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Shevlin Sebastian

Kochi, India
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About Shevlin
Shevlin Sebastian is a feature writer based in Kochi, India. He is also an author of children's books and true crime. He has a story-telling ability. This has helped him in writing engaging articles that are simple and readable.
Feature Stories Fact Checking
Arts & Books Film & Theatre Entertainment & Celebrity

'Final Farewell' book review: Decoding Death

17 Feb 2024  |  newindianexpress.com
Minakshi Dewan, inspired by the death of her father Vijay Dewan and the rituals she encountered, wrote 'The Final Farewell' to explore the last rites across Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism. The book provides insights into the meanings behind religious rituals and promotes empathy and understanding among different faiths. It also touches on gender and caste discrimination in last rites, the role of professional mourners, and the unique perspective on death in Varanasi.

How ‘Chaityabhumi’ celebrates the memory of BR Ambedkar

02 Oct 2023  |  thefederal.com
The article explores the documentary 'Chaityabhumi' by Somnath Waghmare, which celebrates the memory of BR Ambedkar and the Dalit movement. It highlights the significance of Ambedkar's legacy, the cultural and political aspects of the Dalit community, and the ongoing struggle against caste discrimination. The film captures the annual commemoration at Chaityabhumi, showcasing the vibrant cultural expressions and the deep emotional connections of the Dalit community. Waghmare's dedication to telling stories from the Dalit perspective is emphasized, along with the broader implications of caste dynamics in Indian society.

Police explain how Kerala’s ‘K-9’ squad is trained to serve and protect

05 Mar 2022  |  news9live.com
The Kerala Police Training Academy celebrated the passing-out parade of 23 dogs and their 46 handlers, with State Police Chief Anil Kant as the chief guest. The dogs, trained for nine months, will join K9 squads across Kerala districts. The training includes socialization, obedience, and specialized skills such as explosive detection, drug identification, and search and rescue. The procurement of dogs involves a committee, and breeds like Belgian Malinois are sourced from institutes like the one in Ludhiana. Handlers are responsible for the dogs' care and are trained in various aspects of canine management. The article emphasizes the dogs' superior abilities compared to humans and their invaluable contribution to law enforcement.

Mollywood actor Paris Laxmi on her short film: Mother Earth

29 Jun 2020  |  kochipost.com
Paris Laxmi, a Kerala-based actor and dancer, created a short film titled 'Mother Earth' to express her concerns about environmental pollution and the need for radical governmental action. The film features Laxmi wearing a striking Afghan tribal necklace and dancing in nature, which is later destroyed by pollution. Laxmi advocates for novel ideas to allow the Earth to heal, as seen during the coronavirus pandemic. She resides in Vaikom with her husband, Pallippuram Sunil, and runs the Kalashakti School of Arts. Laxmi has acted in several Mollywood films and is currently learning scriptwriting techniques due to the impact of the pandemic on stage performances.

No one cares for the elderly

25 Jun 2020  |  KochiPost
Mathew Cherian, CEO of HelpAge India, recounts an incident of elderly abuse in New Delhi and discusses the broader issue of neglect and mistreatment of the elderly in India. He highlights the materialistic values leading to abuse, especially related to property, and the destitution of elderly poor in various states. Kerala is praised for its treatment of the elderly, attributed to its high literacy rate. Cherian warns of the challenges India will face as its elderly population grows, recommending measures such as a uniform pension, health and food security, and infrastructure development. His book 'Ageing and Poverty in India' was released on World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day to shed light on these issues.

Bose Krishnamachari: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2020 will take place

30 May 2020  |  KochiPost
Bose Krishnamachari, co-founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, has been in lockdown in Mumbai but remains confident that the Biennale will start as scheduled on December 12. He has been in contact with his team and curator Shubigi Rao, who has short-listed participants. Bose emphasizes the importance of public health and safety for the event and hopes for support from the Kerala state government and the Centre to boost local economy and tourism. Despite the pandemic, he believes there will be a heightened interest in art and culture.

I have been a feature writer for over three decades, with about 4500 bylines. My blog has received 1.9 million hits so far. All the articles in the blog were originally published in The New Indian Express, Kochi https://www.newindianexpress.com/topic?term

Art from the ordinary

03 Mar 2020  |  newindianexpress.com
Adelaide-based artist Jane Skeer expressed her deep emotional connection to Kochi during her residency with the Kochi Biennale Foundation-Adelaide Residency Exchange. She admired the local culture, history, and people's love for family, contrasting it with the lack of vibrancy in Australian architecture. Jane's installation art at Pepper House featured discarded blue cement bags and a representation of the Indian national flag using sacks in saffron, white, and green. She also created a circular design with terracotta stones and displayed photographs that transform ordinary sights into extraordinary art. Jane, who discovered her passion for art at 47, has been holding exhibitions since 2015 and writes poetry in her spare time.

