John Cheeran
Porterfolio

John Cheeran

Journalist with The Times of India | email: johncheeran@gmail.com


Of nawabs, nudes and noodles

Insightful observations such as these make Parameswaran’s new book Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India Through 50 Years of Advertising (Published by Pan Macmillan India, Price Rs 599, Pages 301) a compelling reading for the adman as well as the conscientious jo

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2016

The growing Pinarayi cult in Kerala

You read the diligent reports of bourgeoisie media that ‘Pinarayi smiled’ as you will read ‘Jesus wept’ in the Bible, in a tone of veneration. Pinarayi is the great communist who does not smile.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2016

An apology for Congress in Kerala

This is the big take away from the LDF’s coming to power in 2016. After five years, Kerala, which has a Hindu majority (56%) will have a Hindu chief minister.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2016

Book review: Before We Visit The Goddess

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Before We Visit The Goddess is about love and longing, struggle and survival in which principal characters—all of them women—find their moorings in alien emotional climes. It is a sweet, sad tale.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2016

Maruvili: A picture of Attoor Ravivarma’s poetic word

Anvar Ali, one of the distinct poetic voices in Malayalam, takes you on a screen journey through the poems of Attoor Ravivarma, one of the greatest poets in India, in a 90-minute documentary titled ‘Maruvili, Call From The Other Shore.’

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2016

Attoor Ravivarma’s poetry is a ticking bomb: Anvar Ali

I see his poetry as a ticking bomb which can explode any moment. His best poetry carries within a subversive energy. He digs for a word, mood, or a metaphor rooted in tradition in order to wreck it from within, says Anvar Ali.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2016

The turn of the tortoise; the return of illiberal politics

Myth-busting such as this has been the hallmark of T N Ninan’s journalism and scholarship. India’s huge size does not tempt, unlike many economists, Ninan to describe it as an elephant.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2016

Penis envy

I would suggest ‘Malayali Sthreekalude Kaivitta Sancharangal’ as a required reading for all Malayali men. Each of you can come to your own conclusion.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

Loud vs lyrical: A cautionary note

Spontaneity is the strength and weakness of Joseph’s poetry, says Anwar Ali. There have been times when that spontaneity has been sacrificed for positioning himself as a dalit writer.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

Leave alone

That Malayali women have already started rearranging their syllabus is evident from a new book titled “Ranimar Padminimar: Malayali Sthreekalude Kaivitta Sancharangal,” a collection of essays and jottings on women’s journeys without a male compass.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

Joseph and his brothers

S Joseph, who introduced Malayalam poetry to hitherto unexpressed human conditions (Meenkaran, Mesthri, Kotta, Identity Card) with very ordinary, pared down words, has wandered through life’s mean streets to reach where he is today.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

O V Vijayan: Upstaged by theatre

If reading Khazakk unsettled and unnerved you, watching Khazakk lulled you to a dull sense of contentment in a ‘subversive’ way but without realizing the meaning and fatal significance of such an unintended effort.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

This disease does not have a cure

If SCTIMST in Thiruvananthapuram is to reach international standards and not slowly get strangled to death, everyone must understand and co-operate instead of political one-upmanship.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

Why read the Malayali politicians

In Kerala of the last six decades, two leaders can be unabashedly described as men of vaulting ambition—K Karunakaran and K M Mani

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2016

Who wants to be a batsman?

Simon Hughes has done what Sachin Tendulkar could never do—unveil the secrets of batting in his book, Who Wants To Be A Batsman?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / October 2015

The Girl In The Spider’s Web: A review

In The Girl In The Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz has succeeded in continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series in a convincing manner.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / September 2015

The right and wrong of the Emergency

The relevance of Coomi Kapoor’s The Emergency: A Personal History is not merely that it is the 40th anniversary of the curtailment of freedom but today we have the strongest prime minister since the days of Mrs Gandhi in Narendra Modi.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2015

The Gita for children

How can you work without reward, this question the Gita does not answer, (or I missed it) and could be troubling for young students who sets store by top grades in examinations and lure of huge salaries when they begin a career.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2015

