Dining with the Maharajas explores cuisines that are prepared and passed down for generations in the royal houses of India
highness had to have money for his Arabian Nights palaces, his host of
beautiful women, all of whom seem to have adored him, his parks full
of fantastic animals, of birds from every part of the world, for the
polo and cricket he so magnificently supported, for his jewels and
gold plate, his prodigious hospitality, his fleet of cars, and also
for his boundless personal generosity,’ describes English writer
Rosita Forbes while visiting Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala in
the 1930’s. Ms Forbes and many other great chroniclers of our time,
who witnessed the Indian maharajas in all their glory before the
dictates of time, politics, and public opinion led to the abolition of
the monarchy in India, have captured a bygone era where even the
exigencies of time and money did not interfere in the pursuit of
perfection. Perhaps this drive for excellence was most evident on the
dinner tables of these ruling families. Palace kitchens were
laboratories for producing gourmet cuisine that was the handiwork of
master chefs who channelled love and labour in creating unforgettable
meals and recipes.
A table fit for an
emperor: Ezra Jah and her daughter Shekyar Jah, against the backdrop of the 101-seat dining table at the Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
From Sohni Mahiwal to Mirza Sahiban to Laila
Majnu, the Uruswati Museum of Folklore in Haryana opens a world of love legends while celebrating and cataloguing these folk tales from the days of yore
looks like an old haveli somebody may have constructed to spend
quiet hours away from the hullabaloo of the city life. Its majestic
black doors with motifs carved on them, heavy door frames, brown-ochre
colour of walls and decorated parapet — everything reminds you of
the havelis people would build in the area around Chandni Chowk in old
times to house their large families.
The famous relics of the period of the Raj are on display at a 14-week exhibition in Chicago
may have thrown them into the dustbin of history, but India’s
erstwhile maharajas have a certain mystique that attracts voyeurs the
world over. Whether it is their decadence or opulence, they still have
their TRPs. To showcase their life and times, the Victoria and Albert
Museum of London has brought its famed collection of relics of the Raj
for a 14-week exhibition to Chicago.
‘We can’t afford private coaches’
The Commonwealth Doubles Gold medallist Jwala Gutta is known to speak up her mind
Badminton is in exciting
phase in India. A medal at Olympics, various players consistently
doing well at various international events, recently announced
cash-rich International Badminton League on the lines of IPL, and
controversies off the court have forced even the most casual follower
to take note. No doubt, badminton is the fastest growing sport in the
country. Jwala Gutta, a national champion at 16 and the current
Commonwealth Doubles Gold medallist, speaks to Amit Khanna about
the future of the game:
A quiver full of laurels
Bronze medal winner at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Gagandeep Kaur took up archery to gain fee concessions. Now she dreams of an Olympic medal
Gagan K. Teja
shot to fame with a bronze medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at New
Delhi, archer Gagandeep Kaur has become a household name in Punjab.
She has won numerous medals in various international championships,
including a silver medal in the World Cup in Ogden, USA, last year.
She has been a permanent member of the Indian contingent (compound
round) for quite some time now and her recent performance in the
inter-railway championship is a proof enough that she is here to stay.
Woods are no more dark & deep
Wildlife can only survive if each forester has the powers to work effectively
many tea planters have written a book. However there are exceptions.
Edward Pritchard Gee (1904-1968) was a Cambridge-educated Anglo-Indian
tea planter. He was acknowledged for his discovery of Gee's golden
langur in 1953. His comprehension of wildlife was given credence
because he interacted with the famous ornithologist, Salim Ali. He had
also discussed his observations with S.H Prater, former curator,
Bombay Natural History Society. EP Gee utilised holidays touring
forests in India.
Cruising the Brahmaputra
The mighty river breaks into the plains of Assam spreading fertility and destruction in its passage. Fertility to enrich the flat fields with humus; destruction when it floods forests and farmlands and villages
Hugh and Colleen Gantzer
The river is the
powerful, petulant, whimsical son of the God of Creation. The putra of
Brahma emerges in the highlands of Tibet, shoulders its way through a
narrow gorge, roaring and laden with silver sand and silt, breaks into
the plains of Assam spreading fertility and destruction in its
passage. Fertility to enrich the flat fields with humus from the
wooded mountains; destruction when its load of silver sand clogs
waterways, builds shoals and sandbanks overnight, floods forests and
farmlands and villages.
Climax under wraps
It is tough to keep up the suspense of a crime thriller in these times of publicity overdrive and frantic social networking sites
murder, Kahaani and many other such cases and events were
attributed to the climax of Aamir Khan’s latest release — Talaash.
Aamir Khan had deliberately adopted the policy of under publicising
the film, he reasoned, "Sometimes being quiet also might promote
it. Talaash is an intense suspense drama... so I don’t want
to be talking about the film everywhere. I want the suspense to be
there, that’s part of the promotions," he added.
Kamasutra in 3D
Kerala-based Rupesh Paul is soon coming up with a film on the treatise on sex, whose 3D trailer was released at IFFI recently
India, only sex and Shah Rukh Khan sell. Not exactly a new dialogue.
Neha Dhupia said it sometime ago. But since there is no copyright over
utterances, Rupesh Paul, a filmmaker from Kerala, has no hesitation in
reiterating it either. More so, since he is soon going to come up with
his latest film on ancient Indian treatise on sex Kamasutra, whose 3D
trailer was released at the International Film Festival of India, Goa.
Sure, the film will be graphic enough and he has no intentions of