Letter from India: Kalarippayattu

Note: This is an on-the-road blog post. To find out more about why I am on this trip, please read, Next book: From Kerala to Shaolin. In the interest of clarity and transparency, although I wrote most of this letter when in India, I am actually clicking “Publish” when in Singapore. I am back home now for a few days break.


A continuation of Letter from India: Trivandrum

India is helping me slow down. On Day 1 I am frustrated when I find out it will take three days to get my Indian SIM card. On Day 5 I hear that the new estimate is one week. Babu Uncle, in a rare rationalisation of Indian delays, says something about terrorists and cellphone-activated bombs, but all I can think about is the Roaming Charge Bomb that Singtel will dispatch in three weeks.

Moreover, it’s getting embarrassing and tiresome responding to well-meaning folks who repeatedly ask, “You don’t have a local number?” For writers working abroad today, a local cell number is essential, not only for convenience’s sake, but also because it symbolises, in some small way, a semi-permanent, serious kind of scholarship, as opposed to parachuting, fly-by-night analysis. Continue reading

Floating on a Malayan Breeze has been sent for a second print run!

Dear friends, I wanted to share someBook Cover good news about my book, Floating on a Malayan Breeze. Barely two months after the launch, the book has been sent for a second print run. The first run of 1,750 is almost gone. That is small beer for an international book, but pretty good for a niche topic–when I first signed up with HKU Press, an editor there told me they’d be happy if we sold 1,000 in the first year.

So I wanted to thank all of you for your support. Couldn’t have done it without you (mean that quite literally, heh). Thanks in particular to Riya de los Reyes, Allanjit Singh, Kj Tan Kane Juan, Peter Schoppert and Sumana Rajarethnam, who have helped immensely in terms of marketing and digital publicity.

Also, the book has finally reached Western shores, and we will be starting our marketing push there over the next few weeks. For those of you who have read the book, or parts of it, I’d really appreciate if you can write a review on the Amazon site. We have no reviews and ratings at the moment, so page looks a bit naked. Even 1-2 lines will suffice. See link here. Thanks so much! 🙂