Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Guest column: NRIs and the art of gifting

NRIs and the art of gifting With  India having undergone a major transformation in the last three decades or so, some of our NRI brethren are a confused lot now. Even as Smart Cities came into being (inside the heads of planners, if not on the ground), even as unicorn startups sprouted alicorns aplenty, even…

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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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Guest column: A day in the life

A day in the life of a troll Morning: Woke up at 11 am, totally exhausted. Busy night, sending short, pithy missives to various offenders across the country. So okay, the tweets were all off a set format but let me tell you, it still calls for some effort to key the message out and…

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Opinion: The sounds of silence

The sounds of silence  Speaking for myself (and I`m certain, speaking for you) I oftentimes think I`m living in a vortex of noise. Surrounded by noise, assailed by noise, disturbed by noise, sometimes rendered distraught by noise. I`m old enough to remember when noise basically meant loud rock concerts, a mixer-grinder doing its work for…

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Guest column: Social media as therapist

Social media as therapist  One has become quite used to the abrasive, abusive nature of certain  social  media platforms,  and  it is with relief that one sees its potentially curative nature. Alongside the political rants, the generic puppies and kittens pics, the humble-brag travel and acquisition posts, I started to see people posting about intensely…

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Guest column: To inconvenience and be inconvenienced

To inconvenience and be inconvenienced, that`s the Indian way Some years ago I was sitting next to an Australian tourist in a coach headed to Kovalam. First, they showed a movie, with tinny sound turned up to full volume. Those of us not interested in watching the 80s movie kept silent because other passengers might…

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Guest column: Patriarchy in the land of matriarchy

Patriarchy in the land of matriarchy Even as Kerala tops the list on the human development, literacy, low infant mortality, high life expectancy indices, it remains at par if not worse than other states in one respect: the disrespect of women. The empowerment of Malayali women has been slowly eroding over the years, and this…

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Guest column: Trust, faith and the coronavirus

The gullible and the cunning, a dangerous cocktail There`s a 2008 song by the ironically named Killers that rather cryptically asks: are we human or are we dancer? I`d like to tweak those words and ask: are we gullible or are we cunning? Well, do look at the evidence I put before you. One idiot…

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Guest column: The grim and the whimsical

The grim and the whimsical exist side by side today To misquote Dickens, it certainly is the worst of times and not so much the best of times. The seemingly interminable banks of dark clouds haven’t drifted off yet, they continue to darken our skies and our lives. Anxiety levels are still peaking, optimism is…

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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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