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sarees tell stories

the nizam of mangalgiri

i didn’t even wait to iron a blouse. i had to wear one of the five sarees instantly. my husband had just returned from his trip to the chilli fields of india in guntur and cuddalore with bags of dry red chilli and the sarees. there they were, the sheets of newspaper around which they’d been folded lay on the floor, i had shaken them out impatiently. there was no carry bag or box. when he said to me he’d…

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have you seen the koh-i-noor?

again a clamour for its return starts. and now i am older, even if not wiser, and i must see it’s not as simple as it looks. or looked, when i was eight and nine and ten, even twelve and thirteen and was told an uncomplicated, straightforward thing: the koh-i-noor diamond is the most beautiful diamond in the world and it belongs to us… first nadir shah stole it and then the british. for some reason quite unfathomable, but then…

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