BNW Banner BNW Banner

Front Lawn

25 Jun 2021 | 7:00 PM IST

The Climate of History in a Planetary World

Dipesh Chakrabarty in conversation with Homi K. Bhabha

Academic and author Dipesh Chakrabarty’s latest book, The Climate of History in.... a Planetary World, argues that impact of climate change dismantles deeply ingrained ideas of history, modernity and globalisation. Steeped in historical and philosophical research, the narrative encourages us to view the human condition from a planetary and global perspective to truly understand the changing realities of our times. Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History and South Asian Languages and Civilisations at the University of Chicago. Homi K. Bhabha is Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. His work explores postcolonial theory, cultural change and power. His books include Nation and Narration and The Location of Culture. In conversation with Bhabha, Chakrabarty discusses the implications of the Anthropocene and the way forward.

Read more

11 Jun 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

Bollywood Before Bollywood

Kishwar Desai, Maharsh Shah and Bhawana Somaaya in conversation

The history of Indian Cinema and its deep roots in the Bombay... of yore is a fascinating saga of romance and adventure, creativity and entrepreneurship. A nostalgic look at Bollywood before it became Bollywood with a stellar panel that examines the grit and glamour of the early days of the film industry. 

Kishwar Desai is an award-winning author and playwright who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her books include The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani, Darlingji: The True Love Story Of Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Movie studio executive, film historian and writer Maharsh Shah's first book, part of a  trilogy, is  Zoravar: Book One in the Bollywood Saga. Multifaceted film critic, writer and translator Bhawana Somaaya’s books include Letters to Mother, Once Upon a Time in India: A Century of Indian Cinema and Bachchanalia: The Films & Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan.

Read more

04 Jun 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

Amit Chaudhuri in conversation with Katherine Butler Schofield

Acclaimed musician, novelist and critic Amit Chaudhuri’s latest book, Finding the Raga:... An Improvisation on Indian Music, is an immersive journey through the rigorous beauty and cosmology of Indian classical music and its synergy with western music and the world at large. Drawing on both Western and Indian sources, Chaudhuri weaves together an intricate narrative on the process of finding the raga between life, music and art. Chaudhuri’s books include Friend of My Youth and Calcutta. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds the titles of Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia and Professor of Creative Writing at Ashoka University. Academic and writer Katherine Butler Schofield is a historian of Hindustani music and Mughal India. She is currently working on her upcoming book Music and Musicians in Late Mughal India: Histories of the Ephemeral, 1748–1858. In conversation with Schofield, Chaudhuri reflects on his understanding of the tone and melody that has shaped his life and worldview.

Read more

28 May 2021 | 7:00 PM IST

Neither Settler nor Native

Mahmood Mamdani in conversation with Pardis Mahdavi

Academic and writer Mahmood Mamdani’s recent book, Neither Settler nor Native, is... a genealogy of political modernity based on the idea of the colonial state and nation state being a bi-product of each other. Steeped in research and case studies the book unravels the need to reimagine political communities beyond the concept of majorities and minorities. In conversation with Pardis Mahdavi, Mamdani explores the origins and development of the nation state and the path to a reimagined and decolonised future.

Read more

28 May 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

Born A Muslim: The Population Myth

SY Quraishi and Ghazala Wahab in conversation with Pragya Tiwari

Presenting a compelling and detailed account of the Muslim community in India,... SY Quraishi and Ghazala Wahab unravel the politicisation of their faith from two different frontiers. Quraishi's latest book, The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India,critically analyses the attempts at stoking majoritarian fear around the supposed exponential growth of the Muslim population. Based on impeccable research of the Quran and the Hadith, the book highlights that Islam is one of the first religions in the world to advocate smaller families. Wahab's latest book, Born A Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India, follows the evolution of Islam through the region while delving into the reasons behind the staggered socio-economic and intellectual growth of Indian-Muslims. Weaving together personal memoir, history, reportage and scholarship the book unravels the stigma around the community and the roots of their vulnerability and insecurity. In conversation with writer and columnist Pragya Tiwari, they present an eye opening account of one of the most diverse communities in India.

