My grandpa built a library for future generations

By Purva Grover

As a child, I didn’t know that my maternal grandpa was a scholar. He was a doctor — I knew that — from the black nameplate that hung outside the door — Dr Krishan Dhavan. But what kind of doctor, I was unsure of. Doctors wear stethoscopes, right? He didn’t. Neither did I know that he was an important, famous man. He was just Nana, simple. Continue reading My grandpa built a library for future generations

In the good ol’ days, Russian lit in Kerala was all the rage

By Suresh Pattali

The Reds are coming! A whole generation of Western Europe grew up listening to this cold war apothegm, which invoked the spectre of a Soviet invasion. Almost the same time thousands of miles away, the rumbles of a Soviet invasion, of a different nature, resonated across India, especially in the tiny state of Kerala. Continue reading In the good ol’ days, Russian lit in Kerala was all the rage

Aged 12, I was on to Rommel, cowboy tales and then some

By Harveena Herr

This column started out with me thinking about the one novel that took my breath away — Ragtime — and about the particular skill of the author to intertwine slices of history with fiction. The author, EL Doctorow, was described by some, as someone who put the ‘story’ into history. I have no idea how I chanced upon his book but I found it difficult to put down. Ragtime is a form of music that predates jazz and its liberal introduction of new themes serves to surprise, and so it is with the book. You go careening through themes and meet characters like Harry Houdini, Henry Ford and JP Morgan. Light plays a role in the book, as does Scott Joplin who was a master of ragtime. Continue reading Aged 12, I was on to Rommel, cowboy tales and then some