It is probably not surprising that historian and writer William Dalrymple chose Mehghani as the setting for his farm. A historic site in Delhi exudes everything a historian who is fascinated by India’s past is looking for. And here Dalrymple spends time with his wife, the artist Olivia Fraser, and their two children.
This is the fifth week I haven’t left the gate of my house, he said. Dalrymple is quite autonomous when it comes to organizing everything needed when someone is excluded. We grow our own vegetables, we have our own bees that provide us with honey, we have goats for the milk, he says, and we emphasize that we are completely self-sufficient, because all he needs now is to give. My wife is an artist and I’m a writer. My work is under lock and key. My two boys are here and my daughter is in Somerset, he adds.
In general, I think that the Indian government, unlike the British or American government, acts quickly and effectively.
The author adds that some mistakes were made because the blockade was so sudden that the fate of the migrants remained in limbo. But the extent and severity of the blockade, he says, means that it has not spread in the same way here as in other countries. India is a big country, with many poor people living side by side. It could have been the apocalypse. But because they acted as fast as they did, they reduced the impact. In general, I think that the government, unlike the British or American government, acts quickly and effectively.
This is the website of the @JLFLitfest #BraveNewWorld… Click on the author for full information about upcoming sessions or YouTube videos we have already had:
– William Dalrymple (@DalrympleWill) 21. April 2020.
Last year the author published his most successful and acclaimed non-fiction book – Anarchy : East India Company Corporate Violence and Empire Pillar, which was mentioned in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s favorite books.
What happens then?
Dalrymple is currently working on his next book, which he describes as probably more ambitious than anarchy. It is divided into three parts and focuses on the way Indian culture and ideas spread around the world, not through conquest but through their extraordinary refinement.
Dalrymple says anarchy has been his most successful work to date…
Dalrymple’s next step is the spread of Indian ideas in the millennium after 250 B.C. that focus on three major Indian thought systems that will first change Asia and then the world:
- The history of the spread of Buddhism in China, which culminated in its transformation into a state religion under Empress Wu Zettyan, will be the first part.
- Then the expansion of Hinduism in Southeast Asia, which culminated in the construction of Angkor in Suryavarman, is the subject of the second part.
- Finally, the whole history of Indian mathematics, numbers, the decimal system and astronomy, for example from Gupta Udaigiri to Abbasid Baghdad and thus, via Fibonacci, to Europe, will be the subject of the third part.
The question is how Indian ideas and Indian soft power spread to Asia and then to Europe in Late Antiquity. Just as Greek ideas spread first in Turkey and then throughout Europe, so in the 18th century Greek ideas spread throughout Europe. For centuries all buildings in Scotland, Sweden and Norway were built in the classical Greek style. Indian ideas spread, not by conquest, not by colonization, but by the power of their refinement, which conquers Asia. So the first part is about how Buddhism traveled north through modern Pakistan and Afghanistan to western China and then became the state religion of China around 700, he explains.
Indian ideas conquered Asia, not by conquest, not by colonization, but by the power of their refinement.
The second part is in South India and was opened by the Pallava Dynasty. It will start in South India, in the big city of Kanchipuram and the port of Mahabalipuram, because from this part of India Hinduism has erupted in Southeast Asia and conquered Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Moreover, Sanskrit stretches from Kandahar, which comes from the Sanskrit word Gandhara, to Singapore, which is Singhapura. It also examines how Sanskrit became the language of government and kingdom, of learning and civilization, according to the author.
And the third concerns Gupta’s ideas on astronomy and mathematics, which were developed in the thirteenth century. century in Florence Fibonacci were used. It all starts with the opening of the Royal Observatory Udayagiri and how these ideas eventually spread throughout Europe, because in the 13th century the Udayagiri people were the first to get the idea of the Udayagiri Observatory. In Florence in the 19th century, Fibonacci used the decimal system and the Indian numerical system, explains Dalrymple.
