This is a collection of forty-nine articles, transcripts of speeches and lectures by a former diplomat divided into seven sections of seven pieces each; seven to represent the sapta-chiranjeevi or seven immortal beings in the Hindu pantheon; each section carries a helpful subtitle, Hanuman as the first Indian diplomat to be sent abroad, Vibheeshana who stands for righteousness and so on.
Given the plethora of debates that have come up in the last few years on the stability of Pakistan, Pakistan: Making The Economy Move Forward, makes an attempt to address this key stability-instability paradox, by critically examining the strengths and faultlines of Pakistan’s economy.
This book is based on the karkhanajat papers comprising roznama or roznamcha (daily ledgers), arhsatta (provide details on income and expenditure), siyah (lists details on the raw material in a karkhana), taujih jama kharch (gives details on raw material, the process of manufacturing and finished items, remarks on the wages and the operational techniques of the craftsmen) and rare documents available in the Town Hall Museum at Jaipur and the Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner.
Amidst the resurgence of regional and local forces, the poets, performers, merchants and scribes found new and diverse sources of patronage, and as they travelled around in search of patrons and opportunities, they came in touch with, and interacted with new ideas and worldviews, creating in the process a hybrid and multilingual space.
In 2002, when I took up a posting in London with the Indian High Commission, Ziauddin Sardar, already established as one of Britain’s leading public intellectuals, was one of the most interesting voices in the argument that overshadowed all others, on whether the West, led by the US with the UK in tow, should invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
Peter Pannke, the author, a German from Cologne, stumbled across an L.P. re cording of dhrupad maestros Nasiruddin and Aminuddin Dagar made by the legendary Alain Danielou in the 1960s for UNESCO. Something about the music struck a chord, he was reminded of free-flowing blues and jazz vocalists.
n the Preface to his book, A Gathering of Friends, Ruskin Bond mentions his critics, the ones who have sometimes felt that his stories are less stories, more character sketches, for want of a plot. In his inimitable style, with gentle humour, he points out, that life doesn’t come with a plot. One can imagine him, glint in his eyes from the witticism, continuing tell the everyday tales of life, from the observable and plausible, to the fantastical. Bond has been an intrepid chronicler of life in the slow lane.