Friday 30 April 2010

Eltham Park 5: Running up that hill

This should be a good event to shake off the post-election 'blues' (geddit) - the New Eltham Joggers with support from the SEnine Magazine are raising funds for the Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice in the event which has become quite a fixture in Eltham. The 1 mile event is a real fun one for families - we should be there with our kids:

Sunday 13 June 2010
Eltham Park 5:
  10.00 am 3.5 km run starts
  10.30 am 1 mile family fun run starts
  11.00 am 5 mile run starts
Activity: Multi terrain runningV
Venue: Eltham Park South, Glenesk Road, Eltham, London SE9 1AH.
Refreshments and changing facilities available. Medals to all finishers and prizes for 5 mile and 3.5 km event.

But you must enter in advance: download entry form here; online entries can be made at
Website: New Eltham Joggers

Blackheath Halls Election hustings - Report of 26 April meeting

Or as the Blackheath Bugle put it 'Male, Pale and Stale".

And you'll remember that this event strangely had a panel of candidates from different local constituencies, rather than a panel of all the candidates from any one particular constituency. The Bugle has this entertaining and human report of the election hustings at the Blackheath Halls on 26 April:
"Bloody hell, that was tedious. The hall was packed, but that didn’t stop it from being a very slow moving, sedentary hustings. I don’t think the organisers expected anything like the turnout that appeared. The place was heaving – the hall was almost full (and boiling, thanks to the house lights being left on throughout the proceedings). Before the beginning, I heard someone behind me muttering that “the LibDem hasn’t got a tie on…”........." Read the rest here
The Bugle's report has photos and everything. Audio of the event is promised too, for real addicts.

But oh dear it is not looking good. Liberal Conspiracy itself has a cross-post today predicting that the Tories will have 100 seats more than Labour.

Thursday 29 April 2010

When three tribes go to war

Well, it's over. The last in a historic series of three televised debates between the leaders of the three main UK political parties. They've been taking place on each on the last three Thursdays, with the general election. of course, next Thursday 6 May.

There will be much brilliant analysis on the many political blogs (see my blog roll), so I'll leave that to them. I was following some of the comments on the Liberal Conspiracy live blog. Childish though it is, I did like this one:

"Dave thinks he's Moses, but he's actually Bertie Wooster". #leadersdebate

I've found the parts I've been able to watch utterly fascinating.  On immigration they were all competing to give the toughest answers, nobody saying anything positive about immigrants - and was it deliberate to get a black man to ask the immigration question?  Gordon Brown seemed to be accepting an underdog role which is an interesting, if risky, strategy.

I wonder what the legacy of the debates will be. Will they now become a fixture at each general election? Will Cleggmania come to something? Let the polls roll in now about who 'won' tonight.....

Update: the BBC's Nick Robinson has just said that he thought nobody won except perhaps 'the public'...

Eltham election hustings - Report from 28 April

A report of last night's Eltham hustings, at the United Reform Church, has appeared at the Bexley Times:
"ROARS of laughter and the odd snore were just some of the features of the last hustings in a marginal Labour seat.

The United Reform Church in Court Road, Eltham, was packed last night (April 28) as the congregation and residents turned out in force to see what the Eltham parliamentary candidates had to say for themselves.

The English Democrat and British National Party candidates were the only hopefuls out of the eight standing, not to attend the fourth hustings for the Eltham constituency, which Labour won last time with a margin of just 3,276 votes.
As each of candidates for the main three parties trotted out their familiar party messages, it was independent candidate Andrew Graham and UK Independence Party hopeful Ray Adams, who had the audience in stitches......" Read more
Hmmm. Interesting, and quick, but a little more detail and assessment would be nice. Be great if any of you who attended would share your views on it here?

