Categories
Gifted Education

Identifying Gifted Children

Image credit. A few weeks ago, in this column, we discussed why it is important to train our teachers in gifted education. We must address the advanced learning needs of high-ability children, not leave them to fend for themselves.  Read the full article at Deccan Herald.

Categories
Environment History Science What I read

Guns, Germs, & Steel Explores How Geography Led to Inter-Continental Differences in the Tools of Colonisation: Zoonotic Crowd Disease, Social Organisation, and Military Prowess

Why is it that Eurasians colonised the Americas? Why, until European colonisation, did the Americas lag behind the Old World in population density and social organisation? Jared Diamond explores the far-reaching consequences of geographical differences on the emergence of densely populated, militaristic civilisations in Eurasia vs. the Americas.

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Flash story Microstory

One Day

A series of ten vignettes set in an Indian metropolis. The vignettes follow different individuals in different settings, over the course of one day.

Categories
Gifted Education

Gifted children need teachers who set intellectual challenges

Image credit Gifted Education (GE) is the umbrella term for enriching, diversifying, and modifying curriculum to meet the needs of gifted children: the need for stimulation and challenge. Read the full article at Deccan Herald.

Categories
Gifted Education

Nurturing Mathematically Gifted Children

This article was originally published by Deccan Herald. Image credit. *** A  crucial part of a nation’s human potential lies in individuals gifted in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Identifying and nurturing children gifted in STEM deserves special attention and presents special challenges. First, research suggests that the mathematically gifted stand out less than […]

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Book review

The Illicit Happiness of Other People (2012) is a Tragicomedy Illuminated by Subtle Psychosocial Analysis

*Illicit* is a satirical social commentary, a tragicomedy of self-sacrifice, crime, transcendence, and tragic redemption set against the insistent grime of a lower-middle-class family stranded between failure and social injustice on the one hand – and resilience and love on the other.

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Book review

Milan Kundera’s Slowness (1995) Is A Lucid Distillation of Philosophy and Subtle Psychological Observation

*Slowness* juxtaposes stories and characters, deftly interwoven, in a structure light and airy, never feeling crammed. It is informed by, and engages with, a deep philosophical and literary heritage. The thesis of Slowness is that we moderners have lost the gift for slow living, and thus for remembering. We live fast, therefore we forget – or is it the other way around?

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Microstory

One Day: Midnight

The tenth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Night

The ninth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Dusk

The eighth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Evening

The seventh of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Late Afternoon

The sixth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Mid-Afternoon

The fifth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Noon

The fourth of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Midmorning

The third of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

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Microstory

One Day: Morning

The second of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Microstory

One Day: Dawn

The first of ten microstories, following the lives of ordinary people, set over the course of one ordinary day in an Indian metropolis.

Categories
Book review Cognitive Science Science

The Third Chimpanzee: A Critical Retrospective

Amidst a global renaissance of xenophobia and antiscientific fundamentalism, Jared Diamond’s book is a valuable reminder that man is after all an animal shaped by his ecology.

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Book review

David Copperfield: Wise Friends, Unconventional Families, Reimagining Reality, the Dangers of Infantilising, and the Power of Circumstance

In David Copperfield, Dickens paints pictures of sage friends and family; reimagines the family unit; warns us of the dangers of overindulging children and infantilising adults, recreates aspects of his own life that he was dissatisfied with — and explores the power of circumstance in shaping human nature.

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Flash story

Re:Birth

A woman heals from trauma, and begins her journey back towards life — via love for two unexpected entities.

Categories
Short story

Excuses

An immigrant with an apparently perfect life and unlimited empathy is driven by a guilty secret.

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Book review

The Tempest.

Caliban: Heroic Anti-Colonial, Or Savage Rapist? Prospero: Pathetic Bookworm, or Forebearing Sorcerer? Best Be Gonzalo.

Categories
Philosophy Politics Science What I read

Notes on Christopher Caudwell’s *Studies In A Dying Culture*

These analytical essays illuminate aspects of contemporary capitalist culture: including literature, liberty, and psychology. Underpinning these essays is the insight that a commodified approach to art and life erodes fundamental human relations, and impoverishes our souls. Caudwell argues — not for regressing into an imagined “glorious past” — but for us to fight together for a future of universal human dignity.

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Book review

The Ocean At The End of the Lane is An Intriguing, if Unsubstantial, Magic Realist Fable

The Ocean At The End of the Lane (2013) is the first I’ve read of Neil Gaiman. I begin with my usual caveat: this is a speculative novel, and I seldom like books in this genre. I’ve begun trying it regularly, and I liked this book better than some others I’ve tried recently. Still, if […]

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Book review

The Hottest Day of the Year: In A Place Out of Time, Women Oppress Each Other, Repress Themselves, And Finally Break Free

Brinda Charry’s The Hottest Day of the Year (2001) opens with the narrator, 11-year-old Nithya, finding Sudha hanging by the neck from the ceiling. Hottest Day then rewinds a few months to tell the story from the beginning. The book unfolds over six months of 1986 in Thiruninravur, near Chennai. Nithya is from Bangalore; her […]

Categories
Environment Flash story

Promises

Fabula Argentea published this flash story in Issue 31. Image source: Air Quality in Delhi before and after lockdown began. SUMAN “Why’re you standing here, Ma?” Suman stepped onto the balcony. “You know this polluted air aggravates your asthma. Come inside.” Suman gasped. A hundred and twenty miles away, through the sky suddenly clear, wide […]

Categories
Book review Environment

Richard Powers’s The Overstory Is an Unflinching Examination of Nine Humans’ Fight for Forests

The Overstory (2018) won the 2019 Pulitzer for fiction, and for good reason. This is the most ambitious novel I’ve ever read, possibly also the best-written. Almost every sentence is perfect: such that the very occasional slightly-imperfect sentence stands out. The prose is both sparely poetic, and dense with distilled meaning – inviting slow savouring, […]

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Environment Personal Essay

Saving the World: Individual Action and Systemic Change

Captain Planet exhorted 90s children to save the world — while also showing us how large industry and government inaction stack the cards against meaningful change. Thirty years on, was Captain Planet right?

