Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Guest column: The Covid fear factor

The Afraid vs the Unafraid Since the past two years, ever since the pestilence hit,  society has divided itself sharply into the Afraid vs the Unafraid. One or the other invariably takes centre-stage at different times. Let`s take the first lot first. Whatever they believe, do, ingest/absorb/practice, it`s all driven by their intimations of mortality,…

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Photo Feature: Kashmir through my father`s eyes

Kashmir through my father’s camera lens. He was an army engineer and carried his Adox camera around with him on all his postings, the result of which are albums full of wonderful b/w pics. (All  photographs are the property of Sheila Kumar  and subject to copyright) 

Feature: Into the feminiverse, women in Kdramas

Into the feminiverse Given that most of the hit Korean dramas (Kdramas) are written by women, the feminist gaze trained on both characters and stories comes as no surprise I began to watch Kdramas just this January.  Fifty-six Kdramas down, my one major takeaway is that it`s a world full of women. Sweet women, nasty…

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Opinion: Confused and confounded

Confused and confounded The new year has slunk in, bringing fresh tumult and trauma in its wake. And the one prevailing emotion across the world at this moment in time is confusion. Utter, total, complete confusion. What`s more, Omicron is where the confusion buck stops. When the Covid-19 pestilence first hit us, we were undoubtedly…

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Book review: This Life at Play by Girish Karnad

This Life At Play, the English translation of Karnad`s Aadaadtha Aayushya, translated from Kannada by Girish Karnad and Srinath Perur (HarperCollins Books),  gives readers a clear glimpse of a man of formidable intellect, a man who wrote plays that were sheer genius (some of them at least), a good actor, a very good writer, and…

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Opinion: 21 Things that Got Me Good and Mad in 2021

Twenty-one things that got  me good and mad in 2021 The anti-conversion Bill, with its implicit threat to religious freedoms, looking for passage in the Karnataka Assembly, on the ominous lines of similar laws passed in  Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Consistent spurts of vandalism in places of worship, usually of the minority…

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Book review: A Death in Shonagachchi by Rijula Das

Murder and murk in the City of Joy  With such a straightforward title, what the reader expects is a Shonagachchi crime,  and that is indeed what the reader gets. To unravel the backstory to the deed, we are taken to South Asia`s largest red-light district, with all its  murk, heartbreak, violence,  and unexpected pockets of…

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Feature: Best Fiction of 2021

LISTICLE: BEST OF 2021 FICTION The year had its fair share of good, even very good fiction, with historical fiction gaining a slight edge over the others. These are the books that made an impression on my twin avatars of reviewer and reader. The Heart Asks Pleasure First. Karuna Ezara Parikh, in her remarkable debut…

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Book review: Ancient India, Culture of Contradictions by Upinder Singh

In what is easily one of the best non-fiction works to release this year, Upinder Singh’s Ancient India is aimed at a reading audience with an interest in history, the curiosity to compare ancient and modern, or to just read more about India’s backstories. It throws a clear light on its point of focus: the…

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Book review: Orienting, an Indian in japan by Pallavi Aiyar

Nippon under the lens  Pallavi Aiyar,  peripatetic traveller and charming chronicler of Things She Sees, delivers once again. Orienting is her Japan book, a montage she has collated for the edification of her readers, culled from her experiences in that country. It`s an easy read, filled with gently offered insights, where the things to be…

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