My previous election posts:

Who are the UK's Asian women election candiates?
Eltham candidates: General Election 2010
Eltham election hustings?
General Election 2010: South-East London constituencies
Eltham North candidates announced - Will Eltham turn blue?
What would you ask Nick Griffin?
South-East London MPs to stand down

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Greenwich on film: The Cost of Love

A quick mention of a film reviewed over at
"The Cost of Love (cert. 18) is a new feature film that was filmed almost exclusively in Greenwich and features a very local cast and crew. ... Greenwich based male prostitute Dale (Christopher Kelham) has all sorts of clients. Dale sees them all, from voyeuristic guys into school uniforms, to an older gentleman into scrubbing the bathroom floor for ‘Sir’ (stylish Greenwich guesthouse owner Robert Gray of ‘The Hotel Inspector’ fame).

Dale loves his job, proclaiming: “I like sex, and lots of it”, however you question this as sometimes he delves deep into his imagination, suggesting that he might not love his job so much after all. Aside from this he also has a normal life as best friend and confidante to Raj (Valmike Rampersad). Raj is confused about his up and coming marriage to ‘boring’ Veena (Mandeesh Gill), shown in some beautiful sun-drenched riverside scenes.

It is quite clear that perfectionist cinematographer Amarjeet Singh has spent hours working on this fine film to make it look the way it does." Read the rest...

The film was shown as part of the East End Film Festival at the Genesis Cinema and details of further screenings can be found here. The film sounds interesting for its locations, the Asian angle and the gay sub-cultures it features. What with the recent Eastenders storyline (the Syed, Preeya and Christian triangle) and the forthcoming Indian 'gay film' it seems that the taboo combination of being both Asian and gay is at least beginning to be tackled.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Who are the UK's Asian women election candiates?

No British Asian woman has yet been elected as Member of Parliament. Yet, according to the BBC, a record 22 Asian women are running to become Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs in England and Scotland.

We also learn that the "first Asian male MP was elected in 1892, when Dadabhai Naoroji, an Indian, took the seat of Finsbury, central London, for the Liberals.Almost 120 years later nine Asian male MPs have been elected, but still no Asian women."  I must admit that it's always seemed incredible to me that an Indian, well any 'brown person', could have got elected as an MP in Victorian England - there must be an interesting story behind that one, but for another time...

For now, here's the list of British-Asian women candidates - I'll update the list after the election results have been announced - should be interesting:

Bristol East - Adeela Shafi 
     [seems likely to be elected]
Witham - Priti Patel
     [seems likely to be elected; selected in 2006 for this Essex constituency]
Stoke on Trent Central - Norsheen Bhatti
Leigh - Shazia Awaan
Makerfield - Itrat Ali
Birmingham Ladywood - Nusrat Ghani
Glasgow East -Hamira Khan 
Bethnal Green and Bow - Rushanara Ali
Ilford North - Sonia Klein
Bolton South East - Yasmin Qureshi
Bury North - Maryam Khan
Wigan - Lisa Nandy
East Worthing and Shoreham - Emily Benn
     [a 'quarter Indian'...]
Birmingham Ladywood - Shabana Mahmood
     [former barrister; Clare Short's old constituency]

Walsall South - Valerie Vaz
[yes, the sister of MP Keith Vaz, Britain's longest serving MP of Asian origin; a lawyer and former TV    presenter, defending a 8,000 Labour majority left by Bruce George; she beat ex-MEP Neena Gill, amongst others, to win this candidacy]

Scarborough and Whitby - Annajoy David Da-Bora
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich - Bhavna Joshi

Hayes & Harlington - Satnam Khalsa 
[Not much chance of election; Satnam is 55, married with 3 children, has a degree in Biological Sciences and is a qualified accountant; now works as an auditor with for a local authority]

Feltham & Heston - Munira Wilson
Glasgow South - Shabnam Mustapha
Wimbledon - Shas Sheehan
Leeds North East - Aqila Choudhry

(Image above from this article at Daily Mail online; typically the headline in that piece is at odds with the substance - nothing has actually been implemented!)
I'm not in favour of imposing shortlists and frankly there is no reason for me necessarily to have more in common with an average Asian candidate than with an average non-Asian candidiate but am quite happy, for a range of reasons, when under-represented groups do come through as candidates. 

I'll try putting in more info and links to the names above as and when (and if!) I get the time to read up on them.

