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The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

The Hospitality of a True Blue Nawab

April 21: Nawab Mir Jafar Abdullah entertains guests in the celebrated Awadhi style of his forefathers. The nawab (title of former rulers of princely states), hosts elaborate traditional dinners for foreign tourists at his grand palace called Sheeshmahal (glass palace), in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow flourished in the 18th century as the capital of the nawabs of the principality of Awadh. It became an important cultural centre for art, music, crafts and etiquette based on the idea of graciousness that may seem excessively laidback today....

Many Ramayanas

Many Ramayanas

Once, Aristotle, the famous ancient Greek philosopher, asked an old carpenter how long he had used his knife. Thirty years, the carpenter replied. He had changed a blade a few times and the handle a few times, but the knife was the same, added the carpenter. Something similar has happened to the Indian epic, Ramayana. Writers in different places and in different languages, have composed the Ramayana down the ages. They carry with them the flavours of local cultures, and each one proudly takes its place in the gallery of Ramayanas....

A New Ancient Civilisation

A New Ancient Civilisation

Where: Central Asia May 19, 2001: Imagine people living in large apartment complexes made out of bricks. Their city may have been a major stop for silk traders that is why they were well off, decked in gold and semi-precious stone jewellery and using fine ceramics utensils. Bronze axes were among the implements used for cutting and carvings on alabaster (white marble) and bone were used as decoration pieces. Doesn’t sound all that different from what we see around us today, does it?...

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