Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

TRAVEL: DH/PEACOCKS AT PRAYER/ALL SAINTS GARRISON CHURCH, LUCKNOW

Peacocks at prayer Lucknow cantonment`s All Saints Garrison Church is one sumptuous Raj relic As we turned left into the compound of our army guest house, I almost dislocated my neck, the aforementioned neck being sharply turned to the right. Because what met my eyes on the right was a truly magnificent sight, something that…

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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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FEATURE: MAN`S WORLD INDIA/SOURDOUGH, HIM AND ME

  FOOD & DRINK He did, she did In which the writer attends a sourdough workshop and gets into covert competition with a man  Sheila Kumar  8 min read “This is the mother starter,” says Bengaluru-based Sour House’s Selvan Thandapani, who is guiding us through this Introduction to Sourdough workshop. We are five women aspiring sourdough bakers…

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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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Brief Takes: Beyond the Boulevards by Aditi Sriram

Beyond the Boulevards, Aleph Books. A monograph on Pondicherry by Aditi Sriram, this was a nice enough read but all through, it had the reader…well, this reader at least …forever searching between the words for something more, je ne sais quoi. For the ardent Pondyphile, and there are so many of us, it`s all there:…

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Brief Takes: Daughters of the Sun by Ira Mukhoty

 Behind the zardosi drapes This wonderful book is a detailed  riposte to the traditional image of harems as a place of hothouse sex, with special focus on the Mughal harems. In her foreword, the author states that accounts of the Oriental harem are usually a lurid and sometimes fantastical mix of bazaar gossip, stray gleanings…

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BOOK REVIEW: SUNDAY HERALD/DOAB DIL by SARNATH BANERJEE

Of matters this and that A contemplative graphic novel filled to the brim with dil The cover of Sarnath Banerjee’s  Doab Dil  tells a story of its own, well  before the reader  reaches the part of the book that provides any context for it. The clouds, the woman on top of the rocks with her…

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FEATURE: METROPLUS/BAKING SOURDOUGH BREAD

The sourdough challenge In which the writer attends a sourdough workshop and develops starter-fear   This is the mother starter, pronounces Sourhouse India`s Selvan Thandapani,  who is taking the Introduction to Sourdough Workshop for us. His tone is reverential, and we stare in respectful if slightly foggy fashion at the mason jar with a white…

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