Mihir Chitre 4 poems
You should have been to me
To run around in the open
Do salsa with you
Dine with you
Make out with you
My anger is your slave.
Suddenly and momentarily
like you like a traffic signal
turning from red to green.
at the party
almost methodically –
a stare every ten seconds –
like eating potato chips
from a mini pack.
or a scribbled message
Two mediums fighting for art
like two religions fighting for god
I ignored both
Hanging my head
on the oscillating rope of my flaring youth
measuring the distance between me and you.
Your derelict streets,
of loss and dismay,
the escaping smoke
over your malls and markets
scream for justice –
like your love stories.
is a couple of sunsets.
Not a ray more, not a ray less
all that you owe me
is a couple of sunsets.
wrapped around a coffee mug
a kingdom of two rooms
expanded to a hug.
pieces of time,
a private rhyme.
is a couple of sunsets.
Maybe a ray more, maybe a ray less
all that you owe me
is a couple of sunsets.
They carry the
knowledge of violent destruction
welling up within
huge, sad eyes.
It is not despair
that makes them move that way,
one slow joint
slotting into the next,
each step slumped
like a dropped sack of manure.
It is not
despair, it is acceptance.
Buddhas of the
chomp is a meditation,
the lowing moan
the universal om
channelled through soft throats
held low to the
They guide in the
udders counting down,
laden with milk
that none will drink.
Belly of the Beast
tube lurches and shrug
wide. I see the fringe of fangs
entrance, malevelant eyes
I scream at them:
‘Get out! Get off!
Clamber from its
They look away,
seem not to hear.
A flash of teeth,a rush of hot
flick of tail:
winks at me
and slithers off
to hunt for more.
I clambour out to
I see the glint of
Tyranasaurus teeth tilting
set to grind,
gnash and nosh
their way through
have become barbaric,
and spines and scales,
flexes its sleek,
speeds me to my
The doorway’s maw
gleams salivaed trails,
the screams within
are swiftly muffled.
eyes wide, black
as an orca’s fin.
A flush of blood.
hangs in clumpslike sodden
flashing a fin.
contorts, twists to scream.
And as the
threshing waters’ Alpine peaks subside
calm hands reach
pulsing life into two
and lift our
daughter into virgin air.
A Holy Trinity
A flash of blood, primal red in the
led to our unplanned arrival in this ward.
The doctors: mechanics, engineers, talking in cubic centimetres,
poking and prodding, twisting with steel
following a set of blueprints in lights as
bright as an arc welder.
as if she were a priceless sculpture,
called for analgesia, painting over the
in wide, wet brush stokes,
leaving only a blurred wash of pain.
You lowered the lights and raised my
and let her rest, the canvas primed.
When you delivered my daughter
her body blue-white as a fresh primed
and for an instant my heart stopped.
You rubbed life and colour into her putty
delivered her into my wife’s arms,
a breathing, screaming work of art
and I loved all three of you
far more than anything I’ve felt for a
There was not a dry eye in the house.
We are your audience, your critics,
your producers, directors, authors.
Even the stage hand a role to play,
her deft fingers repairing the tear
that gave you an entrance into this world.
Exhausted by your premiere
you recline against your mother’s breast,
murmur a monologue of milky burps.
I wonder whether there is blue in the sun
Or any in
the ink we left in the backyard
moon to gaze on
letter was like a door opening into an ocean
were of dust
we wore was of dust
clouds write our stories for us
blue water swelled
fields we searched
soaking secrets in ink
one tip of the pen to another
An ablution of memories drench
sheets of paper
unable to absorb colour, turns.
lament of the chlorophyll
A magic is
Pitambar Naik poem
Tender leaves are
When we see
We feel dismayed.
When we witness to
Why don’t men
learn from us?
With a mouthful of
Make us fondle our
kids and our dreams blossom.
question of sucking blood of someone?
Where is the
Rather we have
And that makes the
How guile our fate
Men and wolves are
Recognising the Rights of the Earth
exploration for India
personhood of Nature, relationships, settlements and sustainability, through
their writings and others’ interpretations of these, by weaving these into a
fictional, dramatized narrative. The piece is in the form of conversations
between constituents of “nature” (trees, mountains, and similar), and Tagore
and Gandhi. The piece was written for a University project that entailed
exploring the ideas of Tagore and Gandhi in the scope of the Rights of Mother
explores Tagore’s inquiries into the essence of Nature and the consequent
relationship of human beings with her. This is in the form of an exposition of
his conceptions of Nature as an entity seen through his writings on her in the
form of prose, poetry and intellectual writings and indirectly through his
writings on other subjects. His ideas are also explored through other writers
as also through a brief, fictional conversation between him and Gandhi based on
Gandhi’s own writings and writings of other writers on him.
is seen in conversation with elements of Nature important to him and often
represented in his poetry. His poetry frequently reflects that Tagore does not
just use these elements in his poetry to convey a mood or a point but rather that,
they in themselves are important to the essence and the whole of the poem. This
he does both through his personification of Nature and her elements and through
the representation of himself as one of them. For example in one of his Rabindrasangeets,
“Heavy clouds hang their shadows,
And my eye, like an eager bird,
these poems are also indicative of the compassion of Nature’s elements towards
the suffering of others – an element crucial for understanding development and
progress. Tagore, therefore, is an important starting point into an exploration
of the possibility of a larger project on recognizing the personhood of Nature
in India because he is one of few contemporary Indians who displayed this idea
as crucial to his works and understandings of existence. This exploration is
made in the light of the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth drafted into
the Ecuadorian constitution. Thus, we
begin listening in to the conversation between Tagore and the elements. This
conversation takes places in 2010.
groups of people from across the world have travelled across the seas to meet
at Cochabamba, Bolivia for the People’s Conference on Climate Change and the
Rights of Mother Earth. Several of these people work for or live in grassroots
speak of humans that live in close contact with Nature – either in small
settlements or in villages. These are people who work with the Land or share in
Forest’s produce. There are other humans who live in cities made of concrete
and glass. These humans have come together for business and enterprise, through
which, they hope to control ever-more resources, which they wish to exploit
through the use of machines, to produce goods which they use. But there is
never an end to their yearnings for more. In fact, once they come together in
cities, each individual is drawn to it through the yearning for his own progress,
which here means wealth accumulation. Inadequate resources are almost a crime
in this order of life that requires a vast assortment of materials for its
maintenance and defence. And its maintenance and defence require an elected
body of representatives who rule, who are often also those who are in the most
profiteering businesses. The rest of the city’s mass constitutes those who are
drawn towards it from the villages in hope of employment and material
progress. Thus, there is a rigid class
distinction here between master and slave, a system of power, which is
The village by contrast is based on close social ties. Here people work with
the land and are closely connected with Nature and their roots. Their joy is in
creation to meet their needs and not their desires. If
the point of the city is pleasure and amusement, that of the village is
well-being and balance.
