Dishoom Loves. Issue VI.

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.

We’re watching:—

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.

We’re recommending:—

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. 

Dishoom x Manjit Thapp: The Trailblazers has arrived

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.

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Dishoom Loves. Issue VIII.

The sun is momentarily out again. Calendars are fast filling up. There’s many a thing to do and many a friend to meet. And if we may kindly add to the excitement and the plan-making, here’s our list of what we’re looking forward to in September. 

Memories from the Fringe

While we were at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we caught Evening Conversations, an engaging show by Sudha Bhuchar. We caught up with her after the show to talk about her journey and her views on South Asian representation on screen, which you can read below. And for those who didn’t walk down the cobbled streets of the city or stumble into an impromptu performance this year, we highly recommend it for 2024.

Dishoom Loves Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Each year as August dawns, the streets and rooms and corners of Edinburgh fill with music, art, laughter and song. Wander into grand halls and pokey pubs, as the morning sun rises or in the dark of night, to see creations of every kind as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In honour of this wonderful celebration of the performing arts (and as a little treat), here’s a special edition Dishoom Loves, covering all the acts we’ve circled on our festival programme.

76 Years on, there is still much learning to be done

For anyone looking to learn or read more on Partition, this page holds a series of resources, for all ages, created by people knowledgeable and knowing about such matters. It is by no means definitive – we have simply found them to be useful, inspiring and accessible.