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Essay: Gazing up at the family tree

On discovering elaborate shajras, attempting to connect with distant relatives, and learning that your ancestors rode down from Central Asia

The writer’s grandfather, Syed Ayub Raza (Courtesy Lamat R Hasan)
Published on Sep 14, 2023 09:36 PM IST
ByLamat R Hasan

Campus has the right to speak, discuss, debate

There is an urgent need to confront the political forces unconcerned both with education and the youth which has to be educated and not be cowed by them.

 Increasingly, universities are being forced, through intimidation and threat, to become handmaids of political agendas and political parties. (HT file)
Published on Sep 13, 2023 09:50 PM IST

Know your Chinese predictions for this week from September 4 to 10, 2023

Weekly Chinese horoscope from September 4 to 10, 2023: Read your Chinese horoscope based on your animal sign.

Know your Chinese predictions for this week from September 4 to 10, 2023
Published on Sep 05, 2023 04:25 PM IST

Interview: Manish Gaekwad, author, The Last Courtesan – “My mother and I were accomplices in this”

The genre of memoir was the best way to tell Rekhabai's story because she wanted to share her life in her own voice and not through another narrator. She wanted to be honest and truthful, and the memoir allowed her to do that. The process of writing the memoir was enjoyable and brought the author and Rekhabai closer together. Rekhabai would have been thrilled about the book's reception and the attention it is getting. The cover of the book features a picture of Rekhabai performing her routine as a dancer. The process of listening to Rekhabai's life story did not alter the author's relationship with the various places in India that the story unfolds in. The author's experience as a screenwriter influenced the narrative choices made in the book, but the prospect of selling movie rights did not influence how it was written. While working on the book, the author read various books including The Book of Disquiet and Fictions. If the book were to be made into a movie, the author would choose Tripti Dimri to play Rekhabai. Some depictions of courtesans in Indian cinema and literature that stood out for the author include Sardari Begum and Umrao Jaan Ada. The author believes that the stereotype of the tawaif as a sex-worker needs to be more informed. The author responds to gay men who romanticize the lives of courtesans by saying that if they find comfort and expression in courtesan-ship, why not? The author is currently working on a book about their own growing up years in the kotha and a rom-com film script.

Author Manish Gaekwad (Courtesy HarperCollins)
Updated on Sep 01, 2023 08:13 PM IST

Book Box: A trailblazing economist's memoir who helped build today's India

Devaki Jain's audacious life defied conventions, forged global connections, and redefined India's narrative

The Brass Notebook
Published on Aug 19, 2023 10:56 AM IST
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