22 June, 2021

The Subcontinental Menu

From biryani as prasad at a temple near Madurai to soap made of donkey's milk, read this and much more in The Subcontinental Menu this week.

Illustration by Manjul
The Subcontinental Menu

Price of The Moon

All stories start somewhere; some as a phantasmagoric conversation between a king and a spirit. This story—an enduring, endearing after-school or bedside magazine—started the month bef­ore India’s Independence. Chandamama, the monthly packed with myths, mystery, magic, and a moral. Vikram and Betaal too. It was published in 10 Indian languages and English, an abiding companion before TV. Sadly, the Chandamama of B. Nagi Reddy, Chakrapani and K. Kutumba Rao couldn’t survive the digital boom, though current owners Geodesic had new-age plans. Well, the Mumbai-based software company got embroiled in a money laun­dering case, and the Bombay HC ordered the sale of the magazine’s intellectual property rights. Cha­n­da­mama is worth over Rs 25 crore. The sacks of illustrations and documents lying at a Mumbai warehouse? Priceless.


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