An Artist’s Urge for Freedom: A Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore

For a long time, Tagore wasn’t allowed to leave the premises of his house. But he wanted to see the outside world. When someone visited their house, young Tagore asked them to narrate stories of the world outside. The more he heard, the more his desire rose. Yet, there was no escape.

The Three Legends of Bengali Literature: Bankimchandra, Tagore and Saratchandra

No age had ever been able to produce such a great talent. A common belief goes that one cannot complete reading all his literary works in one life – such is the vastness of his genius. No doubt, he is almost worshipped by the Bengalis. Tagore wrote short stories, poems, novels, dramas and songs.

The Artist’s Eye| Penang Here I Come by Pami Ismail

Written with simple prose and heart-warming sketches – the illustrator and author takes us on his journey through Penang as he presents us a with slice-of-life narrative through his travels. From music to places of worship, from man-made monuments to natural beauty, from tradition to modern-day Penang – this book has it all. 

The Plague of Athens and the Coronavirus: How History Revives Itself

There is a certain sense of  bittersweet beauty that comes along with relating mythology or history with the life that we currently lead. Wars, epidemics, lockdowns – our generation has been fortunate to have only read about these and to have the freedom to choose if we want to imagine what life was in those times or to dismiss it as the past. But now, as our lives turn into an event that will be remembered for several years to come, like how we remember the Black Plague or the Bengal famines, it may be soothing to look back to instances like ours, where we have fought and survived. 

The Merchant’s Soul: Gujarati traders of the Singapore Strait

The concept of people packing their bags to explore new territories is as old as time itself. And despite coming from a long lineage of Gujarati merchants – I know that we are not alone in our desire to chart uncharted terrains in the names of commerce. There are others like us – from all cultures and creeds from around the world. 

Melaka’s The Royal Press: rediscover the old art of printing

As I made my way down Jonker Street, I found myself at The Royal Press – one of the world’s oldest surviving polyglot letterpress museums dedicated to preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Located in one of Melaka’s many shophouses, I was immediately hit by a sense of nostalgia when I walked in. As a descendant of Southeast Asian merchants, I am all too familiar with the concept of the shopfloor on the ground floor and a living space on the second floor.