Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

This Land Is Our Land by Suketu Mehta: Excerpts

MEANWHILE, MIGRANTS ELSEWHERE…. Suketu Mehta`s THIS LAND IS OUR LAND is the intelligent combination of the personal, where Mehta talks of many members of his clan migrating to the US, and the professional, where he traces the troubled route of people braving some almost insurmountable odds to make a happy place for themselves in a…

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A Camino post

Doing a virtual pilgrimage One of the few highlights of this long lockdown period (and I was in lockdown mode from 16 March) was a virtual Camino I went on,  for 36 + 3  days, starting early April.  The invite came from our Camino leader Amy Gigi Alexander, she who has walked more than 20…

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How I Became A Tree by Sumana Roy: Brief Takes

So enjoyed what I term the Matryoshka Tree book, Sumana Roy`s HOW I BECAME A TREE  (Aleph Books). The book, which focuses on tree-love, aims for that intersection between the spot a tree stands in and the spot a human stands in, and reveals the Matryoshka effect as it segues from tree story to tree…

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Picture Postcards

                      POSTCARDS: Such serenity after a history of such conflict. This beautiful water wonderland, Croatia’s Plitsvice Lakes, 8 kms of woods and water, 16 lakes sparkling in the sunshine, has been the site of pitched battles between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires, and then, more…

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Lockdown blues: Falling into the slob pit

  I find myself gazing repeatedly at this photograph of a corona party (cue eye-roll), a Whatsapp forward I`m weirdly unwilling to delete. What I`m looking at is this pretty young thing in a canary-coloured miniskirt dancing madly, her Goth-black nails on defiant display. Now I can`t carry off minis, I`m not sure canary is…

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Brief Takes: Behind the Wall by Colin Thubron

Just when the first lockdown was enforced,  I started on one of my fave travel writer Colin Thubron`s 1988 China travelogue, Behind the Wall. And I only just finished reading it. It`s not an easy book to read, and it`s even more difficult to review. Oh, Thubron is at the top of his game here,…

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Profile of a Malayali Nurse

INTERSECTIONS / CULTURE Meet Sr. Florrie (Nightingale) Thomas by Sheila Kumar On the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale, and the year of COVID-19, the spotlight falls on the life-saving force that is the Malayali nurse  We are back to singing the praises of our homegrown Ladies in White, our newly consecrated frontline COVID-19 warriors. In the usual…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/MEMORY OF LIGHT by RUTH VANITA

A poignant passion A febrile strand of melancholia runs through the story, adding heft to a tale rich with detail, feeling and emotion In corona times, along comes a book that is best read slowly, leisurely, a meditative reflection on a found, lost, then recaptured love. Sumptuously descriptive, this love story has stately Lucknow, the…

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GUEST COLUMN: THE NEW SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE/DISTANCING? PERISH THE THOUGHT!

  Home  Magazine  Voices Distancing? Perish the Thought Now here’s the thing: distancing is not only an alien concept to us Indians, it also goes against our grain. Migrants who arrived from Maharashtra by a special train follow social distancing after deboarding at Charbagh railway station during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Lucknow. (Photo | PTI) Now…

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Brief Takes: Revolutionary Ride by Lois Pryce

Revolutionary Ride by Lois Pryce. Hachette india. About halfway into this book, an account of the author`s foray into Iran in 2011 on her motorcycle, I realised the book was less travelogue and more a political account of modern-day Iran. However,  I had no grouse with that because Pryce stays on-point all through, and the…

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