Oldest hatred

India resonated at both the private and public levels during Tuesday's highly emotional three-hour debate on anti-Semitism in the British House of Commons. The personal anecdotes made me wonder whether it was racist of us as schoolboys in Calcutta to fling rulers at Justin Aaron, the only Jewish boy in our class until one of the Nahoum brothers briefly joined us, and order him to turn them into serpents like his biblical namesake. Someone even composed a verse, "Justin Aaron, king of the Jews/ Sold his wife for a pair of shoes". There was a second verse about demanding his wife back when the shoes wore out, but the words escape me after all these years.
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Equal at last

Perhaps we will now stop referring disparagingly to women cricketers as "Eves", since we don't call the men "Adams". Maybe sports pages will give them as much space as men. Lawrence Booth, the innovative editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2018, has put a woman on its cover for the first time in 155 years. But then Anya Shrubsole wrested victory from the jaws of defeat in the World Cup final against India at Lord's last summer by taking six wickets for 46 runs. It was a heartbreak year for India as the men lost to Pakistan in the Champion's Trophy final at the Oval.
Amit Roy Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

The excellence of opposites

Original Indian drama in English offered two excellent visiting exemplars recently, their content and style at completely opposite poles. Nilanjan Choudhury's The Square Root of a Sonnet, by Centre for Film and Drama (Bangalore), brings science to the popular ken in ways that recall Michael Frayn's Copenhagen and Complicité's A Disappearing Number. Like the former, it extracts the drama in the career of a Nobel laureate in physics; like the latter, it sheds light on the achievement of an Indian scientist about whom our general public knows precious little. The second reason is a compelling one to persuade the organizers, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, to make the edifying text available to school and university students.
THEATRE - Ananda Lal Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

New sounds

The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Italy. Thus, to commemorate the occasion, a slew of cultural programmes were organized across Indian cities. Among these was the highly-anticipated concert of the chamber orchestra, Cameristi della Scala, at the Victoria Memorial on March 16 - its debut performance in Calcutta. Cameristi della Scala has as its members the musicians of the orchestra of Teatro alla Scala di Milano. Interestingly, it often performs in the formation with and without a conductor, and alongside playing chamber orchestra masterpieces from the 18th century to the present, it works actively to promote the works of lesser known Italian composers.
 MUSIC - Nayantara Mazumder Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Lost chance

What, one wonders, is common between the Maiko, performers apprenticing to become Geikos, and the Nihon Teien, a Japanese garden designed on philosophical ideas? The answer lies in the austerity of lines. Yoshinobu Nochioka explored this link in his exhibition, Japan As Beauty (February 5-17), at the Harrington Street Arts Centre.
VISUAL ARTS - Srimoyee Bagchi Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

In Focus

• Alfred Henry Maurer, the American modernist artist, was born on April 21, 1868. He started with realism but turned to modernist styles like fauvism and cubism later in his life. Although there is a tendency to compartmentalize his career into two segments, a closer look at his earlier works will reveal that he always tried to distil the essence of his subjects. The faces in his figurative pieces were intentionally indistinct, making them suggestive rather than descriptive. The abstracted sense of space in his realist work shows his dedication to capturing the nuances of conceptual relations between the setting and the subject. Should Maurer then be considered an exponent of modernism only?
Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Blood on their hands

A political blame game has started over the death of a tiger in a forest in West Bengal. But the real culprit is not just one community
Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Read first; Flop show; Risky fall; Taste of summer

Read first

• Sir - While there can be no arguing that Facebook violated the trust of i... | Read»

Flop show

• Sir - One wonders how the conscience of the prime minister, Narendra Modi... | Read»

Risky fall

• Sir - A report by the ministry of water resources shows that there has be... | Read»

Taste of summer

• Sir - The season of mangoes is here again. This versatile fruit is used i... | Read»

Apr 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Where life flows quietly

The following extract is being reproduced with permission from the Kalpanirjhar Foundation
Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

More shades than one

THE ISLAMIC CONNECTION: SOUTH ASIA AND THE GULF Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurence Louër Viking, Rs 699
Soumen Mukherjee Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Seeing stars

Shreyashi Ganguly Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST


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