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Glorious glimpses of the past on the road to Mandalay: An enchanting voyage through Burma

Mail on Sunday

Burma is a country where the past is constantly jostling with the present. Even as I waited at the immigration counter at Yangon airport, I was struck by what turned out to be the first of many surprises.
There was a channel marked ‘Seamen’ with no queue at all. It turned out that the channel was reserved for those seeking permanent residence. However, nobody arrives by boat these days, so having such a counter seems like a curious attempt to preserve a vanished past.

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Stalin’s agent in India – Times of India’s review of the Indian edition of Mihir’s latest book, Silver, the spy who fooled the Nazis

Times of India

This is an unusual spy story. There are no John Le Carre moments but the story of Bhagat Ram Talwar is a necessary and relevant chapter in India’s struggle for independence when many patriots where confronted with dilemmas of contradictory choices, as is evident in the much narrated legend of Subhas Chandra Bose who held that ‘’our enemy’s enemy is our friend.”

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Just published

Silver: The Spy Who Fooled The Nazis

‘This fascinating tale…’ The Independent

‘…Mihir Bose’s beautifully written book.’ The Jewish Chronicle

Mihir Bose’s new book is about the only quintuple spy of the Second World War who spied for the Italians, Germans, Japanese, Soviets and the British. Silver was one of many codenames for a man whose real name was Bhagat Ram Talwar, a Hindu Pathan from theNorth West Frontier province of then British India. The Germans awarded him the Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military decoration, and paid him £2.5 million in today’s money.  

Full of wonderful tales of Silver’s deceptions including the twelve trips from Peshawar to Kabul to supply false information to the Germans, always making the near-200-mile journey on foot over mountain passes and hostile tribal territory.  And when an Afghan nearly rumbled him, he invited him to a curry meal in which he had mixed deadly tiger’s whiskers killing the Afghan. 

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