Ep. 30: The Story of India’s Most Popular Prayer with Venkatesh Parthasarthy

An appeal to the Lord to arise and save the world, the Venkatesa Suprabhatam is the first of four recitations that are sung together every morning in the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala, where it was originally sung. Prativadi Bhayankaram Anna, who composed this prayer in the fifteenth century, was a saint, a poet and […]

Finding home in literature: Indian diasporic fiction

Indian diasporic authors

Even before translation and robust marketing was the order of the day, Indian diasporic writers have put Indian stories on the map of world literature. Salman Rushdie, Bharati Mukherjee, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Vikram Seth, Vikram Chandra, Aravind Adiga, Jeet Thayil, Jhumpa Lahiri, have penned unforgettable stories over the last few decades. By defintion, diasporic […]

Girl made of Gold by Geetanjali Kolanad

Girl Made of Gold

What could a man do when even Gods were helpless and drunk with desire, a desire that Devadasis were adept at kindling and keeping ablaze in the bodies of men who sought them? Amrapali declared as a nagarvadhu, is the earliest known devadasi in recorded history. Dedicated to a temple, married to its deity, devadasis […]

A Haunting Saga Set in the Rann of Kutch

Blood on the Sands

A review of Sujata Sabnis’s ‘Blood on the Sands‘ Trigger Warnings: rape, mental illness, death, foeticide Blood on the Sands by Sujata Sabnis is a masterful tale of love, betrayal and death, and the sinister secrets buried in the sands of a small village in the Rann of Kutch, published by Amaryllis. The sand buries […]

Ep. 29: Farm Income: Myths and Realities with Prof. Narayanamoorthy

book podcast farm income india

The Green Revolution resulted in spectacular advancements in Indian agriculture. Having achieved food security for its citizens, the country has now become a net exporter of different agricultural commodities. But sadly, this does not reflect the real state of the Indian agricultural sector. In truth, our farmers are plagued by crop failures, poor income, and […]

A writer ought to be a psychologist and a philosopher: Pratibha Ray

Pratibha ray

A professor by profession and a writer by choice, author Pratibha Ray undoubtedly is a household name in Odisha and in most parts of India through her translated works. She is one of the leading fiction writers in India today. She gets candid with Purple Pencil Project in this exclusive interview on life, writing, acceptance as […]

Ep. 28: Colaba: The Diamond at the Tip of Mumbai

Shabnam Minwalla: Colaba: The Diamond at the Tip of Mumbai

Colaba, the southernmost tip of Mumbai, is Mumbai’s most iconic neighbourhood. This bustling locality—with the Gateway of India, the world-famous Taj Mahal Hotel, and the Colaba Causeway, a shopper’s paradise—is an unparalleled tourist attraction. But barely 200 years ago, it was a rocky, jackal-infested island, separated from the rest of Bombay by a temperamental creek. […]

Tejimola : A Story


Tejimola is an Assamese folktale with the standard motifs of a step-mother and a troubled daughter, which was first published in 1911, by the renowned Assamese author Lakshminath Bezbarua, and since then has been a part of the Assamese folklore.  Once upon a time, there lived a merchant who had a beautiful daughter called Tejimola. […]

Our minds have a heart too: Books about mental health

books about mental health

While we have a long way to go on talking about mental wellness and mental health, there are surely steps being taken in the right direction. And a good barometer of it is our literature; more and more authors are tackling the theme of mental wellness and mental health. Because literature is a great starting […]

The Awasthis of Aamnagri by Shubha Sarma

Awasthis of Aamnagri

The Awasthis of Aamnagri by Shubha Sarma and published by Niyogi Books is a sweet, nostalgic trip to a time when joint families lived together, spent summers hosting extended family and their children, along with the carefree happiness and chaos that came with it. The Patriarch and Patriarchy Most aspects of The Awasthis of Aamnagri […]