Bringing backdrops to the foreground

SOMETHING ‘at the back’ or ‘behind’ is what etymology would suggest as the literal meaning of pichhwais but over several hundred years, the word has come to stand for those wonderful textile hangings —painted, embroidered, printed, machine-made — that are specific to the shrines of the Vallabha sampradaya, and hang in the homes of devotees. Krishna is at the heart …

Tackling terrorists, MI5 style

Liz Carlyle is the head of Counter Terrorism unit in Britain’s MI5. It is her duty to keep her country safe from terrorists, and she keeps a special eye on the international arms trade, the illegal one, where there are no end-user certificates. From a knife attack in the Middle East to chasing suspects in Paris and Berlin, the book …