On reading history: City of My Heart by Rana Safvi

This is not a book review. Who am I to judge the past, or what was written of it? I was introduced to monarchy in reverse. First, the death of Princess Diana. Then, the British empire and its Indian occupation. Then, the many emperors and kings who ruled different parts of the sub-continent. Then, when […]

Beloved by Toni Morrison

I Reading Beloved is like swinging really fast, really high. It is thrilling but is sometimes out of your control, sometimes reaching so high that you fear slipping away for a few seconds, and eventually, in the end, you’re back in control, and smoothly ending your ride. It starts powerfully with dedication. “To sixty million […]

The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa Al Aswany, translated by Russell Harris

I am always looking to read more of literature in translation, which is why when the generous Vivek Tejuja gave me The Automobile Club of Egypt (2013) by Alaa Al Aswany (translated to English by Russell Harris in 2015), I was thrilled. It’s a big book, two centimetres longer and wider than your average book […]

Diksha Bijlani: On what powers slam poetry

Diksha Bijlani is a spoken-word poet, Applied Psychology graduate from Gargi College and she has represented India in Chicago’s International Poetry Slam competition. She is also a co-founder of Slip of tongue and till now, they have done workshops and shows across universities. Diksha’s chosen themes include, in her own words for a prior interview, […]

A Day in the Life by Anjum Hasan

I wake up, my arms aching from a night’s cold, from having slept but not feeling rested. I remember a professor, in the final year of my bachelor’s degree, one that feels a little useless in life right now, telling the class how you should start your day with a touch of art. “Wake up […]

The Shadow of Darkness by Priyanka Baranwal

There is a lot that goes into getting a story in the form of a book. For someone looking to self-publish, after your first draft is ready, think about these things: a book cover, a well-written dedication page, an index of contents with relevant, interesting chapter names, a back blurb that draws potential readers in, […]

National Novel Writing Month

In a couple of hours from now, the National Novel Writing Month  or the NaNoWriMo will begin in India. For a whole month, aspiring writers across the globe dedicate their time to writing: some setting targets as high as one million words. And achieving them. The goal is to give yourself that extra push, to […]

Before, and Then After by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Pablo Neruda, that famed poet of love, has a lesser-known collection titled ‘Ode to Common Things’. Here, he takes commonplace objects like onions or spectacles and elevates them to the proverbial grecian urns of old. Consider this line from Ode to an Onion: You make us cry without hurting us.I have praised everything that exists,but […]

Vidya Premkumar: on teaching literature

Literature today presents itself as that elusive, satisfying, cool profession. “You’re an author? That’s cool.” “I want to do something creative, like write,” have become cool catchphrases with a generation saturated with their mundane corporate jobs. But what most people fail to notice is that the world of literature is so much like a job […]

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Think of Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House as a travelling theatre and a mobile culture library, situated primarily in the Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District or simply the Gardens, and making interim stops at the rest of New York and Bombay. Or Think of the narrative as a collective dream coming crashing down, a dream the […]