Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Guest column: The kindness of strangers

The kindness of strangers Sometimes, when times are bad, we are comforted immeasurably by the kindness of strangers…. To begin, a quote from the Dalai Lama. “ When we face some tragic situation, it reveals the deeper human values of compassion. Usually people don’t think about these deeper human values but when they see their…

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Book review: The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

  The Bookseller`s Tale Shaun Bythell, a Scotsman of slightly curmudgeonly nature and a deep and abiding love of books,  buys a bookstore in Wigtown and sets about making it arguably the most popular bookshop on the Scottish isle. In between trips hither and thither to look at book collections and buy as he sees…

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Book review: Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively

This is a book less about gardening methods, types of plants and the like, and more about literary characters and their gardens, imagined as well as real. Get out there and dig, weed, prune, plant, when stuck with whatever was being written, advises the author who apparently is very adept at both writing as well…

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Guest column: In the end, who will we be?

                                                        In the end, who will we be? Even as the old normal returns, will we do a recalibration of our old selves?  So, now is a good…

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Book review: This Land Is Our Land by Suketu Mehta

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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Feature: Walking a virtual Camino

Doing a virtual pilgrimage One of the few highlights of this long lockdown period (and I was in lockdown mode from 16 March 2020) 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…

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Book review: How I Became A Tree by Sumana Roy

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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Photo Feature: Picture Postcards

Once you see this, you can never unsee it. Six bronze men descending a flight of stairs, and the further away from them you move, the more broken the figures appear. This stark statuary stands at the base of Petrin hill in Prague. The work of Olbram Zoubek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdeněk Holzel, it’s…

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Guest column: Staying stylish in Covid times

With Covid blowing about in the wind, has style gone with the wind? 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…

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Book review: 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…

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