Down the memory lane

22 Feb 2020  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Four veterans from Bhilai Steel Plant, PRN Pillai, N Ramadasan, MNC Pillai, and GVK Nair, embarked on a journey across Kerala to reunite with former colleagues. They traveled 750 km and met 75 families, reminiscing about their time at the plant and sharing anecdotes. Bhilai, designed by Russians and established in 1959 under Jawaharlal Nehru's tenure, once employed over 5,000 Malayalis. The trip was bittersweet as shortly after their return, they learned of the death of a colleague, KV Nair. The group, now in their 70s and 80s, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to reconnect.

Meet the political poet from Kerala who is nominated for Pushcart Prize

09 Feb 2020  |  newindianexpress.com
Fabiyas MV, an English teacher from Kerala, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by the American magazine Poetry Nook. He is recognized for his English poetry that addresses social issues relevant to Kerala and India. Fabiyas has won several poetry awards and his work has been published internationally. His late father, MV Alikutty, a renowned Malayalam writer, was his biggest influence. Fabiyas's poetry is appreciated for its unique insight into the human condition, and he dedicates his earnings from writing to the welfare of orphans.

Coronavirus outbreak: Malayali residents in Beijing take adequate precautions

24 Jan 2020  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Malayali residents in Beijing, including entrepreneur Suresh Varma, are taking precautions against the Coronavirus outbreak. They receive regular advisories from the Indian Embassy and local authorities, urging the use of facemasks and hydration. Despite the lockdown in Wuhan and Huanggang, no Malayali has been reported infected. The timing coincides with the Chinese New Year, leading to concerns about mass internal migration and potential spread of the virus. Efforts are underway globally to develop a vaccine.

A deserted BSNL office with doors wide open

16 Jan 2020  |  newindianexpress.com
The BSNL office in Tripunithura was found deserted and unmanned by entrepreneur Ramesh Menon, with no staff to assist customers. The office appeared forlorn due to a high number of employees taking voluntary retirement, with 68.9% of eligible staff in Kerala applying for VRS, the highest among all states. An electrician mentioned non-payment of dues to the security agency, while an official stated that holiday staffing usually includes one person to monitor equipment. Customers like Ramesh are concerned about the decline of BSNL, especially for the elderly who rely on landlines.

Sweet solutions for fallow fields

09 Jan 2020  |  www.newindianexpress.com
In Kizhakkambalam, Kerala, former dental technician Suresh Kumaran is pioneering sugarcane cultivation in previously fallow paddy fields. With the support of Kitex Textiles Limited and a government loan, the project aims to produce 40,000 kgs of sugarcane per acre, which will be processed into 4,000 kgs of pesticide-free jaggery by a Kudumbasree team. Kitex's managing director, Sabu M Jacob, sees potential in sugarcane as a cash crop suitable for Kerala's climate and plans to create biodegradable products from the waste.

Let the music play

08 Jan 2020  |  newindianexpress.com
Mumbai-based musician Vyaasa M, inspired by Oprah Winfrey's speech, collaborates with lyricist Shamsher Singh Beniyaaz and producer Himonshu Parikh to create the song 'Wajood-e-Sabab'. The music video tells the story of a man overcoming self-doubt and emotional abuse at work to pursue his passion for singing. Despite initial rejections, he gains recognition by uploading his song on Facebook. Vyaasa, who discovered his musical talent during his time at the Institute of Hotel Management And Catering Technology, Kovalam, is optimistic about the independent music industry's growth and is preparing to release his next single, 'Kyu Tumne?', a love song about heartbreak.

A hundred hands on deck

19 Dec 2019  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Highway Haze, a classic rock band, performed at David Hall in Fort Kochi, where A Hundred Hands, an NGO supporting handmade product artisans, held their annual exhibition. The event featured a variety of crafts and attracted visitors including social entrepreneur Divya Thomas. Founders Mala and Sonia Dhawan celebrated the NGO's tenth year, emphasizing their commitment to empowering artisans without middlemen. They also support the preservation of traditional art, as seen in the story of Jaipur-based artist Mohan Kumar, whose son Pavan became a full-time artist through the collective's influence.

The ABC of writing

11 Dec 2019  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Veteran editor Suma Varughese is set to conduct her writing workshop, 'The Zen Of Good Writing,' in Kochi. The workshop aims to help participants, primarily women, improve their writing skills by focusing on simplicity, brevity, and clarity. Suma emphasizes the importance of using dynamic words, active voice, and personal experiences to generate ideas. She also addresses common grammatical errors and the significance of editing. The workshop includes a month-long follow-up instruction on WhatsApp.

