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'The train to Mumbai was so overwhelming'
So much to learn, so little time... In every publisher's catalogue, you'll find the slenderest volumes on the biggest subjects. But huge concepts can't simply be boiled down into bite-size books, argues John Walsh
The authorities in India are considering making it a criminal offence to insult Mahatma Gandhi after a new biography sparked fresh speculation about his sexual preferences and suggested he once made racist comments.
Ben Elton has bombed in Australia: cue mocking laughter and smug chortles. Australians, chippy at the best of times about Pom entertainers trying to make it in their country, will feel vindicated that the sketch show Ben Elton: Live From Planet Earth has been pulled after three episodes. Over here, there will be joy among the various groups of people who are happy to see Elton fail – those who feel he betrayed his lefty, alternative roots, those who found it unforgiveable that he worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, those simply irritated by his cheery grin and mockney accent.
Shortly before his death in 1896, Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel – the inventor of dynamite – bequeathed 94 per cent of his wealth towards the creation of five prizes to "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind". In 1901, the first winners were announced. The first Prize for Literature didn't go to Leo Tolstoy but to poet Sully Prudhomme. Awards were also given in physics, chemistry, peace and medicine.
Autumn is the ideal time to visit India’s most cosmopolitan city – with plenty to nourish the body and soul
The rediscovered life's work of a pioneering photojournalist cast new light on Gandhi, Partition and Mountbatten
Arifa Akbar on how opera has embraced modern themes in search of new audiences
Here's a pub-quiz question: which one-time TV actor in Coronation Street and Crown Court released a record on which he sang selections from The King and I with Julie Andrews, before being told by two of the Beatles that he should really take up a musical career? You want a clue? His middle name is Pandit and he once played Doctor Watson to Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes... Give up? Have another go: which Oscar-winning Yorkshireman appeared in Peter Hall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, played The Hood in the movie version of Thunderbirds, and appeared as himself in an episode of The Sopranos?
From sexy to psycho – what a difference a decade makes
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has always been obsessed by Indian movies. They have punctuated her life, marking marriages, divorce, births and deaths. In this passionate memoir, she explains how her dreams were made in Mumbai – but why she now despairs for the industry she loves
Disowned by Morocco, unwanted in Spain: Anita Brooks reports on the plight of a Nobel-nominated activist
Little is recorded about Mahatma Gandhi's choice of writing implement, but one thing is clear: when the great ascetic set down the ideas that would prompt a generation of Indians to a peaceful revolution, he probably did so with a pen that cost rather less than £14,000.
The bloody birth of Pakistan has always been blamed on its first leader Jinnah. No longer, reports Andrew Buncombe
Darjeeling's tea farmers are on strike – the latest step in a campaign for their own state. Andrew Buncombe reports
Growing up in a conservative Indian town in the 1980s, Aravind Adiga devoured literature, most of it English.