GT – September 01-15 2017


By Staff Writer

TV Series:

The Defenders

Netflix’s new superhero mash up brings together crime fighters, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist under one roof in an action packed series.

The heroes (or anti-heroes) cross paths as they individually try to take on the might of the secret evil organisation known as The Hand. Knowing that they can’t defeat this powerful adversary alone they form an uneasy alliance to defeat The Hand and specifically their leader Alexandra who is played to perfection by Sigourney Weaver.

Egos collide as the heroes must set aside their differences and individual crime-fighting techniques to come together as a team, something they all find extremely difficult to do.



—By Julian Fellowes

The creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes continues to explore England’s past and to look particularly at the class system and the way in which convention and reputation so dominated British society in the 19th century.

The story begins in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in honour of the Duke of Wellington. Amongst the guests are James and Anne Trenchard, living on the profits of new-found trading success. Their daughter, the beautiful Sophia, catches the eye of Edmund Bellasis, the son and heir of the richest and most prominent families in England.

Twenty-five years later, when the two families are settled in the newly developed area of Belgravia, the events of the ball still cause reverberations.


HOT 100


# Song Name Artist
1 Despacito Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
2 Wild Thoughts DJ Khaled Featuring Rihanna
3 Unforgettable French Montana Featuring Swae Lee
4 Believer Imagine Dragons
5 Attention Charlie Puth

Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent sent to Berlin just before the Wall falls, to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and to recover a lost list of spies. Helping her is MI6 station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) a charmingly, unreliable agent with his own agenda, while the KGB dogs her every move.

An edgier and more brutal take on the classic cold war spy genre made popular by adaptations of Le Carre and the Bond movies, this movie is less about substance and more about style as we see Theron kick some serious ass all over Berlin in a haze of neon lights and to the sound of 80’s rock.

1. Dolce Vita Home

An industrial design with curved lines, combined with aluminium and leather together to bring you a vintage sensation in the living room. Featuring shelter arms and retro brown leather, wrapped with aluminum panel, the Spitfire Single Seat is an eye catching addition to your home.

2. Ayati jewelry presents gold plated, intricate designs  

Beautiful handcrafted jewellery is every girl’s dream. Ayati Jewelry makes your dreams a reality with its range of gold plated, intricate designs. The beautiful amalgamation of eastern and western Renaissance  designs is represented in their signature jewellery pieces.   .

3. Imperium Hospitality signs Hotel Franchise Agreement with Starwood

CEO of Imperium HospitalityQasim Jafri signed a hotel franchise agreement for Sheraton Grand Lahore Hotel with Starwood, the leading hotel company in the world. Starwood the parent company of Sheraton Grand Hotel reflects excellence through an inspiring lifestyle with five star plus hotel. We look forward to the new world class hotel coming up in Lahore.

4. Peek freans sooper   

#PeekFreansSooper has officially broken the Guinness World Records title for the Largest Cookie Mosaic in the shape of Pakistan’s flag made with 150,000+ cookies measuring 226.51 m2  (2,438.15 ft2).

By Fatima Sheikh

The latest nifty gadgets are one way people proclaim their status as well as stay au courant. Quench your thirst for innovation and stay updated by checking out the best buys the tech world has to offer

Fov 0 eye-tracking VR headset

Fove 0 is an advanced concept of VR (virtual reality) that is hooked to a gaming computer. This VR headset has eye tracking built in it and can tell where your head is moving and where your pupils are pointed, resulting in a more realistic gaming experience.  The LCD resolution is also higher at 2560×1440 pixels and the screen size is larger. Though it has gotten mixed reviews, the product has generated buzz because it’s a funded project that has made it to the market. It should be worth checking out. Pre-orders will begin in November.


Now you can play your favourite game from childhood, Ludo, via an app on your phone. It’s user friendly so all ages can enjoy it effortlessly. You can play anonymously or with friends. After the Candy Crush phase, this one takes the cake.

Moen’s U connected shower 

Technology was invented for convenience and Moen’s new shower range allows you to turn on and perfectly adjust the shower water temperature from your phone. Yes, you don’t even have to get up to turn on the tap. Just program the shower from your phone to preheat the water, control the exact temperature and duration. The shower is available for $1,160. No more blast of freezing water first thing in the morning.

Airbar for touchless MacBooks

Like Windows, now MacBook has Neonode’s Airbar that allows for touchscreen operations. AirBar is the world’s first plug-and-touch that converts a notebook into a touchscreen.This technology is available on the 13.3″ inch MacBook Air. Feel free to pinch, swipe or zoom your screen.

By Afshan Shafi

White is here to stay! No other colour is as sublime and as classic. Lending a touch of class to eastern and western outfits, fashionistas in the know use white to great advantage. Dressed up or dressed down, make this colour an integral canvas for all your ensembles

Christian D

Priyanka Chopra1


Proenza Schouler

Malaika arora



An essential part of a well dressed woman is her handbag. Bottega Veneta is one such name known for handbags of outstanding elegance and unique craftsmanship. Bottega Veneta (trans. Venetian shop) has had an obsession with its knots since its inception in 1966. But ever wonder what the story behind the classic knot is? Let’s take a closer look at the unique knot clasp and intrecciato design including how it really all started

By Sana Zehra

The design house of Bottega Veneta, known internationally for its quality and artisanship, was founded in north east of Italy in a small-town of Vicenza by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro. The brand has celebrated its golden jubilee—50 years, and is still best known worldwide for its signature design.

“When your own initials are enough”

As the story goes, the unique approach of leather weaving was designed using regular sewing machines originally by Bottega’s artisans. The machines had been designed to sew delicate fabrics but stitching leather required durable machines, which the sewing machine couldn’t handle, resulting in artisans weaving together strands of delicate leather by which they were able to craft pieces with strength and beauty that became a hallmark. Bottega Veneta opened a specialized school in 2006 to train leather craftsmen. Thus, it becomes clear why true craftsmanship and artisans are still the heart and soul of the brand.

We love Bottega for not having an in your face logo and for its classic style, which never goes out of style.

Bottega intrecciato and clasp design is a logo in itself staying true to its brand’s motto, which is: “When your own initials are enough.”

The thin strips of woven leather appear luxurious and simple, but the truth is the basket weave requires hundreds and hours of labour by master craftsmen. Though copied by many designers local and international, the precision and quality is hard to duplicate.