I see a spirit of co-operation in Mumbai too.
Earth. They exist not for hoarding water exclusively within their own areas.
They send up the vapour which forms into Clouds and helps towards a wider
distribution of Rain. Cities have their functions of maintaining wealth and
knowledge in concentrated forms of opulence; but this should also not be for
their own sake; they should be centres of irrigation; they should gather in
order to distribute; they should not magnify themselves but should enrich the
entire commonwealth. They should be like Lamp posts and the Light they support
should transcend their own limits. I am not against the city, nor do I believe
that the city is not capable of reorganizing itself for the betterment of all.
But this can only happen when man rectifies his relationship with machine and
when industry meets a purpose beyond wealth accumulation for personal gain. That
is a sick society. You Wind, who helps move the Clouds, realize this – that
movement does not constitute progress merely because of its velocity. Progress
can have meaning only in relation to some ideal of completeness.
Completeness cannot be found in the plundering of resources for transitorial
wealth for these actions hurt one in the long run as they are not sustainable.
understand why you liken movement to self-centredness. And are we all not
insecure? I am insecure that the Wind may not push me and that the Rain should
weigh down upon my head until I crash against the Mountain.
questions. Let me answer them with care. First, you ask, are we all not
self-centred, filled with thoughts of our own insecurity? And therefore if we,
that is, each and every one of us elements of Creation are self-centred, living
for our own survival, by playing out our own roles, what is wrong with human
selfishness? Why must he think of sustainability? Indeed, you would say, it is
beyond anyone’s ability to comprehend selflessness because it is against our
hold still for a moment, Cloud. Look at the Tree. She is rooted in the Soil,
drawing her nourishment from him and the Water. Yet, her leaves fall to the
Soil and he in turn is returned for his friendship. Look at Water, how she
flows and takes care of Tree only in search of merging with the Sea. Look at
Stone, as he lies there preventing Soil’s erosion and eroding into Soil. You
too, Cloud, are born off the utterly selfless, spiritual Water, and you too
merge with her. But you are restless and disconnected from this awareness. So
answered your question. Most of the elements of Nature, the elements of
Creation, of existence behave selflessly or altruistically. Some of you have
become restless and wander and search for answers within yourselves. But you
too have an important role to play.
nature of movement. There is nothing wrong with insecurity. Water too rushes
rapidly, frenzied, in search for the Sea. But there must be a balance between
rootedness and mobility, subsistence and accumulation, the village and the
city, giving and taking, between Tree and Stone and you and Wind. I am not
against motorized travel and movement, only against its unwise use. Sometimes
one must stand still. I recollect a visit to the Himalayas as a child: “where
great Trees stood weighed down with their wealth of dense Leaves absorbed in
their own dark shadow, and one or two trickling Springs, like the playful
daughters of sages babbling close to the old mendicants absorbed in their
prayer . . .Why must we leave behind such beautiful places to go ahead”.
realize, there are many things worth noticing; only because we do not pay the
price of right attention, we fail to perceive them. So now and then, while going
along the streets of Kolkata, I imagine myself a stranger. When every single
item seems really rare only then the mind gets over its stringency and pays the
full price of attention”.
essence of existence is altruistic, and that therefore just as Nature in her
essence is altruistic and at points even selfless, then it is imperative of man
too. For, if one can live in harmony, so can the other. You have also established
the relationship between rootedness and mobility, the seeking of well-being and
the seeking of pleasure, the village and the city. Can you tell us a little
more about where these ideas lead us?
tapping of a walking stick is heard, approaching from the distance).
friends? I cannot but help be drawn into your conversation.
to my friends here about the Declaration that has just been passed. It has led
us into a bit of a discussion.
Tagore, I caught the last bits of your
conversation. I agree with you. There has to be a balance between stillness and
introspection, and the communication of one’s truth with others in an attempt
at understanding their conditions and their truths. This will lead to fuller
understanding of Truth. It necessarily requires that we be observant and aware
of the other, and yet giving to him and receiving from him what he has to
sunk in itself. It is only by combining with others that man has achieved all
that is worthwhile in life-knowledge, faith, power, and wealth. Trade is an outcome of this well-placed
motive, but has now become corrupted towards self-aggrandization. This has led
towards a sinking into self – a divide between man and man and man and other
beings. This became evident at the Copenhagen summit for Climate Change in 2009
where no effective commitments to mitigate climate change and restrict the
destruction of natural resources were set.
Change in Bolivia organized by grassroots groups frustrated by this inaction.
They drafted out the Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth.
Earth? Who is Mother Earth?
human, stone, tree, grass, river, animal. The Declaration requires that humans
must now treat ecosystems and their constituents as persons with rights capable
of seeking protection. A Tree can seek protection from being cut down.
production with the use of natural resources.
application is quite complicated. But so far it has been expressed as follows – that in so far as the destruction of a part of Nature affects her health or
creates an imbalance in her, she has the right to prevent this. Ecuador was the
first country to draft the declaration into her Constitution and the rights
have been used to safeguard a particular stretch of the River Vilcabamba where
the broadening of the Vilcabamba-Quinara road had led to the dumping of debris
on its banks. This increased the river flow and caused floods downstream for those
people settled there. Thus, the health of the river-ecosystem had been
disturbed and the people affected. The law was invoked in the River’s rights.
me for in the absolute sense every living being, which is matter, has a right
to self-protection. Does Stone have the right not to be picked up and tossed
him does not affect the health of the entire ecosystem in which he is tossed. Let
me clarify, that in theory, Stone has the right to be protected, but what I
state here is the practical interpretation that “The rights of each being are
limited by the rights of other beings and any conflict between their rights
must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of
Tossing Stones to build a catchment area for Rainwater is seen to preserve the
integrity of Nature and humans and more important than the right of the Stones.
well-being alone, which is the value of the person to the whole, even if he/she
is recognized to be a person. The freedoms of individuals disappear in this
milieu. What then of animal rights? The declaration clearly states that: “Every
being has the right to well-being and to live free from torture or cruel
treatment by human beings”.
is similar to that of veganism, which grants absolute well-being and independence
to other animals.
approach to animal rights.
It requires non-relationship and non-interference between humans and animals.
From what you have said so far, I understand that relationship is very
important to you.
not mean non-relationship. Interference here implies that we have a selfish
stake in our relationship with the other. We interfere with the cow because we
want her milk and make it seem that she is better off within a human settlement
in this tied condition. True relationship is born from the desire to understand
the other, including his/her pain, suffering, joys and lifeworlds.
