April 2010

On the Life of the Mind

This was written a little while ago, and with an eye to comment on a report on Pakistani higher education. I think it suffers a bit, thus decontextualized, but hey. The citation for the 2009 report I mention is (I don't know why the footnote or hyper-link didn't make it into the column): Athar Osama, [...]

The Good Times Are Killing Me

See previously, Our Wild Frontiers...

World Exclusive: Lost Verses of Iqbal

C.M Naim sends along a world exclusive to the CM audience about a copy ad written by none other than the Muhammad Iqbal. This is big, folks. If Walt Whitman had endorsed a New England Clam Chowder company, it wouldn't be as big: While looking around in a forgotten public library at Shimla I came [...]


I know all of you are super-busy, so I won't, like, write 3000 words on the 18th amendment's passage or even 2000 words on what I think will forever be known as the Last Summer of Water in Pakistan. So, instead, here are the pictures which really, really deserve a lot of words. All were [...]

Songs of Blood and Sword

I think my favorite part of Fatima Bhutto's Songs of Blood and Sword is the conversation she has with the octogenarian Samuel Huntington at Harvard about her father who took a class with him. It is a brilliant little scene full of awkwardness and confusion. I don't have the book here, else I would just [...]

A Pictorial History of Chai in India

Philip Lutgendorf. Chai Why? The Triumph of Tea in India as Documented in the Priya Paul Collection. Tasveer Ghar, Priya. Yet the triumph of tea on the subcontinent (which continues, in the early twenty-first century, in some parts of South India that once exclusively favored coffee) was a slow and sometimes contested process, intertwined with [...]

In Memoriam, Srinivas Ramachandra Siras

Feb 18, 2010. Aligarh Muslim University professor suspended for being gay. LUCKNOW: An Aligarh Muslim University professor, on the verge of retirement, was suspended after some students set up cameras to catch him having consensual sex with a rickshaw-puller in his campus home, and sent the video film to university authorities. Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, [...]

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