Somdatta Mandal

Sabiha Huq's 'The Aviary': History depicted by three Mughal princesses and a Kashmiri queen

Sabiha Huq excavates and discusses overlooked texts written by Muslim women and questions the position of women within Islamic cultures in South Asia at large.

Bashabi Fraser’s Critical Lives: Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) needs no introduction for us. As a polymath, he was the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1913.

Educating Lak-shmi, My Maid

When I got married and came to live in my husband’s home in Salt Lake, I found a very efficient maid called Lakshmi already employed there. Unlike other helping hands she stayed for a long period of time in our house and would volunteer to do extra household chores

The Thai Massage

We had gone on a package tour to South East Asia and on the last day of our trip we spent the whole day in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

The College Professor

My cousin Nirmalya was born and brought up in Delhi. He would visit us in Kolkata occasionally while visiting his ancestral home and

The Marriage Proposal: A True Story

When my son turned into a marriageable age, all our friends, relatives and acquaintances started asking the inevitable questions, “When will he get married?”


Since it was my fourth or fifth visit to the US, I considered myself a pro there. When I reached my cousin's home in Hicksville, Long Island on a Monday morning, she was busy preparing to leave for office.


After a month's respite, with the inauspicious Pous being over, the Bengali wedding season has come back with a big vengeance, so to


With the examination season on, people feel pity for the stressed students burning the midnight oil as well as for their parents who, in

Crossing Borders

In one of my trips to the USA, I had a ticket on Royal Jordanian Airlines with a stopover at Amman. I halted there for three days, saw

The Ring of Truth: Myths of Sex and Jewelry

“I started collecting stories and ideas about rings over the years... Over these years, wherever I went, no matter what people asked me

The Craig's List

The newly weds were still living with ramshackle old furniture and gadgets ~ different pieces collected over the years that my son had


Though times have changed, in the several visits I made to the US over the last twenty years, one headache has remained constant –