It was a turning point in 2001 when the company was attained by the Gucci group with Tomas Maier heading the creative director of the team in June of the same year. He presented his most critically acclaimed Spring/Summer collection and from there on the fashion house aesthetic design was redefined for a customer who is sophisticated and self-assured.

The new Bottega shoulder bag comes in several styles with the famed knot hardware

Bottega Veneta has ventured into exciting new projects, like fragrance, fine jewellery, watches, furniture, and home accessories while continuing to offer envy-worthy handbags, shoes, eyewear and other leather goods.

Princess charlene carrying a Bottega clutch

The knot is another trademark that is a symbol of Veneta. After joining, Tomas Maier took a look at the old clutch and decided to give it a new look by including the clasp as its main motif and now it’s one of the most recognizable icons of the design  house.

The Women’s Fall 2017 collection introduced the iconic knot to the handbag making it more practical for everyday use and still with plenty of form.The new shoulder bag comes in several styles with the famed knot as a part of the design feature. The Knot is here to stay and one thing is certain: The Knot will never fail to amaze us.

The basket weave requires hundreds and hours of labour by master craftsmen. The Bottega hobo is Cameron Diaz’s arm candy

Nicole Kidman with the iconic clutch

Qurram Hussain, or Q as he’s popularly known as, is a Canadian musician with roots in Karachi; he’s a member of the popular band JoSH, a Montreal-based South Asian band that’s a favourite amongst bhangra lovers because of its fusion music of Punjabi folk with Western pop. Qurram, the official brand Ambassador for Gibson Guitars, has just released his new hit song Aaja Na in collaboration with Maria Unera, as well as the trance track Kama. Q tells Sana Zehra how he makes music

Biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Biggest risk was going into music full time and I believe that paid off so I’m OK with that.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I think in entertainment you have to stick with it every day and constantly come up with new ideas. I’m quite proud of that.

What potential do new singers have to make to make a change in the world?

All artists have a unique connection with everybody that they touch emotionally through their art whether it’s music, etc. Singers in particular have a strong following, They get to have a voice, so if they want to be the instruments of change these are great people to look up to.

If you could play any character in any movie what it would be?

It would be a romantic lead with Deepika Padukone or a villain.

What’s your favourite TV show?

It changes quite often. If I had to name one, it would be The Office (British version).

What’s the best piece of career advice you got?

Don’t give up! It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

No is not an option.

Something good will happen.

  • l JoSH is amongst the leading Bollywood/South Asian bands in the world and has collaborated with leading international recording artists worldwide. l JoSH is amongst the leading Bollywood/South Asian bands in the world and has collaborated with leading international recording artists worldwide.
  • The band’s second album, Kabhi, won four international awards, while the third album Mausam won six international awards.
  • JoSH became the first international band to be chosen to perform in Coke Studio, Pakistan in 2009.
  • In 2006, JoSH remixed Maneater and Promiscuous Girl with the popular international artist Nelly Furtado, and got world wide acclaim for it.

What are you doing right now?

I’m doing an interview for GT magazine and we’re also doing promos for Aja Naa with Maria Unera.

“I love that my roots are in Pakistan. People consider me a Canadian musician but in reality, I’m as Pakistani as I can get!”

Is there any one book that you’ve read as an adult that you wish you could share with your younger self?

That’s interesting. Well, I think things happen at the right time.

To be honest I don’t think that I would have appreciated something as much, had I read it or absorbed it sooner. There is a time and place for everything. So no!

How did you start believing in your own work?

That’s a tricky one. If I’m really having a good time making a song, for example, then I think I’m doing something right.

Have you ever been offered a movie?

I’ve only been offered one role and it was really very bad part so I said no. I don’t get many offers to do movies.

If you post a picture and didn’t get enough likes, would you delete it?

No, I’m okay with not many likes. I’m not a like-fiend.

What was your last Google search?

It was for Aja Naa. I wanted to see who was talking about it and what was being said.

Would you rather be with Angelina Jolie or Nargis Fakhri?

Nargis Fakhri

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever made your assistant get for you?

Can’t share that here. (Laughs)

What would be your room service order on a regular day?

These days it’s very healthy, silly salads and all that kind of stuff but what I would rather it be just like biryani, nehari and four parathas. Unfortunately, I’m trying not to do that these days.

Would you ever wear Kanye West’s Yeezy collection?

Yeah! I wear Kanye West’s Yeezy collection.

If you could play any person live or dead who would it be?

That’s a toughie. I would either be playing Slash or I would be playing some sort of villain.

There’s a saying; “boys rule or they drool.” Which one do you believe?

They do both. I think there is a time and place for drooling and a time and place for ruling.

Spanks or no thanks?

No thanks. Be positive, be yourself.

What’s your I’m so tough I could beat up the rock song?

Animal by Pearl Jam.

What does GT mean to you?

GT means Sana Zehra. (Laughs), Good times. It’s always fun, casual and weird questions. (Laughs)

The Aleph Review, a literary anthology launched earlier this year by Mehvash amin, Showcases the work of Pakistani writers and artists. this vibrant and well put together compendium of poetry, prose and experimental works offers an original perspective on South Asian writing. The team take Afshan Shafi (also a contributing editor on the Review) on their editorial journey

What was the experience like putting together Vol 1 of the review? Were there any revelations or surprises during the editorial process?

Mehvash: Exhilarating, trying, enervating, tiring, uplifting – the first issue was all that and more.

There were some really serendipitous moments, as when Taufiq Rafat’s son Seerat Hazir gave me a thin college magazine, circa 1968, with his father’s seminal essay Towards the Pakistani Idiom in it.

The surprise: how genuinely good some of our young writers are.

Ilona: Putting together this particular issue took a long time. There were various obstacles—not a lack of good writing, as from the beginning we received excellent submissions, but financial and also physical as our publisher and chief editor broke her leg in the early stages of the project.

Mehvash Amin—Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

“All of us are poets”

Despite all the delays, we discovered that even established, senior writers were enthusiastic about submitting their work to The Review. This included local as well as diaspora writers, and artists, since art is and will continue to be an integral part of our publication.

Mahboob: The meetings, the process of reading some excellent pieces of prose and poetry, the anxiety over publishing, and then the exhilaration of finally holding The Aleph Review are going to have a bearing on how I view literature from this point onwards.

Ilona Yusuf—Associate Editor

“Many people are unfamiliar with the development of Pakistani poetry in English from Partition onwards”

I have always been fascinated by the choices which Pakistani writers in English have to face, and the risks they take. To be a part of such choices revealed more complexities than I had anticipated.

What do you think are the greatest strengths of the Review?

