Bet you didn’t know!

From ‘Debonair’ To ‘Cocktail’: How Hugh Hefner’s ‘Playboy’ Inspired Many Second Cousins In India

Even Before Copies Of ‘Playboy’ Were Smuggled Into India, An Adventurous Publisher Had Launched An Indian Version Of It.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Sep 17, 2017

Bollywood And Bhajans In The West Indies: A Website Broadcasts The Radio Stations Of The World

Radio Garden Puts More Than 8,000 Radio Channels At Your Fingertips.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Apr 04, 2017

The Mysterious Man Who Owns One Solitary Share In The Unlisted Tata Sons

Who Is The Maharawal Of Chota Udaipur? And What’s The Story Behind His One Tata Sons Share?

Originally published in Scroll.in on Mar 28, 2017

Sebastian Malhotra Coe: The Little-known Punjabi Connection Of An English Olympic Legend

Lord Coe Might Seem The Quintessential Posh Englishman. But He Has An Interesting Indian Link.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jan 02, 2017

One Of The World’s Most Iconic Designs – And The Indian Secret Behind It

At A Discussion On The Social History Of The Typewriter At Times Litfest In Mumbai In Early December, The Conversation Turned Inevitably To The Olivetti – The Iconic Italian Typewriter Of The 1960s.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Dec 22, 2016

Decathlete Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner's Story Reminds Us That A Woman Can Win In Men's Sports

Born A Boy, Jenner Always Considered Herself A Girl.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Aug 26, 2016

The Truths, Half-truths (and Untruths) About ‘India’s Greatest Olympic Hero’

Who Exactly Was Norman Pritchard, Winner Of Two Silver Medals At The 1900 Paris Olympics?

Originally published in Scroll.in on Aug 12, 2016

Did Jason Bourne Assassinate His Own Creator?

Officially, Robert Ludlum Died Of A Heart Attack. But There Are Many Unanswered Questions.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Aug 04, 2016

Elon Musk Is Wrong: We Live Inside A Giant Computer Game Only If Aliens Built The Pyramids

More About The Tech Billionaire's Matrix-like Theory, Which Has Created Such A Buzz On The Internet.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jul 02, 2016

Are We Living Inside A Cosmic Computer Game? Elon Musk Echoes The Bhagwad Gita (and The Matrix)

When A Tech Billionaire And Hard-headed Pragmatist Seems To Reprise The Ancient Indian Concept Of Maya, Or Illusion, It’s Time To Shut Up And Pay Attention.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jun 12, 2016

We’re Almost Always Quoting William Shakespeare (without Knowing It)

Words We Think Of As Modern Were Actually Invented By The Playwright Who Died 400 Years Ago Today.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Apr 23, 2016

Meet The Man Who Is Rajat Gupta’s Antithesis

The Former Goldman Sachs Board Member Is Out Of Prison. But Where Is Preet Bharara Now, And What Is He Up To?

Originally published in Scroll.in on Mar 18, 2016

Everything You Wanted To Know About The Greek Debt Crisis

Senior Bankers Throw Up Some Intriguing Insights Into The Drama Unfolding In Europe.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jul 08, 2015

President Obama, The N-word And How Mumbai Plays A Part In Its Complex Social History

'It’s Not Just A Matter Of It Not Being Polite To Say 'nigger' In Public,' Obama Said Recently. 'That’s Not The Measure Of Whether Racism Still Exists Or Not'.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jun 29, 2015

Wait, What, Hyderabad Wants To Build A New Sydney Opera House?

Yes, The Idea Sounds Very Glamorous. But….

Originally published in Scroll.in on Jun 15, 2015

While New York Celebrates Deccani Arts And Crafts, Hyderabad Just Doesn’t Care

A New Deccani Exhibition Has Opened In New York's Metropolitan Museum. But In Hyderabad, Cultural History Continues To Fall Apart.

Originally published in Scroll.in on May 15, 2015

Requiem For The Bookstore Of My Childhood

A.A. Husain & Co, The Hyderabad Bookshop Where I Learned So Much About Literature And Life, Is Downing Its Shutters For The Last Time

Originally published in Scroll.in on Apr 06, 2015

Why Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew Stopped Admiring India

Still, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Could Learn A Few Lessons From The Leader's Collected Writings.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Mar 23, 2015

Malaysian Airlines MH370: Everything You Need To Know About The Biggest Mystery Of The Past 12 Months

Using Occam's Razor To Go Beyond The Spate Of Conspiracy Theories.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Mar 08, 2015

Kamala Das, Veiled

I Was Reading In A Recent Interview Of Kamala Das That She Has, In Fact, Been Wearing Purdah, Off And On For About 25 Years.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Oct 28, 2021

Son-shine City

Did You Know That By Being Born A Calcuttan, You Automatically Have A 0.000583% Chance Of Winning A Nobel Prize....

Originally published in Taj_magazines on Oct 27, 2021

Metropolitan Manners

When In Delhi, Don’t Do As The Bombaywallahs Do. And If You’re In Madras, Do Remember That Mount Road Is Not Chowringhee Street. Each Of India’s Four Metropolitan Cities Has Its Individual Style. So Conform To Form… Change Your Beat To Suit The City’s Social Rhythm And Master The Moves In The Play Of Manners.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Nov 03, 2021

Tashreef Laiye

Behram Contractor Has A Hyderabadi Lunch With The Latifs At Their Home In Banjara Hills.

Originally published in Scroll.in on Nov 03, 2021

The S.I. Factor?

Southern India Seems To Have Produced A Remarkably High Proportion Of India’s Top Mathematicians And Scientists. How Come?

