Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Guest Column: To Mask or Not to Mask, That Is NOT the Question

Let`s face it, masks R us, for now and the foreseeable future. A fresh slew of reports have come to the consensus that masks do a first-rate job of protecting us, as well as curbing the spread of Covid. This does not, of course, mean we can jettison the other safeguards like hand hygiene, physical…

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Guest column: Worrywarts or neurotics?

Worrywarts or neurotics, the jury is still out There is absolutely no shame in admitting that the pestiferous pestilence has brought us to our knees, felled some of us, left us bewildered, flailing and crushed under the weight of our helplessness. One side effect is this state of mind the experts are calling `worried wellness.`…

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Feature: If She`s Malayali, She Loves Gold!

Gold is a Malayali woman’s BFF. But don’t be misled into thinking it’s just an expensive indulgence. The latest scandal down south involves the state of Kerala, a woman named Swapna Suresh and 30kgs of smuggled gold. Not surprisingly, the incident has led to snide comments yet again on Kerala’s gold-love. Actually, we need to…

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Feature: Where have all the editors gone?

Where have (all) the editors gone? First a hark-back, to Delhi, circa the late Nineties. At a dinner, I found myself on the receiving end of some trenchant criticism regarding the  many  errors that appeared daily in the newspaper I worked for, arguably the country`s largest- selling daily. I smartly lobbed the criticism over to…

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Guest column: If we must travel…

Even as we clip our wings and stay hunkered down, our imagination is already soaring. In the proofreading manual we editors turn to, we have a term called `stet,` which mean to let things stand, to ignore any attempt to make a change. That stet is what I am afraid of when it comes time…

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Guest column: Cancel Culture: Feeding the Socmed Monster

Cancel culture: Feeding the Socmed monster  The world has found something new to outrage over… till the next trigger comes along The official avatar of this one has crept up on us almost without warning. I`m talking about cancel culture. For those who have come in late, cancel culture refers to the practice of withdrawing support…

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Feature: Shailaja Padindala, profiled

  Shailaja Padindala, founder of Mustache Under My Nose Ring, speaks on non-binary dressing and her new, dark comedy on queer expression in a heteronormative world. “The beauty of some women lies in their unacknowledged mustache,” Padindala tells me earneslty. Sitting across me at a table in the canteen of the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in…

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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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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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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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