How Indian magic came of age

by Amit Roy THE Indian word for magic is jadu and no jaduwallah – magi­cian – was more suc­cessful or flamboy­ant than PC Sorcar. Now a new book tells of how Sorcar had to overcome rac­ist western attitudes to become one of the greatest magicians in the world. Empire of Enchantment: The Story of Indian […]

Gilt-edged garden

by Amit Roy INDIA’S CREATION AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW WINS MEDAL IT IS worth returning to the sub­ject of the Chelsea Flower Show for the second week in succession. This is partly because the Indian garden, designed by landscape art­ist Sarah Eberle to celebrate the British Council’s 70th year in India, won the prestigious silver gilt […]

If the shoe fits…

by Amit Roy THE recent Meghan-Harry royal wedding has thrown up a new name in the fashion firmament – Aruna Seth, a designer of luxury shoes. The 36-year-old was born in Britain of an In­dian father, Guru (“Geoff”), and Janet, a mother with roots in Jamaica. She once spoke of the glitzy bracelets she wore […]

Cricket in full bloom

by Amit Roy INDIA AND UK FANS’ LOVE OF GAME MARKED AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW TO BE sure, there are many keen gardeners in the British Asian community, but the propor­tion is not as high as might have been expect­ed, considering so many have come from rural backgrounds, especially in the Punjab. In Kenya and […]

Royal Academy looks forward to ‘golden age’

by Amit Roy THERE is a new place in town to drop in for a drink after work – the “Senate Room” at the Royal Academy of Arts, a unique organisation which is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. It’s great this will stay open until 10pm. The expanded Royal Academy, “designed by internationally-acclaimed architect […]

Tribute to Tessa

by Amit Roy FORMER MINISTER’S LEGACY GIVES HOPE TO OTHERS WITH CANCER POLITICIANS have paid tribute to Dame Tes­sa Jowell, their friend and colleague who died last Saturday (12) aged 70, but I happen to know through personal sources that she was a genuinely nice person. We are often critical of aspects of life in this […]

Putting history in today’s time frame

by Amit Roy IF YOU are comfortably seated, here is your starter question for 10: what row unites Oxford and Aligarh Mus­lim universities? The answer is, of course, a con­troversy over removing portraits. Since 1938, the Aligarh Muslim University, a respected educational establishment in India founded in 1875, has had a portrait of Muham­mad Ali […]

Learning election lessons

by Amit Roy RELIEF FOR THE TORIES BUT LABOUR ‘SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER’ IT GOES almost without saying that it is risky to extrapolate the results of a general election from local ones, whether that is in India or in the UK. Nevertheless, the assembly elections in In­dia’s south Indian state of Karnataka, set for […]

Getting to grips with the killing fields of London

by Amit Roy IT SEEMS like the British government has no op­tion but to try to prevent president Emmanuel Macron of France from becoming US president Donald Trump’s new best friend. It has been announced that Trump will come to Britain on a “working visit” on Friday, July 13 – one assumes he is not […]

The Voyages of discovery

by Amit Roy EXHIBITION ABOUT JAMES COOK EXPLORES HIS LEGACY WORD associations being what they are, when any­one mentions the surname “Cook” to me, I automati­cally think of former Eng­land cricket captain Alastair Cook, who has given India so much grief over the years. But last week because of a new exhibition, The Voy­ages (until August […]

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