 [UPDATE: if you want to see what happened to each of these candidiates on election day, click here]

Friday 23 April 2010

Land Gold Women in London next week

Land Gold Women + panel discussion, with cast and crew - Showing Wed 28 April, 8pm

Decorative image

at The Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 as part of the wonderful-looking East End Film Festival  (which I might not be quick enough to blog about more fully) - the Festival runs 22-30 April.
Been waiting to hear when Land Gold Women would be showing in London. See my previous post about this film.

Eltham candidates: General Election 2010

So, courtesy of UK Polling Report here's the list of candidates for the Eltham constituency in the general election:


portraitIncumbent MP: Clive Efford (Labour) born 1958, London. Educated at Walworth Comprehensive. Former London taxi driver. Greenwich councillor 1986-1998. Contested Eltham 1992. First elected as MP for Eltham in 1997 (more information at They work for you)
portraitDavid Gold (Conservative) born 1972. Educated at Royal Holloway. Development director at Brighton College, former business consultant and aide to William Hague. Contested Brighton Pavilion in 2001, then the first openly gay Conservative candidate selected in a winnable seat.

portraitSteven Toole (Liberal Democrat) Born Ashington. Educated at Newcastle University. Liberal Democrat advisor on environmental and transport issues. Contested Erith and Thamesmead 2005.

portraitArthur Hayles (Green) Retired civil servant.

portraitRay Adams (UKIP)

portraitRoberta Woods (BNP) Educated at University of Greenwich. IT analyst. Contested London assembly list 2008. Contested London in 2009 European election.

portraitMike Tibby (English Democrat)

portraitAndrew Graham (Independent)

I've had a lot of literature through now (I'm in the Eltham North area) - lots of glossy, smiley stuff from David Gold ('the change we need') who is aiming hard at Clive Efford's 3,276 majority, and lots through from Labour ('putting local people first'). I've also had a UKIP, a Green Party and a pitiful BNP one (with Winston Churchill photoshopped next to Griffin and, surely, that's not a real family pictured).

My previous election posts:

Eltham election hustings?

General Election 2010: South-East London constituencies

Eltham North candidates announced - Will Eltham turn blue?

What would you ask Nick Griffin?

South-East London MPs to stand down

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Which is the best London film?

With the London Marathon taking place this weekend, starting down the road from me in Blackheath, it felt fairly topical last Saturday night to be watching the film Run Fatboy Run (2007).  This British comedy is about an unfit and unambitious man (Simon Pegg) who decides to run a marathon through London to impress his ex (Thandie Newton) who is about to marry someone else. Who cares if it was 'formulaic' - we found it funny and loved the London setting.

I was interested then to see a call by the The Londonist for people to vote for their favourite London film, the top five of which would be screened by Museum of London. The number one film will be shown at the opening weekend of the Museum of London’s brand new Galleries of Modern London on 30 May. The remaining movies will be shown from August to November as part of their ongoing programme of London-themed film screening..  You can nominate your top films here.  You have until midday (UK time) on Monday 26 April 2010.

Which film would you vote for?

These are some of my favs: Absolute Beginners, Alfie, Bend It Like Beckham, Cheeni Kum, London Kills Me, The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, Sliding Doors, Withnail and I.   Oh dear, all a bit old aren't they.

Monday 19 April 2010

Eltham election hustings?

Does anyone know about any?

What we know so far is that there's a cross-constituency event at the Blackheath Halls on Monday 26th April 2010, 7.30 – 9.30 pm, with the following prospective candidates:

David Gold – Conservative, Eltham
Pete Pattisson – Liberal Democrat, Lewisham East
Nick Raynsford – Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich

And that there is an Eltham event on Wed 28th April, 7-9pm at the 'URC' (?United Reform Church), though "these Hustings are provided for the members and congregations of our churches to meet and question candidates on issues of special concern to Christians."  So the event seems tailored to specific issues and a specific audience. According to the website, the following standing candidates "have been invited":
  • Clive Efford (Labour) – confirmed in principle
  • Steven Toole (Lib Dem) – very interested hopes to attend – tbc
  • David Gold (Con) – confirmed in prinicple
  • Arthur Hayles (Green) – confirmed attending
  • Jerry Fergus (Eng Dem) – invited

There's been a bit of a debate about local hustings over at the Blackheath Bugle here and here.

