/Culture

Culture presents reflections on such non-serious but non-trivial matters as music, literature and travel.

THE LETTERS OF A LONELY MAN


The Hindu

I have been reading the letters of Macaulay, these printed in a handsome volume published a hundred years ago, and edited by his nephew George Otto Trevelyan. Some forty pages of this book excerpt the letters he wrote to his family and friends from India. It was in June 1834 that Macaulay arrived in the sub-continent. [...]

By |2011-10-10T12:50:46+00:00February 18th, 2007|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A SHORT NOTE ON A SHORT ESSAY ON THE SHORT STORY


The Telegraph

The first argument I had with my wife was about literature. We had known each other only a few weeks, but fortunately—in those pre-cable TV, pre-Internet, days—we knew already that boy and girl could find common ground in discussing books and authors. Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children had just appeared, and the lady who was not then [...]

By |2011-11-30T11:43:50+00:00December 9th, 2006|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , , |

THE ARTS OF HUMANKIND


The Telegraph

‘For a sixteen-year-old youth who had yet to begin to shave’, writes Kumar Mukherji in his memoir of life as a music lover, ‘the winter of 1942 would best be remembered as the year when he heard Kesarbai [Kerkar], Roshanara Begum and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan perform’. Were I to recall the year I turned [...]

By |2011-10-10T12:59:11+00:00September 30th, 2006|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , , , |

LOT’S IN A NAME


The Hindu

When Mohammed Yousuf is at the wicket I often stop by the TV and watch, for he is one of the more graceful batsmen now playing. I thus caught snatches of the three long hundreds he scored against England earlier this summer, in the course of which at least two commentators referred to him as ‘Yousuf [...]

MUSIC OF THE GODS


The Hindu

As a rule, this column does not mention or review books recently published. If I make a exception this fortnight it is because the work in question is exceptionally good, and because its author died before seeing it in print. The book is Kumar Mukherji’s The Lost World of Hindustani Music, a wonderful anecdotal history of [...]

THE GREAT AND THE GREATER GAME


The Telegraph

Some months ago, a reader wrote in to dispute my characterization of cricket as ‘the most subtle and sophisticated sport known to humans’. He gave twelve reasons as to why it was football, rather than cricket, that should be accorded this honour. He began by quoting Albert Einstein, who once posited a connection between beauty and [...]

THE GREATEST INDIANS


The Hindu

Speaking to the singer Dilip Kumar Roy in February 1924, Mahatma Gandhi said that he was very fond of music although he ‘could not boast of the power of any expert or analytic appreciation’. He added that he could not ‘conceive of the evolution of the religious life of India without music’. Towards the end of [...]

GHATAK AND THE GOVERNMENT


The Telegraph

My interests, personal as well as professional, are in politics and society; in cultural terms I am more-or-less a philistine. I know a little about literature, a little less about music, and nothing at all about the greatest of modern art forms, the cinema. This column about a film director is being written by a man [...]

THE GENIUS AND THE ARTIST


The Telegraph

2005 has been the year when, by becoming the first man to reach 600 Test wickets, Shane Warne further consolidated his claims to being regarded as the greatest bowler in the history of the game. And October has been the month in which two other leg-spinners briefly shifted him from the headlines. First, an unknown sixteen-year-old [...]

By |2011-10-10T12:58:29+00:00October 29th, 2005|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , |

THE BOMBAY-KARNATAK CONNECTION


The Hindu

The state of Karnataka is made up of three sections, each previously part of another political regime. There is ‘Old Mysore’, the districts in the south which once belonged to the princely state of that name. There is the ‘Hyderabad-Karnatak’, the collective name for the arid northern districts (Bijapur, Raichur, Gulbarga, etc.) that once formed part [...]

By |2011-10-10T13:15:03+00:00May 8th, 2005|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , |