Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Delivering on some promises So, there are two ways to read Barack Obama`s eagerly awaited memoir. One as a political text, detailing the journey of the 44th president of the United States, from Harvard Law School grad to Chicago lawyer to Illinois  senator thrice, to POTUS twice. An account of what he wanted to do…

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Book review: Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi

PRELUDE TO A RIOT by Annie Zaidi, Aleph Books.   Zaidi throws out a taut line which the reader grasps, holds on to, and never lets go till the last page is turned.   The book is an elegy — in prose — to communal hatred, to the damage wrought by communal hatred.   This…

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Feature: The Book Cupboard

The book cupboard A coming- of- age story featuring the writer and a cupboard. To all intents and purposes, it was an ordinary cupboard. Made of some indeterminate wood, maybe teak, given a light varnish, adorned with an incongruous bright blue doorknob, the cupboard sat in a  corner of the formal drawing room in my…

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Book review: Around the World in 80 Trees by Jonathan Driori

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 TREES by Jonathan Driori. Illustrations by Lucille Clerc. Laurence King Books. Sometimes I send out for books purely on impulse, entranced by a description, by a jacket photo, by the illustrations. I`ll confess I have regretted the buy only a very few times; the rest of the time, I`ve struck…

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Book review: People on Our Roof by Shefali Tripathi Mehta

 Naina`s story People On Our Roof by Shefali Tripathi Mehta. Niyogi Books.  Naina, the heroine of Shefali Tripathi Mehta’s book , People On Our Roof, is a most interesting woman, someone most women will identify with. Managing a job, running a house, looking after an ailing parent and a vulnerable sibling, getting over a break-up, all…

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Book review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke. Bloomsbury Publications. If you have read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, the author`s first — astonishing — book, then you will crack open the pages of Piranesi with much anticipation. And you will read of a House (the capital H is necessary for a place of this magnitude) made largely up…

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Guest column: Prisoners of the Algorithm

Prisoners of the Algorithm A quick question: What`s to stop us even as we hurtle to hell with our fingers poised to click? The answer is: nothing but our self-control/willpower/ self-discipline. And if you are rolling your eyes at that answer, well, so am I. I came deliberately late to two docudramas fast acquiring cult…

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Book review: Girl in White Cotton by Avni Doshi

Of mothers and daughters A troubled and troubling look at this primary relationship gone awry.  There`s a whole pantheon of literature on the topic of troubled mother-daughter relationships which features works like Nancy Friday`s My Mother, Myself, Christina Crawford`s ` Mommie Dearest, Alice Sebold`s The Almost Moon, Sarah Haywood`s Cactus, Jodi Picoult`s Leaving Time, Maya…

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Book review: Coming Out As Dalit by Yashica Dutt

COMING OUT AS DALIT by Yashica Dutt, Aleph Books. I have just one word to describe this book: eviscerating. Dutt`s account of going through her early life hiding the fact that she belonged to the Bhangi caste, adopting a non-specific surname like Dutt, learning to quickly cover any traceable trace of her origins with a…

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Photo feature: The Buddha, Hereabouts

Of calm composure, soothing serenity and peaceful placidity: The Enlightened One in our subcontinent…and a bit farther north!   The Holy Feet in Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Related Links: Travel: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh Photo Feature: China Chronicles Travel: The Lantau Buddha Travel: Dambulla Caves, Sri Lanka Travel: Zen Sites in Sri Lanka Photo Feature: Sylvan Sri…

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