I''m not getting time to do the posts I wanted on the election - it's all quite exciting (even though I fear the worst for Eltham). Finally, did y'all catch up with the news of Mayor Boris visiting Eltham High Street last Wednesday, 14 April?  The local Tory websites were, naturally, cock-a-hoop about this. I liked the photo of Boris outside the Eltham High Street 99p Shop best...

Sunday 11 April 2010

General Election 2010: South-East London constituencies

I came across this handy digest in the local News Shopper of local constituencies which I spliced together and thought I'd share with you:

Beckenham has never elected anyone other than a Conservative MP in modern times, largely because the suburban parts of the constituency, including parts of Bromley, and Beckenham itself, are firmly Tory. The anti-Conservative vote is generally split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. There was a wobbly moment in November 1997 at a by-election caused by the resignation of the late Piers Merchant over a sex scandal. The new Tory candidate Jacqui Lait scraped home with a majority of just over 1,000. But last time the majority was more than 8,000 and may possibly be doubled by boundary changes.

Bexleyheath & Crayford:
A marginal seat in the London Borough of Bexley. It is in the capital's commuter belt and is heavily owner-occupied. The Tories managed to wrest the seat from Labour in 2005. The sitting Member, David Evennett, is the only MP who was defeated in Labour's landslide of 1997, to have unsuccessfully fought the same seat in 2001 and finally to have won it in 2005. Mr Evennett, who will be defending a majority of over 4,000 � probably boosted by boundary changes, was formerly MP for Erith and Crayford until that seat was abolished in 1997.

Bromley & Chislehurst:
This relatively prosperous, London suburban and predominantly white constituency was regarded as one of the Tories' safest seats. But a by-election in 2006 came as a nasty shock: the 13,000 majority was reduced to a mere 600. This reduced majority was put down to a low turn-out and the presence of Nigel Farage, the charismatic Ukip leader, in the contest. He beat Labour into fourth place. The by-election was caused by the sudden death of the sitting MP Eric Forth. His successor was London Assembly member pro-European Bob Neill, nicknamed ""Three Jobs Bob"" because of his � entirely legitimate � extra-parliamentary activities. This seat, when it was just Bromley, was held by Harold Macmillan from 1945 to 1964.

This south-east London seat was held by Tory Peter Bottomley for two decades before he transferred to another constituency. And in 1997, Labour captured it from the Conservatives and have held it ever since. The area is famous as the birthplace of Bob Hope, and infamous, as the place where the black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered. The seat is largely middle-class and suburban. The sitting MP, former London taxi-driver Clive Efford, secured a Labour majority of over 3,200 at the last general election. It is listed as the 66th most likely seat that the Tories could capture. [see my post on Eltham].

Erith & Thamesmead:
This rock-solid Labour seat covers the area close to the border of south-east London, stretching from Plumstead in the west to Erith in the east. This constituency has problems over housing and crime. The sitting Labour MP John Austin, who recorded a majority of 11,500 over the Conservatives at the last election, is not contesting this one. Mr Austin, a technician, has held the seat since it was created in 1997.

Greenwich & Woolwich:
The South London seat of Greenwich was a Labour stronghold for much of the 20th century. But it surprisingly fell to the Social Democratic Party at a by-election in 1987. Labour won it back, although with difficulty in 1992, and have retained it, since 1997, in its new form of Greenwich and Woolwich . The sitting MP is Nick Raynsford, a public school educated former minister with a precise legal brain. At the last election he recorded a majority of more than 10,000 over the Liberal Democrats. This constituency is the home of the Millennium Dome, now known as the 02 arena.

