Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

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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Brief Takes: The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath

It`s been just under five years that Shivya Nath has impinged herself on the traveller`s consciousness and made us all compulsive readers of her blog posts. The Shooting Star (Penguin Books) is a lovely travel memoir, exuberantly soaring one moment reflective the next, curious and questioning the moment after that. There are epiphanies on almost…

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LITERARY REVIEW: THE ATLAS OF REDS AND BLUES by DEVI S. LASKAR

`Where are you really from?` That question, with its inherent prejudice and bias, lies at the heart of Devi S. Laskar’s debut novel, The Atlas Of Blues And Reds. It is not the American Dream but the American nightmare of racism that is centrestage here. R is for racism At the start of the story,…

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SUNDAY HERALD BOOKS: REQUIEM IN RAGA JANKI by NEELUM SARAN GAUR

A mellifluous tale, this rich re-telling of a diva`s saga The unidentified narrator of the tale is an elderly singer pushing 90 from what we can discern, who sings for her supper these days in a new way…she tells the tales of the famous courtesan Jankibai Illahabadi. However, she firmly states, `at my age things crowd…

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Brief Takes: A Bend in the River of Life by Marianne de Nazareth

A Bend in the River of Life by Marianne de Nazareth. Leadstart Books. Now here`s a dilemma. Can one label a book that deals with the onset and relentless progress of Parkinsonism in a set of parents, a happy read? Impactful, yes. Informative, very much so. Disturbing, well, that`s a given, dealing as it does…

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