Do You See? from Assam on PS; Book Pics from Pals; My Poem in Audio File; Sunday Poem for Parents

Read my latest article on Prairie Schooner: “ Promotes Language, Literature, and the Heritage of Assam“. Himjyoti Talukdar has been doing a great job. I’d personally like to see showcase not just Assamese literature, but also the literatures of the state’s tribes and other communities.


Flash fiction writer and poet Rumjhum Biswas emailed me some photographs of my novel she caught a glimpse of at Odyssey bookstore at Adyar, TN. She actually stopped to take phone photos! Rum is such a fun and kind person.

bajra rum3

bajra rum2


bajra rum

And here’s another mobile phone photo from young writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar whose book will be soon out from Aleph Book Company. He said this was taken at Barharwa railway station in Jharkhand, a little, almost nondescript place on the map of India. Think of it, my book actually encroached into the heartland of its own subject matter! Some one must be reading it. The rebels too?

Hansda said he was nervous about taking the photo. Right. Don’t we know anything might happen over a silly book about rebels and their strife in a remote little junction such as this? Kidding!

hansda bajra photo


Linda L Ashok, the young enthusiastic editor of RaedLeaf Poetry-India recorded her own reading of my poem “Othello’s Path“. Here’s the Vocaroo audio clip:


It’s Sunday mid morning here. We have a guitar strumming in the house and the soft breath of a young human mixing with the delicious meat curry smell rising above from the ground floor neighbor’s kitchen. My mother’s voice occurs in my head just like that. She used to cook with Kashmiri cinnamon. These days she doesn’t cook at all. But she asks me to stop at nothing. And I think of my father as a necessary corollary.

The Race 
by Sharon Olds

When I got to the airport I rushed up to the desk,
bought a ticket, ten minutes later
they told me the flight was cancelled, the doctors
had said my father would not live through the night
and the flight was cancelled. A young man
with a dark brown moustache told me
another airline had a nonstop
leaving in seven minutes. See that
elevator over there, well go
down to the first floor, make a right, you’ll
see a yellow bus, get off at the
second Pan Am terminal, I
ran, I who have no sense of direction
raced exactly where he’d told me, a fish
slipping upstream deftly against
the flow of the river. I jumped off that bus with those
bags I had thrown everything into
in five minutes, and ran, the bags
wagged me from side to side as if
to prove I was under the claims of the material,
I ran up to a man with a flower on his breast,
I who always go to the end of the line, I said
_Help me._ He looked at my ticket, he said
Make a left and then a right, go up the moving stairs and then
run. I lumbered up the moving stairs,
at the top I saw the corridor,
and then I took a deep breath, I said
goodbye to my body, goodbye to comfort,
I used my legs and heart as if I would
gladly use them up for this,
to touch him again in this life. I ran, and the
bags banged against me, wheeled and coursed
in skewed orbits, I have seen pictures of
women running, their belongings tied
in scarves grasped in their fists, I blessed my
long legs he gave me, my strong
heart I abandoned to its own purpose,
I ran to Gate 17 and they were
just lifting the thick white
lozenge of the door to fit it into
the socket of the plane. Like the one who is not
too rich, I turned sideways and
slipped through the needle’s eye, and then
I walked down the aisle toward my father. The jet
was full, and people’s hair was shining, they were
smiling, the interior of the plane was filled with a
mist of gold endorphin light,
I wept as people weep when they enter heaven,
in massive relief. We lifted up
gently from one tip of the continent
and did not stop until we set down lightly on the
other edge, I walked into his room
and watched his chest rise slowly
and sink again, all night
I watched him breathe.


One comment on “ from Assam on PS; Book Pics from Pals; My Poem in Audio File; Sunday Poem for Parents

  1. shrutanne
    August 6, 2013

    The new way in which you’ve arranged your blog is really nice.

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2013 by in fiction, footprints in the bajra, india, Nabina Das, othello's path, poetry.
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