Categories
Short story

Sanctuary

Volume Three of Fearsome Critters is out, with my short story “Sanctuary.” Set on a solo weekend trip to Benaras, “Sanctuary” fictionalises a friend’s psychoglocial journey. A journey of healing from trauma, rediscovering oneself through reflection (with aid from psychedelics), and recovering one’s faith in people and purpose in life.

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Book review

Three Book Reviews

Parables for the Theatre: Two Plays by Brecht In college I’d heard of Brecht’s penchant for theatre that broke the fourth wall; a decade later, this two-play volume I read this month was the first Brecht I read. My experience reading drama is limited. I’ve read the classical Athenians, and some Plautus; Shakespeare, and a […]

Categories
Short story

Holiday. A short story. Love, Fate, and Acceptance.

After uny exams in north India, a young couple takes their first trip together. Impeding separation looms over them, all but inevitable. Sarthak and Jaya have different attitudes to fate. When an eventuality is all but certain — is it wiser to yield, or to fight it anyway?

Categories
Microstory Poetry

A Poem And Two Microstories

A very angsty love poem in five parts. To cheer you up afterwards, two microstories.

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Artists & Scientists Interview

Interview with Poet J. L. Moultrie

Michigan-based poet J. L. Moultrie has published in journals such as Sonder Midwest, Oroboro, and Terror House Magazine. Today, J.L. speaks about discovering books, writing poetry, and finding faith in his vocation.

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Book review

Shakespeare’s Sonnets: the TL;DR version. Love, art, and mortality.

Always wanted to read Shakespeare’s Sonnets, but never had the time? Fear not. I impersonate Shakespeare to tell you the story of sonnets’ love triangle. The Poet, the Fair Youth, and the Dark Lady. I bolster my summary with ample quotations, and attempts at humour. The Sonnets explore every facet of desire: yearning, sexual desire, jealousy (of rival lovers and of rival poets), love-madness and insomnia, tranquil admiration, breakup and reconciliation.

Categories
Microstory Poetry

A Poem and A Microstory

A poem about the prosaicness of love. And a microstory about the childishness of adults.

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Artists & Scientists Interview

Interview with Writer Ana Vidosavljevic

Some time ago, I read Ana Vidosavljevic’s articles at The Curious Reader, a magazine we both write for. I went on to discover her other writing, then her website. I was struck by her honest, fresh writing; by the novelty and freshness of her prose; and by her imaginative and accessible stories for children. I got to read some of the short stories and memoir pieces published in Ana’s two recently published books: Mermaids, a collection of short stories; and Flower Thieves, a memoir. Today I speak with Ana about reading, writing, surfing, and travelling.

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Book review

The Sellout (2015) is Incisive and Relentless, But Falls Short of Greatness

The first third of The Sellout’s 288 pages is hilarious. After that, Beatty recycles himself… I would’ve enjoyed getting to know Foy Cheshire, the leader of the faux-intellectuals and the book’s chief antagonist. As it is, Foy remains a theatre-mask… The Sellout is excellent, but not great. Mesmerised by its brilliantly coloured flat characters, it the novel misses opportunities to humanise its characters.

Categories
Book review Politics

Newspeak And Nationalism: Are We Living In 1984’s Dystopia?

1984 predicts the charismatic authoritarians, bigoted nationalists, and media-suppressing demagogues who lead the world today.

Categories
Artists & Scientists Interview

Interview of Me by Ana Vidosavljevic

Writer, teacher, translater, and new mother Ana Vidosavljevic interviewed me about writing. I talk about my fvaourite books, writing routine and aids, dealing with criticism, and advice I’d give myself if I could start afresh.

Categories
Artists & Scientists Website Updates

New Weekly Interview Series

Every Wednesday, I’ll be featuring an interview with an artist or scientist, hosted on the Artists & Scientists site. With this new addition, I’m up to five blogposts a week. If you’re a subscriber, and you’d rather not receive so many emails from my site, this is a good time to change your notification preferences. […]

Categories
Artists & Scientists

Guest Post: “MEMENTO MORI: Poem and Essay”

For this week’s guest post on Artists and Scientists, I’m pleased to introduce my friend and colleague, poet and writer J. L. Moultrie. I’ve known J. L. just a few months, and we’ve never met in person. But through his writing, and through a long and rich series of emails, I’ve come to know a […]

Categories
Flash story

“Fish”

My flash story “Fish” published in Kelp won the magazine’s Shelter in Place contest under the Fiction category. Check out the story, along with the Poetry and Essay contest winners — along with other prose, poetry, and visual art — in Kelp’s Summer 2020 issue. Enter your email ID for weekly updates about new articles […]

Categories
Gifted Education

Empower Gifted Girls

Do gifted girls have different needs from gifted boys? In this article published at Deccan Herald, I explore the intersection of sex, intelligence, and educational needs.

Categories
Book review Politics

A Passage to India Argues Powerfully Against Orientalism and Imperialism

In this book review published at Qrius, I revisit E. M. Forster’s best-known novel. A Passage to India demolishes the racism that sustains imperialism; the novel exemplifies the power of literature to catalyse social progress