Essays

Who is Saibinn Mai for the Bombay Catholics?

By Elroy Pinto. Elroy is an independent filmmaker, researcher, and writer based in Mumbai. His first short film-essay, Kaifiyat (2019) introduces Ustad Nizamuddin Khan’s music and explores the historical and socio-religious contexts of Deccani aesthetics. His writing has appeared in NCPA’s ON Stage, Public Parking, The Satyashodhak, and Shambhashan. The six of us children, withContinue Reading

A Semiotic Storm: The Afterlife of Sir Arthur Cotton

By Gautam Pemmaraju. Gautam is a Mumbai-based independent filmmaker, writer, and researcher working in the areas of history, literature, and art with a special interest in the Deccan. A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani on the vernacular satire & humour poetry of the region is his first independent feature documentary film. He is aContinue Reading

Found Objects: From Colonial Libraries to Postcolonial Archives

By Sravanthi Kollu. Sravanthi is a Postdoctoral Associate at Kilachand Honors College, Boston University. She writes on literature, history, and community with a focus on colonial and postcolonial Telugu literature and South India. Behind every historical account of South India lies a story of tattered archives. Artefacts, manuscripts, pamphlets and paraphernalia found serendipitously, lost andContinue Reading

Fatima Alam Ali’s Intimate Glimpses of Hyderabad’s Mid-century Urdu Writers

By Nazia Akhtar. Nazia is Assistant Professor of Literature at the International Institute of Information Technology, Gachibowli-Hyderabad. Her research interests include the literature and history of Hyderabad, Partition Studies, women’s writing, and comparative literature. Fatima Alam Ali (1923-2020) was a writer of pen portraits (khaake) and humorous essays (tanz-o-mizah) from Hyderabad. Her work offers an untappedContinue Reading

When Princely Hyderabad Looked to Imperial Tokyo

By Tariq Sheikh. Tariq is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. His research interests include the intellectual history of early modern Japan and the history of India-Japan relations. The first floor of the eastern block of the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad houses the “Japanese gallery.” Inside thisContinue Reading

Deccan Vanguard: Rediscovering the Forgotten Revolutionary Srikishen Balmukund and Anticolonial Nationalism in Princely Hyderabad

By Gautam Pemmaraju. Gautam is a Mumbai-based independent filmmaker, writer, and researcher working in the areas of history, literature, and art with a special interest in the Deccan. A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani on the vernacular satire & humour poetry of the region is his first independent feature documentary film. He is aContinue Reading

Telugu Film Songbooks: New Sources for Gender and Caste History

By Rumya Putcha. Rumya is an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia. Her research interests include citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, the body, and the law. Her current book project is entitled, “Mythical Courtesan | Modern Wife: Disembodiment and Anticolonial Praxis in Transnational South Asia” and aims to develop a critical race and feminist approach to South Asian performance cultures.Continue Reading

Forty Years of Agrarian Change: The Fate of One Landlord and One Laborer in a Telangana Village

By R.V. Ramanamurthy. Ramanamurthy is a Professor in the School of Economics, University of Hyderabad. His research interests include agrarian change and political economy of development. He is the author of Agrarian Question: A Reader (2021). I was a child labour, employed initially for cattle grazing work. My own father was an annual farm servant.Continue Reading

Sex, Gossip, and Scandal in 1940s Hyderabad: Aziz Ahmad’s Novel Shabnam

By Shefali Jha. Shefali teaches in Humanities and Social Sciences at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar. She has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and is currently working on publishing her doctoral dissertation on Muslim politics in Hyderabad. Anyone familiar with the zany world of Hyderabadi comedy knowsContinue Reading