By

Swati Nair
I chanced upon M Mukundan’s “On the Banks of the Mayyazhi” in a second-hand bookshop. When I read the summary on the book jacket I was sceptical if I would like it because it had two themes that I haven’t been able to take to very much in the past – politics and magical realism. Boy was...
The weather in Dublin has been an absolute drag on the soul. Colourless skies, intermittent rain, high winds. And just to drill it in further, the sun peeked out a few times, bathing everything gloriously golden, before quickly retreating to its mansion in the clouds. Given this setting, I wanted to watch movies that would...
This is my first Turgenev, and what a glorious one at that! Vivid, impressive, and complex, ‘First Love’ is about 16-year-old Vladimir’s conviction that he has found the girl of his dreams in 21-year-old Zinaida. He first espies her in a garden surrounded by a gaggle of besotted young men all waiting to do her bidding, and...
I finally turned the last “page” of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone yesterday night, on my Kindle, and I waited. For that empty feeling that comes when a tale well told comes to a finish. For that rush when you know that, that book’s sequel is coming soon. But I didn’t feel any...
April is National Poetry Month, and I thought how better to celebrate it than by honouring the mesmerizing cherry blossoms that are beginning to show everywhere! In Japan, this is prime hanami (flower watching) season, a time that brings together Japanese families as they gather for picnics beneath the shade of the cherry trees. The custom...
In ‘The Emperor of Shoes‘ set in Guangdong, China, Spencer Wise tells us the story of Alex Cohen, a 26-year-old heir to a thriving shoe business. Of course, the shoe business thrives on the backs of underpaid Chinese workers, which Alex begins to see slowly. Wise turns the spool unhurriedly, the various threads interleaving beautifully....
How would you feel if you had the chance to observe your loved ones from a distance? Suburban life, so much is the same, week after week. Who hasn’t had the impulse to put their life on hold for a moment, just vanish completely?  Well, Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) in the movie Wakefield, not just...
As Ireland gears up for the onslaught of tourists for St Patrick’s Day (17th March) it struck me that this would be my third St. Patrick’s Day here in this beautiful city of Dublin. Every year, for 2 to 3 days Dublin is turned into a heaving mass of green as tourists throng from all...
This is what I get when I don’t write reviews for a week. A pile of messy thoughts, all tumbling and falling over each other in a heap on the floor of my mind. Here they are, laid out very briefly as I pick my way through them. I am not quoting from the books...
March is the month of awakening. It is the month of the first rays of warm sunshine, of the first flowers, the vernal equinox, and of festivals. As a kid, we were introduced to the very concept of Spring (which is near non-existent in South India) through the work of English poets. We grew up...
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