Flood of Fire: A tale of globalisation, nationalism and love

Amitav Ghosh is a brilliant storyteller and Flood of Fire while bringing together an array of characters from Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke, is an intelligent take on globalization, nationalism, ambition, greed and, of course, love.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / July 2015

Make the summer sizzle with the best of crime fiction

My pick among the three crime novels — The Ghost Runner by Bilal [Rs 299], Before We Met by Whitehouse [Rs 299] and The Hanging by Hammer [Rs 299]. All the three novels explore terrain different from each other but in the end share a quest for truth and

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2015

Becoming Jobs is not an easy exercise

Becoming Steve Jobs’s value lies in its argument that Steve is a great object lesson in someone who masterfully improved his ability to make better use of his strengths and to effectively mitigate those aspects of his personality that got in the way of th

The Times of India | Arrackistan / April 2015

How Modi won it

Harish Khare, media adviser to former PM Manmohan Singh, writes that 2014 election did not change India but it was an India that changed between 2004 and 2014 which brought Modi to power in his brilliant book, How Modi Won It: Notes From The 2014 Election

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2015

Whisky, morphine and being mortal

Atul Gawande, a US surgeon and an acclaimed writer, in his new book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In The End seeks answers to the terrible tragedy of living old.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2015

Why Naseeruddin Shah hates William Shakespeare

What strikes one reading Naseeruddin Shah’s memoirs And Then One Day, A Memoir is his candour that enables him to look honestly at men, women and his own body of work, although only up to a point.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / December 2014

Did 2014 elections change India?

In his superbly written book — 2014, The Election That Changed India renowned journalist Rajdeep Sardesai captures the frisson, heat and dust of an unprecedented battle for India.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / December 2014

We’re all in the same boat as writers, says Richard Ford

Richard Ford, the celebrated American author of Wildlife and Sportswriter, in an interview says there is not much difference between American and Indian writers—all are looking for readers

The Times of India | Arrackistan / December 2014

How Google Works

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg explain How Google Works—its culture, strategy, recruitment policy, decision making process, communications (email wisdom!) and innovation.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / November 2014

Does Kerala need a Sachin to kick around?

It is ironic that once again the Malayali male is walking towards the football stadium (for a fact, in Kochi only) but driven by a cricketer, because he partly owns a team that has a twig of Kerala in its masthead.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / November 2014

Walking on The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan blends disparate worlds with ease–from the beaches of Adelaide to the Siam jungle and a war ravaged Tokyo–and takes you from the past to the present in his Booker Prize-winning The narrow road to the Deep North.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / November 2014

When Sachin ‘scored a selfie’ for Kerala Blasters

For Malayalis who had watched Sachin Tendulkar at the cricket pitch on past occasions at the Nehru Stadium this was a never-before opportunity. Football was not on their minds but Tendulkar was, to the point of abject worship.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / November 2014

Is Pakistan playing ‘Muslim cricket’?

One of the positive fallouts of partition is our neighbour’s cricket team. Imagine how poor cricket would have been without Pakistan — no Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Abdul Qadir, Waqar Yunus and Wasim Akram

The Times of India | Arrackistan / September 2014

Why Sri Lanka does not cry

Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War does not offer an apology for LTTE but narrates how the majority — the Sinhalese — crushed the minorities for once and all.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2014

When Kashmir’s half mothers tune in to BBC

Shahnaz Bashir in his debut novel The Half Mother captures the anger that erupted in the 1990s against the presence of Indian Army.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2014

Who killed Indian football?

May be the Indian football fan needs to have a new commandment to “love thy neighbourhood club as much as you love Brazil and Argentina.”

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2014

The joy of family life

Akhil Sharma’s Family Life (Published by Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, Pages 230, Price 499) is an ‘unputdownable’ novel.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2014

Is anti-incumbency working against Pinarayi?

Chief minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president V M Sudheeran can console themselves for avoiding a rout and keeping the party intact in the state.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2014

The accidental prime minister must speak up now

To be fair to Baru, there are no startling revelations in The Accidental Prime Minister—may be Mrs Kaur’s admission comes close–“He swallows everything, doesn’t spit anything out.”

The Times of India | Arrackistan / April 2014

Will Kerala vote against the national mood?