JLF Brave New World
Margaret Atwood, Booker winner, in conversation with Megha Mujumdar
Dalrymple is also coordinating a literary festival in Jaipur, of which he is co-director with Namita Gokhale, who has put together an online cast with such famous names as Margaret Atwood, Jumpa Lahiri and Neil Gayman that he finds incredible, adds Dalrymple: All the lead authors we wanted to have said yes.
We started with Siddhartha Mukherjee, who we haven’t had since he won the Pulitzer Prize. We had him when he was young and unknown.
We started with Siddhartha Mukherjee, who we haven’t had since he won the Pulitzer Prize. We had him when he was young and unknown. And he’s on the front line when it comes to finding a cure for the crown. We’ve had Peter Frankopan predict it in six months. We have Alain de Botton. We also have Margaret Atwood and Neil Gayman, Jumpa Lahiri and many others, he adds.
One of the greatest writers of our time, @MargaretAtwood, discusses with a Harvard graduate and John Hopkins, editor of Catapult @MeghaMaj, the power of language, the science of storytelling and the challenges of modernity. #JLFBraveNewWorld @Teamwo https://t.co/8eFXrgBiOY
– @JLFLitfest (@JLFLitfest) 22. April 2020
Dalrymple’s recommendations (in his own words)
Robert McFarlane Lowlands: This is his main job, a job that took him almost 10 years. Although darker than his early books, it is as rich as anything he has ever written, blessed with Sebald’s scholarship, Bruce Chatwin’s stylistic happiness and Patrick Lee Fermor’s vocabulary and syntax.
Murder Patients: The true story of the Anita Anand Massacre, Revenge and Raja: This is a beautiful and brilliantly researched non-fiction thriller that tells an extraordinary story that has never been well told before. The revolutionary Udham Singh from Punjabi, a Sikh orphan radicalised by the Amritsar massacre, has spent his whole life chasing a man he eventually brought to justice, the former Governor of Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dwyer. Eventually he killed him during the first months of the Second World War in London during a public meeting.
Through remarkable research in archives around the world, Anand has reconstructed much of his life, from his beginnings in rural Punjab to his radicalization in Jillianvall Bagh and his subsequent journey to the international Indian revolutionary underground in Nazi Germany, Bolshevik Russia and, perhaps most surprisingly, California in the 1920s.
The Kingdoms of Faith – A New History of Islamic Spain, written by Brian Cutlos:. It was exactly what I needed at a difficult time and it helped me to place myself in the orange glory of Islamic Spain in the golden age of Andalusia. I have always imagined the world of the Spanish Laquista as a crude binary affair in which the Catholic princes bravely fight, in chains, against their sinful and sensual Muslim rivals. Cutlos rather shows the intimate interactions that took place between the two worlds, with the Muslim kings of Seville who, together with their Moorish friends in Granada, resisted Christian rivals and tried to imitate the luxurious life of their refined Moorish contemporaries in the Alhambra in their building projects and their way of life. Why would a Castilian king design his palaces like his unfaithful enemies? Cutlos wonders. For the simple reason that he didn’t see it that way.
Efforts: The ship and the attitude that changed Peter Moore’s world: He immersed me in a completely different world. The story of the humble collapse of the Whitby Coal, which became famous in the 1770s as the ship on which Captain Cook sailed to Australia and the surrounding South Seas. Moore is a dazzling newcomer to the stage. A witty, intelligent and extremely entertaining writer, whose prose, with seductive frankness, can convey the groans of the oak trunks and the tension of the canvas. He allows us to think in his mind what exactly should have been on board such a voyage, but most beautiful are his pen portraits of the people on board, especially the impetuous and pioneering botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who works rigorously with Linnaean on the edge of human knowledge.
