Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

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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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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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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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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Brief Takes: Hurree Jamset Ram Singh in the Billy Bunter books

I wonder if anyone else on here was as conflicted about the character Hurree Jamset Ram Singh of the Billy Bunter books, he of the supposedly sage and incomprehensible pronouncements like “the wishfulness of the jug that goes to the well is terrific.“ Apart from the confusion regarding that name, which inferred the character was…

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Brief Takes: My Father`s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

And once in a rarish while, along comes a book, the contents of which are seamlessly compatible with its jacket pic. Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar`s MY FATHER`S GARDEN (Speaking Tiger Books) is one such book. The reader`s eye is caught and held first by the sumptuous illustration on the cover. And once they start to read…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/DARA SHUKOH: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING by AVIK CHANDA

A mystic’s misfortune Dara Shukoh’s vision for a just, tolerant, secular and humane India seems today as unrealised as his dream of becoming the king  A contemplative ‘what if’ nebula hangs over Avik Chanda’s gripping book on Dara Shukoh. Dara was Emperor Shah Jahan’s eldest, most favoured son and heir apparent. He, however, does not…

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Brief Takes: Aranyaka by Amruta Patil and Devdutt Pattanaik

The year is yet young but ARANYAKA  (Tranquebar Books) is for me, the best read of 2020, so far. This wonderful 2019 collab by Amruta Patil and Devdutt Pattanaik (story and art by the former, based on concepts by the latter)   pulls you into the heart of the forest from the very first page and…

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Brief Takes: Whisper in the Wind by Venita Coelho

This book is a cracker of a Gothic tale even as the actual nature of the story comes wrapped in gauze. Is it a (tender) ghost story? Is it a (macabre) murder mystery? Is it a (richly) atmospheric thriller? Well,  simply put,  it`s all of these and  some. Love, betrayal, heartbreak,  revenge, intrigue; chatelaines and…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/POSTSCRIPT by CECILIA AHERN

A measured  journey of picking up the pieces and carrying on Cecilia Ahern debuted with PS I Love You in 2004,  which went on to be No 1 on the bestseller lists in Ireland, the UK and across the pond, in the US too; win awards and get adapted into a movie with Hollywood stars…

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