Lewisham Deptford:
This is a virtually impregnable Labour stronghold in south London, running alongside the River Thames. There is a trendy arts and music scene in parts of the constituency, but there are also areas of desolate council housing and deprivation. Labour retained the seat at the last election with a majority of nearly 12,000 over the Liberal Democrats with the Conservatives only narrowly behind in third place. The sitting MP Joan Ruddock, who first won the seat in 1992, is a former chairman of CND.

Lewisham East:
This seat, once represented by Herbert Morrison, a Labour Cabinet minister in the 1940s, is at the moment in Labour's hands but their majority of 6,750 must be considered vulnerable in the present political climate. The inner-city constituency includes such middle-class areas as Blackheath as well as big estates. The sitting MP Bridget Prentice, who won it from the Conservatives in 1992, is not contesting this election.

Lewisham West & Penge:
This is a new constituency compiled from parts of Lewisham West and Beckenham. It includes Crystal Palace National Sports Centre which is on the site of the building which originally housed the 1851 Great Exhibition, which was burnt down in 1936. Experts have calculated that had this seat existed at the time of the 2005 general election, Labour would have won it with a majority of some 7,800 over the Liberal Democrats. The Labour candidate will be Jim Dowd, who secured a majority of nearly 10,000 over the Liberal Democrats in the disappearing seat of Lewisham West at the last general election.

Old Bexley & Sidcup:
This suburban outer London south-east seat is a relatively safe Conservative haven. Sir Edward Heath, the former Tory Prime Minister, represented the area for around half-a-century. The Tories retained the seat at the last election with a majority of nearly 10,000 over Labour. However, the present incumbent, Derek Conway, who won the seat as a Conservative in 2005 subsequently had the Tory whip withdrawn and has been sitting as an independent. The new Conservative candidate will be James Brokenshire, the current MP for Hornchurch, which disappears as a constituency in its own right.

It will be fascinating to see what comes to pass in each constituency on 6 May...I hope to be here updating online on the night. If you're local, which constituency do you fall in, and how do you intend voting (if you care to say)?

Friday 9 April 2010

Behud and Asian women strikers: Posts Revisited

Two interesting pieces in the press I spotted this week about the subject of past posts I've done:

>  Sunny Hundal in The Guardian on the Behud play by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti 

(re.  March 2010: 'Bhatti returns with Behud)

>  Sarfraz Manzoor on the Asian women trade unionists and the Grunwick strike

(re.  Sept 2009: 'Women's Library: Voices of South Asian workers')

Eltham North candidates announced - Will Eltham turn blue?

In case you hadn't heard, there's an election coming. PM Gordon Brown has called the national election for 6 May 2010. There are loads of brilliant political blogs covering that, and very entertaining it will be over the next month or so.

But firstly, on the same day the local elections will also take place. In my borough, Greenwich, people will be voting for their three councillors to represent them in their ward; there are 17 wards in the London Borough of Greenwich. Those standing for election in my local ward, Eltham North, have just been declared - they are:

Bird, Emily - The Labour Party
Blackburn, Helen - Liberal Democrats
Borland, Bernie - The Labour Party
Davenport, Rowena - British National Party
Drury, Spencer - The Conservative Party
Fletcher, Nigel Mark - The Conservative Party
Marnham, Janice Mary - The Labour Party
Poston, Dermot David - The Conservative Party
Randall, Edward John - Liberal Democrats
Shubert, Elliot - Liberal Democrats
Turner, David - Green Party

Eltham North is a blue ward (Conservative) in a red borough (Labour) at the moment - I'm hoping the first colour will change. I'll try to bring news of any local happenings, especially any blogs by candidates.

You can check this pdf document for the candidates for any of the other Greenwich wards.

