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The Caravan

The Caravan January 2020

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The Caravan is India’s first narrative journalism magazine. Stories are reported in a style that uses elements usually reserved for fiction—plot, characters, scenes and setting—to bring the subject to life. Like The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Granta, the context of a Caravan story is something more substantial. In India, this niche—one for the intellectually curious, the aesthetically inclined and the upwardly mobile, has remained vacant. That is, until The Caravan.

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Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte LTD
12 Issues

in this issue

7 min.
faith and fiction

“We felt strange and insecure in a society where religious animosity had reached unmanageable proportions.” Sushil Srivastava, a professor of medieval and modern history at Allahabad University, wrote these words in the preface to his 1990 book, The Disputed Mosque: A Historical Inquiry, an account of the nineteenth-century origins of the communal dispute that would culminate in the destruction by a Hindu mob of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, on 6 December 1992. When I met Srivastava, shortly before his death earlier this year, he was living those words, feeling strange and insecure in a society governed by those forces of religious animosity. His professional career had been derailed in the years since he wrote the book, and he had been threatened with violence. His book itself, and the history it…

6 min.
songs of the south

On a July night in Bengaluru, I sat down at a local microbrewery with Walter Hakala, the director of Asian studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Over beer, he told me about his latest project: a study of the Deccan region’s Urdu inscriptions. He explained his findings, observations and spoke of the different far-flung corners of the Deccan his research had taken him to. The story of one inscription in particular—in northern Karnataka—sparked off a quest of my own. Once one of the subcontinent’s most politically and culturally important cities, Bijapur is now a small town, peripheral to the centre of regional power, located over five hundred kilometres away from the state capital. It is home to a host of historically and architecturally significant mosques, palaces, stepwells…

6 min.
open and shut

At the dive bar in front of the screening centre for migrants in Marsa, a town in southeastern Malta, time passes by slowly. To kill time, one plays dominoes or billiards, or tries to catch a glimpse of the open sea beyond the rusty ships docked at the harbour. Everything here, whether the languages people speak or the spicy scent of the meat on the grill or the warm and dry wind, is reminiscent of Africa. Yet, Malta plays its role as a southern portal to Fortress Europe. Thousands of refugees have made their way to this island nation over the years and found themselves confined here, awaiting a tenuous future. Their exact number is unknown even to humanitarian organisations that support asylum-seekers. Among these organisations, one of the most active…

4 min.
get over your reader's block with storytel

Everybody knows about the writer’s block but few seem to be aware about the reader’s block. Well, it is that period when one cannot read books. You seem to lose all interest even in the most gripping novels and it has had been more than a year and a half since I had touched a single book beyond my course books. Leisure reading seemed a luxury and I did not even have the time to properly sleep. Stacks of pending assignments, tons of tests and to top it all the incomplete syllabus. My reading habit had somehow died down the lane. There was no more excitement of buying new books from the book fair. The unread books were dusting away in the bookshelf. And then one day a friend announced…

1 min.
here are some of the must audiobooks to check on storytel in 2020:

1. Twin Beds 2. The Story of my Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi 3. Godan by Premchand 4. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas 5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 6. Ikigai 7. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare 10. Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 11. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery 12. The Teachings of Swami Vivekananda 13. The Ivory Throne 14. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 15. Moby Dick by Herman Melville 16. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 17. Emma by Jane Austen 18. Gulliver’s Travel by Jonathan Swift 19. Harry Potter Series by J.K.Rowling 20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee…

12 min.
lands of the gods

The decades-old Babri Masjid–Ram Janmabhoomi case has come to be the most intractable property dispute of our times. Most reports locate the starting point of the conflict at 1949, when Hindu idols were surreptitiously placed under the central dome of the Babri Masjid in the dead of the night. Years later, in 1984, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad started the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, mobilising Hindus across the country to build a temple on the disputed site. It ultimately led to the destruction of the mosque by mobs of kar sevaks—religious volunteers—in 1992, and communal bloodletting that left at least two thousand dead. On 9 November 2019, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court pronounced the eagerly anticipated final verdict on the resulting legal dispute. In a unanimous judgment, the court maintained that…