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Issue 3: Summer 2014

Fiction

The Humanly Dog of Colonel Haider Usman

Ms. Bhonsle knew the diplomatic power that is necessary for a single woman in her fifties who lived alone. Indeed, balance meant a moderation of excesses that would otherwise not fit into Indian middle-class life.

Skokie Nights

Rimi loved the tragedy—or rather, the poetry—of teenage girls found dead. She didn’t want to be raped or murdered or harmed in any way. She just wanted to be a corpse, like some girls wanted to be a bride or a princess.

Poetry

A-B-C-D

A for assimilation
B forgetting the brown
C for Columbus, not Colombo—
that song that every immigration child knows

Republic Day, 2014

I wanted to parade a toy soldier,
Impotent and unmanly,
In this country of men and manners.
I asked the police for permission.
They said, sorry,
We only parade puffed up chests.

forest, matheran hills

notice, she said, language body nature prayer
follow the same rules of resting

My Father’s White Shirts

i fill the washing machine with soap and a week’s worth
of my father’s undershirts
tangled like a clutch of heron’s eggs ready to hatch
only one will live

Oranges, memory

I buy one and dig my nails
beneath skin. Ride these waves
of scent with me

Essays

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on Books for Young Readers

I wanted a story that would be a great adventure for readers, but also one that would introduce readers to the Indian landscape, Indian ways of life, and Indian philosophy and values. I wanted a magical object out of Indian myth. I wanted a reverse quest tale (returning a magical object to its original home) . . .

A Dynasty of Dust

India can harden hearts or fill them with the ripe, sweet fruit of compassion. If the pilgrim is sincere, and attentive, and lucky, then India might deign to reveal partially glimpsed hints of the truths that lay hidden beneath the surface and beyond the cloaking veil of maya woven out of dust and traffic diesel fumes and smoke from wood-fires in rusted upright oil drums . . .

A White Girl Makes Bangladeshi Piaju

Being from Vancouver, I’ve tried South Asian cuisine in fusion form, because Vancouver is the First Lady of fusion food cities. However I don’t recall ever having a traditionally prepared South Asian dish, let alone preparing one myself. I hoped with the available resources I would be able to meet the challenge. So, to Google . . .

Art


1_American Beauty II_2014_hibaHiba Schahbaz

I am investigating issues of self-identification within the lexicon of miniature painting, and in the process, re-contextualizing miniature painting in contemporary art. By observing the symbolism and iconography of the cultures around me, I construct imagery that fuses the real with the imagined.

1_The Edifice Butterfly_tulikaTulika Ladsariya

My paintings are a social commentary on the division of society through the iconography of labor. Bricks, lumber, plaster, and bright house paint recur in my oeuvre. Through this process of hunting, lugging, and working with heavy material, I try to empathize with the workforce that I depict and choose to think of art as labor.

1_hayfever_michelleMichelle Cherian

As I wander through the streets of Kathmandu on a crisp morning, I take in 80s neon pink, stark black-and-white stripes, an emerald green satin sash . . . These are the immediate colors and textures that glide through my mind as I download this moment’s inspiration.

1_Evry1wants2leave_shoiliShoili Kanungo

When I draw, I like using a lot of details. I think of the page as a nonlinear storyboard, with no guidelines for where to go and—hopefully—lots to discover. When I paint, I am a little obsessed with swirling lines. I do love lines.

Reviews

Celluloid Man: Back to the Future

The new documentary Celluloid Man highlights the legacy of P. K. Nair and the debt the country owes this visionary.

Geography of Tongues by Shikha Malaviya

Shikha Malaviya’s first book is a collection of poems that awakens the reader’s sense of taste, offering poems about pineapple pastry, mashed bananas and milk, guava leaves, red chilis and pomegranates, strawberries and mangoes.

Paging Ms. Marvel: The Perks and Perils of Creating an Islamic Feminist Superhero

The new Ms. Marvel comic series offers its readers something exciting, progressive, and new. Kamala Khan, who later transforms into Ms. Marvel, is the first major South Asian superhero protagonist in the Marvel comic book–verse.

Column

Ask the Unicorns

You do know the difference between procrastination and foreplay, don’t you? If you treat spending time with your book as just an obligation or, worse, a job—well, we all know how that kind of love affair goes.

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