No Free Left, The Futures of Indian Communism by Vijay Prashad

On 10 January 2015, The Caravan Conversations, in association with Leftword Books, hosted a discussion in Delhi between the Marxist historian Vijay Prashad and the journalist Prabir Purkayastha, to complement the launch of Prashad's new book No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism. They discussed the past and present of India's leftist parties and movements, how those were shaped by the country's history, and the paths open to them in the face of neoliberal economic policies and recent political developments both in India and abroad.


On 19 August 2014, The Caravan magazine, in association with Select CITYWALK, opened its week-long photography exhibition at Select CITYWALK, Saket, to celebrate World Photo Day. The show featured the nine winning entries to photo competition themed 'City Life' along with photo essays from The Caravan and rare archival images. 

For pictures of the event, click here

Caravan Style & Living presents: Caravan Conversations on Ship of Theseus

On 23 July 2013, Caravan Conversations brought together Anand Gandhi, the director of Ship of Theseus, Mayank Shekhar, film critic and Caravan Style & Living contributor and director and producer Kiran Rao, who noticed the film at the Enlighten Films’ Naya Film Festival in Mumbai. Rao decided to come on board as promoter and help the film get an Indian release in India in July 2013. They were joined on stage by Sohum Shah, producer and actor from the movie. The venue partner for the event, held in Mumbai, was the Olive Bar & Kitchen in Mumbai.

The evening's conversation raised questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death through the film's stories of an experimental photographer, an ailing monk and an enterprising stockbroker, played by Aida El-Kashef, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah respectively.

A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna

To celebrate the launch of Amitava Kumar’s A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, The Caravan, in association with Aleph Book Company, hosted a series of conversations about his book. Caravan Conversations travelled to three cities across India, where audiences accompanied Kumar on journeys and memories through his accounts of the many Patnas, peppered with his fascinating observations and impressions.

On 22 July, Amitava Kumar discussed the dearth of Indian writing in English on Patna with Rahul Bhattacharya at The Oxford Bookstore.

Watch the video of the event here

At Ants Café in Bangalore, one of the venues awarded the status of Caravan Quarters, Kumar sat down with The Caravan’s Books Editor, Anjum Hasan, to discuss the human side of Patna and the stories of its people on 25 July.

The next day, at Café Zoe in Mumbai, another café among the Caravan Quarters, Amitava Kumar met Naresh Fernandes for a free-wheeling conversation about large rodents, chilled-out doctors, and pesticide, among many other things.

For pictures of all the events, visit

Writing Calcutta

On 22 February 2013, Caravan Conversations, in association with Penguin India and Oh! Calcutta, hosted a conversation titled "Writing Calcutta". The conversation also saw the Delhi release of Amit Chaudhuri's new bookCalcutta, an account of two years in the city, also the place of his birth.

In his book, using the historic elections of 2011 as his fulcrum, Chaudhuri travels between the 19th century, when the city glittered, to the 20th century, where it lost its shine under 34 years of communist rule. Chaudhuri was in conversation with Ananya Vajpeyi, and the restaurant Oh! Calcutta served as a warm and welcoming venue. Watch it here

Poetry, Partnership and Marriage

In the first-ever event at its bookshop in Connaught Place, The Caravan hosted a conversation between the acclaimed British poets Martin Figura and Helen Ivory on the relationship between poetry and marriage, personal creativity and romantic partnership. Figura and Ivory, who have been married nearly a decade and live together in Norwich in a house that used to be a butchery, talked about love poems, how love and marriage have respectively been imagined in poetry, reading one another's work, developing through conversation, and on knowing when to stay silent in verse as much as in marriage. They also read poems—their own, each others’ and those of other poets who have written on these themes. Introduced by The Caravan’s Fiction and Poetry Editor, Chandrahas Choudhury, the event was held on 18 January 2013, at Vishv Books, Connaught Place, courtesy a generous grant from the British Council. Watch it here

Home and Away: Gandhi in Gujarat and Europe

26th February 2012 marked the 10th anniversary of the Godhra riots.
A week before, Ananya Vajpeyi was in conversation with Mira Kamdar and Tridip Suhrud, in an attempt to locate Mahatma Gandhi in authoritarian contexts. Mira Kamdar is a Contributing Editor at The Caravan, while Tridip Suhrud is a political scientist, cultural historian and co-editor of MK Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj: A Critical Edition.
Co-organised by The Caravan and The New York Times’ India Ink, the conversation was held on 21 February 2012 at Alliance Francais de Delhi.

An evening with Joseph Lelyveld

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld’s book Great Souls: Mahatama Gandhi and His Struggles with India was published to much critical attention and controversy last year. The book was banned in Gujarat even before it reached bookstores.

In conversation with Ananya Vajpeyi as part of The Caravan Conversations series cohosted with The New York Times’ India Ink, Joseph Lelyveld talked about his views on Gandhi, the Mahatma’s time in South Africa and the philosophy he began to develop while there. Over the course of the conversation, Lelyveld spoke to Gandhi’s disappointment on 15 August 1947, and the insight gained from humanising a figure who is so often deified. Former executive editor of The New York Times, the author also discussed the process of writing the book and the four years of extensive research that took him across India and to South Africa. The Caravan hosted the conversation on 11 February 2012 in Delhi. Watch it here

Who’s Afraid of Foreign Retail?

The initial announcement that foreign investors could take a majority stake in multi-brand retail operations brought forth a range of responses. Those supporting the move claimed it would improve consumer choice, bring prosperity to farmers, reduce prices, reduce waste, and improve productivity. Those opposing it argued that small shops would die, farmers would suffer, prices would rise, and inequality would continue to widen. It was, once again, the familiar argument over Shining India vs. Declining India: is the glass half empty or half full?

Moderated by Salil Tripathi, Contributing Editor at The Caravan, Meera Sanyal, Chairperson of RBS India, Vikas Bajaj, South Asia Correspondent at The New York Times and Vivek Dehejia, Economist at Carleton University discussed the move and its consequences. The conversation was held on 2 January 2012 at the Cricket Club of India, Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and co-organised by The Caravan and The New York Times’ India Ink. Watch it here

Shortlist Function of the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2010

The Caravan co-hosted the shortlist function of the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2010 at the Alliance Française de Delhi on 27 July 2011. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate the best literary work of the previous year and was followed by a discussion titled ‘The Unknown Storyteller: behind every great book is a strong editor, but the role gets too little public credit. Are editors given their due?’ While the editor plays a pivotal role in the shaping of a good book, her role often gets little public credit. Moderated by editor, writer and critic Anita Roy, the panel discussion included Member of Parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar, Padma Shri & Padma Bhushan, award-winning journalist and author Mark Tully, editor and award-winning author Ira Pande, and journalist and award-winning author Arunava Sinha.