Mehvash: I wanted to archive the works of some of our excellent bygone authors, while looking to the future with fresh, raw writing.

I think we managed the first with the excellent collection of essays by and on Taufiq Rafat, and the new writing that we published in spades, from screenwriting to poetry to fiction, is there for all to appreciate.

Ilona: I feel that the essay and poetry sections of the review are its greatest strengths. Both sections comprise work by senior as well as young writers. The essays include memoir, academic and personal pieces. Besides this, a set of short, pithy interviews give the reader insights into our new novelists.

Mahboob: The Review combines the old with the new.

However, we have not tried to sell old wine in new bottles.

By including both established and relatively unknown writers, The Review has laid the foundations for future anthologies in which more and more young writers would find space to be recognised.

Mahboob Ahmed—Contributing Editor

“We have not tried to sell old wine in new bottles”

What, in your opinion, distinguishes Pakistani writing from other international writing? Can you identify any particular themes?

Mehvash: Well, I would hope that it is not the tired subject matter of bombs and fundamentalism.

I would hope that it is that our writers are good, indeed excellent, even if they are treating universal themes.

Shaista Sirajuddin has said: “Beware of the foreign publisher…” She meant those who decide on those typical tropes of violence and religious bigotry and done-to-death clichés (like the muezzin’s cry) as Pakistani tropes. We must not allow that.

Ilona: That’s a difficult question! In prose, I would say that the over-riding theme has been of politics, and in the recent past of history, sometimes related to contemporary events. These themes are explored in the novels of Kamila Shamsie, Mohammed Hanif, Sorayya Khan, Hussain Naqvi and Nadeem Aslam, among others.

Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s work takes a different tangent exploring the way in which cultures overlapped at various points in history.

Mahboob: Pakistani writing is, admittedly, somewhat less mature when compared with other international literatures — Indian, African, and Latin American — which are currently the focus of literary inquiry in the world.

However, the Pakistani writer is uniquely placed in his proximity to the changing socio-economic and political world order. Pakistani writing in English is particularly alert and responsive to the globalisation of literature, as well as the need to root such literature in the here and now of the indigenous.

Afshan Shafi—Contributing Editor

I believe that Pakistani writers’ engagement with the themes of loss and fear generated through ever-increasing religious intolerance, and their adherence to promoting tolerance and pluralism in spite of this, are the great strengths of Pakistani writing.

The editorial board of the Review consists entirely of poets. Do you think the poetic sensibility of each of the editors served as a constraint when selecting work from other genres? Or the inverse?

Mehvash: Yes, all of us are poets. I think for the coming issue, some of the editors are going to try their hands at prose, and we have a new kid on the block who writes prose, Hassan Tahir. I think we are all good at sniffing out good writing even if we are largely poets by definition.

Mahboob: I think it was limiting in a way, particularly in the poetry section itself. We do not ascribe to similar schools of thought about poetry. So, we did not agree on several things, particularly on the relative merits of some of the submissions. However, what that has ensured is that the poems or other pieces we have chosen are of a quality that surpasses the normal level that one would find in other places where Pakistani writing is published (for example, in journals and university and college magazines).

Please tell us more about the choice of Taufiq Rafat as the cover feature? How important is the act of revisiting the work of local literary figures and why?

Mehvash: Oh, hugely, hugely important. How do you create a literary landscape if you are not aware of who has come before you? No one writes in a vacuum.

The Aleph Review will always have a section archiving the work of poets and writers gone by.

As for Taufiq Rafat, not only was he a personal mentor, but an excellent poet. I think for Pakistani English writing, he is probably one of the first names that comes to mind.

Ilona: In my conversations with young poets, and even readers of poetry, I’ve come to realize that many people are unfamiliar with the development of Pakistani poetry in English from Partition onwards.

In this context, revisiting the work of local literary figures in various genres is important for writers of the future; they need to be conversant with the evolution of local literature in English, whether they choose to adopt the tone, theme or style of a particular writer, or to disagree and develop their work in a different direction.

Rafat’s importance lies in his efforts to steer poets away from the English canon, towards imagery rooted in the poet’s own experience and surroundings.

Mahboob: I completed my MPhil thesis on the poetry of Taufiq Rafat at Punjab University, and it was the first attempt to analyze his work. So for me this choice was special on a personal level. Given the inherent bias in favour of British and American literature in many of our older English departments, it becomes frustrating to meet students who do not know anything about the very rich tradition of Pakistani writing in English. This is compounded by the fact that several incompetent administrators deliberately hand courses in Pakistani literature to faculty members without any expertise or interest in Pakistani literature. That is why we must revisit our senior generation of writers, and keep highlighting their importance and contribution.

What kind of work do you aim to showcase in the future? What can we expect from Vol 2 of the Review?

Mehvash: We already have some amazing contributions. I don’t want to give anything away, but we are working on a fabulous theme, which will give The Aleph Review 2018 an intense undercurrent – all I am willing to reveal right now!

Ilona: We will continue to focus on creative non-fiction; the graphic novel or story; and to our range of essays we will add food, food memoir, and travel.

Translation has gained a new significance, particularly in the West, where collaborations between writers and translators who are poets or writers themselves, have made for very successful translations. We now have several excellent translators, whose work will be featured in this issue.

Mahboob: I would like to see more young writers finding this platform for publication.

Maria Fatima Unera Qureshi, a half Pakistani, half Philipina singer, has recently dropped a romantic duet Aaja Na with Qurram Hussain. In the past, she has worked with big names in the industry including Cornetto Pop Rock and Nescafe Basement as well as in stage productions such as The Lion King and Grease. Singing since she was in high school, Maria dreamed of a music career. She promised her late mother that she’d quit music if she didn’t make it big in three years and worked hard to fulfill her ambition. Maria tells her story to Sana Zehra

Maria what’s your story?

Oh gosh! My story is super long. (Laughs)

I’ve been singing since I was a little kid; I realized it when I was sixteen years old that I wanted to be a musician. My mother was a Filipina and my father is Pakistani and I think music is in my blood.

When I turned eighteen I realized this is what I really wanted to pursue. I went to my mom and asked her if I could drop out of school and pursue music because I used to jam around in random cafes, street jams and people used to enjoy it. She made a deal with me that if in three years I was not successful she would send me to boarding school. She was a cadet and she wanted me to be one too.

I agreed to the terms of our agreement; I truly worked my butt off to make my dreams a reality and ended up getting signed up with Nescafe Basement. That is how working in the music industry.

