The richest province of one of the richest empires in the world, Bengal was a smorgasbord of irresistible little luxuries. Sumptuous chintzes that never lost the roses in their cheeks. Creamy cottons that felt like the caress of spring. Muslins so fine, they were given names like shabnam (evening dew), abraban (running water) and tanjeb (ornament of the body). And that’s just the textiles. Food, wine, art, literature, music, dance…Bengal held the key to the good life. In this spotlight, we travel back to some pivotal moments in the history of this golden land. Ones that would leave it blighted and blessed, and transformed forever.
What is life without the succour and comfort of a steaming cup of chai? From the elegant tea rooms of Calcutta to the milky concoctions of corner shops, tea is our lifeblood. We trace its history, equal parts tragic and romantic, dark and wondrous, and always full of flavour