Raagam Taanam Pallavi – A Lalli Mystery

November 17, 2020

Lalli, retired policewoman—the sharpest, most intriguing detective in Indian fiction—is at it again. Solving a crime—except that this time, she suspects that she herself may be the murderer.

A forgotten piece of music is her only clue. Until a second murder occurs. A man is found bludgeoned to death in the courtyard outside Subbu Bhagavathar’s house, with Subbu’s son sitting in a blood-soaked veshti next to the body. It’s an open-and-shut case, according to Inspector Shukla and his trusted aide, Shaktivel. Not so for Lalli.
To get to the truth, Lalli has to turn to the myth of Murugan, the six-headed god. Murugan’s weapon is his shining spear, the Vel, meant to pierce Illusion, and reveal the Truth. In the Azhagu ceremony, the devotees of Murugan undergo a ritual piercing with the vel, to shed themselves of their burdens and see the truth.

Delving deep into myth and tradition, music and song, Lalli slowly uncovers the truth. Of two crimes – one committed unwittingly, the other with deliberate and evil intent. As Sita, Savio and Dr Q rally around her, Lalli is determined to get justice for the victims, whatever the cost to herself.

Steeped in musical tradition and folklore, Raagam Taanam Pallavi is as much a treat for music lovers as it is for those who love a good whodunit. Kalpana Swaminathan excels herself in this latest addition to the much-loved detective series combining literary panache with a talent for sleuthing.

Fat

November 1, 2018

• Why have we Indians become so suddenly, and so quickly, obese?

• Why are our children overweight? Will they be diabetic and hypertensive before they are thirty?

• What is making us overweight? Is it our ‘homefood’ or ‘outsidefood’?

• What happens to food once we eat it, and how is it linked to obesity?

• And if we are obese, what can we do about it?

In Fat, doctors Ishrat Syed and Kalpana Swaminathan meld the newest research with their own clinical experience to answer these questions and uncover the links between food and our bodies. We discover the magical relationship between the brain and the fat cell; how it enhances our enjoyment of a delicious meal, how it tricks us into choosing the right foods in the right amounts, and how this perfect balance can go haywire. We learn of the ways in which the stresses of our modern lifestyles—especially in urban India—are pushing us into becoming overweight, and what we can do about it. We learn, also, the essential principles of the perfectly balanced meal and how simple it is to implement them in our kitchens.

Specially focused on India, this accessible and timely volume tells us everything we need to know about our body, the food we eat to fuel it, and what we must guard against—and do—so that we keep ourselves, and our children, healthy and energized.

Murder in Seven Acts

February 2, 2018

The curiosity of murder unfolds in seven acts.
Since Kalpana Swaminathan’s first whodunit was published over ten years ago, Lalli—sixty and silver-haired and tough as nails—has been one of the most memorable detectives in Indian fiction. Lalli returns in this brilliant page-turner, a collection of seven stories, to solve some of the strangest, most complex cases of her career.
The opening act, in which a face keeps reappearing until a crime committed long ago is revealed, is followed by a murder that could be hypothetical—or a reality (Lalli turns to Schrodinger’s Cat to find out). In the third act in this unfolding drama, Lalli and Sita are invited to a book-burning which turns out to be murder most foul. And Lalli turns her skills to the world of high fashion when Sita sits next to a serial killer on a bus—but was he killer or victim?
The aptly named Sucide Point in Bombay’s suburbs, leads Lalli to a suicide that turns out to be something far more sinister. And an innocuous desk ornament is the clue to a crime most artistically executed. Finally, for connoisseurs of fiction, the curtains come down with a threnody for lost love.

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