What was your first major record deal?

First major deal was with Nescafe Basement. I did two seasons of the show, and in my second season we had an all-girl band song that went crazy viral. We sang John Newman songs, which he himself shared online with his fans.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Jeez! I don’t know. I think I would be a doctor. You know how Filipino moms are they either make you nurses or doctors or teachers.

Best career advice you ever got?

My mom is my biggest inspiration and she told me never put yourself down. As it is people will try to bring you down because the world is cruel. I often think of her words.

Most gracious response to a rejection or to a career setback?

Maria: I’ve been told that life goes on and whatever happen, happens for a reason so yeah.

Most difficult career decision you ever made?

I was always into English music. When I was working on my first proper Urdu song Aaja Na I would ask Qurram if I’m pronouncing the word OK.  Shifting from English to Urdu was daunting and I didn’t know how people would respond. So far so good!

Favourite perk of the job?

You get to sing for thousands and thousands of people. The audience sings along with me. It’s the best feeling ever.

Worst part of being into music?

No sleep

Change you’d like to see in this music industry?

Appreciate more, criticize less.

Who do you admire the most?

I admire my mother not because she is my mother but because she really pushed me to be better. When she made the three year deal with me, it was not to scare me but to motivate me and push me to follow my dreams.


What was the last thing you binge watched?

The new series 13 Reasons Why

What song would always make you cry?

Tears in heaven

What song would you want to be played at your funeral?

Jeez! I don’t know, nothing really.

What was the first album you bought?

Interesting! I listened to my mom’s collection of albums of Ray Charles, Tony Bennett and Perry Como. So I really didn’t buy my first album.

Lipstick or lip-gloss?


What should every woman try once in her lifetime?


How would your perfect day end?

My perfect day would end with music.

Name one thing you are exceptionally good at?

I don’t want to brag but I think I can sing.

One thing you are really bad at?

Speaking in Urdu

Superhero power you’d want to have?

I’d like to fly please.

Something nice you did for yourself recently?

Not for myself but in the month of Ramadan I donated a lot.

Beauty essential during those cold winter days?

I don’t know maybe I will just sit in front of the heater.

3 qualities in a partner




Advice to women with a broken heart?

One piece of advice would be: don’t let anyone try to bring you down.

Have you ever been in love?


Craziest thing you did for love?

Nothing! If it’s worth then just go for it.

What would your high school boyfriend say about you now?

Shit, man! Shouldn’t have let her go.

What is your favourite Disney princess?


What does Gt mean to you?

Fun, man! I’m having so much fun.

“My mom is my biggest inspiration and she told me never put yourself down. As it is people will try to bring you down because the world is cruel”

Who? Mahwesh Faisal

Why? She looks pretty as a picture and elegant in a no fuss ensemble with her handbag doing the talking

Who? Saima Azhar

Why? The actress looks tall and curvaceous in her all black attire

Who? Ghanna Aali

Why? The makeup and accessories: lippie, handbag, shoes and bracelet take center stage

Who? Nazia

Why? What a knockout pair of nude pumps matching the exact shade of her skintone!

Who? Humaira Asghar Ali

Why? The model looks polished and cosmpolitan. Again a simple, well fitting outfit complemented by a great handbag and sunnies

Who? Tamania Kamal

Why? She’s expertly matched skinny pants with an oversized top

Dhruv Kapoor’s electric and cerebral aesthetic is a jolt to the senses. His approach to design is invigorating and belies the temperament of a perfectionist. An Istituto Marangoni (Milano) alumnus, he  previously worked under the prestigious house of ETRO in Milan before starting his own label. He was recognised as the country’s best emerging talent by making it to the top in Vogue India Fashion Fund 2015 and Elle Graduates Top 5. His designs have been worn by superstars like Sonam Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh,  Kajol, Malaika Arora Khan to name a few. Afshan Shafi catches up with Dhruv in an exclusive interview about his latest collection: New Romantic

If you had to sum up your aesthetic in three words, what would they be?




What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your fashion company?

We learn something new every day in technical terms from the materials, and from new approaches in the fashion industry in general. The biggest thing that has stuck with us is decisiveness and commitment.

I have learnt to trust my gut. It’s important to come up with a decision to avoid delays and boredom. A commitment once made should be processed and completed within a certified time frame.

Our industry is all about believing in the “right thing at the right time.” Timing is of utmost importance and the only way to achieve that is through commitment.

Who is the embodiment of the Dhruv Kapoor brand? Who do you feel carries your clothes the best?

The brand channels authenticity. Each collection depicts a combination of ideas to define our idiosyncratic and ever-mutating identities. Styling is key.

Each piece of the collection is worked on separately and a look is created by combining multiple pieces or layers in sync or mismatched with each other.

We respect all belief systems and defy all at the same time, so an individual who is true to their personal system, versatile and open to newness, works perfectly with our brand.

There is something for everyone from a 15 year old to a 65 year old.

What were your inspirations for your latest collection?

We built on Steve Strange’s underground scenes in London from the 1980s, which catered to a large group of varied identities, each special in its own way. The subjects’ personalities shone through their ensembles, which would be a combination of brand new clothes, hand me downs and surplus stores.

What are the most memorable responses you’ve had to your work?

Every response is memorable, though I only follow the opinion of a select few. The most memorable however was winning the Vogue Fashion Fund 2015, which was the biggest response for the brand in general and can never be forgotten.

Also  it feels good whenever I see someone wearing something from our collections, which is a tiny but a nice pat on the back. But we try not to get attached for too long.

Who is your dream client?

Miroslava Duma! (A Russian digital entrepreneur and investor in the world of international fashion, she is the founder of digital company Buro 24/7 and its fashion and lifestyle platform Buro247.com.)

Who is your muse?

A muse is a restrictive term.

We try not to focus on one person or a small group of people during our design process, it’s more about the idea and depiction of one’s personality.

The whole idea is not to be like someone else and just be yourself.

Who inspires you the most from the fashion world, internationally as well as locally?

There are a lot of people who have a fresh take on traditional strategies. Currently, I look up to Miroslava Duma who makes a lot of effort to cast a spotlight on unexplored territories with immense talent.

There are very few people who  make all the effort to push you beyond your potential. Miuccia Prada, works in a manner that is inspiring at all levels. Her approach is twisted and forever fresh.

Sabyasachi is my favorite from India. That vision, clarity and compassion is rare to find in our country. His focus inspires me.

What advice would you give to young, aspiring designers?

The best advice is to believe in yourself.