Frame of heart-touching memories

04 Dec 2019  |  newindianexpress.com
US-based professor and photographer Cathy Greenblat, who specializes in capturing images related to ageing, dementia, and end-of-life care, shared her experiences and work at an international conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Kochi. Greenblat's work documents the lives of people with dementia in nine countries, showcasing moments of joy and the capabilities that remain despite the disease. She advocates for a change in mindset towards dementia care, emphasizing the importance of meaningful activities and personal worth. Her work includes a photo exhibition and a project on end-of-life care in Kozhikode, highlighting the best examples of care and the universal need for compassion and dignity.

Steely resolve to nab culprits of child sexual abuse: Manoj Abraham, ADG

01 Dec 2019  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Manoj Abraham, IPS, Additional Director General of Police-headquarters, shared the success of Kerala Police's Operation P-Hunt at the 37th Interpol specialist group on crime against children in Lyon, France. The operation led to 38 cases and 650 arrests under the Pocso and IT Acts. The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children awarded Kerala Police for their efforts. Manoj highlighted the West's determination to combat child sexual abuse and mentioned the willingness of Western governments and private companies to provide software to identify perpetrators. He also discussed the prevalence of child sex videos online, noting that most are filmed by someone close to the child and within the household.

At 90, PS John is game for anything

26 Nov 2019  |  newindianexpress.com
PS John, at 90 years old, participated in the All Kerala Senior Athletics Meet at Maharaja’s College, Kochi, winning the 100m and 200m events and the long jump in the 90 plus age category. Despite having heart surgery in 2017, John's passion for athletics, encouraged by his cardiac surgeon Dr Rajesh Raman Kutty, remained strong. John has a history of winning over 140 medals in athletics and leads an active life as a farmer in Kanjirapally. He aspires to compete in the senior world athletics championships in Toronto in 2020.

Life is a gift from God. Learn to relish every moment: Sr Jesme

17 Nov 2019  |  newindianexpress.com
Sr Jesme reflects on her life after leaving the Congregation of the Mother Carmelite 11 years ago, expressing relief and happiness in her newfound freedom. Despite facing societal challenges as a single woman, she remains positive and enjoys her solitude, working on her eighth book and engaging in hobbies. She comments on the changing attitudes of the Catholic laity and her former colleagues, as well as on the recent expulsion of Sr Lucy Kalappurakkal from the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, advocating for 'responsible obedience' over 'blind obedience'. Sr Jesme emphasizes that life is a gift to be cherished.

'Sound' perception for audiographer Justin Jose working on Malayalam film 'Kamala'

12 Nov 2019  |  www.newindianexpress.com
Audiographer Justin Jose discusses his work on the Malayalam film 'Kamala' and his extensive career spanning over 300 films in 15 languages. He highlights the creative process of sound design and mixing, his collaboration with other sound designers, and the passion directors bring to filmmaking. Justin, who has won National Awards for his work, enjoys the challenges and rewards of his profession, having worked on hits like 'Baahubali' and 'Sanju'.

A Varier’s Kottakkal tale

10 Nov 2019  |  www.newindianexpress.com
In the late 1800s, ayurveda medicines were difficult to procure in Malabar, leading to the establishment of an enterprise by a healer who later became a renowned ayurvedic practitioner. This enterprise, which celebrated its anniversary last month, now includes hospitals in Kochi and Delhi, offering over 550 classical and new-generation formulations through various branches and dealers in India. The founder's nephew, PK Warrier, highlights the healer's legacy, which encompasses an ayurveda college, a temple, a herbal garden, a Kathakali academy, and a magazine. The healer, a student of Kuttanchery Vasudevan Mooss, also learned allopathy and was known for his secularist views, even advocating for Muslims during the Moplah rebellion.

Malayali from Canada to Start Autism Centre

13 Jul 2014  |  newindianexpress.com
Simmi Santha, a behavioural therapist from Toronto, Canada, is starting an autism clinic named Reeta Peshawaria Centre for Autism in Mallapally, Kerala. The clinic is named after Dr. Reeta Peshawaria-Menon, a teacher of Simmi's and sister of former IPS officer Kiran Bedi. The clinic will be inaugurated by Bedi, who will also release Simmi's 'Manual for Parents and Caregivers', funded by the Reeta Peshawaria Fellowship. The story also touches on the struggles of Reena Mathew, a mother of an autistic child, who inspired Simmi to start the clinic.

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