In Priya Kumar’s The Calling, we meet Arjun, an overworked marketing manager on the brink of divorce. A near-fatal accident and a chance encounter with a sadhu sees him set off on a journey to Hemkunt Sahib. As he climbs the mountain with his guide Chandu, little does he know the mysterious turn his life is about to take.Continue reading
As I go through the books I’ve read this year, it’s immediately evident that the count is much lower than in the last couple of years. Since about 2012, I think, I’ve been averaging about 60 to 70 books each year. This year, the count is at a measly 26. And I’m thrilled! Because it is tangible proof that I’ve been spending my time doing more art, more soul work, and a whole lotta more blogging!
Reading has always been something I love – and don’t get me wrong, I love it still. But in the last few years, it had become an unhealthy, obsessive sorta love. I used it as an escape route – from life, from inner work, from my fears and hopes and dreams. Because if I was spending every free moment reading, I wasn’t doing much of anything else, was I?Continue reading
Life is in the telling.
When Cate Saunders walks into Amberly’s Italian grocery store Vitelli’s, little does she know how her life is going to change. Weighed down by the loss of her husband John in the Iraq war, having lost the house they bought together, and all dreams of the life that they wanted to build, Cate has accepted a job as a caregiver.
A young, naive girl with no social graces; an aging hippie whose baby daughter was kidnapped; a hospital operator whose sister committed suicide; a young, talented pastry chef who hides her talent behind the counter of a patisserie. All linked, somehow – as friends, neighbors, blood relations.
“Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”
Ben and Elsie are your average 20-somethings. He's a graphic designer, she's a librarian. They meet at a pizza takeout and fall in love. The chemistry between them is instant and electric – so much so that Ben can’t even wait 24 hours before asking to see Elsie again. Within weeks, they’re crazily in love. Within 6 months, they are married. And nine days later, Ben dies in an accident. Leaving Elsie to face Susan, a mother-in-law she has never met and who knows nothing at all about Elsie.
As Susan grapples with the fact that her son died without even telling her that he was getting married, Elsie is plagued by the very thought of having to live a life without Ben. She also worries that after just nine days of being married, and with her marriage certificate still to come, maybe people will think that she has no right to grieve...that she is a fake…that she hardly even knew him…
When Sweetness gives birth to Lula Ann Bridewell, who calls herself Bride, she is unprepared for her darkness. Bride’s blue-black coloring repels Sweetness, who doesn’t want to hold her or touch her. It makes Sweetness unduly harsh, constantly criticizing and shouting at the young Lula Ann, who only wants her mother’s approval – at any cost.
Seahorse is the story of Nem, a student of English literature at Delhi University. He drifts between classes, attends off-campus parties with free-flowing drinks and weed, and writes articles for the college magazine. Until one day he crosses paths with an art historian - an encounter that changes the course of his life, steering him into a world of pleasure and artistic discovery. And then one day, without warning, his mentor disappears.
In the years that follow, Nem settles down in South Delhi, earning a name for himself as an art critic. When he is awarded a fellowship to London, a cryptic note plunges him into a search for the art historian - a search that forces him to revisit the past and separate fact from fiction.
Seventeen years later, Melissa is handed a journal. As she smoothes open the pages and begins to read her mother’s words, she is instantly transported back to her childhood.
As I write now, you are eight years old – asleep in the bed next door in princess pyjamas, with a fairy costume discarded on the floor.
Twenty-Five. The age I had you. The age our story began. And the age, I hope, that will see you truly ready for the things that I need to say to you…
Melissa’s boyfriend has just popped the question, but ever since she lost her mother, she’s afraid – of what, even she isn’t sure. So though she loves Sam, she tells him she isn’t ready to get married. Sam is afraid that Melissa will leave him, Melissa is afraid she will lose Sam. And in the middle of this drama, the lawyers call to hand over her mother’s diary. Her mother. Whom she hasn’t really mourned properly. Who died, suddenly, and left her alone – a bundle of nervous ticks and an over analysing mind. Scared of disappearing in the middle of her story.
Imagine, if you will, a small farmhouse. A store that sells produce grown at the property. A husband-wife team who run the show. Let’s go over to the house – it’s old. But when you enter, you see that each room is lovingly restored. The husband’s built all the furniture in his workshop. The wife has helped strip and paint the walls. It’s homely, comfortable, and has character. Running through the house are their two sons, Will and Andrew, and their dog Max.
Isn’t that a pretty picture? One of love and joy, togetherness and companionship. But, look a little closer, and you’ll see that the woman, Ronnie, isn’t entirely happy where she is. She has a major in journalism, but gave up her career to marry Jeff. Somewhere along the way, she found herself adrift, alone in the marriage, and questioning her very identity. Look even closer, and you’ll see the darkness of depression lurking there in the background. A darkness that is about to come out front and centre and destroy the very fabric of this family, and of the small town where they live.
Les Miserables – Manga classic
Gorgeous artwork for a classic story adapted into a Manga edition – what more could you ask for? If you’ve never read Les Miserables, or even if you have, you’ll love this book!