Keep track of time, timing is the most important thing after vision.

Vision brings one clarity and something to look forward to.

The last but really important tip is to DREAM and dream big.

What are your future projects?

There are plenty in the pipeline from new product categories to fresh territories. We shall announce those when the time is right.


Diamonds maybe forever but fashions certainly aren’t. Rizwanullah has made his mark in the fashion industry with his combo of ethnic and edgy design along with his quirky sense of style. Future proof your collection by adding these daring whites to your wardrobe

Before the War of Independence in 1857, after which India became part of the British Empire, many British men working for the East India Company, who had come to India to make their fortune, got married to local women and settled down to raise families. William Dalrymple documents this lesser known fact in his entertaining history book The White Mughals; he tells the tale of the romance between James Achilles Kirkpatrick, the British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad and his Muslim wife Khair-u-Nissa Begum for whom he converted to Islam and with whom he had two children. Because he had “gone native,” the British mistrusted him and thought he was a double agent

By Mahlia Lone

James Achilles Kirkpatrick was a bit of a hybrid Brit, born at Fort St. George, Madras in 1764 but sent back to Britain where he attended Eton College. To make his name and his fortune, the ambitious young man returned as a “cocky young imperialist intending to conquer India” by working for the British East India Company and became a Lieutenant Colonel in the Company’s Army. His colourful and unusual story is told by William Dalrymple in his entertaining history book The White Mughals, which many of you may have read.

To understand the context of the story, it’s important to look at the geopolitical situation of the time.

Panoramic view of the Chaumohalla Palace at Hyderabad, photographed by Deen Dayal in the 1880s

Nizam-ul-Mulk Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi Bahadur Asaf Jah II reigned Hyderabad from 1762 to 1803; he belonged to the Asaf Jah dynasty founded by Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiq, a Mughal appointed Viceroy of the Deccan. When Mughal control collapsed after Shehnshah Aurungzeb’s death in 1707, Asaf Jah declared himself independent and in control of Hyderabad in 1724.

Following the decline of the great Mughal Empire, the Hindu Maratha Empire rose in the Deccan. Maratha warrior Baji Rao I expanded his empire by defeating the Mughals in Delhi and Asaf Jah’s forces in Hyderabad. The Nizam lost all the major battles that he fought against the fierce Marathas. After the conquest of Deccan by Bajirao I and the imposition of chauth (tribute tax) by him on Hyderabad, the Nizam essentially became a tributary of the Marathas.

Chowmahalla Palace

The East India Company meanwhile was fighting against Hyder Ali and later his son Tipu Sultan in Mysore who were supported by the French. Four Anglo-Mysore Wars were fought to establish the Company’s control over this region.

The grand interior

During the First Anglo-Mysore War (1767–69) the British convinced the Nizam to attack Hyder Ali, but the Nizam changed sides at the last moment and supported the Sultan. When Hyder Ali attacked Madras, the British convinced the Nizam to sign a new treaty with them in 1768 to maintain the balance of power: the British, Marathas and Hyderabadis on one side and Mysore on the other.

Nawab Mir Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah II, the Nizam of Hyderabad

James was initially appointed as the translator at the Nizam’s court during his elder brother William Kirkpatrick’s tenure as the Company’s Resident (ambassador) in Hyderabad. In 1795, savvy and skilled at diplomacy, at only 33 years of age, he replaced his brother as the Resident. Said to be a good looking and charming young diplomat, he was responsible as the East India Company’s Resident in Hyderabad for nurturing relations with the State’s rulers and keep them on the side of the British.

Taking his diplomatic tasks very seriously, he fluently conversed in Persian, Hindustani, Tamil and Telegu and immersed himself in Hyderabadi Indo-Persian culture.

India, Osmania University College for Women
©WMF/Mark Weber
original – slide

One his first tasks was to build a stately Residency at Hyderabad. The Palladian style house was designed by Lt Samuel Russell of the Madras Engineers, the son of the Royal Academician John Russell.

The plan was submitted for approval to the Nizam since he would be granting the 60 acres land plus paying for the construction. Not used to western scale plans, the Nizam at first refused to sanction such a huge building. It seemed to him that the Resident was trying to appropriate a vast area of the Nizamate under the pretext of building a house. Wily Kirkpatrick cleverly had the identical plan redrawn on a much smaller scale as a tiny as a postage stamp, and the Nizam fell for the deception. The finished house bore a resemblance to Gov General Wellesley’s then newly finished Government House in Calcutta. The architecture and scale of the house impressed the viewer with the power and control of the East India Company in India.

The British Residency at Hyderabad engraving by William Miller

In 1799, James was depicted in “Hindostanny dress,” draped with long ropes of pearls, and with khussas on his feet. James smoked hukkahs, chewed paan, attended mujras and even had a zenana, living the life of a veritable White Mughal. He fathered many children with various local women that he kept there, just like the Hyderabadi elite. “Thanks partly to these women,” wrote a contemporary Hyderabadi historian, “he was always very cheerful.”

Living like a Hyderabadi out of choice, Kirkpatrick related to them and understood their point of view, which he would present to his superiors. The Nizam awarded him with titles like Mutamin ul Mulk (Safeguard of the kingdom), Hushmat Jung (Valiant in battle) and Nawab Fakhr-ud-Dowlah Bahadur (Governor, pride of the state, and hero).

James Kirkpatrick in a Mughal angarkha

In 1798, Lord Richard Wellesley, Earl of Mornington, later Marquess Wellesley, had been appointed as Governor-General of India. After Great Britain lost her American colonies, the British government under Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, Earl of Chatham, turned its attention fully towards India with the ostensible aim of limiting the East India Company’s corruption but actually with the conscious design of extending British power by acquiring a great empire in India.

Britain’s main rival was France.  Mornington came to India with the express design of annihilating French influence in the Subcontinent. Soon after his landing, he learned of the alliance between Tipu Sultan and the French Republic that was seen as a direct threat to British interests in India. Mornington immediately ordered preparations for war and disbanded the Nizam’s French troops. This time the Nizam would have no choice but to stick to his alliance with the British. “Wellesley was an imperialist determined to reduce the Nizam to subservience,” wrote one historian.

During the Fourth and final Anglo-Mysore War, Mysore was attacked on all sides. Tipu Sultan’s forces were outnumbered by 4:1 and the Army chose as his adversary, Mornington’s younger brother, Colonel Arthur Wellesley who later became Field Marshal, 1st Duke of Wellington, responsible for defeating Napoleon. The war concluded with the death of Tipu Sultan and his kingdom being carved up by the three allies. This was the geopolitical situation at the time, precarious with alliances betrayed, espionage, and backdoor diplomacy.