Read more

21 May 2021 | 7:00 PM IST

India's Power Elite

Sanjaya Baru and Kota Neelima in conversation with Maya Mirchandani

Policy analyst, academic and writer Sanjaya Baru's latest book, India's Power Elite:... Caste, Class and Cultural Revolution, deconstructs the many hues of power and elitism in postcolonial India. An intricate look into the changing political landscape of the 21st century, Baru explores the role of caste, class and culture in the unraveling of a 'New India'. Baru's other books include The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh and 1991: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Made History. Kota Neelima is an Indian author, researcher, artist and political commentator, specialising in rural distress. In conversation with Maya Mirchandani, they discuss the traces of India's power elite in the face of a constantly evolving reality.

Read more

21 May 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

Fiction as Resistance to the Un-making of India

Nayantara Sahgal in conversation with Jayanti Naju Seth

A glimpse into the inspirations and creativity of an outstandingly courageous and... eloquent storyteller. Nayantara Sahgal’s early memoir Prison and Chocolate Cake was published in 1954. She has written more than 18 books and novels in a career spanning over six decades. Her life has been marked by idealism and a commitment to her beliefs. She remains a prolific writer with recent novels that include The Fate of Butterflies and When The Moon Shines By Day. In conversation with Jayanti Naju Seth, Sahgal examines her writing and the essence of her recent work.

Read more

14 May 2021 | 7:00 PM IST

Yasodhara and the Buddha

Vanessa R. Sasson in conversation with Amanda Deckelbaum

Vanessa R. Sasson’s latest book, Yasodhara and the Buddha, is an evocative... story of the life of Buddha as seen from the eyes of his wife, Yasodhara. Weaving together the spirit of fiction and fabulism, this narrative gives us an understanding of  Yasodhara's joys and sorrows, her expectations and frustrations, as she watches her beloved husband walk away. Sasson has a long academic publishing record. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Marianopolis College, a Research Fellow at the University  of the Free State, and a Research Member for CERIAS at UQAM. Amanda Deckelbaum is the Lead Project Manager at SoundFood. In conversation with Deckelbaum, Sasson delves into this journey of finding the female voice in the Buddhist story.


You can learn more about Sasson at


Read more

14 May 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

Stories I Must Tell

Kabir Bedi in conversation with Mayank Shekhar

Charismatic actor Kabir Bedi's candid and moving memoir, Stories I Must Tell:... The Emotional Life of an Actor, is a compelling account of his turbulent professional and personal life. From the fascinating love story of his legendary parents to his own intense relationships with the late Protima Bedi and Parveen Babi and his marriage to Parveen Dusanj, he shares insights into the rollercoaster of his life and the lessons he has learnt. Bedi's career includes roles in Ashanti, Thief of Baghdad and Khoon Bhari Maang, among others. In a compelling conversation with film critic Mayank Shekhar, Bedi talks about the stories behind the stories and the sources of his inspirations and beliefs.

Read more

07 May 2021 | 8:30 PM IST

A Billion Fireflies: Shaping a New Post-pandemic World

Arun Maira and Yamini Aiyar in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy

In a world staggering under constant change fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic,... the fragility of our economic systems are clearer than ever with authoritarianism rising and global institutions weakening. Arun Maira's latest book, A Billion Fireflies: Critical Conversations to Shape a New Post-Pandemic World, calls for a reinvention of the economy based on principles of inclusion, deep democracy and designs of adaptive systems. Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of the Center for Policy Research, one of India’s leading think tanks. Her work sits at the intersections of research and policy practice, spanning the fields of social policy, governance, state capacity, federalism and the study of contemporary politics in India. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, they explore the necessary paradigm shifts that must take place at a leadership and policy level to brace ourselves for the future.

Read more