The 2006 local Council elections results for Eltham North were:

Eltham North Ward (turnout 50%):
Name / Party / Results:
Spencer Drury / Conservative / 2344 / ELECTED
Nigel Mark Fletcher / Conservative / 2096 / ELECTED
Anthea Hilary Gent / Liberal Democrats / 1015
Maresa Anne Kingston / Labour / 1220
Janice Mary Marnham / Labour / 1084
Dermot David Poston / Conservative / 2164 / ELECTED
Marek Daniel Alexander Powley / Green / 584
Edward John Randall / Liberal Democrats / 1083
Judith Spence / Liberal Democrats / 871
Arnold Edwin Tarling / UK Independence Party / 634
Christine Walker / Labour / 1165

Back to the national General Election, some pundits have been betting on the Eltham constituency turning Conservative - Labour's Clive Efford became Eltham's MP in 1997. In the 2005 elections his majority was reduced to 3,276.

These were the Eltham results in 2005:
Candidate / Votes / Share %:
Clive Efford, Labour 15,381 / 43.6%
Spencer Drury, Conservative 12,105 / 3 4.3%
Ian Gerrard, Liberal Democrat 5,669 / 16.1%
Jeremy Elms, UK Independence Party 1,024 / 2.9%
Barry Roberts, British National Party 979 / 2.8%
Andrew Graham, Independent 147 / 0.4%

I hope Clive Efford will do as well (at least) if not much better this time round. I hope to be writing some more soon about the local campaign - the leaflets have been dropping already...

In the meantime, following my South-East London MPs post, you might be interested to see these London-wide predictions a while ago by The Standard for the London seats - as you can see, they have Eltham swinging:


Thursday 8 April 2010

Review of The Infidel

Oh dear, oh dear. The Telegraph's review today:
"David Baddiel's and Omid Djalili's film The Infidel makes you wish it would just go away: Rating: * * 

The problem with David Baddiel’s script for The Infidel is simple, because it’s the same as the problem with David Baddiel. It fires off plenty of smart, funny quips — it got a Cambridge double first, you know. It makes you laugh, and then you just want it to go away.
Omid Djalili does a great job with what he’s got, which is essentially a stand-up routine about this not very devout Muslim who finds out he’s actually an adopted Jew called Solly Shimshillewitz....." Read the rest.
I guess that was kinda predictable, though it is the type of subject matter which I wish could be good - I think the writer and actor are talented guys. Sounds like it's more suited for a sketch rather than a film, perhaps. You can watch some clips and interviews here.

UPDATE: some better reviews coming through later coinciding with a 'red carpet' UK premiere - for example The Standard raves about it,saying: "The Infidel will be the summer’s funniest film". Blimey. I'm glad. Glad for the cast, the crew and the subject matter.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

The London blogosphere: I've been noticed!

I was pleased to see this rather nice mention in that nice Dave Hill's column in the Guardian, the other week. In the 'Metropolitan Lines' section, under the heading "London blogosphere" this appeared:

"She calls herself Raven and describes herself as, "a woman living in south-east London, working at a London university, raising two children with my husband, and with a research interest in sociolinguistics." Her blog, London Masala and Chips, looks at film, gay love in a Bollywood film, exhibitions, drama, identity issues, books, politics and things to do to entertain your kids. Not forgetting sociolinguistics."

It was really flattering to be picked for his London blog spotlight in his excellent regular London column. As a result I've had a quite a spike in visitors, thanks very much (though still only very shy types!). The only slight concern is that the article appeared on 1 April...

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Asian Alchemy in London

I'm back. Lots to write about - might tell you about Centre Parcs another time - but for now....

Talking about the Indian sub-continent being en vogue at the moment, there is a cracking festival just starting at the South Bank Centre in London. In it's own words: "Alchemy explores the culture of India, its diaspora and its relationship to the UK today in over 30 events spanning dance, music, literature, debates, fashion and food. 

Over five packed days discover classical masters of the sub-continent alongside emerging British Asian talent; folk traditions alongside contemporary experimentation."

The line-up looks fantastic, there just so much here - you can check up the programme here.

In the meantime, here below are some goodies I've picked out - the free showing of Sholay looks fun (orginally pointed out to me by Plummy Mummy) and the Southall Story events sound interesting. I'd be interested to hear about what you thought about any of it:

Credit: Jonah RamballLevel 5 Function Room
India: Global Powerhouse?
Wednesday 7 April 2010
Is India the new America?

