Am I the only one who didn’t watch The Royal Wedding?

By Sushmita Bose

When I woke up last Saturday — the day of THE wedding — I’d forgotten that Meghan Markle was getting married to Prince Harry (I mean, how am I supposed to remember? They are neither friends nor family members). My 11am tea lounging while watching the remaining part of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was rudely interrupted when a friend called to ask me if I’d be interested in “taking part” in the “celebrations”.

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How I discovered Roth at a bookshop’s clearance sale

By Nivriti Butalia

I first found Roth at a clearance sale of, I think, Om Book Shop in DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon. It wasn’t called Gurugram then. Must have been 2008 or 09. I was excited that a hardback was going so cheap. I hadn’t read Philip Roth but my pretentions were on point. I liked buying books for their covers. Books had to look good and smell good. The font had to be big but not too big. And the more unfamiliar the name of the publishing house, the cooler I felt.

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Life is risky enough, why eat a fish that could kill you?

By Bikram Vohra

You have heard of the phrase ‘snakes alive.’ In 2014, it got a whole new meaning. Well-known Chinese chef Peng Fan from Foshan, Guangdong province, southern China, had been preparing a special dish made from the Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare delicacy. He had cut off the head 20 minutes earlier and flung it into the trash. That is the body part which contains the venom but reptiles can survive for as long as 60 minutes even after they have been decapitated and cut into pieces.

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How an iconic guitar company went broke

By Keith Pereña

From an early age, I took comfort in both the discordant, wailing sounds of an electric guitar and the sound of an acoustic, akin to the sounds of angels. Even now, whenever an iconic riff comes up on my music player — say, AC/DC’s Back in Black — I imitate Angus Young as he held his Gibson SG and played the introduction to the song. This interest in ‘air guitaring’ culminated in one video gaming fad during the early 2000’s: Guitar Hero.

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Why you should read everything with Ferrante’s name on it

By Nivriti Butalia

Lila’s eyes narrowed.

I wish I had counted the number of times Lila’s narrowing eyes occur in the four books that make up The Neapolitan Novels. Does Elena Ferrante, the author, like repetition? Did she forget how often she resorts to it or was the descriptor deliberate? It’s there, a lot. In My Brilliant Friend, in The Story of a New Name, in Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and in, The Story of the Lost Child, all published between 2012 and 2014.

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