Recommended Sunday Reading—May 14

The best Sunday reads from across the globe

Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

The importance of being Shashi Tharoor

Both in good times and in bad, both when the Congress won and when it lost, Tharoor was sent to Parliament by Thiruvananthapuram's electorate. Unlike other English-speaking types who became parliamentarians through the Rajya Sabha route, Tharoor won proper elections. I have CPI(M) friends who are still traumatized by his victories: how, they ask incredulously, could a carpetbagger with barely any Malayalam win Thiruvananthapuram twice?

Tharoor once said that when he began his political career he was approached by the Congress, the Communists and the BJP. He chose the Congress because he felt ideologically comfortable with it. But it isn't hard to see why the BJP was interested. To recruit this cosmopolitan civil servant plus writer plus Nehruvian to the BJP would have been something of a coup.

India’s last surviving Mughal tent gets cleaned after 300 years

One hundred elephants, 500 camels, 400 carts and teams of bearers were once needed to carry the emperor's camping equipment as he roved across plains and jungles with tens of thousands of horsemen. "In his tent," says Jasol, "there would be cushions and bolsters and a bed, and objects like hookahs or wine flasks and jewellery cases." Porters carried porcelain for the emperor's table. He was said to travel at a leisurely 10 to 12 miles (15 to 18km) a day, pausing to hunt cheetah or deer.

The construction revolutionaries of China

According to Ma, 3D printing reduces the need for new construction materials by between 30 per cent and 60 per cent, saves 50 per cent to 70 per cent in construction time, uses 50 per cent to 80 cent less labour and is up to 50 per cent cheaper. According to business intelligence publisher IBISWorld, the 26,000 companies in this sector in China employ 31 million people, have a revenue of US$2 trillion and grow at an average of 9 per cent a year. Yet “despite the power of the industry, there has been almost no innovation in building techniques, resources are wasted constantly and it’s a very opaque sector, a magnet for corruption”, says Ma. “[With 3D-printing technology] we can solve most of these problems,” he promises.

Americans discovering if open marriages are happier marriages

Elizabeth did not announce that the friendship was turning romantic, but she did not deny it either, when Daniel, uneasy with the frequency of her visits with Joseph, confronted her. That she intended to keep seeing Joseph despite Daniel’s obvious distress shamed him: He was suddenly an outsider in his own marriage, scrambling for scraps of information and a sense of control. This was not at all what Daniel had in mind when he proposed opening the marriage. They had not agreed on anything ahead of time; they had not, as a couple, talked about their commitment to each other, about how they would manage and tend to each other’s feelings.

India stalls patients in Pakistan after Jadhav’s death sentence

“They want us to get a letter from (Advisor on Foreign Affairs) Sartaj Aziz to their Foreign Minister (Sushma Swaraj),” his uncle said. “And that goes for all the patients these days.” A Foreign Office official told The Friday Times that the number of pending visas on medical grounds had reached 1,000 since January 2017. The Indian High Commission, which had already slowed down the process, has not issued any visa since April 10, the day Indian spy suspect Kulbhushan Jadhav was awarded the death sentence by a military court.

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