Of Traitors and Cadavers There’s nothing like a book that arrests you from the moment you set your eyes on it. K.R. Meera’s The Gospel of Yudas is that kind: a book that you don’t hold in your hands—it holds you instead. You don’t turn the pages at your leisure, but the book turns youContinue reading “Of traitors and Cadavers: The Gospel of Yudas by K. R. Meera”
Author Archives: Zehra Naqvi
The poems of Lal Ded: Confluence of Sufi and Yogic tradition
When you think of mystic or Sufi poets, how many women Sufis can you recall? There are few female names in the realm of mystic poetry, and fewer still that are well known. There are, however, certain names that form an integral part of the culture and oral literary tradition — not to mention folkloreContinue reading “The poems of Lal Ded: Confluence of Sufi and Yogic tradition”
The Architect’s Apprentice: A gift for doubters
“Doubt is the greatest gift given to mankind.” The Raja of Mahmudabad said this to me during one of our conversations. “Otherwise our minds would all be in stasis.” The Architect’s Apprentice is a book for doubters. People who wonder if there is any order or sense to this world. People who are consumed byContinue reading “The Architect’s Apprentice: A gift for doubters”
H is for Hawk: Finding meaning in grief
The book itself is a search for meaning—meaning in loss, meaning in wildness—meanings that she, in a thought-provoking inversion, rejects at the end, revealing them for what they are: a desire to merge the self with the natural world and superimpose ourselves upon it.
Reading through the Layers of the Self
‘Rabbana Atmim Lana Noorana…’Oh Lord, perfect for us our light. This is a verse from the Quran, one of the prayer-verses that begin by addressing the Creator as ‘Rab’, which literally means The Nurturer. The one who loves you and nurtures you and cares for you. I learnt this verse from a friend, who usedContinue reading “Reading through the Layers of the Self”
The Bones of Grace
Finding the fossils of this walking whale is Zubaida’s mission in life—Zubaida, born to Bangladeshi parents who were freedom fighters in the war of independence, educated at Harvard, selected to go fossil digging in Dera Bugti.
Red Fort: Remembering the Magnificent Mughals
If there is one thing that can be said about Debasish Das’s book ‘Red Fort: Remembering the Magnificent Mughals’, it is that the book captures, in equal measure, the resplendence and the pathos that the Red Fort stands drenched in, unbeknownst to the throngs that mill around the historic structure today.
All The Light We Cannot See
“I have been feeling very clear headed lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colours. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the colour of old coins. Sometimes the shadows of clouds areContinue reading “All The Light We Cannot See”
The Forty Rules of Love
The Forty Rules of Love. I first began reading this book almost two years ago. And was immediately put off by the protagonist Ella. Repulsed by her. Wrote a Facebook post lamenting how marriages are depicted in the most clichéd way in most books. I was angry. I could not read beyond the first fewContinue reading “The Forty Rules of Love”
God Help The Child by Toni Morrison
The strikingly black lady in pristine white beckons from the covers of Toni Morison’s God Help The Child, her white dress dissolving into the whiteness of the covers. That is Bride, the protagonist of Morrison’s book that holds so much pain, so much hurt… ugly, uncovered truths like scratched wounds with pink raw flesh lyingContinue reading “God Help The Child by Toni Morrison”