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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > From history to books Indulge in these unique experiences this week

From history to books: Indulge in these unique experiences this week

Updated on: 14 May,2023 10:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team SMD |

If you’re a history buff, World History Encyclopedia has all the lore from the past—conquests, stories, and maps that take you back to the battleground

From history to books: Indulge in these unique experiences this week

Syeda Bilgrami Imam

Don't we all enjoy a good love story? Award-winning writer and editor Syeda Bilgrami Imam’s new book Like Fine Wine: Nine Real Love Stories (Roli Books; R695) is that rare keepsake for those who truly believe in matters of the heart, serving as a gentle reminder that love truly wins. The book, Iman writes in her introduction, was born out of a request from a publisher friend for a monograph on her relatives ,“Sir Syed Ali Imam [former Prime Minister of the state of Hyderabad] and Lady Imam [Anise Karim] and their fateful discovery of each other in the year 1918”. From one story, it turned into a collection, where she makes sensitive forays into the real love stories of nine unusual couples. From cricketing legend Tiger Pataudi and superstar Sharmila Tagore, to director David Lean and Leila Matkar, chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Aruna, the book takes us through stories that are replete with serendipitous beginnings, chance encounters and love-at-first-sight tropes. The one story that will remain a personal favourite is that of Sir Ali, a 48-year-old widower, who falls instantly in love with Anise, an 18-year-old high school graduate whose “willowy, erect, curiously collected presence” made him say “without fuss or plea or preamble” if she would marry him.
Available at all leading bookstores

Mapping our history


If you’re a history buff, World History Encyclopedia has all the lore from the past—conquests, stories, and maps that take you back to the battleground. In the past, explorers would pore over maps as they journeyed through the world. Today, you can do the same on your computer. Lovers of history will agree that understanding maps is vital to tracing the footsteps of the past. The ‘Interactive Maps’ section on the World History Encyclopedia website is a great place to obtain a bird’s eye-view of history. If there’s a particular era of history you want to check out—say, 1200 BCE—just type in the date and you’ll get to see how the world map looked at that point in time. If you zoom in, you can click on specific places and read the information compiled about that place. We chose to explore the temple site of Tanjavur, which was the capital city of the Chola king Rajaraja I. The link took us to the place (metaphorically; sadly, time travel hasn’t been invented yet) and we dived into the history of this UNESCO World Heritage site. For all the world history enthusiasts, the website also has maps of Greco-Roman sites, prehistoric locations, and ancient history museums. Although the maps are still in progress, there’s a lot you can learn from them.

The great Bollywood dub

While the launch of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Culture Centre (NMACC) kept social media busy with Reels and memes galore on our fashion forward celebrities, the one Instagram account that we feel was a total paisa wasool during this time, was video creator Aditya Shetty’s @baadshahig. Shetty’s celebrity dubs are always a riot, but his fab edits from the NMACC red carpet will literally leave you rolling on the floor laughing. His Desi Paparazzi video puts the “cooleth Krrish”, Hrithik Roshan, in a spot, as the dub has him “release some gas” while walking the red card only to embarrass his girlfriend Saba Azad who finds his fart smelly, of course. There’s also Shah Rukh Khan’s “paan-troversy”—a hilarious take on the now viral video of SRK enjoying paan at the gala. From Kolkata CM Mamata Banerjee to Rani Mukerji, nobody spares a moment, in Shetty’s video, to remind Khan about his paan habit. There are more such videos, mostly iconic Bollywood scenes, that we promise will leave you in splits. Don’t miss Rekha gasp, almost faint, at the mention of Amitji.
@baadshahig, Instagram

Empty classrooms


A just-released documentary, Children Of Nowhere, by independent journalist Kunal Purohit and filmmaker-photographer Abeer Khan is a unique attempt to decode the long-term impact of the two-year lockdown on education, due to shutting down of schools, particularly in Wardha as the city boasts of a literacy rate of 94 per cent. The documentary makers juxtapose this long-held record by the city with the fact that schools here saw around 30 out of 70 children never returned to school, when they did reopen in January 2022. Due to the lack of a mobile for online learning and with parents who were already financially struggling, we see first-hand accounts of children from the age of 10 to 19 joining the labour force ,as well as girls who were married off before they turned 18. The last shot of innocent faces staring into the camera, while the shot pans out to the haunting instrumental rendition of Johannes Brahmns lullaby “Now it’s time to say good night, good night, sleep tight. Now the sun turns out his light. Good night, sleep tight,” sends chills down one’s spine.
Available on: YouTube

Curated by Arpika Bhosale, Jane Borges, Nidhi Lodaya, Christalle Fernandes

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