Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

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) 

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 Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

  An unexpectedly nuanced look at Kashmir from down south Madhuri Vijay’s first novel is a beautifully nuanced tale in these times of no nuance. The author dunks us deep into the family scrum of the protagonist, 30-year-old Shalini, and we are hooked. Scrum it is, because beneath the 30-year-old woman’s laconic account of her…

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Book review: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Penguin Books. This take, rather than a full-fledged review,  is in three parts. I Just started on the book a few days ago and find my lips quirking into small smiles every few paragraphs. Smiles of recognition of people, places, situations. Smiles of amusement at the weirdly…

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Book review: This Unquiet Land by Barkha Dutt

          This Unquiet Land by Barkha Dutt (Aleph Books). The title line says `Stories from India’s fault lines,` and indeed this autobiography from arguably one of the country`s best TV news-journalists,  is just that: a klieg light shone on the disquieting things we would rather not dwell too much upon. Dutt…

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Book review: The Book of Gold Leaves by Mirza Waheed

The Painted Word   The Book of Golden Leaves by Mirza Waheed. Penguin/Viking Books. In his first book, The Collaborator, Mirza Waheed spun a stunning story, thinly veiled as fiction, of the hapless Valley and its hapless residents. Here, he tells us a tender love story. The serious young man with fine features and a…

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Travel: Nubra Valley, Ladakh

Nightfall in Nubra   Nestled between tall mountains with pristine blue rivers flowing in its lap, Nubra Valley is home to nature in its purest form. Sheila Kumar heads north of Leh to marvel at the delights the valley has to offer It is the twilight hour and the gloaming lights up the Nubra Valley…

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Feature: The Refugee

                                                           The Refugee   Conditioned as I was by city mores, I tried not to stare. But she was truly beautiful, dirty pheran and dishevelled hair notwithstanding….

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Travel: Winter in Kashmir

  This is a snow song, an ode to the beauty of winter in Kashmir. Nights in white satin and days of shining glory…that is the serene beauty of winter in Gulmarg. The poet who talked of a winter wonderland was quite definitely talking about Gulmarg as far as I am concerned. And yet, in…

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Travel: Gulmarg, Kashmir

                                                                 The heart of Gulmarg lies in its pine forests. I lived there for a year and it was like a sabbatical from the…

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