It means that you will let the cow free to be herself but not lose sight of cows.
True relationship with the whole of Nature is the only sustainable form of
But when we come to the practical aspects you will notice that Ecuador and
Bolivia too are in favour of these rights because both countries have sizeable
indigenous populations. While mining and construction activity take place in a
few regions, a major part of their exports have come from orchards and
plantations (cocoa and banana), which require integrated ecosystems.
It is born from the indigenous communities’ self-interest.
I believe that at the
core of this self-interest is transcendence born from a relationship with
Nature. This relationship is ingrained in these communities through their being
brought close to the land by doing manual labour.
If they wanted to, they could easily give up plantations for mining operations.
with regards villages and migration to cities – that if given the chance, people
would choose the wiser, more sustainable option. Modern civilization, as my
friend Gandhi would say, is a noose.
freedom of the individual regardless of his value to the whole.
I strongly believe
that an individual’s freedom develops from his relationship to the whole. That
is how true freedom becomes defined. “The person is distinct as a separate
individual, but the strength and depth of his individuality is determined by
his capacity for non-possessive relationships and detached action”.
This is true of any relationship including human relationship with the
‘commons’. “Willing submission to social restraint for the sake of the
well-being of the whole society enriches both the individual and the society of
which one is a member”.
tossed to make a catchment area?
Yes, so long as the
social benefits outweigh this sacrifice and the same social benefits cannot be
achieved through alternate means.
back to the question Stone raised, which is, where do these ideas take us? So,
to begin with, how do we inculcate genuine relationship in humankind – between
human and himself/herself, human and others, human and non-human and with the
totality of nature? We have seen that people would follow their common sense
and live sustainably if it were not for the pull of modern forces. How do we
undo their pull?
We need to restore the
individual to his/her place in society and by this I mean the self-aware, self-critical
individual who will take responsibility for his/her own actions. This loss of
personhood occurs not just in modern societies but even in those with
pre-determined obligations done habitually.
restoration of personhood to themselves!
Gandhi. Let us now see how we can restore such an order to society.
People can restore their individuality to
themselves and transform their relationship with society at any point in time.
But it is also possible to build these relationships. The first place to begin
is the school. The first important practical measure is to introduce agriculture/gardening
in all schools. It is only through coming in contact with the Soil and the
elements that children will develop a relationship with them and try to
understand the process of plant growth, the struggles and victories.
strengthen true relationships. I have seen children hurt earthworms while
Dear Stone, everything
is in a process of growth and much depends on the individual. People are born
imperfectly. We can only create the conditions for the right growth.
however. Rather than introduce agriculture training or gardening in schools as
an activity, it is important to focus on the quality of that activity which
I think it is important to focus on the stillness aspect here rather than that
of activity or motion. Lessons must be introduced that allow children to feel
the other as a being. For example, if some classes are held on the branches of
Trees or under their shade, then children will become aware of the Tree. By
introducing them to sandpits and games of five-stones, which were traditionally
played, children become aware of the beauty of each Stone and the individuality
of each from the rest. They start choosing the five Stones they wish to have a
part of their collection based on their attraction to each, just as in human
friendships. Playing with Sand has a similar effect, as does introducing
components where children must exercise by climbing up a Hill in the morning
and sitting on Boulders to watch the Sun rise. This creates a relationship with
the Boulder and the Sun. Each is seen as an individual. This is lost during
agriculture or gardening where the child has a feeling of power over the Earth
and not a feeling of being a part of the whole. It is the same process but the
feelings that result, I opine to be different in the two scenarios. One is of
profit, the other of kinship and play.
I concede that I agree
with you Tagore. But how do we bring this about in urban schools?
environmental regeneration within cities. Until then, city schools will have to
make do with the greenery that is present while simultaneously then creating a
demand for ecological regeneration within the city. We can bring in gardening and
urban agriculture, here. As Willian Cronon emphasized, Nature does not exist in
the far-away jungles, but right here, beside us.
It is when we recognize this that we assume a culture of responsibility.
And what about in the
rural areas? Will this non-emphasis on agricultural training and emphasis on
meditative and play aspects not create a conflict in agrarian society?
universities. Through play and meditation on nature, peasant children will
learn intuitively the true purpose of agriculture as a work of joy and
fulfilling of needs and will be able to withstand the pull of agriculture for
profit, which is ruining the ecosystem. This must go hand in hand with
decentralized village economies.
Apart from this
meditative experiential aspect there must also be a sense of discipline, which
is why I had suggested lessons in agriculture. Meditation may not occur in the
absence of discipline and necessity. The child must be able to bond with a
teacher who creates this inner desire for self-knowledge in the peasant’s child.
components of an educational programme: playing with Nature, meditating on her
elements to communicate with them, and communication with a teacher who creates
non-violence and the only way towards seeking truth and freedom.
cannot be forced into seeking truth, I am of the opinion that the Declaration
should be drafted into the Indian Constitution as an overarching social
guideline towards greater freedom for its citizens. The eminent domain of
public good, will then, be defined by this understanding and not on vague
terms. In this light, indigenous communities who live close to Nature can have
their settlements protected and Nature’s rights safeguarded too since the good
of two (this community and Nature) is greater than the narrowly personal good
of one community – Ramachandra Guha’s “omnivores”.
Further, the curricular components detailed by us would help tribal children
strengthen the exploration of their pre-existing relationship with Nature
through schools in a critical fashion.
This curriculum should
also be introduced into adult literacy programmes. Further, we have so far
focussed on the settled component but I understand from you that mobile
communities are also important.
settled. This is seen through the fact that tribal children are never used to
sitting still in classrooms.
There are also several occupations that prefer mobility and solitariness, such
as groundnut-sellers, the traditional mittaiwallahs and musicians such as the
Bouls. While the peasants can develop a sense of rootedness and strong
relationship with their environment through the right education, in these
groups the predominant condition is detachment in relationship. The peasants
became possessive of their land for profit and education must restore this
relationship to its right place, and the mobile artisans have possibly grown
aloof. This is a matter to be explored to develop different educational
conditions for these groups. But the importance is to recognize them as
distinct people and to honour them in this and treat them accordingly. The
HoneyBee network could help document their lives.
