Asked to provide a lockdown reading list, I said…

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“Author Shreya Sen Handley is known to be a strong emerging voice for women. She penned the award winning book ‘Memoirs of My Body. Her recently released book is ‘Strange’, a collection of twisted short stories, which the legendary Ruskin Bond has described as “masterful”. She is also now the only Indian woman writer to have written an international opera. It is a Welsh National Opera production which will be staged at six of the biggest theatres in the UK….”

(Please click on pic for full article on me and my lockdown reading ~a lot of it with my kids, at the moment)

Smells like a ‘cleanse’! Is it the virus or the State?

 

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As the coronavirus spreads across the planet, indiscriminately passing from person to person as viruses do, killing hundreds of thousands without heed to nationality as pandemics must, a strange pattern has emerged. A pattern of pernickety culling unknown to contagion…

(Please click on pic to read rest of Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle column. Cartoon from the net)

“The Wise, Mad Folk of Gotham”: I explore the origins of Batman’s home city in popular newspaper Livemint last week

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“Goat-ham, ma’am?”

I looked around wildly. I could have sworn I had stepped into a newsagent’s and not a butcher’s. The racks of newspapers and magazines, the high shelves of alcohol and cigarettes, and for the children wandering in, a freezer of ice-lollies, were all there. But no Mr Freeze. No Penguin. And surely the farthest thing from the Joker was the man behind the counter.

“Not GoTHam, but Goat-ham,” he grimaced, “goat town is what it means. You won’t find Batman here. Nor adventure. It’s a quiet English village.”

Quite another crime-fighting icon, Miss Marple, might have had something to say about the dark and dangerous things that happened in little English villages, I thought as I stepped out with the children into the mellow autumn sunshine. But it was the caped rather than the cardiganned crusader we hoped to spy in the foxglove-filled nooks and green-wreathed lanes of this Nottinghamshire village.”

(Click on pic to read rest of story!)