After his experience in the Deccan, Colonel Arthur Wellesley warned authorities in Calcutta that Kirkpatrick seemed to be so solidly “under the influence” of the Hyderabadis that “it was to be expected that he would attend more to the objects of the Nizam’s court than those of his own government.” The Company officers took heed of the victor of the hour who had succeeded in finally taming “The Tiger of Mysore,” and started to keep a closer eye on Kirkpatrick.

Hyder Ali, a steel engraving from the 1790’s

While all this mayhem was going on and the fate of nations being decided, James had other matters on his mind when in 1800 he met the fourteen year old granddaughter of the Vizier of Hyderabad, Nawab Mahmood Ali Khan. Though Khair-un-Nissa (the incomparably beautiful) was kept in strict purdah (veil) during the betrothal ceremonies for her elder sister, she saw Kirkpatrick in the court and fell in love. She somehow managed to leave the confines of the zenana (ladies’ quarter) one evening, presented herself before Kirkpatrick and pleaded her love. In a letter to his elder brother William, Military Secretary to the Governor General at Calcutta, James Kirkpatrick justified h

A rendition of the Anglo-Mysore War

imself: “I, who was but ill-qualified for this task, attempted to argue this romantic creature out of a passion which I could not, I confess, help feeling myself something more than pity for. She declared to me again and again that her affections had been irretrievably fixed on me for a series of time, hat her fate was linked to mine.”

Tipu Sultan

Not only did Khair-u-Nissa belong to the ruling family, but she was also a Sayyida, a descendant of the Prophet, and of Persian descent. If he wanted to be with her, he would have to marry her and for that he would have to first convert and become a Shia Muslim.

India, Osmania University College for Women
©WMF/Mark Weber
original – slide

Kirkpatrick met all the conditions plus the Nizam made him his adopted son. The couple was duly married in a nikkah ceremony. Kirkpatrick was elevated to the ranks of Hyderabadi nobility. The couple became known in Hyderabadi circles as Sahib Begum and Sahib Allum (The Little Lord of the World, and the Lady of High Lineage).

Governor General of India,
Lord Richard Wellesley, Earl of Mornington

James built a separate zenana in the Residency compound for Khair-u-Nissa who still observed purdah.  The couple lived “in an enchanted world of scented gardens (scent was believed to be the ‘food of the soul’), luscious fruits, cooing pigeons (the sound of which was thought to stimulate the mind), sparkling jewels, veils fluttering in the balmy evening breeze,” wrote Kate Chisholm poetically in The Telegraph.

Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Living in his own world, immune to the changing world around him, James nearly completely eschewed wearing English clothes for all but the most formal of occasions, and now “habitually swanned around the British Residency in what one surprised visitor had described as ‘a Musselman’s dress of the finest texture.’” Another noted that he had hennaed his hands and even had Indian “mustachios.”

Khair became renowned for her fair complexioned, delicate featured beauty. Her portrait was said at the time to do no justice to her good looks.

William Dalrymple

The good looking couple had two children:  a son, Mir Ghulam Ali Sahib Allum, and a daughter, Noor-un-Nissa Sahib Begum. The leading artist of the British community in India, George Chinnery, painted a portrait of the siblings in Madras in 1805 that is regarded as one of the masterpieces of British paintings in India.

Shortly after the marriage in as early 1801, a major scandal broke out in Calcutta over the nature of Kirkpatrick’s role at the Hyderabad court. His reputation had become iffy of late but it was not unheard of British officers to dress and even live like the natives. However, in James’ case his loyalty was questioned.

Rumours started to float about Kirkpatrick’s interracial liaison. There was a steady stream of reports that he had “connected himself with a female” of one of Hyderabad’s leading noble families. The girl had become pregnant and given birth to his child. The girl’s grandfather was understandably livid and had ‘expressed an indignation approaching to frenzy at the indignity offered to the honour of his family by such proceedings, and had declared his intention of proceeding to the Mecca Masjid (the principal mosque of the city)” where he threatened to raise the Muslims of the Deccan against the British. Worse, Kirkpatrick had formally married the girl, by converting not just in name but in deed and had become a practising Shi’a Muslim.

Governor General Wellesley was not kindly disposed to Kirkpatrick’s relationship with the Nizam. Wellesley was responsible for welding British India into an integral entity and the process necessarily involved gaining ascendancy and control over the Indian Kingdoms, or Princely States as the British had begun to dismissively referring to them. Wellesley, having decided to dismiss Kirkpatrick, summoned him to Calcutta.

The authorities in Bengal started questioning Kirkpatrick to determine whether his political loyalties could still be depended on or had he in fact become a double-agent.

Upon questioning, James at first denied his marriage with Khair un-Nissa, but upon the Company’s further investigation into the matter he confessed that he had married her in an Islamic ceremony. He was summarily dismissed and as a punishment for his religious conversion it was decided that his two Anglo-Indian children would be taken away from the parents and sent to Britain to be raised as Christians.

The same year, following the British victory in the Second Anglo-Maratha War, the Nizam of Hyderabad had come under the protection of the British East India Company. Though he was the premier Prince of India, Hyderabad being the largest and most prosperous state of all princely states, the Nizam’s kingdom was now a protectorate. Moreover, Hyderabadi citizens were 85 per cent Hindu so their ruler could easily be replaced. The Nizam was shrewd enough to keep quiet about Kirkpatrick’s fate.

A tearful Khair-un-Nissa had secured a settlement of £10,000 each on five year old William and three year old Kitty, a substantial sum at the time. When they were taken from their parents, the children spoke little or no English only Urdu, the language of their mother.

James, perhaps already perhaps terminally ill, died of a fever in 1805 in Calcutta shortly after his kids were shipped off. “He had lasted longer than the proverbial two monsoons allowed to the British in the India of those days but still died young, aged 41,” wrote Sudarshan in a blog.

Khair-u-Nissa heard of his death 18 days later. In his will, Kirkpatrick stated: “the excellent and respectable Mother of my two children for whom I feel unbounded love and affection and esteem.”