We must also have
advocacy for veganism alongside ensuring a decentralized system with access to
food for all.
of you must return home.
of State, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35761.htm
Wilderness; or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature”, 1996
successful case of the rights of Nature implementation in Ecuador”, http://therightsofnature.org/first-ron-case-ecuador/ , last accessed 12th October, 2012
Person Consume?”, 2006
lifeworld and the two systems, http://www.scholardarity.com/?page_id=807
Vernacular Educators from India” (2005), http://multiworldindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Rama-Ramdas.pdf , last accessed 2nd March, 2013
Reconstruction, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, 1943
Cooperative Principle”, 1963
http://www.rightsofmotherearth.com/declaration/ , last accessed 12th October, 2012
of the Rights of Mother Earth, http://motherearthrights.org/universal-declaration/ , last accessed 12th October 2012
Cooperative Principle”, published 1963, pp.2
Rural Reconstruction, “Restore balance between City and Village”, Ch.7, pp.57-63,
Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, pub. 1943
Tagore Rabindranath, “City and Village”, pp. 23-24, Vishwa Bharati bulletin no.
10 (December 1928), excerpted from Sen Sudhir (1943), Rabindranath Tagore on
Rural Reconstruction, “Restore balance between City and Village”, Ch.7, pp.63,
Sudhir, Rabindranath Tagore on Rural Reconstruction, “Restore balance between City
and Village”, Ch.7, pp.61, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, 1943
Tagore Rabindranath, “Jivansmriti”
Cooperative Principle”, 1963
successful case of the rights of Nature implementation in Ecuador”, http://therightsofnature.org/first-ron-case-ecuador/, last accessed 12th
of Mother Earth, Article 1, Section 7, http://motherearthrights.org/universal-declaration/, last accessed 12th
Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, Article 2, Section 3, http://motherearthrights.org/universal-declaration/
, last accessed 12th October 2012
Sahi Jane, “Gandhi’s
concept of the Individual; The Part and the Whole”, The Place of the Individual
in Gandhiji’s Concept of Education, Education and Peace, pp.76 , 2000
 Gandhi M.K, Satyagraha in South
Africa, Navajivan, pp.212
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of the Forest”, http://www.online-literature.com/tagore-rabindranath/creative-unity/3/ , last accessed 2nd
 Cronon William, “The Trouble with
Wilderness; or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature”, 1996
 Sahi Jane, “The Place of the
Individual in Basic Education; Integrated Learning”, pp.84, 2000
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Person Consume?”, 2006
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last accessed 2nd March, 2013, http://multiworldindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Rama-Ramdas.pdf
Honey Bee Network, http://www.sristi.org/hbnew/scout.php
happy with an ordinary woman
and her ordinary delights –mustard breasts, cherry-figs,
rum down her navel and orgasms of the mind.
Must be happy? Cut and dried,
Breakfast in bed-divine!
If the omelette killed you
and if you choked on wine
don’t blame me,
You were out of your mind.
Happy to be happy? Buried alive –
in nicotine, burning like charcoal,
reproducing your clones,
between nervous smokes,
a rattled mind and your heavenly find!
You surely must be happy, you have to be,
As happy as me, looking at you
trapped in connubial monstrosity.
We build bastions of civility,
To authorize, to legitimize
of wandering figures
across this structure
Across, along this structure.
there lived a gypsy group in an abandoned building
playing the songs of wanderlust
of inability to grasp
grasp onto material objects,
Among the smoke haze
those mystical stringed instruments vibrated
of the woman with a stringed instrument
played with a bow.
Her hands, muscles,
moved across space,
across those narrow lanes
defying architecture and
all aesthetic traditions.
blur the memories,
memories and reality,
move in tangents
and words, inarticulable.
My Irish aunt, before she married
a salaried-bourgeoisie in Ireland,
gifted me a bottle of turquoise ink,
a book of fables
and a Chinese fountain pen.
Joyce & Yeats & Beckett I knew not then.
I was merely 7.
This is my Irish connection.
A bottle of turquoise blue ink
in a foreign land.
i never looked back,
for all that I had forsaken
i found more in my new homeland.
the longing arrived, neatly baggage
like my over-stuffed suitcases
when they burned my dead father
when anonymous nurses cared for my mother
and i stared into my sibling’s face,
our umbilical connection
the aircraft hovers
over no man’s land,
a dark expanse
my longing pours itself.
rarely meets its antidote,
when i get off the car,
and turn off
my conditioned arrogance
to wade through
crowded market places
for some freshly ground
to recover from hangovers
of last night’s words
my poetic identity mingles
with daily sweat
and harried brows
of the city’s people
before losing itself.
caffeine is far too mild.
for unkindness that flowed
from fellow adolescent tongues,
from teachers who never picked me
to offer gifts and bouquets
to visiting guests,
even when i stood first,
in every subject,
broke into ribbons at finish lines,
danced, sang, debated and won.
my dark skin turned me away
from many suitors,
misguided by poetic metaphors
to moon-skinned damsels.
but in the end,
it was my surgeon’s hands
they all turned to
even before they called out
to their dark skinned gods.
Sisters are the Queens of the Earth song
are the queens of the earth, you know ours sisters are the queens of the earth.
that sisters are the queens of the earth, Yes ours sisters are the queens of
please show some due respect to her.
must learn to look up to her.
So show your due respect for her!
clearly marked by handle with care, Do her any harm? A real man wouldn’t dare!
To make a
good impression, just step out of her way!
And the most
you should say
you have a nice day.”
our better half – of
that you can’t deny, so to rise up as a nation on her we must rely.
it’s not just about safe streets for everyone,
about us as a people and getting together “on the One.”
I mean a
nation that declares that “Violence we despise,”
Mahatma Gandhi said ahimsa makes our nation rise!
So if you
really contemplate on what life and love are all about,
we’re here because of her and that’s no doubt.
She is the
power that gave you birth,
That is why
we call her mother, as in queen of the earth.
So stand up
for her my brother — because
she’s the force that gave us life,
you do please don’t cause her any strife.
So we got to
give our all to keep her safe and sound,
And when we
do my brother the good of our people will abound.
sisters are our lives from beginning to end
That’s why it’s
so vital that her rights we defend.
That is why
we say that you must show her due respect
contemplate my brother and on these things please reflect.
damp of nostalgia in my blood
I wrote my fortune in fourteen sheets of paper
came to nothing . . .
rustle of leaves rattled me
unnecessary caution crumpled pages
I remembered everything that never happened
I remembered the past and the fury
my evenings in waiting
A moment traipsed in slowly
into the recess of ribs
wings of hope flipped through pages of dreams
I would die living with
and not live without
|“Beyond Windows (I)” by Rupanjali Baruah|
|“On the outside
looking in” by Rupanjali Baruah
wheeled toward a mausoleum
ferocious dogs snap at somethingnothing is forthcoming
terracotta terraces yawn
mounted on ceilings of sleep
pattern of rain by then change
whores with unguents repeat
their old possession of methods
dreams inside hands
on gambling tables
snares of different interpretation
closed fists and smell of fried fish
a side dish sits lazily on one of those chairs.
a hammock in between two apple trees
flapping a heavy drop of wisdom
a woman wrapped in muslin
stitches domestic bliss
into her seams
a mere seeming
a yawn before sleep
xi.Satarupa Sengupta poem
they wet the paper
make it a river on sand
A river of thoughts, feelings and emotions
flowing over the shifting sand
Changing its course;
with every mood, every whim,
creating a new path, a new stream.
