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The magical subcontinent

There is so much to learn about the culture, arts and the natural wonders that the Indian subcontinent boasts of. Read these three great new books to find out.

Print Edition: December 30, 2007

There is so much to learn about the culture, arts and the natural wonders that the Indian subcontinent boasts of. Read these three great new books to find out.

Polo in India
Polo in India
THE FIRST COUPLE OF INDIAN POLO
It was the game of polo which brought together the dashing Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur and Princess Ayesha, daughter of the late Maharaja Bahadur of Cooch Behar, who later came to be known as Maharani Gayatri Devi. The Maharaja of Jaipur shared a common interest in horses and polo with the Princess's mother Maharani Indira Devi. The two first met in Calcutta in the winter of 1931, when the Maharaja was a guest at the Cooch Behar family home, Woodlands. Gayatri Devi was then 12 and Man Singh, 21. She was instantly attracted to him, probably also because she had read his description by Rosita Forbes, an English writer, in India of the Princes. Because of his appearance and his charm, his possessions and his feats on horseback, this exceedingly good-looking young man, famous as a sportsman in three continents, occupies in the imagination of the Indian general public much the same position as the Prince of Wales did in the minds of the working men (in England).

Extracted with permission from Roli Books from Polo in India By Jaisal Singh and Priya Kapoor Rs 2,975 / PP 192

INCREDIBLE INDIA
India, with an area of well over 3 million square kilometres, is a continent within a continent. Within the folds of an astounding 5,000-year-old history and vast magnitude of landscapes that include the world's highest mountains, great rivers, long coastlines, deserts and dense forests, is an awesome legacy of man-made and natural wonders— some legendary for long, others no less magnificent but not so well-known. Each is described with details of history and brought to life with vivid colour images.

Extracted with permission from Roli Books from 100 Wonders of India: The finest treasures of civilization and nature Rs 795/ PP 208

GROWING UP IN PAKISTAN

Tunnel Vision
Tunnel Vision

We were a social family when there was just the three of us, going out at least once a week, driving along briskly on Abba's scooter. Ammi sidesaddle in her sari, a fresh flower in her hair, and me tucked safely between Abba's legs in front, a smaller flower in mine. The queen of the Night and her sidekick, my father would laugh a lot as he would watch us getting ready. Actually it was more Ammi getting ready and my mimicking her by her side, a small but determined mirror image. We were regulars at the annual mushairas at one of Karachi's landmark parks. I would be dragged along because there was no one 'reliable' to leave me with; the two Mamus, it was decided, really wouldn't know what to do with a little girl. I didn't mind, the late return usually meant I was allowed to skip school in the morning.

Extracted with permission from India Links (Roli Books) from Tunnel Vision By Shandana Minhas Rs 295 / PP 288

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