South Stories | Quarterly Issue 1, April 2019
It’s a week of new beginnings in the south. Karnataka, Andhra, and Telangana celebrate their new year as we release this issue — our first of this year. Tamil Nadu and Kerala will, in about a week’s time. The first three states have their versions of Ugadi (yuga: era + adi: beginning) pacchadi, a little concoction of 6 different tastes symbolising the different emotions you might feel during the year. As kids, we remember making a big game of who felt what taste the most. We’d battle for who got the most sweet, or who got the most crunch. But now, it seems like the whole blend is better than any one big flavour’s takeover. This issue is kind of like the pacchadi. There are bittersweet stories about identity; there is a happy but full-of-heart gulp about making friends with the south through coffee and pop culture; or a quick bite of being a parachute visitor and not seeing much but feeling tons. This issue is close to our hearts, because of how a whole bunch of things here draw from what South India is, what it has, and what it means to a host of people. Including us.
Journeys within the Kalari
On our many identities: geographical, cultural and linguistic
Dissecting the time-resistant love relation between Tamil Nadu and its flowers.
Beyond the hashtags. Saris everyday.
New Years Eve in small-town Kerala
Textbook-famous but not talked of enough: A visit to three Jain temple-sites in the south
Solo wanderings | Quaterly Issue 2, June 2019
The long and languorous days of summer are over. Cooler, breezier days are upon us — which means it’s time to unlock the doors, open windows. Fresh.
As each cloud journeys in this monsoon, it gathers bits of itself along the way, rumbling forward, slowly, sometimes gliding. When finally, full to its seams with everything she has learned and collected through this long and lone journey, she opens up her wonder to the world.
As a tribute to the solo journey of each cloud that gathers into a full, much-awaited Indian monsoon, we are looking at the solo wanderings our little selves have taken — in new and distant lands, or through oft-trodden streets; in the gardens of our minds or in flower-filled paths — that have led us to fresher thoughts, or bigger selves. Just like one monsoon-drenched day can make us feel. Renewed, with the calm pulse of life throbbing through.
By way of a P.S.: It’s beautiful happenstance that all our contributors this time happened to be women. Slowly but surely, we are taking back public spaces, one flaneuse at a time. <3
From the perspective of three islanders, who recall their memories of a girl who came to vacation alone
How one half-day spent alone halfway across the world has changed this author’s relationship to the city in which she grew up
Snippets from walking with flowers
A Sunday walk around the quaint town of Landour, when visiting the popular octogenarian author, Ruskin Bond
On the day I went out to the theatre alone, and found a way out of a mental maze.
…and no small-talk with a stranger
Literary Moments | Quarterly Issue 3, September 2019
When this year had begun, we decided to set ourselves a goal — a reading goal. Instead of wasting away our hours scrolling infinitely, or shifting our attention from one screen to another, and to another, until we ultimately and helplessly fell asleep.
Online reading challenges seemed a good way to make sure we stuck to this goal, to bring back old and good habits that made us feel whole. But soon, the goal was just another compulsive need to check boxes off a list, to hit a number, to mark ‘complete’ on something.
Like it were just another task.
As this year is hurtling to a close, we are slowing down to revisit the many reasons why reading is as universally loved (and needed) as it was, is, and should be. Through seven stories, we are re-looking at why we need to overcome, as one of our favorite journalists put it, “the gathering conspiracy of distraction”.
Reading is a meditation. It builds new worlds for us, even as it shows us our own with clarity. It is comfort when we want it. It is a life-map when we need it.
And this little secret — once always in our bags and under our pillows — is still there for us, whenever we need it.
An architect observes her bookshelves, and notes how books seem to have a shared-language with the built form.
An artist on two strong girls she met in pages early in her life, and what they mean to her
A poem read in the 1970s in a quaint little Catholic convent, stays with and shapes this author for decades to come
On how books can mould, contextualise, and inform how you think, and how you understand feeling
Poems are spaces in the world if you need a long exhalation. And sometimes, they’re all we have
How Lahiri, Seth, and Vuong help navigate experiencing death and the many ways it creeps upon us