These words flowing from my hand.
Create their own world,their own destinies.
Sometimes they seem strange,
Alien to me,
though I know they are a part of me.
They have their own past,their own future,
they don’t bother about any barriers.
They just flow on and on
Creating havoc with dreams,
was the whore. She reeked of
spirits: her agony unknown.
she strode the landscape
her eyes the size of saucer cups
her fiery gaze –
a curse waiting to explode.
He sits in the hollow of the rapick
hurling obscenities with a forked tongue.
The supine cane is a solitary sentinel.
The car that whizzed past hides a tale.
The anonymous face I just scanned
in the fleeing metro, is a horror story.
will take me back home.
The bearded guy tries the great
Indian rope trick with his tie.
The pauper fiddles with his penury.
Tears stroll down her cheeks,
as she scribbles in her cellphone.
as shadows close in.
was a miscreant. The stone was innocent.
was the mason. The brick never spoke again.
was the raven. The owl watched the
was the guy in short black cargo.
Bitter memories reveled as he
strode the landscape.
smile on his face. He bought it for a lark
from a nomad.
He opened the door
for the first light of the day
that came riding a freaky rain.
It was a mirage.
He stumbled, fell, bled,
as successive trap-doors
twisted on their hinges.
He stands atop a mount,
weaving tales, spinning dreams.
from an anonymous face.
It consumed his soul.
He, often, acknowledges it
with a smile.
I have sold my soul,
A foregone conclusion –
The devil crawling out of the hole,
Ignored agonies break the tension.
An eclipsed sun –
The night torturing the day,
Angels of the fall remain undone.
I am reincarnating,
An inferno grasping heaven-
The lost paradise faintly whispering,
In lost words the creator’s pain.
I just wanted to belong,
So I made it so;
I just walked out
Though there was no door.
I had nothing new to bring,
So I ignored;I just stood there
Though there was no earth.
Geeta Chhabra 5 poems
stay quiet and by myself.
equilibrium of peace, sanity.
quietness betrays me:
to the inferno
breathing . . .
stay quiet and by myself.
equilibrium of peace, sanity.
lost . . .
separate from –
fire within me.
partition is the scene outside.
rain beats the bay-windows.
across its mood’s fury –
of a brat-child.
and more black,
skyscrapers look at each other.
will be torn…
holding on to the world –
beyond the bounds
terror of circumstances.
pain of others.
dreams that are unreal.
condition of disorders.
debris of bitterness.
live like others…
Bai Pours Out . . .
made love to me –
even a copper ring.
for your arrival.
beyond suffering –
my life accepts:
Jaydeep Sarangi 2 poems
of my lighted little
corner of mind,
the silent underground in the barrels of bones,
a cultural continuity
under the unified principle of consciousness.
I have found the other extreme
where I can taste the stories of inescapable memory
punctuated within my native links
grown over a period of years
but unknown to me.
if the windows are shut?
in a chilly winter morning in Kolkata
do I ever expect the blazing Sun?
annals of the land
in a misty morning
near an old temple
and a small river of the mind
make my random thoughts wild.
separated by daily
sorrows and joys
one reflecting the
In a mad rush of the week.
Bored with traffic
And red signals when I drive.
Life moves on like a silent
charm of popular consorts.
Difficult it is to leave
The land of bread and my desire to be part of this
Once it is
My name, my commitments and my poems.
Life’s rusty clock ticks fast
In a morning of smoke and dust.
I take them along in different scripts
In a metro heart
Which bleeds profusely
In smoke and disgust
Where man builds up wall against wall
The Dream Within
A grimy pastel patchwork hotpotch
of buildings, almost completed.
in the fossil fumes of progress,
four columns tenderly centering
a tear-like dome,
graceful ponds, gentle gardens,
balance, elegance, refinement,
Oxen progressing, ploughing, preparing,
fields edged by plastic bags, cardboard cartons,
broken bottles, rusting pieces of machinery,
women walking, gently robed, gathering dung,
threaded by the madness of a raving road:
camels carts stray dogs surreal,
traffic weaving, people seething.
All on the way to a deserted city.
a planned community
with all the modern conveniences,
special quarters for guests, servants and elephants,
A huge town square for everyone,
a multi-discipline religious centre
with funeral chapel,
all that was needed in this life and that to come.
Abandoned after only four years,
there were water problems, so they say,
a magnificent monument of India’s heyday.
progressing little, suffering still,
but then the masses always will,
whatever, whither, hither and thither,
Hotel, rickshaw, all I need,
Please sir, yes sir, now in greed.
Masses massing teeming,
what’s the deal?
a good deal, a great deal, good show,
the greatest show on earth,
drifting down the Ganges,
watching people washing, bathing,
smiling and sighing,
living and dying.
The beauty of form
in the flux of changelessness,
the power of pain,
from cycles’ creation,
through culture’s formation,
our every sensation.
To Nissim Ezekiel
or wherever you are now,
I don’t quite know
if you will be glad to know
that you’ve become immortal
courtesy the university syllabus.
But if you ask something about your poetry to us,
don’t be surprised
to find us surprised
when we come to know that you were after all a poet.
“Wow, so you’re a poet indeed!
Awards how many!
Erm, awards any?”
For you have been the reason
for our deep slumbers in lazy afternoons;
for we have read you in set answers
800 words each where they’d discussed the theme,
the setting, the philosophy, and the irony;
the last in the list
(if at all it existed)
was perhaps a few quotations from a poem
and something about your poetry.
Doesn’t matter Mr. Ezekiel,
you’re immortal indeed.
don’t complain of the heat.
go to Keoratala Ghat
and sit beside the funeral pyre.
see your loved one burn.
See his fiery arms reaching out for the sky.
Smell, breathe in.
His burnt skin will reek of your body odour.
and what it is to feel cold
even when the sun burns
right in front of your eyes.
Keoratala Ghat: a crematorium by the River Ganges in Calcutta
drop in a line or two of Tagore
on the dining table;
almost as a ritual,
raze down other poets another cultured Bangali praises
by comparing the beauty of the stars
to the beauty of pubic hair.
I try to sound intellectual.
