Shweta Ganesh Kumar's Blog: Book Chatter

March 27, 2015

The Abandoned House

I took a walk along the familiar path of my childhood memories.
After three years of treading on it with shoes woven from nostalgia, I'm back home.
For a bit.
The road that winds through the colony seems narrower.
The edges have been gnawed at by time and the ever-expanding palates of people's real life Lego dreams.
Houses have become gargantuan over the years.
And it has not even been that long.

Eyes that followed me from porches with either a smile, a sneer or a raised eyebrow are now unseeing....
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Published on March 27, 2015 02:06

March 25, 2015

Be a wildflower.

After an involuntary hiatus thanks to shifting houses, preschool 'moving up' days, viral fever and travel - I am finally reunited with my pencil and sketchbook. Starting off with the humble Hibiscus - or the Malayali Chembarathy - a flower that is a national flower to some countries and indicator of marital availability in others, has a rather different meaning in Kerala. Tucking it behind your ear here means that you are certifiably insane. And to that I say, embrace your inner madness - it'...
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Published on March 25, 2015 21:58

March 13, 2015

Who is the most beauteous of them all?

Skinny.Dark.Light.In-between.Straight.Curly.Big.Small.Tall.Short.Spotted.Not one of them is less or more than the other.All real.All true.All beautiful.

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Published on March 13, 2015 06:21

March 12, 2015

Only dead fish go with the flow

Don't get swept up in the waves of sameness. 
Don't say yes, just because everyone else did.
Don't say no, just because there is no else to say yes with you.
Own who you are.
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Published on March 12, 2015 04:04

March 9, 2015

The Gift Of Travel

One of my favourite quotes about travel on a sketch I made on backpacking in Bagan, Burma. 
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Published on March 09, 2015 07:04

August 15, 2014


As in the case of most national holidays, August 15th inspires a lot of them.

Proud. Happy. Free.
Emerging. Dynamic. Versatile.

To be mouthed ad nauseum today and then to be carefully stored away in the dark recesses of our mind, till Republic Day and the next Independence Day.
Repeat in a loop.

How about we change our tune this Independence Day?

Why not talk about how free we actually are?
About how India ranks amongst the worst countries in the world to be a woman?
About the parents who...
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Published on August 15, 2014 02:32

June 30, 2014

Air Conditioners, Universal Remotes and life

A man came with a universal remote control. 
The AC in one of the rooms would not work.
He clambered on to a stool and pointed the remote at the air conditioner. It did not come on.
He pressed the button again and again. And then,some more.The air conditioner remained off. 
With a furrowed brow, he opened up the control panel and jiggled around with some switches.Then he pointed the remote yet again.It did not come on.
Forty-five minutes later, the man kept jabbing at the remote con...
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Published on June 30, 2014 23:39

May 20, 2014

Ghosts of Memories Past

The other day I woke up with the strange feeling I was forgetting something. I went through my mental Filofax ('cos you have only mental ones now. The real ones died out pretty much the same time the fax machine did) and came up with a blank.
I'd wished everyone on getting a year older and hopefully wiser.I'd wished the couples that had stayed together and held hands of those who had not.I'd met all my deadlines and agreed to wilfully ignore the ones I had not. 
Of course, the dates t...
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Published on May 20, 2014 08:23

May 8, 2014

Just Read : The Hindus : An Alternative History

The Hindus: An Alternative History The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I confess, the only reason I started to read this book was because of Penguin India's cowardly decision to pulp the book, in the face of misplaced fundamentalist rage.

However, despite the sheer size of the book. I found myself drawn to it thanks to Wendy Doniger's refreshing style for what is clearly an academic tome on the Hindu religion.
She never talks down or bores and takes you through the history of Hindu religion, right from the beginning, yes, the beginning, to the way it is practised today.

Essentially the book argues that, "You could easily use history to argue for almost any position in contemporary India." -
It was to me, an eye-opener as it traced the origins of many rites and rituals that still prevail in present-day India.
Another interesting aspect of the book was how it traced the effect of the primacy given to Manu - as defined by Hindu law even today.
The book also focuses on women, the caste system and animals as they were treated by proponents of the religion.

Doniger is witty, pithy and sarcastic and the tonnes of texts and scripts she has had to work with, does not weigh her down.
It is by far, the most entertaining academic book that I have read.

This is a book on a mission and hopefully, it will be able to achieve it in spite of and maybe even helped by the controversy generated by those elements that do not wish the pluralistic and extremely diverse nature of Hinduism to be known.

View all my reviews
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Published on May 08, 2014 07:01 Tags: book-review, pulped-book, shweta-ganesh-kumar, the-hindus, wendy-doniger

April 20, 2014

Of Ruined Cakes and Lost Trust

That sort of a day when everything falls flat.The sun's rays are too harsh.The cake I baked to make things better decides to give up midway.For the first time in my personal history of baking.
And a woman I trusted my manuscript, my book baby with, proved that she had let me down.
Yet again. 
It's that last part that hurts the most.The sun will mellow later in the day.Cakes can be baked again. But trust...
Once lost, it's hard to see them through old eyes again.

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Published on April 20, 2014 08:04

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Shweta Ganesh Kumar
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