Do You See?
Well, I’ve been down with cough and cold. And young member’s unwarranted fever. Paperwork that never ends. Travel plans for November-December. Also proofing and editing my short fiction collection and the second poetry collection. Almost in final stages.
It’s been raining skunks and sticky leaves. Been too much, this monsoon. We have lovely weather in my city. But all I see around is mossy walls, soaked cement flooring, overgrown creepers and gigantic tree canopies, a surge in dragonflies and grasshoppers and whatever other flies or insects you have, and m-o-s-q-u-i-t-o-e-s!
I can smack a handful of those last mentioned and make ink out of the mess. From a writer’s point of view that should be retribution. Yes ma’am. I hate them. Them mosquitoes.
There’s a short story that came out recently in the Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts. Read STOICAL LIFE OF GURUDAS ROYCHOUDHURY here.
Wait for the cover to load. In a few seconds click on the full cover and enter the journal on issuu.com. Easy. Got some great feedback on it. You read and tell me too.
My poet mentor and distant teacher (I appointed him) K Satchidanandan, former chair of Indian Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi), who recently made history in Indian literature by setting one of his collections free, mentioned my work twice in separate writings. Feels good. Why not.
First, in this piece.
“Poets like Uddipana Goswamy, Nitoo Das, Nabina Das and Aruni Kashyap who write in English are trying to create a new idiom with deep echoes of their land, culture and language.”
And the others are indeed fabulous poets, and my favorites too.
In the second instance, I thought he was too gracious to mention my novel in this column.
“In English, the trend is more recent, with novels like Dilip Simeon’s Revolution Highway(2010), which is essentially a novel of ideological interrogation that, in the process, also turns the movement into an analysable thing of the past or Nabina Das’ Footprints in the Bajra (2010) that presents an incisive analysis of the social divide in Bihar in telling the story of the Maoist rebel Muskaan and her city friend Nora. One may also recall here works like Hari Kunzru’s My Revolutions (2007) and Farrukh Dhondy’s London Company (2012) that too are set in the turbulent years depicting the life of the young in London stimulated by similar socialist dreams.”
In pretty august company. Makes me squeal like a school girl. Well, good for health, I’m told.
“Nabina Das is among the surest of the younger Indian poets: audacious in her use of language and form, supple in her flow from past histories to present discoveries and her probing of memory. She traverses the in-between of cultures, between their slide and seizure, and between reality and reverie to make surprising connections. In “Uru Habba for the Red Soil” she writes “And when it gets lonely/ For bats hanging in papaya fields/ She looks back at the slick roads of cities/Like a century that knows its wounds” or again, in “Music by the River Side” she juxtaposes the ‘ferries’ honk’ with the sudden rhapsody of ‘They go/ tra la la la la./Their rapture. The tin-band men from my past” thus dispensing with the nostalgia normally associated with remembrance. These are from her recent collection, Blue Vessel (Les Edition du Zaporogue, 2012) and her forthcoming (Into) The Migrant City.”
Poet and essayist friend Sumana Roy writes a rain tribute (oh, monsoon!) on the same poetry site and quotes from some of my poems in Blue Vessel.
What about the blog on Prairie Schooner, dummy? No, I remember to mention it alright.
A walk through Indian Poetry on Social Media: Beyond Doggerel and Heartbreak Rhymes. Do read. And please mark “recommend” on the PS website, will ya?
Have I finished tomtomming myself now? Poetry then:
With That Moon Language
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; Otherwise,
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?
- Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Oh heart, “what every other eye in this world is dying to hear”!
My old school photo. Grade V. You cannot spot me. I bet.