Who will gain the upper hand in Lok Sabha elections in Kerala? If opinion polls are any indication, UDF should do fairly well.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / April 2014

Why anti-green agenda wins the day

That only a few understands the implications of the Kasturirangan/Gagil report is clear.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2014

Why Modi is taking on an absent challenger

AK Antony’s record as defence minister–by some measure he is India’s longest serving defence minister, he is there since October 10, 2006–has been patchy.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2014

When There Is A God In Every Stone

Reading Pakistan-born British writer Kamila Shamsie’s brilliant novel A God In Every Stone may help you know how to remove your blindfold and see your place in this world.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2014

When Chandy put all eggs in local basket

What explains chief minister Oommen Chandy’s political gambit that he alone would be responsible for the performance of Congress and UDF in the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala? Is it overconfidence?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2014

VS or the art of having a happy funeral

VS Achuthanandan’s volte-face on TP murder makes it clear that he wants to say his farewell as a good, disciplined CPM member, if not as politburo member

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2014

An Indian on trial in Dhaka

Virat Kohli is a young man, climbing towards the mountain of greatness

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

It’s time for Virat Kohli to take over from Dhoni

The captaincy question returns. It is time to lessen the burden of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Stepping down as captain would serve both Dhoni’s and Team India’s interests. He has had the longest run as India’s skipper in Tests – 53 matches.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

What McCullum taught Dhoni in Wellington

The last two days have been a revelation about Indian cricket in the form of the bearded Brendon McCullum. India lacks quality performers to force their will upon the game. Indian cricket team lacks the will to surpass the surroundings and change the game

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

Is India ready for a vedic state?

For someone who describes himself as an expert in predicting the rise and fall of political personalities, Tabrik C quite interestingly has called 2014 elections in Modi’s favour but stops short of naming him

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

Why the IPL auction needs to be scrapped

Are cricketers a commodity that they need to go up in auction? The player auction for IPL-7 is happening in Bangalore today. Eight franchises are bidding for players, each with an expenditure cap of Rs 60 crore. BCCI, which owns the IPL property, has rele

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

What next for Chennai Super Kings?

What next for Chennai Super Kings? Will they be terminated from IPL for one of its team officials having brought the game to disrepute? These questions swirl around after the three-member Supreme Court appointed committee to look into allegations of betti

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

One-day in Auckland costs India the Test

Few teams will get the kind of lifeline that New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum threw Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s way by not enforcing the follow-on on the third day of the Test. After conceding 300 runs first innings lead, no team has won a Test. In the end

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

What’s happening, Jack Dorsey?

Hatching Twitter is a brilliant account of the Twitter’s chirpings and untweeted mutinies by The New York Times columnist Nick Bilton.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

Indian football: AIFF scores a self-goal in injury time

AIFF’s critical failure has been in not spreading the game across India. Football’s sphere of influence is still limited to West Bengal, Goa, Kerala and the North East.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / February 2014

Where is Khirki Extension In Delhi?

If someone is missing from Malvika Singh’s delightful book on Delhi, Perpetual City it is the aam aadmi.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

What next for World Champions?

Bowling has always been India’s Achilles’ heel and it will be, especially away from home.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / February 2014

A tattoo for Dhoni: Fail again, fail better

May be Dhoni and rest of the Indian team should take a look at the tattoo the new Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka carries on his left forearm.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2014

Churchill Alemao: The Big Brother of Indian football

Alemao is a fascinating man. A former chief minister of Goa and a former Congress MP from South Goa, he knows how to run the show. And take on his opponents.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / January 2014

Kerala Budget: Addictions that will not add up

In fact, if the Malayali stops drinking, the state’s financial structure would collapse. A lion’s share – 40% – of the state’s revenue comes from liquor, lottery and petrol.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2014

Kerala, a state without aam aadmi

In Kerala’s context, Aam Aadmi politics is an idea whose time has come and gone.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2014

Importance of little traditions in cricket

New Zealand’s little tradition in cricket has been its near flawless fielding, and in a team that is without marquee names, the value of athleticism and physical courage cannot be more emphasized.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / January 2014

Indian Football: A kick in the right direction?

