Beedi for the People

The University of Washington Libraries has been bequeathed some wonderful books, magazines, and newspapers from late 19th and early to mid-20th century India in the past few years. One of the delights of going through these items and shepherding them into the collection has been discovering the ads printed in them, and their quick (if superficial) access to other times and places.

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Jana Aranya and India Rising

The Seattle Asian Art Museum recently screened Satyajit Ray’s Jana Aranya (The Middleman) as the final film in a Ray mini-retrospective. It was my second viewing of the film, after some ten intervening years. At about the same time, the BBC began airing its India Rising documentary series. It was hard not to be struck by the radical contrasts in (middle-class) opportunity depicted in them. Continue reading