Originally published in Scroll.in on Nov 03, 2021

Macau Diary

Almost Every Las Vegas Company Has Built A Casino In Macau—swankier Than The Original—and Their Earnings From Macau Are Often Double That In Las Vegas.

Originally published in Outlook on Aug 24, 2015

“Help, The Termites Are Spreading”

The Grotesque, The Barbaric And The Kiss Of Death.

Originally published in Outlook on Jun 29, 2015

Harvard Diary

Harvard Was Founded In 1636, While Galileo Was Still Alive, And Academia Believed The Sun Revolved Around The Earth. January 26, 2015

Originally published in Outlook on Jan 26, 2015

Hyderabad Diary

It Is No Longer About The Creation Of A Separate Telangana, But Who Gets The Keys To The City Of Hyderabad

Originally published in Outlook on Oct 21, 2013

The Wrong ’Un Keeps Its Line

Life Has A Way Of Making Its Own Plans For You. And—who Knows—perhaps In The Long Run, The Plans That Life Has Are Better Than The Ones You Make For Yourself.

Originally published in Outlook on Nov 05, 2012

The Boy Who Spoke Elvish

Seventeen Is A Difficult Age To Be For Anyone.

Originally published in Outlook on Nov 05, 2012

The Spark In A Crowded Field

S.N. Bose’s Work On Quantum Physics Is A Direct Ancestor Of The ‘breakthrough’ At CERN

Originally published in Outlook on Jul 16, 2012

Goa Diary

The Key To Getting Gangster Abu Salem Extradited From Portugal Could Arguably Lie In Goa BY ANVAR ALIKHAN JULY 09, 2012

Originally published in Outlook on Jul 09, 2012

Alibag Diary

What A Farmhouse Is To The Well-heeled Of Delhi, A House In Alibag Is To Mumbai’s. BY ANVAR ALIKHAN MAY 14, 2012

Originally published in Outlook on May 14, 2012

Oxford Diary

One Thing One Misses In England Nowadays Is The Wit That Seemed A National Characteristic Up To The ’90s...

Originally published in Outlook on Mar 12, 2012

Going Ga Ga

How Panchgani Made A Rock Icon Called Freddie Mercury BY ANVAR ALIKHAN NOVEMBER 14, 2011

Originally published in Outlook on Nov 14, 2011

Hyderabad Diary

The New York Times Has Listed Hyderabad As One Of Its Destinations For 2011 And Since Then, The City Has Been Seeing A Flurry Of Foreign Travel-writers.

Originally published in Outlook on Sep 19, 2011

Ranthambhore Diary

Ranthambore Is Perhaps The Best Place In The World To Sight The Tiger; They Are Unusually Un-shy Here, And Frequently Seen Even In Broad Daylight.

Originally published in Outlook on Jun 13, 2011

Calcutta Diary

So What Is The Key To The Problem Of West Bengal Caught, As It Is, Between The Devil Of The Old-guard Marxists And The Deep Sea Of Mamata?

Originally published in Outlook on May 09, 2011

Around Midday, From Mt Sinai

What Made Midnight’s Children? Re-examining The Innards Of A Classic 30 Years On, And The Once Capacious City That Inspired It

Originally published in Outlook on May 02, 2011

Mumbai Diary

Mumbai’s Place Names Tell Us A Fascinating Story Of The City’s Life And Times. Some Place Names Are Obvious...

Originally published in Outlook on May 07, 2011

Oxford Diary

There Are Lots Of Gawkers In Oxford These Days—Harry Potter Fans Who Come To See Some Of The Famous Locations Used In The Movies....

Originally published in Outlook on Jan 24, 2011

Calcutta Diary

Here, By Popular Request From My (male) Bengali Friends, Is A List Of ‘Yet Another 10 Reasons Not To Marry A Bengali Girl’

Originally published in Outlook on Nov 29, 2010

Goa Diary

In Which Our Diarist Attempts To Decipher The English Words In Amitabh Bachchan's 'My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves' BY ANVAR ALIKHAN OCTOBER 18, 2010

Originally published in Outlook on Oct 18, 2010

Cyberabad Days

McDonald Is A Story-teller, Not An Expert On India; Nor Is He Particularly Bothered About Getting His Details Correct BY ANVAR ALIKHAN AUGUST 16, 2010

Originally published in Outlook on Aug 16, 2010

London Diary

A London Newspaper Organised A Race Between Three Drivers Equipped With The Latest GPS Systems And Three Seasoned London Cabbies Without GPS...

Originally published in Outlook on Jun 21, 2010

Hyderabad Diary

“Knock, Knock”, “Who’s There?”, “Ramalinga Raju”, “Ramalinga Raju Who?”, “See! You’ve Forgotten Already.” Poor Raju! BY ANVAR ALIKHAN MAY 10, 2010

Originally published in Outlook on May 10, 2010

Jimmy Chew

One Of The Cheapest Things In The Building Is A Meal At Zest—a Steal, At Only Rs 2,000 Per Head.

Originally published in Outlook on Apr 19, 2010

Calcutta Diary

Why Stop At Just 50 Reasons Why One Shouldn't Marry A Bengali Woman? Here Are 12 More... BY ANVAR ALIKHAN FEBRUARY 15, 2010

Originally published in Outlook on Feb 15, 2010

Scotland Diary

Scotland’s Second Most Famous Export—after Scotch Whisky—is Probably The Writer J.K. Rowling... BY ANVAR ALIKHAN DECEMBER 07, 2009

Originally published in Outlook on Dec 07, 2009

Mount Taurus Endures

People Say That Bangkok Has A Blade Runner-ish Quality About It.

Originally published in Outlook on Feb 09, 2009