Dalrymple describes George Chinnery’s painting of the Anglo-Indian Kirpatrick siblings: “Two of them in their Hyderabadi court dress, standing at the top of a flight of steps…. Sahib Allum – an exceptionally beautiful, poised, dark-eyed child – wears a scarlet jama trimmed with gilt brocade, and a matching gilt cummerbund; he has a glittering topi on his head and crescent-toed slippers. Round his neck hangs a string of enormous pearls. His little sister, who is standing one step from Sahib Alum, and has her arm around her big brother’s shoulders, is discernibly fairer-skinned, and below her topi is a hint of the red hair that would be much admired in the years to come. Yet while Sahib Alum looks directly at the viewer with an almost precocious confidence and assurance, Sahib Begum looks down with an expression of infinite sadness and vulnerability on her face, her little eyes dark and swollen with crying.”

The two children were transported under the care of a Mrs Ure and a retinue of “black” servants. Their baggage included shawls, jewellery and valuables worth £2000 and Captain George Elers, a fellow passenger, bribed the customs officials at Portsmouth twenty guineas to clear their baggage unopened.

Without her children and her husband, Khair-un-Nissa turned for protection to Kirkpatrick’s assistant Henry Russell who replaced him as the Resident in Hyderabad. After spending a few years with the widow, Russell tired of her and married a younger half-Portuguese heiress he had met in Madras. Hyderabad aristocracy hadn’t approved of  Khair-un-Nissa’s suspected liaison and banished to the coastal town of Masulipatam for a while. She died heartbroken at the young age of 27 in 1813.

Our story doesn’t end there. We follow the children to England where they had been sent to live with their grandfather Colonel James Kirkpatrick at his London residence and country estate in Keston, Kent. Upon arriving in London, they were baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Marylebone Road, and christened as William George Kirkpatrick and Katherine Aurora “Kitty” Kirkpatrick. Henceforth, they became Evangelical Christians and never again saw India or any members of their maternal family.

Calcutta harbour

Tragically, William fell into a copper of boiling water seven years later. His burns were so bad that doctors had to amputate his arm and he became a recluse. He graduated from Oxford in 1820, married and had three daughters, before dying in 1828 aged only 27.

Kitty’s story is more interesting. She was educated privately with the aid of a governess, like most girls of her social class, and brought up to be a typical Christian Victorian lady. After the death of her brother, grandfather and other close relations, Kitty became an heiress with £50,000, a huge sum in those days. Like most mixed race children and with such good looking parents, Kitty was extremely fetching.

After the death of her grandfather, Kirkpatrick lived with several of her aunts and married cousins all of whom were well connected. She lived in the homes of Clementina, Lady Louis, the wife of a naval hero and baronet; Julia, the wife of Edward Strachey (grandfather of the writer Sir Lytton Strachey) and Barbara Isabella, the wife of an M.P.

St. Mary’s Church, Marylebone Road in London where the Anglo-Indian Kirkpatrick children were baptised

In 1822, while staying with her Strachey cousins at Shooters’ Hill, near London, she fell in with the children’s Scottish tutor, Thomas Carlyle who went on to become a famous philosopher, satirical writer, social commentator, author and historian. After Kitty travelled with the family to Paris in 1824, Carlyle seems to have fallen head over heels in love on the trip.

Watercolour sketch of Thomas Carlyle

The romance was encouraged by Kitty’s cousin Julia Carlyle but the rest of the family didn’t think the impoverished writer was a suitable match for the wealthy, beautiful and well-connected girl despite her mixed blood. At that time, if an Anglo-Indian was fair and looked English, they didn’t have a problem being accepted. Those that were born darker, however, were left behind in India.

Bitter after being rejected, Carlyle later immortalized Kitty in his 1836 novel Sartor Resartus (The Tailor Retailored), posthumously published in 1887, as the Calypso-like Rose Goddess Blumine. In Greek mythology, Calypso is a nymph who lived on the island of Ogygia where she kept Odysseus captive for several years to make him her immortal husband.

Carlyle immortalised Kitty as “fairest of Orient Light bringers,” “many-tinted, radiant aurora,” and “a strangley complexioned young lady with soft brown eyes and floods of bronze-red hair, really a pretty looking and amiable, though most foreign bit of magnificence …. that answers to the name of ‘Dear Kitty’.” He described her as lovely but suspicious due to her mixed-race ancestry:

It was a blessing in disguise for Kitty that she didn’t marry Carlyle because he developed ulcers and became a cranky, argumentative, and angry man . His cantankerous personality was reflected in his prose. In 1826, he married fellow irascible intellectual Jane Baillie Welsh.

In 1829, the famous beauty and considerable heiress, Kitty married James Winslowe Phillipps, a dashing army officer in the 7th Hussars Regiment. They were well matched. Phillipps, a member of the Kennaway family of the west country, too had Indian connections.

The Kennaway Baronetcy of Hyderabad was created in 1791 for John Kennaway, British Resident at the Court of Nizam Ali Khan, Asaf Jah II, Nizam of Hyderabad, in recognition of his services in the negotiation of the 1790 alliance between the Nizam and the East India Company against Tipu Sultan.

Kitty’s father in law had thus been the British Resident at the Nizam of Hyderabad’s court before her uncle and father, although his stint was vastly more successful than theirs.

With so much in common, their union was a happy one and blessed with seven children. The four who survived to adulthood were Mary Augusta, John James, Emily Georgina, and Bertha Elizabeth.

