Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Book review: Onam in a Nightie by Anjana Menon

A Malayali in lockdown  Anjana Menon`s lockdown anecdotes make for a diverting read for Keralites and non-Keralites alike. The author,  a media professional, just happens to be in the right place at the right time: Thrissur during a Covid lockdown. To begin with, she isn’t exactly thrilled about lockdown rules, the isolation, the attendant boredom….

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Book review: Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh by Shrayana Bhattacharya

Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh by Shrayana Bhattacharya. HarperCollins Books. Whoever would have thought SRK would make an excellent — and effective — research vehicle to track the freedoms of women in middle class India? Shrayana Bhattacharya has pulled that experiment off wonderfully in this book. Putting the lives of six women with their stifling emotional…

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Book review: The Blue Book by Amitava Kumar

Looking within, looking without Amitava Kumar`s writings are usually ruminative, thought-provoking. This one, The Blue Book,  is both, as also something of  an indulgence. It is a non-linear collection of his thoughts, interspersed with some striking colour sketches drawn by the author. The result is an introspective look at the writer`s convictions, motivations, inspirations. Journaling…

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Book review: The Braided River by Samrat Choudhury

THE BRAIDED RIVER by Samrat Choudhury. HarperCollins Books, 2021. The Brahmaputra, says Samrat Choudhury, is not a canal. It does not flow between two neat banks. Its untidy braids, channels of history and commerce, witness to the ebb and flow of empires, are verily the architects of the surrounding landscape of nature and of humans….

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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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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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Book review: The House Next to the Factory by Sonal Kohli

The lives of others  It`s a quiet  gaze that is turned on the tales in The House Next To The Factory. This book of short stories is author Sonal Kohli’s debut and it`s an assured debut. Set in Delhi, spanning timelines between 1980 and 2010, the stories are inter-linked, with some characters in one story…

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Book review: The Forest I Know, a gathering of tanka verses by Kala Ramesh

the forest i know, a gathering of tanka verses by Kala Ramesh. HarperCollins Books.                                         Tanka is a five-line lyrical form of poetry which originated in Japan, and Kala Ramesh peppers the pages of this book…

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Book review: Rumours of Spring by Farah Bashir

A life of loss Farah Bashir’s poignant memoir is set in the Kashmir of the nineties. It`s a coming-of-age novel, only, in that particular period,  coming of age meant navigating the challenges of living in the lethal shadow of conflict. The memoir examines a combat zone, the survival skills and state of mind that needs…

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Book review: The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

  The Last Queen  by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. HarperCollins Books. As someone who has liked everything Divakaruni has written, in varying degrees though, I found this account of Rani Jindan Kaur, the last queen of Punjab, favourite wife  of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the Lion of Punjab, mother to the last king of Punjab the hapless…

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