Federation Cup is the poor man’s World Cup, with each I-League club having up to four foreign players in their starting XI, most of them hailing from African continent and a few exceptions from England, Australia and Brazil.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / January 2014

It is time to change the game

There is no doubt that only antidote to ODIs and Twenty 20s is limitless Test cricket.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / January 2014

Who is afraid of Virender Sehwag?

Sehwag needs help. Badly. More than any technical input, Sehwag needs to be reminded who he is.

The Economic Times | Arrackistan / January 2014

The hundred names of darkness

Nilanjana Roy's The Hundred Names of Darkness is much more than about the cat’s whiskers. It’s about us, the big feet

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2014

A house for Mr Kejriwal

Stop house-hunting, Kejri. Head for the nearest jhuggi-jhopri. And look out for B&B signs.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / January 2014

When a big tree falls, the earth shakes

It is disturbing that there have been few meaningful works of fiction based on the riots in 1984 and 2002.

The times of India | Arrackistan / December 2013

How to catch an elephant

The Elephant Catchers (Published by Hachette India, Rs 499) is all about scaling –scaling your business, intellect, reputation and people.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / September 2013

Is cricket still an Indian game?

Why is it that England, the inventors of all forms of the game, including ODIs and T20s, have never won the World Cup?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2013

What they do not teach at business schools

A review of The Billionaire’s Apprentice—the rise of the Indian-American elite and the fall of the Galleon hedge fund (published by Hachette India).

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2013

Why you can’t run them out

BCCI may be a divided house but it is united when it comes to running the show.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / August 2013

What they are talking about in Kerala

Malayalis like to tilt at windmills such as corruption and sexual teases when they are sufficiently bored, looking at the foreign exchange ticker, with rupee plunging against dollar and dirham, and swig their rum.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / July 2013

What MT lost by not leaving Kerala

MT bemoaned a way of life, mostly depicting crumbling Nair joint families and trying on the mantle of the outsider in such circumstances.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / July 2013

Is Muslim League a dead horse?

If there needs to be a coalition in Kerala politics it has to be a coming together of CPM comrades and Congress.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / July 2013

Do Muslim girls want to marry at 16?

Muslim girls should not be denied an opportunity to pursue education and a career, which their sisters among other communities do with great vigour and conviction.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2013

When will Dhoni step down as Team India captain?

The question is not about Dhoni’s future as a cricketer, unless there are reasons and evidence to consider so in the unfinished bout of spot-fixing scandal, but about his future as India’s captain.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2013

The many splendid women of Khaled Hosseini

All Hosseini’s women are strong and troubled but have a sense of dignity to them. This is in stark contrast to most of Hosseini’s male characters

The Times of India | Arrackistan / June 2013

Is Sreesanth an Ajmal Kasab?

Is S Sreesanth a terrorist? Is he a criminal? Is ‘spot-fixing’ a crime? Is he a Sanjay Dutt? Should Sreesanth be tried under sections 3 and 4 of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA)?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

When India is a metaphor for BCCI

If you have been a cricket lover, you can henceforth love BCCI. What a beautiful four-letter word it is. You can use it now to let your steam out – ‘BCCI You.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

Why cricketers never suffer from backbone injuries?

Is Tendulkar living in denial? Why? Doeshe think the BCCI has failed in keeping cricket clean and corruption-free in India? Does he think that the BCCI should subject itself to an overhaul?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

Mr Sachin Tendulkar, can you spell batting from betting?

By pretending that he is elsewhere, and affirming again that he is only bothered about his centuries, Tendulkar has revealed that the new generation of cricketers are nothing but hollow men

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

What makes BCCI chief Srinivasan defiant

Why Srinivasan remains defiant when you and I are convinced that his position as BCCI president has become untenable after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has been arrested by Mumbai police for indulging in betting

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

Will the real Modi step up please?

Can Narendra Modi rescue Indian cricket? Can he keep bookies away from the pitch? Can he weed out tainted cricketers such as Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan?

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

Why is the cricket establishment silent?

The world’s richest and most powerful cricket body has little control over what is happening in Indian cricket.

The Times of India | Arrackistan / May 2013

Why we are a cellphone nation

A review of Cell Phone Nation co-authored by Robin Jeffrey and Assa Doron

The Times of India | Arrackistan / March 2013

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