Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

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: 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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Guest column: Time to create a personal beyul

Time to create a personal beyul Now that the virus is back with us again, and the more sensible among us are all huddled indoors wfh, binge-watching movies and generally giving in to feelings of despair, may I offer a suggestion? Let us shore up our personal beyuls. What is a beyul? The word stands…

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Guest column: Alas, Colour Still Matters

Alas, colour still matters This is the unabridged version. When people are storming the citadels of democracy, when strongmen are making new rules and breaking old ones with impunity, when thousands of famers are out protesting in the cold but their protests seem to fall on obdurately deaf ears, is it reprehensible of me to…

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Guest column: You Are The Sky

When an attempt to imbibe serenity brings about more confusion. This is a Covid-19 quarantine story. It dates back to early April, a fortnight or so after we were first initiated into the art of hunkering down at home. This was a time when everyone was sending out helpful and useless tips to each other,…

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Guest column: If we must travel…

Even as we clip our wings and stay hunkered down, our imagination is already soaring. In the proofreading manual we editors turn to, we have a term called `stet,` which mean to let things stand, to ignore any attempt to make a change. That stet is what I am afraid of when it comes time…

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Guest column: The Kindness of Strangers

The kindness of strangers Sometimes, when times are bad, we are comforted immeasurably by the kindness of strangers…. To begin, a quote from the Dalai Lama. “ When we face some tragic situation, it reveals the deeper human values of compassion. Usually people don’t think about these deeper human values but when they see their…

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