Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Feature: If she`s Malayali, she loves gold!

Gold is a Malayali woman’s BFF. But don’t be misled into thinking it’s just an expensive indulgence The latest scandal down south involves the state of Kerala, a woman named Swapna Suresh and 30kgs of smuggled gold. Not surprisingly, the incident has led to snide comments yet again on Kerala’s gold-love. Actually, we need to…

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Travel: Palakkad`s agraharams

A Way of Life in Palakkad Huge banyan and peepal trees, rows of close-set, small, tiled houses, a pair of temples on either side of the village, women drawing kolams (rangolis) in front of their houses at dawn, the strains of nadaswaram music from the temples – these are sights and sounds particular to the agraharams of Palakkad, villages,  which still…

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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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Book review: The Town That Laughed by Manu Bhattathiri

THE TOWN THAT LAUGHED, ALEPH BOOK COMPANY., Manu Bhattathiri`s debut novel is so steeped in a kind of malayalitvam, that if you are from God`s Own….,  you start to substitute Malayalam words for English ones, as you read! People remembered the times when unemployment was quite a pleasure. The times when young men woke up…

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Book review: A House for Mr Misra by Jaishree Misra

Trivandrum Diary A House for Mr Misra (Westland) This slim volume is the ideal  read when you are between books that tackle matters of a more serious, even grim nature. Or in my case, a break from editing a turgid manuscript. Written rather like a Trivandrum diary fleshed out in engaging detail, it keeps the…

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Photo Feature: An Eden with a serpent in Konni, Kerala

  From lush greenery to pristine rivers, the stunning beauty of Kerala’s Konni Even given Kerala’s propensity for verdant vegetation, one could well believe that this is some part of the Amazon rainforest! Sheila Kumar / September 27, 2017  Konni is a hill town in Pathanamthitta district, about a hundred kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. Dense jungle, huge…

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Travel: Konni, Kerala

  ROAD LESS TRAVELLED  Eden, with its own river   Everything is  so green that it could hurt the eye of a non-Malayali. But then I`m a Malayali and in the interests of full disclosure,  this is a coming- back- home trip for me. This  homecoming is happening after more than two decades and Konni…

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Book review: The House of Oracles by Chandini Santosh

In Chandini Santosh’s novel The House Of Oracles, the Manikoth House of the title assumes the mantle of  an important  character. The  ancestral house is a big brooding presence,  casting a dark shadow on the people living there. The deaths that stalk them in various ways,  is considered a legacy of the house, yet  darkness…

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Book review: The Small-town Sea by Anees Salim

    This boy’s life An account of a young life lived on a cliff overlooking an ever-changeable sea.  Anees Salim remarked in an interview that the success of each book was making it harder for him to write the next book. Well, it is also getting harder for the reviewer assigned to critique his…

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Travel: Nelliyampathy, Kerala

Beyond the cloudy  mountains Where I chance upon Nelliampathy, an idyllic hill station tucked high up in a fold of the Western Ghats above Palakkad. The whole area is jaw-droppingly beautiful, even for a typical Kerala landscape. Navy ribbons of road, red-tiled houses, topography in all possible shades of green, the emerald of the trees…

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