Like the cigarette butts
near the numerous drain holes in the terrace
I can feel some compassionate rainand make a little poem out of the drizzle –
oh the lovely drizzle!
In my middle class drizzle
there is no possibility of a storm.
But poets need storms,
there are no storms,
things are too calm here.
in the corner of the alley
forces a smile when I ask, “Jabe naki?”*
“Na gele cholbe?”**,
he replies, smilingly.
Seated on his wage earner
I wear my imaginary blinkers
only to become partially blind
when my eyes fall on his bandaged bare right foot
and the cut, bruised, wrecked
left foot decorated in dried blood:
casualties of war –
the war of everyday existence.
blind eyes suddenly regains its vision
when the board Barrackpore railway station
stares back at me.
While giving the ten rupee note
countless thoughts criss-cross
across my vacillating mind:
Should I ask him about his injury?
Should I offer to pay for his recovery?
Should I ask him to keep the change?
Should I . . .
Pay attention please,
Down, Kalyani Simanta – Sealdah local
Is coming on,
Platform number 2.
I hurriedly take the change and rush there.
Shanker) book reviews
River Lines describes her own world of poems so succinctly. This, perhaps, defines
her whole approach to life, in general, and to poetry, in particular, acting
also as a pivotal reference to her collection.
this observation in the title itself – Blue Vessel – with the beautiful cover
image of a ceramic cup and little else. You are immediately drawn to that
simple, elegant, elemental presence of a world that is suffused with the beauty
within everything that constitutes it.
for the things around her – animate and inanimate. If I were a blind man reading
the world through Braille, it would be easier to feel the throbbing life in
these poems on my fingertips. These are poems to be touched, probed and felt.
Not to be read. May be they are not words but their shadows are as sharp as the
trees in a clear afternoon sun. Words stand here aloof, in total disdain of the
meaning conventionally assigned to them for they exist only in relation to the
spaces dividing them from the body of other words. You touch them and they
of poetry. Migration between the two states is done with amazing ease. Images and words blend in a most unusual way.
Of all the poems, the one titled `Never Poem’ shows this most evocatively – “Wings of sheer / silk dying in a verse-like throb. So, be
my rhythm lub-dub love / Heart’s step, stopping clear / of unpenned words and
lines / Don’t ask to see or touch them . . .. touch. only when it has asked / away
from the learned newsprint / suave poems and video screens / even if it seems a
blotch of ink.”
stars and a common sun / old words that caress her secret rhyme.”
burning the poetry mangrove.”
misty windpipe / where words often are lost to shouts./ Two by two / leaf lanes
/ The meaning sleeps.”
on lines by language.”
In `in spring’s early grace’, “ I keep throwing more seeded
intriguing. Though many of them hint of love, it is a kind of love that is almost
absent or is present like the whiff of spirit, the last wisp of mist that
vanishes before we catch them. And, even love is inevitably connected with
words and poetry.
In `All things become Islands’, “the poet at puberty is
tongues as she half-pedals a bike / through a yellow road – a cluster of
In `Indian Love Story: Message Tree’, “then we dance around
across the keys of her body . . .. / before that love was just a pretense / of a
rounded vowel pressed by the lips.”
Love is a vague construction in these poems and often
In ‘I am the second earth, but’ the writer knows that “My
Love is never fleshy and in the poem `Her Love,’ the most
moment of her joy and cry” or that “he knew where the lips could find the
mussels.” But, “She knew too, love was almost gleaming at last / when she lay
covered only by her bracelets.” That’s the limit of explicitness Nabina has
allowed herself. Even in an ironic poem
titled like `Indian Love Story: Khajuraho Longings,’ Nabina is more interested
in “the art of softening their moment together.” And, this is done so that they
can “learn to eat anchovies and mix a gin.”
Nabina is not much interested in grand narratives. Even in
circumnavigate them and stick to her desire for random presences. The very title of the poem ` Homily at the
Baradari Fort” conveys this preference.
“The night went three-dimensionally quiet./ It tiptoed across twelve double hours.” “Did you see, Taramati, while you hummed, /
against the fortress in the sky, a rhyme-smitten / letter rose to be called the
sun?” Then, “the caretakers then simply went home at dawn / switching off the
massive strobe lights.”
In `New York Woman: a Ballad,’ the description of the woman
what the rains bring on Gaza’s blights.” This could be the only directly
political reference to be found in this collection.
In ` A song for the Bihu-waisted sister’, an oblique
“Something about the Flame trees tells us birds are still home / But, it’s also
the news of someone missing.” Nabina is able to bring out the tragedy of a
political situation so eloquently with these two bare lines that don’t seem to
be connected. This can come only from practiced precision.
What strikes one is that Nabina’s world is not sad or gloomy
would be those connected with the sun, apart from `words.’ The scenery is cheerful,
well-lighted, not a cloud on the horizon. It is grass, fields, morning dew,
drives in a car, clotheslines, bees, birds, river, flowers, pollen. Driving through this world, one comes across –
Summer in a Catskills Town – “Brown stones sneeze / Snooze
Her Garden in Two Hemispheres – “This current one has
In spring’s early grace – “now we are talking yes, we are
syrup from the afternoon sky.”
Sea-aria – “she thought the sky was pink gelatin and the
The collection is divided into two segments `Water on Ink’
skill in whittling down a poem to the bare minimum. “Like Pablo Neruda/ I want
the body of an island” “ or become a blue vessel / of forgotten strife.” “where
Limbs turn into blue vessels/ remains of a graffiti / you or I etched on the
body / of our resident island.” A love poem, that pretends not to be. The island is where only you and I can exist
where we whisper “elemental odes about salt and sleep.”
‘Water on Ink’ is a rain washed study of Kilokri, a suburb
streetlight on the henna.” “She word ties her hair.” It works like a water
colour painting till it ends with the devastating statement “All these un-fairy
faces are I. Me.”
Still Lives’ has some wonderful images of stationary
two-pronged lamp does it by transforming into ‘an ornate flower’ and a
‘short-range star’. The chair gets up and finally leaves. The candle emerges in
a ‘dream unscathed from arson’. The glass vial ‘collects sun and water-borne
moments of nameless levitation.’
A delightful read and a lesson, Nabina’s collection
achieved by the extremely subtle way in which she handles even harsh themes.
Her poems act like `water on ink.’ They
stand on their own, drawing strength from the basic fact that poetry primarily
deals with words and is the principal source of language. Nabina has a secret
pact with words.