Kitty wrote in a letter to her grandmother Sharaf-u-Nissa in Hyderabad:
“My dear Grandmother, I received many years ago, your kind letter of condolence with me on the death of my beloved brother. I was very grateful to you for it, tho’ by my not answering it, I am afraid that you may have thought that I little regarded it. But indeed I did, & the more so, because I felt that you too mourned for him I loved so well & that you too were connected with him by the binding of blood ties.
Two years after his death I was married to a nephew of Sir John Kennaway’s. My husband is of my age & is Captain in the English army.
I have 4 children living, my eldest daughter is 11 years old. She is exactly like my husband. I have a boy of 8 years & a half, then another girl of 7 and a half who is exactly like my mother’s picture & one darling infant of 19 months. I have had 7 living children – 1 sweet boy and two sweet girls are gone, but I am blest in those that survive. My boy is so striking an image of my father that a picture that was drawn of my father as a little boy is always taken for my boy. They have a good intellect & are blest with fair skin. I live in a nice pretty house in the midst of a garden on the seacoast. My dear husband is very kind to me & I love him greatly.
I always think of you and remember you and my dear mother. I often dream that I am with you in India and that I see you both in the room you used to sit in. No day of my life has ever passed without my thinking of my dear mother. I can remember the verandah and the place where the tailors worked and a place on the housetop where my mother used to let me sit down and slide.
When I dream of my mother I am in such joy to have found her again that I awake, or else am pained in finding that she cannot understand the English I speak. I can well recollect her cries when we left her and I can now see the place where we sat when we parted, and her tearing her long hair – what worlds would I give to possess one lock of that beautiful and much loved hair! How dreadful to think that so many, many years have passed when it would have done my heart such good to think that you loved me & when I longed to write to you& tell you these feelings that I was never able to express, a letter which I am sure would have been detained& now how wonderful it is that after 35 years that I am able for the first time to hear that you think of me. And love me, and have perhaps wondered why I did not write to you, and that you have thought of me cold and insensible to such near dear ties; I thank God that he has opened for me a way of making the feelings of my heart known to you.
Will this reach you & will you care for the letter of your grand child? My own heart tells me you will. May God bless you my own dear Grandmother.”
And in other she wrote:
“I often think of you and remember you and my dear mother. I often dream that I am with you in India and that I see you both in the room you used to sit in. No day of my life has ever passed without my thinking of my dear mother. I can remember the verandah and the place where the tailors worked and a place on the house top where my mother used to let me sit down and slide. When I dream of my mother I am in such joy to have found her again that I awake, or else am pained in finding that she cannot understand the English I speak. I can well recollect her cries when we left her and I can now see the place where she sat when we parted, and her tearing her long hair. What worlds would I give to possess one lock of that beautiful and much loved hair! How dreadful to think that so many, many years have passed when it would have done my heart such good to think that you loved me & when I longed to write to you & tell you these feelings that I was never able to express, a letter which I was sure would have been detained & now how wonderful it is that after 35 years I am able for the first time to hear that you think of me, and love me, and have perhaps wondered why I did not write to you, and that you have thought me cold and insensible to such near dear ties.”

A portrait of the beautiful heiress Katherine Kirkpatrick, ca. 1830

Back in India, the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818) and the final and decisive conflict between the British East India Company (EIC) and the Maratha Empire had left the Company in control of most of India. The British government’s aim of fully colonizing India was coming to fruition. They were now nearly fully in charge. Only Maharaja Ranjit Singh still held out in the Punjab.

With the rise of the Victorian Evangelical movement in the 1830s and 40s not only mixed race unions but also intermingling of Indian and British ideas, religions and ways of life became increasingly frowned upon.

Mixed race unions were on the decline. Wills left by East India Company officers show that while one-in-three wills between 1780 and 1785 were made in favour of an Indian wife and Anglo-Indian children, these shrunk to one-in-four between 1805 and 1810, one-in-six by 1830, and all but disappeared by the middle of the century.

After the War of Independence, the British executed the entire top rank of the Mughal elite and fully imposed the British way of life on India as a means of stamping out Indian national identity.

For these reasons, Kitty too had been forbidden by her grandfather from maintaining any contact with her family in India. Decades after leaving India, in 1830 with the help of her father’s former assistant and mother’s reputed lover, Henry Russell, Kitty began a correspondence with her maternal grandmother Sharaf-u-Nissa in Hyderabad. Although they never met in person, they wrote each other emotional letters for six years till the old lady’s death. Although Kitty was only a toddler when she left India, she has still retained vivid memories of her childhood.

In 1846, Kitty, now Mrs Phillips, made a chance visit to Swallowfield, the home of Sir Henry Russell and and spotted the Chinnery portrait of her and her brother. The painting had come into his possession and, at his retirement, he had brought it back with him and hung in his country home, Swallowfield, in Berkshire.  Moved at the memory of her brother (who had died in 1828) and of her grand, but barely remembered, mansion in Hyderabad, Kitty started bawling inconsolably. This moved Sir Henry to bequeath the painting to her after his death.

Till the end, Kitty had a special place in Carlyle’s heart who wrote of her in his Reminisces published in 1881, “ Amiable, affectionate, graceful, might be called attractive (not slim enough for ‘pretty’, not tall enough for ‘beautiful’); had something low-voiced, languidly harmonious, placid, sensuous, loved perfumes & c; a half-Begum in short; interesting specimen of the Semi-Oriental Englishwoman. Still lives, near Exeter (the prize of some idle ex-Captain of Sepoys), with many children, whom she looks after with a passionate interest”.

Kitty went on to live a happy, full life and died at her home, the Villa Sorrento, in the charming seaside town of Torquay, Devon, in 1889, having outlived her husband by 20 years.

Four years after her death in 1893, Sir Edward Strachey, the son of Kitty’s cousin Julia, wrote an article in Blackwood’s Magazine under the exotic title, The Romantic Marriage of James Achilles Kirkpatrick Sometime British Resident at the Court of Hyderabad. He recounted the romantic, but ultimately tragic story of James Kirkpatrick and Khair-u-Nissa.

Strachey described her, “She (Kitty) was ten years my elder, but I remember her from girlhood to old age as the most fascinating of women.”

Telling her story, Strachey added poignantly, “in after years the daughter told her own children how long she and her brother had pined for the father and mother they remembered, and longed to get away from the cold of England to Hyderabad, and were sad at hearing that they were not to go there again, which was all they could understand of their father’s death”.

The sensational story created a stir in the late-Victorian era, a time when the British Empire with its clear demarcation between the white master and brown colonist was at its height and Indian born and bred Englishman Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

According to Dalrymple, “James was among the last of the English officials in India who found it possible to truly cross cultures.”

Mahlia S. Lone

Eid Mubarik!

Talent knows no boundaries. In this issue, we showcase award-winning Indian fashion designer Dhruv Kapoor’s creations. He dresses some of the biggest stars in Bollywood in his western avant garde high fashion outfits. He tells us his design story, as does Lahore-based award-winning architect Attiq Ahmed. Attiq designs not only the building, but also the interior and even the furniture and light fixtures within it producing a truly integrated space. The sophisticated and unique homes he has designed are truly a work of art.

Maria Unera, a very pretty, young half Philipina half Pakistani, singer is newly becoming famous in the country. This hard working girl relates how she got into the music industry. By sheer determination and grit, she has learnt to stand on her own two feet in a fickle profession.

For those interested in history, this fortnight’s Memorable Romance is on a late eighteenth-early nineteenth century British East India Company Resident James Kirkpatrick and his aristocratic Hyderabadi Muslim wife. Not only did the Resident adopt the language, culture and dress of the Hyderabadi court circles, but he converted to Islam as well. Find out his fate at the hands of his Company superiors for “going native.”

Until we meet again.

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