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Reading for our times

Reading for our times

By Usha Raman

A podcast that celebrates books and reading and the beauty of the written word--spoken out loud.
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HLF Unmuted #2: A dash of Hyderabadi flavour

Reading for our timesJan 23, 2021

HLF Unmuted #2: A dash of Hyderabadi flavour
Jan 23, 202118:29
Hyderabad Literary Festival 2021: Behind the Scenes
Jan 17, 202123:35
Our Year in Reading--Wrapping up 2020
Dec 25, 202031:24
Sports off the field
Aug 01, 202039:38
Formative Passages
Jul 25, 202040:18
Einstein's Dreams: A Conversation with Alan Lightman
Jul 18, 202028:20
The Classic Case
Jul 12, 202040:02
Into the wild: readings on nature for children

Into the wild: readings on nature for children

Books are a great way to introduce children to the wonders and wealth of nature. In this episode of the show Sadhana Ramchander curates a delightful set of readings that will surely be enjoyed by the children in your lives—and the child in you.

Sadhana Ramchander reads two poems by Shel Silverstein: Zebra question' and 'The toad and the kangaroo

Kobita Dass Kolli reads Ruskin Bond’s Henry  the chameleon

Suchitra Shenoy introduces us to the life of the remarkable Jane Goodall, from the book Fantastically great women  who saved the planet'by Kate Pankhurst

Divya Mukpalkar reads Ma Ganga and the razai box by Geeta Dharmarajan 

Tara Jayarao reads Fussing around insects a translation from a Tamizh story by Salai Selvam from the book 'Mother steals a bicycle'

Malini Siruguri reads an extract from The Lorax by Dr Seuss

A Giridhar Rao reads Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree

Jul 04, 202030:36
Bookshelf favourites

Bookshelf favourites

In this episode, we have a selection of old favourites—pieces we return to time and again, when the mood takes us. Words that we pull off our shelves—or out of our memories—just because we want to feel something again, to know something again, to return to a moment of excitement or awe or insight that has shifted something inside us.

Books/work featured in the episode

Testimonio by Brian Doyle, from the collection One Long River of Song (read by Aasheesh Pittie)

Standing up by Tomas Transtromer (read by Malini Waghray)

90 Minutes to Entebbe by William Stevenson (read by Divya Bharath)

Black Dogs and Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (read by Usha Raman)

For whom the bell tolls by John Donne (read by Amita Desai)

Jun 27, 202021:15
Let's laugh a little

Let's laugh a little

There’s humour to be found in so much literature. And then there’s humour that is literature. This episode, curated by Kaivalya Dasu, brings together a set of readings that will remind us that literature is not just for quietly sinking into with our minds, but also for diving into joyously so that we can bubble up with laughter, or float back up to the surface with a smile.

Books featured in this episode:

Cocktail Time by P G Wodehouse (read by Kaivalya Dasu)

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend (read by Maya Bhagat)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (read by Aniruddha Dasu)

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (read by Pakhee Jha)

The original piece featured in the episode was written and read by Fleurette Modica

Jun 20, 202025:42
Reading around the world
Jun 13, 202036:43
Children's Voices, Set 3

Children's Voices, Set 3

A group of enthusiastic young readers share some of their favourite moments from some of their favourite books, ranging from folk tales by A K Ramanujam to good old Ruskin Bond, and even a bit of Shakespeare.

The books/stories featured in this episode include:

Folk Tales from India by A K Ramanujam

The Enormous Turnip by Alexei Tolstoy

The Wizard’s Wand by Geronimo Stilton

Basava and the Dots of Fire by Radhika Chadha

Farida plans a Feast by Maegan Dobson Sippy

Coming Round the Mountain by Ruskin Bond

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, children’s abridged edition

The Little Bird in the Big Mountains by Pari Rana

Jun 06, 202018:04
Recreating the Dutch Golden Age

Recreating the Dutch Golden Age

In a slight departure from our usual format, four students of art history take us through the lives of four individuals who inhabit different roles during the period known as the Dutch Golden Age, spanning the 17th century in Holland, and give us a sense of what it might have been like to have been an artists--or live on the edges of the art establishment--during this time.

If you'd like to learn more about the Dutch Golden Age, Shreya Subramanyam suggests these readings:Schama, Simon. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987

Sutton, Elizabeth, ed. Women Artists and Patrons in the Netherlands, 1500 - 1700: Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, 2019

Hofrichter, Frima Fox. Judith Leyster: A Woman-Painter in Holland’s Golden Age. Texas: Davaco, 1989.

Prak, Maarten. “Guilds and the Development of the Art Market during the Dutch Golden Age” Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art 30, no. 3/4 (2003) 236 - 251

Kirby, Jo. “The Painter’s Trade in the Seventeenth Century: Theory and Practice” National Gallery Technical Bulletin 20, Painting in Antwerp and London: Rubens and van Dyck (1999) 5 - 49

Dash, Mike. Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused. New York: Crown Publishers, 1999.

Alpers, Svetlana, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983

Moggach, Deborah. Tulip Fever. Canada: Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2001

May 30, 202025:57


This episode, Banned! opens the covers of some proscribed books—works of both fiction and non-fiction that have been banned or simply taken out of circulation, in India. The episode has been put together by Hyderabad-based art historian, anthropologist and curator Sita Reddy, and features readings from A K Ramanujan's 300 Ramayanas, Wendy Doniger's The Hindus, Perumal Murugan's One Part Woman, and Anand Teltumbde's Republic of Caste, among others.

May 23, 202055:16
On love and loss

On love and loss

Drawing from writers as far apart in time as Ismat Chugtai and Arundhati Roy, and as distant in location as Elif Shafak and bell hooks, our young readers sample work on emotions and experiences that are specific yet universal. How do we think of love--as a noun or a verb? What is the content of grief? And how do we recover...and remember?

May 16, 202025:59
Pandemic Preoccupations

Pandemic Preoccupations

In the weeks and months since the Covid-19 pandemic locked us down and stilled the streets, we have all had to deal with a variety of challenges--some large, some small, but all to some degree forcing us to re-evaluate our relationships with each other, with nature, and the world. In this episode, we bring you a set of reflections, combing some original writing mixed in with extracts from work that "speaks" to us in specific yet somehow universal ways. 

May 09, 202035:08
Writing from South Asia

Writing from South Asia

This episode features six works by writers from the South Asian subcontinent--well, mostly India, with a touch of Pakistan. Included are well known names like Amitav Ghosh and Kamila Shamsie, but also authors in translation, Ambai and a selection from Terigatha, a collection of Pali Buddhist poems by women monks.
May 02, 202021:15
Reading for our Times-Children's Voices Part 2

Reading for our Times-Children's Voices Part 2

Six children between the ages of 8 and 10 read from their favourite books, including selections from the Harry Potter series, Fancy Nancy and The Penderwicks.

Apr 25, 202014:30
Reading for our times--Children's Voices Part 1

Reading for our times--Children's Voices Part 1

Children read from some of their favourite work--mythology, adventure, humour and more!

Apr 21, 202010:50
Reading for Our Times: Episodes 1 and 2

Reading for Our Times: Episodes 1 and 2

Books are an escape, but they are also an inspiration, a comfort, and a space for learning in the broadest way possible. In this series, we pick out some of our favourite bits from some of our favourite books. 

Apr 21, 202025:42