This month we gathered together in east London for The Trailblazers– a Dishoom Presents event that shone the spotlight on three rule-breaking women (Rani Lakshmi Bai, Sophia Duleep Singh and Homai Vyarawalla), whose stories were often hidden between the pages of history. Coming away inspired, we're extremely excited to learn about and share the stories of these iconic women. So, this month…
We’re plugging in our headphones:—
To listen to historian William Dalrymple and writer-broadcaster Anita Anand discuss the life of Sophia Duleep Singh on the Empire podcast. The episode follows the Punjabi princess’ extraordinary life from a British society debutante to one of the suffragette movement’s most high-profile voices.
We’re diving deeper into:—
The life of Princess Sophia by reading Anita Anand’s book Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary. Within its 456 pages lies an inspiring story, with photographs of the princess-turned-suffragette’s family and life peppered in between. An ideal companion to a glass of piping hot chai.
We’re deeply engrossed in:—
The story of India’s fearless warrior queen – Rani Lakshmi Bai – by way of the Amar Chitra Katha comic by two women, Mala Singh (author) and Hema Singh (illustrator). While bringing The Trailblazers event to life, our co-founder Shamil Thakrar fondly reminisced about his childhood trips to India where he came across issue No. 51 on the Rani of Jhansi. A bookshelf must-have.
A thoughtful documentary based on India’s first female photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla, who was often found wearing a sari, wielding her camera. Directed by filmmaker Monika Baker, Dalda 13 celebrates over three decades of Homai's work through moments in history, all captured by her trusty lens.
All our friends – young and old – add to their reading list author Raj Kaur Khaira’s book featuring the inspirational stories of 50 South Asian women and their remarkable achievements. Supported by illustrations from South Asian artists like Vinny Soor, Suman Kaur and more, Stories for South Asian Supergirls is a heartwarming read and an ideal gift.
We’re overjoyed to announce that our collaboration with Manjit Thapp is now available. Three most special T-shirts bearing a beautiful illustration of these trailblazing, rule-breaking woman from Indian history. Choose from T-shirts proudly displaying warrior queen, Rani Lakshmi Bai, princess turned revolutionary, Sophia Duleep Singh, and India’s first female photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla.
This limited edition Trailblazers collection is available by way of the Dishoom Store.
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.