A.R. RahmanRoyal Festival Hall
Wednesday 7 April 2010
The London Philharmonic Orchestra performs the works of the celebrated Indian film composer AR Rahman.

Southall Storytellers
Yellow Room, Spirit Level
Tuesday 6 April 2010 - Sunday 11 April 2010
Visit stalls, watch performances and meet local storytellers reminisce about Southall.

Southall StorySpirit Level
Wednesday 7 April 2010 - Tuesday 11 May 2010
The Southall Story explores the recent history of a place that has come to be affectionately known as Little India, but for many it is much more than that.

A Golden Age
Sunley Pavilion
Thursday 8 April 2010
Tahmima Anam's novel 'A Golden Age' is our first book club choice of the new season, and is part of the Alchemy Festival.

H-DhamiQueen Elizabeth Hall
Thursday 8 April 2010
Hosted and curated by Nihal from BBC Radio 1 and BBC Asian Network, this event marks the first time three of the biggest names in UK Bhangra - H-Dhami, Jaz Dhami and Juggy D - perform together

NihalThe Clore Ballroom
Thursday 8 April 2010
BBC Radio 1 DJ, Nihal hosts his BBC Asian Network show live at Southbank Centre. Join a discussion on the ingredients that make up Indian culture today.

Gauri Sharma TripathiPurcell Room
Thursday 8 April 2010
Gauri Sharma Tripathi is a key exponent of the north Indian classical dance form of Kathak.

SamayQueen Elizabeth Hall
Friday 9 April 2010
This evening brings together innovators of Indian dance and music from two different perspectives.

MilunFoyer Bar - level 2
Friday 9 April 2010
By combining the notes found in the standard minor scale in Irish music with well-known ragas in Indian music, Milun conjure musical conversations that exchange traditional motifs

The Teak ProjectThe Front Room at QEH
Friday 9 April 2010
The Teak Project represents a collaboration between three of Britain's finest young improvisers.

Sonia SabriThe Clore Ballroom
Friday 9 April 2010
Hosted and performed by Sonia Sabri and featuring special guest Mavin Khoo this event explores the roots of Indian classical dance.

Alchemy Market - A Taste of IndiaSouthbank Centre Square
Friday 9 April 2010 - Sunday 11 April 2010
During the Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre Square offers a variety of Indian foods and crafts for you to enjoy, including hot dishes and chai. Come and try the tastes and smells of India.

A Golden AgeBlue Room, Spirit Level
Saturday 10 April 2010
Set amidst the Bangladeshi War of Independence of 1971, 'A Golden Age' is a novel about a country and a family at war.

Aakash Odedra & Sanjukta Sinha/ Seeta Patel & Kamala Devam/ Hetain PatelPurcell Room
Saturday 10 April 2010
This evening brings together several British born-artists investigating their Indian cultural heritage, together with dancers who share this line of enquiry from America and India.

The Southall Story
Yellow Room, Spirit Level
Saturday 10 April 2010
Including performances by Kuljit Bhamra and Mohinder Kaur Bhamra.

Sufi ZenQueen Elizabeth Hall Roof (free)
Saturday 10 April 2010
Highlighting the contrasts between the spiritual stillness of Zen and all-encompassing motion of Sufism

Nathan 'Flutebox' LeeQueen Elizabeth Hall
Saturday 10 April 2010
One ticket buys you a brilliant mini festival line-up of the most innovative artists from UK and India, with live bands and film soundtrack performances, VJs, DJs, spoken word and comedy

The Clore Ballroom (free)
Sunday 11 April 2010
Modern democracies are increasingly concerned about young people disengaging from conventional politics. Youth culture in India is said to be driving a wedge between old and young.

SholayThe Clore Ballroom (free)
Sunday 11 April 2010
Southbank Centre marks the close of the Alchemy Festival with a screening of the classic Bollywood film 'Sholay'.

The Grewal FamilyQueen Elizabeth Hall
Sunday 11 April 2010
Southbank Centre brings the stars of the popular Channel 4 series 'The Family' to the stage for the first time.