Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

COMING-OF-AGE STORY  BOOKS ‘The Far Field’ review: A postcard in red and gold Sheila Kumar SEPTEMBER 07, 2019   An unexpectedly nuanced look at Kashmir from down south Madhuri Vijay’s first novel is a beautifully nuanced tale in these times of no nuance. The author dunks us deep into the family scrum of the protagonist,…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/UPON A SLEEPLESS ISLE by ANDREW FIDEL FERNANDO

Book Review: Upon a Sleepless Isle Sheila Kumar, SEP 08 2019 Sweet and hot sambol As I ate a vegetable-stuffed roti sitting on the rock, an East Asian couple spotted me and became transfixed, in the way safari-goers might upon seeing rare wildlife. At first they viewed and photographed me from a   safe distance, wary,…

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Brief Takes: Under Something of a Cloud by Dom Moraes

Just finished Under Something of a Cloud, (Speaking Tiger Books), a collection of travel essays from the fluid pen of the late Dom Moraes. These were the words that had me reaching out for my dictionary; some I knew but wanted to check their meaning once again: Appurtenances. Assever. Anfractuous. Enfiladed (by mist). Their hirpling…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/RAAVAN by AMISH

Book Review: Raavan, Amish Sheila Kumar, Aug 25 2019 Insidious villain And now, the origin story for Raavan. Unlike in the lacklustre telling of Ram`s story in Ramachandra, Scion of Ishkvaku,   and Sita`s tale which,  apart from the big reveal, was a pretty straight affair, Amish gives his Raavan enough of an  edgy personality so…

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Brief Takes: The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus. Simon and Schuster Books UK. Such a fun read! Okay, so comparisons are odious but think Bridget Jones in Oz. However,  a Bridge who`s got her shit together a bit more,  is prettier, less scatty but equally wacky, equally witty. And a lot more well-read. This…

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BOOK REVIEW/SUNDAY HERALD: THE COURTESAN, THE MAHATMA AND THE ITALIAN BRAHMIN by MANU S PILLAI

History in sixty takes An absorbing collation of historical tales from across India   Manu S Pillai, our desi Dalrymple,  gives us another round of Indian history, this time in a collection of essays touching upon one interesting character after another, some well-known, some not, one or two quite obscure. The book is a compilation…

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Brief Takes: House of Stars by Keya Ghosh

I read House of Stars by Keya Ghosh (Penguin Metro Reads) on the exuberant recommendation of my teenaged niece and guess what, it was an absorbing read. This is love in the times of religious fundamentalism and communal intolerance, the nascent passions of two eighteen- year- olds, Diya from Mumbai and Kabir from Kashmir, forming…

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LITERARY REVIEW: THE STRAWBERRY THIEF by JOANNE HARRIS

In her latest book, Joanne Harris brings back Lansquenet-sous-Tannes` friendly neighbourhood witch, Vianne Rocher. Vianne`s making and scrying with chocolate again; her elder daughter Anouk has stayed behind in Paris and the younger girl Rosette is now a silent sixteen. She believes that her Maman has made a sinister pact with the wind and let…

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BOOK REVIEW: LITERARY REVIEW/AYESHA AT LAST by UZMA JALALUDDIN

The Bennett bibis of Toronto All the familiar drama with some desi spice Here comes the latest P & P tweak, in the wake of a multitude of literary and cinematic adaptations of that Jane Austen classic. In Uzma Jalaluddin’s  ‘Ayesha at Last,’  the Bennet family`s trials and tribulations are given a culture tweak, and…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/A SECRET HISTORY OF COMPASSION by PAUL ZACHARIA

Sending up everything and everyone A scathing look at life The reader`s first reaction on reading A Secret History of Compassion is to muse over the probability that Paul Zacharia wrote up the story,  then dipped it into a vat of caustic soda. Everything is grist for his mill, or rather pen, here: writers, writing,…

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