Summer Islands: Philippe Marsden’s Voyage of Imagination: On the Summer Isles, brilliant English fashion designer Philip Marsden climbed an old wooden sloop and sailed north from his home in Cornwall, on the west coast of Britain and Ireland, to the Summer Isles, a small archipelago north of Scotland. It is one of the most brilliant, creative and attractive travel books I have read in a long, long time.
When you think about the most attractive destinations, the Portland Trail Blazers do not exactly stand out. They’re not what you’d consider to be a big-market team, and as such, they have not always been successful when it comes to luring the best available free agents in the market.
Nonetheless, this team has actually had a relatively successful history when it comes to success in the free agency market. There have been no Kawhi Leonards or LeBron Jameses, but still, the Blazers have had their fair share of success. Today we take a look at five of the best free-agent signings in Portland Trail Blazers history.
Probably only the most avid of Blazers supporters will know about Dave Twardzik and his contributions to the franchise. He signed with Portland as a free agent in 1976 and spent four successful seasons with the team until retiring in 1980.
In his first season with the Blazers, Twardzik helped the team to their one and only NBA title in franchise history. That year, the 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals in 26.2 minutes played per contest.
Twardzik made one All-Star appearance in his career, but this was during his time with the Virginia Squires — prior to signing with the Blazers.
Kenny Anderson, himself a one-time All-Star as well, was a Blazer for just a season and a half. It was a short-lived stint, but he made it count. Anderson made such an impact in the team, that we can’t not include him on our mm list here today.
Anderson signed with the Blazers as a free agent in 1996. In his only full season with Portland, he arguably had the best campaign of his entire career. In 82 games mm played during the 1996-97 season, Anderson put up 17.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 2.0 steals, while also connecting on 1.6 triples per game on a 36.1-percent clip.
Portland went 49-33 that year to lock a place in the playoffs but fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, 3-1 in the first round.
The following season, Anderson was included in a trade deal to the Toronto Raptors that centered around Damon Stoudamire.
Fondly remembered for his awesome dreadlocks, Brian Grant was also a highly-reliable big during his stint with the Blazers. This began in 1997 when the former eighth overall pick signed with Portland as a free agent, after spending the first three seasons of his career with the Sacramento Kings. The Blazers went on three consecutive postseason runs during Grant’s time with the team, which included two trips to the Western Conference Finals.
In August 2000, Grant was traded to the Miami Heat as part of a blockbuster deal that saw Shawn Kemp making the move to Portland.
Wesley Matthews came into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2009. After a rather uneventful debut campaign with the Utah Jazz, the 6-foot-4 swingman signed with Portland as a free agent. This was where he began to shine.
Matthews became a starter in just his first season with the Blazers, and he averaged 15.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.2 steals, while also knocking down 1.9 3-pointers per game on a highly-efficient 40.7-percent clip.
Matthews was a pivotal piece for Portland during the LaMarcus Aldridge era, as well as during the onset of the Damian Lillard years. Unfortunately for the team, Matthews became such a sought-after name when he entered free agency in 2015, that they were unable to keep him. Salary cap constraints factored in on Matthews’ exit. He ended up signing a hefty deal with the Dallas Mavericks, and that marked the end of his five-year spell in Portland.
Last but not least, we have 6-foot-3 guard Rod Strickland. The former 19th overall pick spent the first four years of his career with the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs, before signing with Portland as a free agent during the 1992 offseason.
It could be argued that the Blazers had Strickland during his prime. In four seasons in Portland, he averaged 17.0 points (on 47.3 percent from the floor), 4.5 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. He was one of the best playmakers of his time, and he had his best years in Portland.
Ironically, Strickland had his best individual season right after the Blazers traded him to the Washington Bullets in 1996. Strickland ended up leading the league in assists that term, while also being named in the All-NBA squad. Nevertheless, Portland got Rasheed Wallace in the Strickland trade, so it obviously wasn’t all that bad. Even upon his departure, Strickland was able to contribute to the franchise indirectly, which makes him a winner in any Blazers faithful’s book.