Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Brief Takes: The Sixth Finger by Malayatoor Ramakrishnan

 The Sixth Finger: Malayatoor Ramakrishnan, translated from Malayalam by Prema Jayakumar Publisher: Ratna Books Genre: Fiction Extent: 372pp Price: Rs 399   You would imagine that the origin story of a nascent godman would make for a compelling read. This, unfortunately, is not entirely the case here. Malayatoor Ramakrishnan`s protagonist Vedaraman is introduced to the…

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Brief Takes: Panjab by Amandeep Sandhu

I open my New Year account of book reviews with a book I read slowly, attentively, absorbing everything it had to give. Amandeep Sandhu`s PANJAB is many things to many readers. There are those like me, who was once familiar with the pinds and the jind of what Sandhu calls the outlier state (and you…

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Brief Takes: Perhaps Tomorrow by Pooranam Elayathamby with Richard Anderson

This stark tale,  told absolutely without the slightest frill to embellish it, is basically a tale of triumph, of navigating one`s way through all the odds stacked in one`s path and coming through,  banner held aloft. The `one` here is the co-narrator Pooranam Elayathamby alias Sandy. Born into a poor Sri Lankan Tamil household, any…

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BOOK REVIEW: THE RADIANCE OF A THOUSAND SUNS by MANREET SODHI SOMESHWAR

Poignant memories A young Sikh woman in NYC tries to deal with the inheritance of particularly painful memories When the winds of independence blew in 1947, it carried within it a monster gale that wreaked damage on Punjab and its people. Thirty-seven years later, those marauding wind storms visited Punjabis yet again, this time in…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/IS THERE STILL SEX IN THE CITY By CANDACE BUSHNELL

Chick-lit for older chicks? Here, relationships and ageing are more engaging than either sex or the city. With its standout title, Candace Bushnell`s memoir Is There Still Sex In The City? sets up some major expectations, of  beautifully made-up, expensively dressed young women dealing with the trials and tribulations of  love, sex and everything in…

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Brief Takes: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

QUICHOTTE by Salman Rushdie. Penguin Books India. I never ever thought it`d come to this. That, after a complete and total infatuation with the works of S. Rushdie that has lasted many  long years, I would actually find anything written by him tiresome. But the overly verbose Quichotte tired me out. Why, why,  why should…

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Brief Takes: Animalia Indica, edited by Sumana Roy

ANIMALIA INDICA, The Finest Animal Stories in Indian Literature. Edited by Sumana Roy. Aleph Books. What a treat this book is! Opening with that absolute classic, Kipling`s Rikki- Tikki-Tavi, the imagery of which stays in the head well after the reader has finished the story, the book offers up a great melange of tales of…

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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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