(Buy the book here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/nabina-das/blue-vessel/paperback/product-20604822.html)
belongingness is said to have been achieved through poetry – something that is
seldom achieved through any other mediums. The title of the book, Quest For
Freedom, is in itself a self-explanatory expression for the wings that poetry
instills onto oneself. As one scrolls through the pages of the book, the
message of it gets sharper and clearer – Bring Freedom onto Expression. You must
be wondering, freedom into expression – isn’t expressing all about freedom? Well technically yes, but then thanks to the art of
flattery or that of getting our “15 seconds of fame” we tend to get biased,
unruly and almost unethical. In contrast to this, Dr. Saha manages to skin out a
structure of poems that call a spade: a spade.
Dr. Saha has beautifully structured, making it look neat and composed unlike
many others that seem random and out of structure. These themes are, namely Eluding
Justice – that deals with the concept of a nation – our nation, India,
peoples living in and around and furthermore, their characteristics in terms of
their traits, their virtues and vices and concepts of patience, endurance and
hypocrisy and extremely significant attributes that have shaped our nation
such as slavery and freedom. Further, he talks of the second theme of Life
and Death where he questions concepts of what is Life and then what is
Death – what are their consequences and effects, what happens after death
happens and also what role destiny plays in the two scenarios. The third theme
talks of a concept too much spoken of – Love. Love not like the ones our novels
talk of but the kind of love this book talks of is tranquil and almost hypnotic
with a reverence to love as God’s gift to us. He further explores love for
parents, siblings, children and partners. The fourth deals with a phrase – Longing for realization – which explores into dreams, success, fantasies,
visions and their contradictions with destiny, fiction, failure and intrigue.
The poems within this facet are my personal favorite from the entire lot with
complexities of spirituality, dreams and realities are very eloquently tackled.
The last but certainly the best theme is Enlightenment, a topic that intrigues
me to no ends. It deals with illusions of the mind, one’s existence and
purpose – his deeds, Salvation and his relation with Knowledge and also his past,
present and future.
humanly existence revolves around and the language, tone and simplicity with
which Dr. Saha has dealt with the themes, moves the poet in me. The only thing
that I felt is missing, was the usual foreword and the acknowledgements
sections. I am one of those crazy readers who actually read “from cover to
cover” and thus, I found it quite surprising when I found that absent. However,
I also would add that these are trivial matters that rests solely upon an
author to either pursue or not. Though the Quest for Freedom seems to find its
shape, the quench for it still continues to seethe. Hopefully, the freedom
shall dawn soon. Also, I felt that the language could be nuanced further, which
would bring out the beauty of the poems even more.
The Chittagong Armoury Raid and the Battle of Jalalabad that followed encompass the biggest, organized, armed uprising to be led by civilians in the history of India’s struggle for freedom. It was the nex tbig event since The Uprising of 1857, or The Mutiny in British parlance, which had been led by trained soldiers. As a result the surprising successes enjoyed by a school master and his band of students resulted in intensive analysis and discussion not just amongst the officers of the British Indian Army but also in the Parliament in London. The incident caught the attention of the Empire (Australia and Canada) and of the USA. News items related to the Chittagong rebellion were reported regularly in the Australian papers – The Canberra Times, The Argus, The Courier Mail and The New York Times in the USA.
Since Gandhi and Nehru chose Ahimsa as their political strategy they, regardless of their personal beliefs, could not publicly applaud the contribution of the armed revolutionists. But it did provide them with a leveraging point when negotiating with the British. In the years following 1947, the newborn nation was too caught up with moving forward to be able to celebrate its heroes. Sixty years on, the new generation of Indians born in Independent India look back with pride spurring the making of movies and the writing of books.
Chittagong: Summer of 1930 is an exhaustively researched book that tells the story from the perspective of twenty-seven people, both Bengali and British, reflecting diverse view points. Having been crafted from the writings of the participants and their British contemporaries, the writing preserves the regional styles and nuances. For example, a Bengali never says ‘goodbye’. If he is the one going away he will say ‘I’ll be back’. And when seeing somebody off he will say ‘esho’ which translates literally to ‘come’. The British of the Raj speak a mix of British English, translations of Bengali jargon and American jargon.
Chittagong: Summer of 1930 evokes an image of the Raj delving into the lives of the Bengalis and the British, their thinking and reasoning, the food they ate, the songs they sang and the stories they told. Manoshi Bhattacharya creates a vivid picture and brings to light one of the lesser known and yet vital episodes in India’s struggle for independence, one without which the tale of the Empire can never be complete.
The second part of the book, which is due to be published, will deal with the women’s movement and the highly publicized Chittagong Armoury Raid Trial in which the Indians more than prove themselves equal to their British rulers.
Exiled Among Natives: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry
edited by Charusheel Singh and Binod Mishra
(Anthology available at Flipkart)
contemporary Indian poetry in English
5. Winter Sky and Selected Poems – Bishnupada Ray
xxii. literary/poetry groups
Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi
|Bangla Akademi at Nandan, Kolkata|
Simon Jackson writes poetry, plays, films and music. He has won 11 national and international competitions and awards for poetry and his last collection, Fragile Cargo, included the Best Published Poem of 2011, awarded by The Poetry Kit. Recent short films with Scottish poets and Billy Bragg have been screened by the BBC and in film festivals around the world, and his last play, Turning to the Camera, was The Guardian‘s Pick of the Week for Scottish theatre. He usually lives in Edinburgh, though he’s currently teaching in Cairo.
Suma Josson is an Indian-American journalist and filmmaker. Her documentary film Niyamgiri, You are still alive, on the ecological and human damage done by bauxite mining, won a first prize in the Short Film, Environment category at the 2010 International Film Festival of India.
Pitambar Naik was born and brought up in Kalahandi District of Odisha. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relations. He
works as a social worker in Jamshedpur in India. He writes
both in English and Oriya.
Jaspreet Mann Kanwar was born in Punjab, the proverbial land of myth and romance. She developed a
passion for poetry at an early age. Her mother exposed her to a gloriously
resplendent riot of colours found in Punjabi verses. It is from her mother that
she learnt that personal conscience and introspection are an integral part of
poetry that touches
the heart. Jaspreet
is an alumnus of Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School, Jaipur and a Post Graduate
in English Literature from the Punjab University, Chandigarh. She has written
two collections of poems titled Monsoon Showers (Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 2010)
and Flashback (Sanbun Publishers, New Delhi, 2011). An educator by profession, she has been teaching English Literature for the past 17 years.
Debarun Sarkar is based in Calcutta presently having lived in Surat and Hyderabad before and has just graduated from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.
