Koh-i-Noor (2017): William Dalrymple and Anita Anand


Back at the beginning of August, I used my summer holidays to play ‘tourist’ in London. My first stop was the Tower of London and, among the ravens, armour and tales of bloody executions, I popped in to see the Crown Jewels. At that point I was already aware of this new history of the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond and wanted to see it for myself. I discovered, as many have before me, that its legend casts a far larger shadow than its reality. Indeed, it looks almost modest alongside the Cullinan I Diamond that sits atop the monarch’s sceptre, or the Cullinan II in the Imperial State Crown. So what was it about this rather unassuming diamond that captured the imagination of generations? With Dalrymple and Anand as my guides, I embarked on an engaging tale of blood, war, ambition, extravagance and conquest.

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The Lunchbox (2013)

The Lunchbox


In Mumbai, office workers don’t pop round to their local Pret at lunchtime. Instead, they benefit from the astonishing system of dabbawalas, 4,000 of whom collect and deliver 160,000 packed lunches every day through the bustling city. The lunchboxes are carried by bike and train into the centre of Bombay and delivered promptly to the workers’ desks just in time for the lunch break; then, after lunch, the empty tins are packed away and carried home again. Stay-at-home housewives take pride in sending off a home-cooked lunch for their children or husbands; while even unmarried office workers receive lunchboxes courtesy of services offered by local restaurants. It’s like clockwork. The dabbawalas don’t make mistakes. But this charming little film imagines what might happen if they did – and if that mistake accidentally brought two lonely people together.

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