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The Caravan

The Caravan November 2017

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
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
people’s choice

On an evening in early September, in a modest-sized auditorium called “Nirvana Hall” in McLeod Ganj, Lobsang Wangyal stood at a podium before an audience of about forty people. Wearing a crisp white chupa—a traditional Tibetan top—he began by addressing the audience in Tibetan, then switched to English. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “welcome to the Tibetan Music Awards, 2017.” The awards, which honour musicians of Tibetan origin, are held in McLeod Ganj every two years. Wangyal, the 47-year-old founder of the event, has produced eight editions of it, starting in 2003. Winners are decided based on online voting by the public—774 votes had been cast this year, Wangyal told the audience. The 2017 awards were cosponsored by Laughing Buddha Music, a New York-based record company. Dharamshala, of which McLeod Ganj is…

6 min.
driving miss jinnah

One day in the early 1990s, Mohsin Ikram coaxed the watchman at Mohatta Palace—the former residence of Fatima Jinnah, the youngest sister and closest confidante of Muhammad Ali Jinnah—to let him in. The palace is one of the most striking buildings in Karachi, with turrets and domes made of pink and yellow stone, but it lay empty and abandoned at the time. Fatima’s clothes, Ikram said, were still hanging in a bedroom cupboard, and some of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s were in a suitcase nearby. The watchman told him he could take as many pieces of clothing as he wished, as long as he paid him 100 Pakistani rupees per item. But Ikram had come to see the cars: a 1966 Mercedes, parked in the shade of a tree and, inside a…

10 min.
hammer and fickle

An unusual emblem entered Nepal’s political iconography early this August. In Bharatpur, supporters of the southern city’s new mayor, Renu Dahal, sewed together the flags of the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre)—stars and stripes in red and white in the first case, and a hammer and sickle in white on red in the other—and paraded in celebration. Dahal, the daughter of the CPN(MC) leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, won after a partial rerun of an earlier local-body election. The first, disputed run of the Bharatpur vote was held in May; CPN(MC) activists interrupted counting to tear up ballots. Prachanda was then the prime minister, at the head of a coalition between the CPN(MC) and the Congress, and, in keeping with the conditions…

10 min.
counting crores

“Fudging” of box-office collections is an age-old practice in India. The reported box-office figures of Bollywood have long been dispiritingly unreliable. In October 2015, representatives of Indian movie exhibitors—owners or heads of companies that operate multiplexes and single-screen theatres—gathered for a lavish lunch meeting at the JW Marriott Hotel in Mumbai’s Juhu area. Every theatre owner, big or small, had been invited. The host that day was Rentrak, a global media-measurement and research company headquartered in the United States, which had announced that it would be opening an India office in Hyderabad. Rentrak calculates, among other things, box-office figures for Hollywood and other film industries, and claims to track 95 percent of the international box office. It had chosen the entertainment-industry veteran Rajkumar Akella to head its Indian subsidiary. At the Marriott…

63 min.
being salman

ON A COOL, BREEZY EVENING in mid 2017, I was shown into a carpeted tent in Mumbai’s famed Yash Raj Films Studios. The tent was set up in a far corner of the sprawling complex, next to the vanity van of the man I was there to interview: Salman Khan, the Hindi-film superstar, who, along with Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, has dominated the industry for nearly three decades. I sat at a long table and waited for him. I had lost track of time when, suddenly, I sensed a shift in the air and looked up from my phone. Salman had entered and seated himself on a chair across from me. A group of five or six people orbited him—entering the tent, asking him a question, exiting, taking a…

4 min.
mutual funds are ready for the next big leap

India is on the cusp of breakthrough backed by several initiatives like demonetisation, GST, Aadhaar (biometric), rapid digitisation, etc. which will lead to huge growth in the financial savings. As the economy gets more financialized and the awareness increases, MFs could become one of the primary choices for both short-term and long-term investments. Till now, lack of cognizance about financial instruments and prevalence of low financial knowledge resulted in a lower inflow of investments as compared to that in the other Emerging Markets. However, factors such as favourable demographics, rising income levels and ongoing government initiatives continue to make MFs as one of the most attractive sectors in the financial services industry. Mutual fund’s AUM (assets under management) as a percentage of GDP is around 90% in the US, 50%…