into dust

The al-Barmaki family who worked for the Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad in the eighth century were descended from Sanskrit speaking, Buddhist, Ayurvedic physicians and scholars from Balkh who originally came from Kashmir. Khalid al-Barmaki would probably have been known as … Continue reading

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Flowers and Flower Gardens: Instructions for the Anglo-Indian Flower Garden

“But it is not until he arrives at a bend of the river called Garden Reach, where the City of Palaces first opens on the view, that the stranger has a full sense of the value of our possessions in … Continue reading

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Manusher Ghorbari: Atin Bandopadhyay

“After we had been without food the whole day, my younger brother Piloo came back with news of a network of cucumber vines on a trellis beside a house. He took me to the place in the afternoon and showed … Continue reading

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Today is not Calcutta’s birthday, thank you.

According to the High Court and a panel of eminent historians in 2003, this is not the day that Calcutta was founded by Job Charnock, that sullen Lancastrian who was disliked by his peers but so appreciated as an honest … Continue reading

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright; but for how long?

The destruction of the tiger and its habitat is possibly another of those things we picked up from the British. I mean one would have to first have a pile of dead tigers to then find out that they were … Continue reading

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The Romanovs

In the bleak morning hours of today back in 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs who had ruled Russia for three centuries, was executed along with his wife, Alexandra and their five children by Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg. … Continue reading

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When brothers learn to hate: Dara Shikoh

It might merely be wishful thinking at this stage in time, but I wonder how different the course of Indian history might have been if Dara Shikoh had been allowed to succeed Shah Jehan instead of being brutally put to … Continue reading

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