A year later, when Gita Wolf (the publisher of Tara Books) saw her project, she thought of making a book out of it and A Stitch Out of Time was born (Rs 1,600).
Organized by Jane Borges, Nimisha Patil and Kasturi Ghatge
It’s a running joke on the internet: what is every middle-class Indian household hoarding dearly? Shopping and take-out plastic bags. They come in so many shapes and sizes that we stock even the weirdest ones. But when binder and embroiderer Anaïs Beaulieu saw a field choked with plastic bags in Burkina Faso, a West African country, she was outraged.
“They were attached to the plants,” she says. “To take revenge on nature, I decided to embroider plants in a plastic bag. I didn’t know if that would work. But it has become my way of fighting the plastic invasion. A year later, when Gita Wolf (the publisher of Tara Books) saw her project, she thought of making a book out of it and A Stitch Out of Time was born (Rs 1,600).
The book features images of Beaulieu embroidery and conveys two powerful themes – the degradation of the environment and the slowing down of time to appreciate what we create – whether it is trees or an embroidery patch. . Although the message may be a bit metaphorical, Beaulieu includes a tote bag that the reader can embroider.
Available from Tara Books
Talk it over
Over the past few years, everyone has become increasingly aware of the importance of good mental health and is asking for help. But one of the obstacles has been the exorbitant cost of psychotherapy. Realizing this fact, Narendra Kinger, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist certified by the Rehabilitation Council of India, started “Talk To Me”, a paid (or not) avenue to ask for help.
A counseling session in progress
There is a physical center at Mahim and an online support system. Anyone wishing a consultation can register on its website to reach the call center directly. A psychologist will be assigned to you and you will be able to benefit from his pro bono services. There is also a pay-as-you-go model. Revenues are reinvested into the system to balance pro bono clientele.
It currently includes 10 psychologists with master’s degrees in clinical and counseling psychology. The staff are multilingual and provide assistance in Hindi, English, Marathi, Urdu, Sindhi and Gujarati.
The Mysterious Deaths at Katra
Sonia Faleiro. Photo courtesy of Ulrik R McKnight
Sonia Faleiro is one of that rare breed of journalists who choose their subjects wisely. Especially when it’s for a book. Her latest non-fiction, Beautiful Thing: Inside The Secret World of Mumbai’s Dance bars, followed Leela’s life. His last narrative non-fiction comes nearly a decade later.
The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing is an investigation into the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls, cousins Padma and Lalli, whose bodies were found hanged in a mango orchard in the village of Katra in Uttar Pradesh, goes beyond reporting, of course, while managing to do what ordinary documentation does not. In this book, Faleiro lays bare the symptoms and the causes, before the chilling diagnosis of why and how the girls ended up dying. She has a sense of objectivity, telling us the stories of each character in this mystery, their motivations, failures, and desires, all without judgment, unlike mainstream media. In the end, one is simply baffled by the complexity of the crime, which isn’t really about how it happened, but why it shouldn’t have happened. It’s a book that reminds us why we need to cling to feminism.
Available at all points of sale
Listen to a fable about Mahaparbat
It was a small coincidence to have listened to Amitav Ghosh’s new book, The Living Mountain: A Fable for our Times (HarperCollins India) on Audible, just a few months after having visited the Himalayas for a trek in the pass of Kuari. There, our pahadi guide told us about the gentle but high mountains, their rules and why we must respect them and walk with caution. When enraged, they are ruthless. A decent part of this trek was filled with myths and folklore, which came back to this writer while listening to The Living Mountain, hosted by narrators Pallavi Bharti and Ranjit Madgavkar.
This is the first time that we discover Ghosh’s work on audio. At just 36 minutes, it’s a very short book to listen to, but the story is nonetheless remarkably haunting. Bharti, who narrates the dream – a fable about Mahaparbat and its native inhabitants of the valley – and Madgavkar, play their part well. The bright background score and sound effects make it an experience worth listening to.
Available on Audible
Anything But Butter Chicken
Food blogger Roxanne Bamboat’s brand new podcast, Beyond Butter Chicken, is a refreshing twist on existing regional cuisine stereotypes. Across nine episodes, Bomboat makes a serious attempt to deconstruct and uncover the nuances of everyday meals. She also poses intriguing questions to guest speakers such as author and culinary consultant Saee Koreane Khandekar, who delves into the interaction of different communities that finds expression in food.
This writer learned an interesting fact through the episode based on Maharashtrian food: Pathare Prabhu cuisine evolved as it traveled through Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra eventually settling in Bombay.
Available on all podcast streaming sites