Shobhana Kumar has written four books of non-fiction—Coimbatore, The Emerging Indian Cosmopolis, SIMA—A journey Through 75 Years, Lakshmi, An Inspiring Legacy and An Event Called Life, Dr. P.C. Thomas in Conversation with Shobhana Kumar. Her first collection of poetry The Voices Never Stop was published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata in 2012. Her second volume is under print and she has begun work on the third. Some of her poems will be featured in Dance of the Peacock — An Anthology of Indian Poetry from India edited by Dr. Vivekanand Jha. Her work has also appeared in journals including Muse India and Kritya.
Leon Miller is working in India on a university cooperation and exchange project on behalf of Tallinn University of Technology, The European Union and in cooperation with several Indian Universities (including IIT, Delhi; IIT, Bhubaneshwar; JNU, Delhi, and KIIT, Bhubaneshwar). He also works on behalf of the International Association for Religious Freedom (India) and the Indian Council of Unitarian Churches. He is a lecturer in Ethics, Comparative Religion, Intercultural Communications, and International Relations. He has written a number of peer-reviewed articles, has several published poems, and a musical single – “Come to Paradise.”
Rupanjali Baruah is a creative writer, poet, abstract artist, translator & editor of WordSmith Publishers based in Guwahati, Assam. She has to her credit three published works of poetry, short fiction & novella including her art writing & translations published in national/international literary & art journals.
Satarupa Sengupta was born in Shillong and after travelling many states is at present settled in Kolkata. Her passion is poetry, her profession is Insurance and her love is Spirituality. She has published three poetry books – From You to Eternity, When Reality Stands Up and Silent Whispers. She also writes short stories and articles.
Rajneesh Dham, born 3 September, former journalist, published in many publications, currently resides in Delhi.
Atri Majumdar is a student of English literature and is currently pursuing his undergraduate studies at Asutosh College, Calcutta University. He has published his first book of poems Shadow Of Light.
into the Arabic language and featured in reputed journals and newspapers. Geeta’s books An Indian Ode To The Emirates and No Journey Ends are published by Motivate Publishing. Forthcoming, are more publications in poems
and prose. Recently, Geeta received an international
award for her website www.geetachhabra.com – Poets Printery International Best Poetry Web Site Award for
Creativity and New Age Poetry. This is a
joint venture of Skyline Publishing and Poets Printery. Geeta now divides her time between Mumbai and
Jaydeep Sarangi is
a bilingual writer, academic, editor, translator, academic administrator and
the author of a number of significant publications (including 29 books) on Postcolonial issues, Indian Writing in English,
Australian Literature and Creative Writing in reputed journals/magazines in
India and abroad. He is the mentor of many academic and literary peer-reviewed
journals and has been taken the editorial board of several refereed journals in
India and abroad like, Mascara Literary
Review (Australia), Virtuoso(Hyderabad),Cavalcade (Nigeria),
Pegasus (Agra), The Okigbo Review (Nigeria), Unheard
Melody , Parnassus (RaeBarelly) Prosopisia(Ajmer), Labyrinth(Gwalior),Indian
Journal of World Literature and Culture (Bhubaneswar), IJPCL (Kerala), Scholastic
International Journal of Language and Literature (Chennai) , Reflections (Tezu),ArsArtium, (Ghaziabad),Conjunctions – An International Refereed Journal of Language, Literature
& Culture(Jalandhar).He edits “New Fiction
Journal” (ISSN 0978 – 6863). He is one of the Editors, “Writers
Editors Critics” and the Vice
President, GIEWEC (head office at Kerala). Dr Sarangi has delivered keynote
addresses in several national and
international seminar and conferences. His Bengali book of poems, “Lal Palasher Renu” has been reviewed
extensively. His latest book of poems is “From Dulong to Beas”
(New Delhi,2012). Dr Sarangi’s poems ,articles and reviews have appeared in
different refereed international journals and magazines in several countries. He
has guest edited two successively two issue for Muse india on marginal
literatures from the Eastern India and the North East. Recently,
he had been awarded with visiting fellow/writer
to the University of Wollongong, Australia and the Westerly Centre at
the Univ. of western Australia,Australia. Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi is with the Deptt. English
at Jogesh Chandra ChaudhuriCollege (Calcutta University. E-mail: [email protected] Blog: http://authorjaydeepsarangi.blogspot.in/
John Stewart is an Australian citizen and author currently living in Hong Kong after working in Xiamen University in Mainland China. Several years ago, he became involved in a spiritual pilgrimage to explore the commonality of cultures around the globe. He found himself recording experiences on all sorts of scrap paper. These writings were later revised for publication in literary form.
Souradeep Roy studied English literature at the Scottish Church College, Kolkata. Apart from writing poems, he also is a thespian working in Theatre Passion and Notice Board. The latter is his own arts collective, which also organises poetry reading sessions in Calcutta called ‘Musings’. Some of his poems have been published previously or await to be published in print in the anthologies Static Poetry III (Static Movement, USA) , Celebrating India (Nivasini Publishers, India), Spectral Lines (Nazar Look, Romania) and Magnapoets, Issue 9 (Magnapoets, Canada), The Poetic Bliss (India), Suisun Valley Review (Solano Community College, California) and Dampen to Bend (Coal Publishing), and online in Blackmail Press (New Zealand), Foliate Oak (University of Wisconsin, Arkansas, USA), Riverbabble 21(Pandemonium Press), Wordland (UK), Femficatio, Eternal Haunted Summer, Contemporary Literary Review: India, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, ‘BIG ART BOK 2013’ (Scarborough Arts, Canada) and Shoptodina (India). He was also long listed for the Toto Funds the Arts (TFA) 2013 award for creative writing in English. The Rickshawwala was first published in Foliate Oak Magazine published by the University of Wisconsin, Arkansas.
Ra Sh translates from Malayalam and Tamil to English and vice
versa. He has translated works by Dario Fo, Paulo Friere, Freidrich
Durrenmatt, Bertolt Brecht and Badal Sircar to Malayalam as theatre projects
and published works. Published English translations include Harum Scarum Saar and
Other Stories by Bama (from Tamil), Mother Forest – The unfinished story of
C.K. Janu by Bhaskaran (from Malayalam) (published by Women Unlimited, Delhi)
and Waking is Another Dream, an anthology of Sri Lankan Tamil poetry (along
with Meena Kandasamy) (published by Navayana, Delhi.) Also translated plays
and poems from Tamil, which formed part
of an Anthology of Dalit Writing in Tamil and articles from Malayalam, that formed part of an Anthology of Dalit writing in Malayalam (both published by
Oxford University Press, India.) Poems have been
published in Bhashaposhini and Kindle Magazine. Did English subtitles for three award-winning Malayalam
feature films (Shayanam, Raamaanam and Kaliyachan), one Tamil feature film (Sengadal) and a Tamil docufeature (Pennadi.)