Lit for Life

Skin and other stories

Sharad Paul with Vidya Singh Photo: R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Dr Sharad Paul, in his lecture on ‘Skin: A biography’ (Also the title of his book) traced the history of skin. .

“Indians inherently lack Vitamin D,” he said. When compared to people with black skin, brown-skinned people have four times lesser levels of Vitamin D. It gives us stronger bones and reduces the time the body takes to recover from injuries. This explains why we see black-skinned athletes, from poorer nations and limited resources, perform well in athletic events. Dr. Sharad, in his session on Sunday, where he was introduced by Vidya Singh, shared many insights on Indian skin that most of us are ignorant about. Dr. Sharad Paul, a popular name in skin cancer surgery, is also the brain behind the Baci Group that has the Baci Lounge — bookstore/café and Baci Cosmetologie, a skin care company that developed Mikanis, a skin care range designed for brown skin. Through his Baci Foundation, he runs literacy and mentoring programmes for disadvantaged children.

TIME magazine called him Open Heart Surgeon and in 2012 and he was also a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year award. Apart from teaching as a Senior Lecturer in Skin Cancer at the University of Queensland and a Senior Lecturer in Surgery (hon) at Auckland University, he also trains students in creative writing.

He published his first novel Cool Cut in 2007 and his second novel, To Kill A Snow Dragonfly in 2012. In 2014, The Kite Flyers was published. His non-fiction work includes Skin: A Biography and Dermocracy: By Brown Skin, For Brown Skin.

In another session with Ranvir Shah he spoke about writing fiction. The Kite Flyers, a story of three friends, takes place in an imaginary village named ‘crow shit’. Sharad was born in England and spent a lot of time in Chennai and explained how his experiences here inspired his writing.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 12:37:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/lit-for-life/skin-and-other-stories/article6802010.ece

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