Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: The White Umbrella By Brian Sewell

Travels with a donkey Some books are a delight to read and Brian Sewell’s novella The White Umbrella:  The Englishman and the Donkey of Peshawar  falls fair and square in this category. A  quaint and charming  yarn, it`s a good read in these trying times. The late Sewell, famous art critic/ columnist/ author/ media personality,…

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Guest column: Seeking that elusive silver lining

Desperately seeking that silver lining Just yesterday, a Charlie Mackesy cartoon landed on my Instagram feed. It   featured the now famous little boy, the horse and the dog. The boy  was asking `What`s the best thing you’ve learned about storms?` and the horse answered, `That they end.` In better circumstances, that positive note would have…

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Book review: The Private World of Georgette Heyer

THE PRIVATE WORLD OF GEORGETTE HEYER by Jane Aiken Hodge (Pan Books). Big, big fan. So I read anything and everything on this wonderful writer. Hodge chronicles Heyer`s writing `Black Moth` when she was just nineteen for her young brother who had taken ill; her ability to average two books a year for years, books…

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Guest column: This is us

 This is us The basic truth is, we are operating on a twin level of new normal now. And there is a sizeable population which believes that this new normal is perfectly alright, feeds off on the  oftentimes toxic adrenaline released by this new normal,  and has slowly integrated it into the mainstream. Covid-19 is…

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Book review: Hamnet by Maggie O`Farrell

HAMNET by Maggie O`Farrell. Hachette UK Books. 2020 release. Hamnet, winner of the 2020 Women`s Prize for Fiction,  is a lyrical eulogy in prose, dealing with the death of the eponymous character, the only son of a man from Stratford who was in the glove business, then went to London and turned (celebrated) playwright. He…

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Book review: Which Of Us Are Aryans, essays by Romila Thapar, Michael Witzel, Jaya Menon, Kai Frieze, Razib Khan

My Wednesday review (because life must follow some kind of routine even in these terrible times):   WHICH OF US ARE ARYANS? Rethinking the Concept of our Origins. Romila Thapar, Michael Witzel, Jaya Menon, Kai Frieze, Razib Khan. Aleph Books.   This book ventures into that thorny thicket of (our) Aryan identity which, as one…

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Guest column: Time to create a personal beyul

Time to create a personal beyul Now that the virus is back with us again, and the more sensible among us are all huddled indoors wfh, binge-watching movies and generally giving in to feelings of despair, may I offer a suggestion? Let us shore up our personal beyuls. What is a beyul? The word stands…

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Book review: Feral Dreams/ Mowgli and His Mothers by Stephen Alter

FERAL DREAMS, Mowgli and his Mothers by Stephen Alter. Aleph Books. The book had me at its cover pic, that much I will tell you. The pic, by Sangram Govardhane,  being a herd of elephants on the move, with a diffusion of glorious light at their back. Then I started to read and Alter`s fluid…

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Feature: The Mita Kapur Interview

`I think the pandemic really drove home the fact that literature and art are more than just for leisure; they are necessary to fully appreciate life and keep sane in difficult times.`    Mita Kapur took over as Literary Director of the JCB Prize for Literature just a few months before the pandemic  wrapped  itself around…

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Book review: Masala Lab by Krish Ashok

My Wednesday review  needs a disclaimer: at times, it might read like I`m plugging the book wholeheartedly and sans subtlety. Well, I don’t know the author from Adam and have no desire to swell his coffers because of an undue fondness for said individual. However, this book is one you need to buy, make untidy…

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