Last week I caught up with Shubhum Mishra, a cartographer/geographer/urban planner, in Sundar Nursery – a Mughal garden turned colonial green house spanning 70 acres in the heart of Delhi – that shall should be open to the public sometime next year.
Shubhum has just transliterated Intizar Husain’s famous book – Dilli Tha Jiska Naam – from the original Urdu/farsi script to devnagari, in the hope of making this incredible resource more accessible to north Indian readers. In this conversation he reads excerpts from the book and I asked him why modern Indian cities are so spectacularly ugly.
Listen in for a fascinating description of Chandini Chowk and “Old Delhi” – back from when “Old Delhi” was the only Delhi around. Shubhum will respond to comments on the site. His book is now available in most book stores around the city and you can buy it here
In summer, Delhi’s fancy turns grimly to thoughts of thirst.
How can a mega-city provide a safe and sustainable supply of water to its 24 million residents? How has it done so in the past? What do we lose when we turn our backs on a river, turn our streams into sewers and lay concrete over our ponds?
In this conversation, Sohail Hashmi summons the Delhi of history, and the Delhi of his childhood through recollections of the Yamuna, ponds, streams, and the Urdu Bazaar where everyone had a favourite well from where they drew their daily sustenance.
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At the JNU rally in Delhi yesterday, I caught up with JNU alumni and historians, Rana Behal and Mukul Mangalik and asked them about their experiences as students at JNU in the 1970s (Behal) and 1980s (Mangalik) and what brought them to Mandi House on a damp, but pleasant, thursday afternoon.
Continue reading JNU: 1975, 1983 and 2016: Two interviews