Books · World

The Bastard of Istanbul, Turkey

The book is as arresting and temerarious as its title. Zehlia is a pierced, mini-skirted and high-heeled rebel living in Istanbul. With unconscious misconceptions about a Muslim-majority country in the Middle East, I was surprised that Turkey is a secular, democratic republic. Its ethos is oddly similar to India. It's difficult for a religious, diverse country to strive to… Continue reading The Bastard of Istanbul, Turkey

Books · World

Love in the Time of Cholera, Colombia

How long is "forever" in an impassioned adolescent declaration of love? What does "forever" mean at 70, when faced with the grim cognizance of one's mortality? Colombian Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dares to suggest that a vow of "eternal fidelity and everlasting love" could be honoured in Love in the Time of Cholera. The scenes in the book are… Continue reading Love in the Time of Cholera, Colombia

Books

Interpreter of Maladies, India

Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize winning collection of short stories was a fascinating throwback to the time I lived in Calcutta. After having been in close contact with Bengali culture, I quite enjoyed the vignettes in the book. The food, the societal norms, the connection to Calcutta were all evocative of a different life, a half-remembered memory.… Continue reading Interpreter of Maladies, India

World

Refugees, Not Migrants!

This week brought some more spectacular policies by the EU. They include closing off the Balkans Route that allowed Syrian refugees to enter countries like Germany, Austria and Sweden, instating further border controls restricting their flow into Europe, and striking a deal with Turkey where for every refugee sent back, they will settle one in Europe. Yes, the… Continue reading Refugees, Not Migrants!