The idea of roots runs through this issue – from Abraham Verghese’s memories of Kerala and Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Roman Stories’ to an exciting animated series.
Water has always carried the concept of transformation, moving quickly, changing shape and carrying everything from life-giving sludge to new ideas. Water is central to most creation myths, and in his book: The covenant of waterAbraham Verghese describes Kerala as “a childhood fantasy world of streams and canals, a latticework of lakes and lagoons, a maze of backwaters and bottle-green lotus ponds; a huge circulatory system because, as her father always said, all water is connected.” These connections in the world around us are among the many ideas that Verghese, who will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Bangalore Literature Festival, discusses with his childhood friend, veteran journalist Ammu Joseph, in an exclusive interview with Lounge.
Verghese’s biography may seem somewhat unbelievable: he is of Malayali Christian descent, born in Ethiopia, educated in India, lives much of his professional life in the US and is still closely linked to Kerala through his ancestry. He’s a celebrated doctor, a respected doctor. professor, a best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction, and an ardent proponent of humanism in medicine. He talks about his many lives that seem to feed each other, and the work that keeps him going.
The idea of roots runs through this issue: one of our food stories is about Singapore’s new restaurants, led by chefs with an Indian background, who are putting a twist on South Indian staples and combining flavors for a global clientele. We have a review of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Roman stories, short stories that question the ideas of ‘foreigners’, migration, homeland and belonging. Columnist Neha Sinha explains that invasive species like Lantana have established dangerously deep roots in India, smothering and overshadowing native species. Our review of the Netflix anime show, Blue-eyed samuraireflects on the idea of heritage, origin and acceptance.
We also look at India’s chances in the final of the Cricket World Cup tomorrow. People have been busy making plans for a finals viewing party for most of the week, but if your interests lie far away from the world of cricket, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for other ways you can spend your weekend – after you have read the rest of the book. this issue.
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