Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Throwback to our last summer holiday.. We are in desperate need of summer here, or at least a bit of spring. Two months ago someone spotted daffodils, and we were rejoicing about the soon to come summer (or spring). And the most ironic change in weather followed where we got a … Continue reading Architecture in sand
London dry gin. One big tomato. And it was a really big tomato, we usually buy cherry tomatoes or just plain normal sized tomato. I was standing with my trolly just ahead of him, the younger kid seated on it, and elder one trying to pull at my coat tail. So what was the man … Continue reading A supermarket story
From a textual idea about miscarriage and abortion, to knowing of actual experiences of whom I know, in the past few years has shaken me in a sense. From being neutral on the topic, and then judgemental. Why won't she take care and see through the pregnancy? Then knowing, that there are instances when a … Continue reading Woman. Womb. Motherhood, or not..
Book: The Long Gaze Back, An Anthology of Irish Women Writers, edited by Sinéad Gleeson It is April and it is raining in Ireland. I am reading a short story set in the early 1900s, and the weather in April is the exact same! The man says of his wife, ...but experience is wasted upon … Continue reading Spring in Ireland
Chai ki pattee ley lo...Kanchi mera naam hai... (here are the tea leaves, Kanchi is my name...) I used to sing this song as a kid, mimicking picking of tea leaves, and putting them in a basket slung over the back. Those were the carefree times and who knew tea had a violent history? ... … Continue reading More tea in the colony – India
Since the most important beverage in my life is the tea, I found a book on it in the library. Here are a few notes from the book: The Chinese character t'u in early writings was also used to describe other plant infusions. Later the character ch'a (ch'a and t'u both have similar calligraphy), came … Continue reading A speedy history of tea – China
Part 4 - Tamil Nadu Coimbatore, my first favourite Tamil town. After the pervasive chauvinism of Kerala, it was a surprise and relief to be in public spaces where there is hardly any overt harassment of women. I travelled by buses for my college daily, and never was I harrased. Of course the buses are … Continue reading Tamil pride eh?
Part 3 - Tamil Nadu Ingredients for the nonbu kanji. Scraped coconut. Pounded ginger and garlic. Onions, chillies, fenugreek, coriander, and mint. I am not sure what role chillies play in a kanji, but all this was prepared by the women of the book, and sent along with the rice and firewood to the mosque to … Continue reading A Tamil Muslim household
Part 2 - Tamil Nadu I read somewhere the victorian author Mary Elizabeth Braddon saying, women are frustrated and destructive because they are confined to passive domestic lives. The woman of the book have minimal agency over their lives. They are captors of their families, community, and customs. Mothers warn little girls of wanton behaviour, lest they … Continue reading Her choice
Book: The hour past midnight, Salma, translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom Part 1 - Tamil Nadu I have spent this month with the women of The hour past midnight. I started the book imagining how I could keep track of the multitude of women who populate this story. But save a few odd characters, each woman in … Continue reading The slow hours