Book Review: Just Another Day

It’s always nerve-wracking to read a close friend’s writing – and especially so when it is writing that has just been published. Fortunately with Piyusha Vir’s “Just Another Day”, I needn’t have worried at all. This collection of three short stories, Vir’s debut book, is available on Kindle, and did not disappoint.

The Counter-productivity of Labels

I’m taking a break from Kerala posts but just for today 🙂 Last night, I found myself pulled into a debate about the Aziz Ansari episode, as a friend of mine related a personal anecdote of mine on a group forum. “Why didn’t she just do x?” “Why didn’t she just do y?” “Why didn’tContinue reading “The Counter-productivity of Labels”

Finding Peace in Silent Empty Hours

It’s a four hour drive to Kumarakom, a sleepy little town by the backwaters, dominated by resorts. Kottayam is a short distance away, and there is apparently some sightseeing to be done there. The roads of Kottayam remind me of Goa, low-rise colourful houses, with wide fields lined with rice patties, and peppered with clumpsContinue reading “Finding Peace in Silent Empty Hours”

Kerala Food Highlight: Grandma’s Cafe

I hear a lot about a Thekkady-based joint called Grandma’s Cafe, so on my second (and last) evening there, I finally decide to give it a try. This place is an institution, and is known for it’s mix of Continental, non-Kerala Indian, and Kerala cuisine, and being a favourite of travellers. I found it inContinue reading “Kerala Food Highlight: Grandma’s Cafe”

The Wonders of Kalaripayattu

The kalaripayattu performance that follows the kathakali is nothing short of spectacular. The practitioners move like dancers, their bodies a combination of ridiculous strength and flexibility. Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial art that originated in Kerala, with roots that date back to the Sangam period literature (3rd century BC – 2nd century AD). Every soldierContinue reading “The Wonders of Kalaripayattu”

Discovering Kathakali

Although I had originally planned to see the Kathakali performance in Kumarakom, I find out that it’s difficult to organise, or at least my hotel says so. Fortunately I have the evening free in Thekkady, so I decide that I might as well. I glance in my guide book, and it recommends the Mudra CulturalContinue reading “Discovering Kathakali”

Learnings from the Mannan Tribe

The Thekkady tribal dance performance takes place in a small auditorium, not far from the Periyar Reserve bus stand, across from the Bamboo Grove. I walk into a dusty darkened room, with a few rows of wooden chairs. The door is open, and people are either fanning themselves or swatting at mosquitoes, or in someContinue reading “Learnings from the Mannan Tribe”