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    The Gains of Labor


    It’s a pleasant February evening in Kochi. Rendition of Rag Chandrakauns by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, accompanied by Ustad Zakir Hussain, adds to the serenity of a room filled with the aroma from scented candles. A woman, sitting on the birth stool, rests her face on her husband’s…

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    Don’t Vote for Candidates Who Make Too Much of Noise


    As we head toward assembly elections in our state, one small device that could help us keep our sanity intact is an ear plug. In every nook and corner in Kerala, all the three political fronts are bound to raise the decibel levels of their campaigns, as if they want to beat their rivals at least…

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    In Pursuit of Happiness


    Ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things and extra-ordinary people doing ordinary things make news. Abdul Latheef’s story may not exactly fit into that category. But it’s worth knowing the life of this ordinary man who does not-so extra-ordinary things that we just fail to do, or conveniently…

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    Requiem for an Old Lady


    She passed away on 25 May 2014 at the age of 56. It was a silent exit; after all, she was on life support for sometime. When the end finally came, not many of us were surprised. We merely shrugged shoulders and bid adieu to yet another relic of our past life. But to someone who was once equated to…

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    Some Disturbing Questions on Kerala’s Attitude Toward HIV Infected


    HIV is a lesser evil.

    Much lesser compared to patriotic bigotry and religious fanaticism. But while we hail the social viruses that ambush us, we curse the biological virus and stigmatize the infected.

    So we want Akshara, a B.A. Psychology student of the Wadihuda Institute of Research…

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    How Remittance of Migrant Bengali Erodes Remittance of Gulf Malayalee


    Among the tens of thousands of West Bengal migrants who seek fortunes in Kerala, Mofijul Rahima Sheikh is the luckiest one. He won the 10 million-rupees jackpot in the Kerala government Karunya lottery just a day after arriving in the state, looking for work that would help him build a house in his…

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    Kanhaiya: The New Che in Kerala Campuses?


    A small report in the corner of a national newspaper informs me that in Kerala’s college campuses Kanhaiya is the new Che.

    Curiosity leads me further into the news, and I find that the Bolivian romantic revolutionary isn’t entirely wiped out from the memories of the young radicals,…

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    Godmen's Own Country


    I stood in a corner of the giant stage, behind a crawling queue of devotees waiting for 'amma's' hug. I was hunched in despair, feeling like a giant impostor, wedged between the deep urge to run away and the desire not to fail the kind man who had gently insisted that I meet 'amma' after our interview…

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    Lightening the School Bag: Kollam Shows the Way


    An initiative by about a dozen schools in Kollam district could go a long way toward addressing a perpetual problem children and their parents face every day: the overweight of school bags.

    Various studies have shown that a large number of children suffer from orthopedic ailments because of…

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    Health Protection Agency Is the Booster Dose Kerala Needs


    Kerala achieved great strides in healthcare in the past, with the state recording major gains in indices such as infant mortality rate, birth rate and life expectancy at birth etc. But time has come to take a relook at the way in which healthcare is delivered in the state. While we are still doing…

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    Mohanlal the Blogger: a New Villain for Trolls


    Just a day before the famous Attukal Pongala, the world’s largest religious congregation of women, there was a post on Facebook that said another 'pongala' was already being carried out on Mohanlal, Malayalam cinema’s biggest star. When pongala is used as a slang, the only word in English…

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    A Goddess’s Biography


    Religious faith in Kerala became more deep-rooted in the past couple of decades in line with new lifestyles, more and more nuclear families and surging wealth. As uncertainties in life increased (will I have my job tomorrow?), liabilities became heavier (how to pay my home and car loans?) and family…

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    Migrant Laborers & Mob Justice: New Formula for Box Office Success


    The box office success of `Amar Akbar Anthony’ (released in October 2015), directed by Nadirshah, underscores the cathartic effects a film provides to the people in general who are disillusioned with the disbursement of justice by our judicial system that is famous for its deferment of deliverance.…

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    Higher Education: Caught in a Time Warp


    In the last week of September, 2014 a professor hurried breathlessly into a self-financing professional college in Kerala, with good reason for his haste: India’s Mars Orbiter Mission craft (Mangalyaan) had been successfully inserted into the Mars orbit and he couldn’t wait to share the…

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    Why Are Kerala Campuses Silent When JNU Burns?


    Campuses in Kerala are as noisy and clamorous as a covey of evening birds, thanks to politics being an inevitable ‘tiffin item’ for every Malayalee. They have never remained silent whenever an issue of national importance cropped up.

    And, that’s why when no voice of protest…

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    'Gracious Madam, I Bring the News, Not the Match'


    Being in the media isn’t easy these days. The profession is increasingly getting unenviable. It is becoming tough for a media person even to get out of office or home. For, wherever he or she goes these days, be sure to be bombarded by a flurry of fuming queries from all around. “How…

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    The Mess in Our Schools


    Sometime back I sat on an interview board. The applicants were fresh B-Com graduates from Universities in Kerala with over 75% marks. Just to check their basic arithmetic skills, I popped a question that many of my fellow board members found too silly to be thrown at such candidates. The question…

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    From God’s Own Country to Devil’s Dumpsite


    Big, palatial houses. Opulence in concrete and brick. Cars that are traded by the day for bigger and better models. The average middle-class Malayalee seems to be having a great time. No one seems to be complaining.

    But a recent road trip from one end of this tiny state to the other left me…