Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: The Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim

A bleak kind of hope Anees Salim`s new book is laced with equal amounts of melancholia and quirk, with the former gaining a slight edge over the latter, which will not surprise the writer`s fans one bit. The plot hinges on a slender story, that of an erstwhile ruler lying in a comatose state in…

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Opinion: Is Age Just a Number? Well, Yes and No.

Is age just a number? Well, yes and no There`s age-shaming of women on Big Boss, there`s age-shaming in the workplace, there`s age- shaming on the runway, there`s age- shaming on the streets. And given that a report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation titled `Elderly in India 2021` has put the ageing…

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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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Humour: The Song That Reduces Anxiety

                                  Weightless worries during Covid times In which soothing music increased, not decreased, worry My sleepless nights are getting to be a matter of concern for my kith and kin. I`m a certified worrywart and the Virus-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named has worsened my…

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Book Review: Dara Shukoh, The Man Who Would Be King by Avik Chanda

A mystic’s misfortune Dara Shukoh’s vision for a just, tolerant, secular and humane India seems today as unrealised as his dream of becoming the king.  A contemplative ‘what if’ nebula hangs over Avik Chanda’s gripping book on Dara Shukoh. Dara was Emperor Shah Jahan’s eldest, most favoured son and heir apparent. He, however, does not…

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Book review: 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,…

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Travel: Thotlakonda, Andhra Pradesh

    History on a hill Thotlakonda in Andhra Pradesh is today a hazy hark-back to its glorious Buddhist traditions   It’s a hot day, a very hot day in fact. The sun glares down mercilessly and I`m glad of the foresight to have carried a hat. There is a strong breeze blowing, though, carrying…

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Feature: Tribute to Delilah

 My, my, my Delilah…     It was an Ambassador car, a stodgy vehicle,  caramel in colour. It was of  1963 make and quite the pride and delight of my armyman father. I can`t quite remember when and why the Amby went in for a makeover. But makeover it was, because when she returned from…

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Feature: The new face of humour

  As the times rapidly change, the rich seam of humour we tap into is also rapidly changing.    It`s black humour, but of course. The other good-natured, gentle ribbing really would not stand up to what we are seeing and experiencing in life these days. It`s black humour and it is everywhere; it has…

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Book review: My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises by Fredrik Backman

    A funny-wise tale ‘Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero.’ If that line isn’t enough to reel you in, ‘My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises’ has plenty of quirky characters and whimsical fairy tales which work just as well,  in this book by Fredrik Backman. The story is of Elsa, a ‘different’ seven-year-old, a Gryffindor…

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