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Issue 17: Spring 2021

Fiction

The Best Medicine

When she’d sense her husband’s hand rising to hit her, she’d finally look up, her pupils would dilate, her hands would stop shaking and she’d breathe a sigh of relief. The pain she could handle, the anticipation she could not.

Boat to Battambang

Like a magician, the shirtless, shoeless boatman leapt into the water and walked on it. Not entirely – he was half-sunk, up to his thighs. Which also meant he half-floated. It seemed magical because prior to his jump everyone had assumed the Tonle Sap possessed depth; a lake, after all, seems to suggest that there is an actual “beneath” beneath the surface.

Obedience

This place was a purgatory… There was no frenzy, chaos, or mass of thronging humans, no hint of the several thousand different noises at once creating the opera of India.

Poetry

A Birdsong

someone stole her voice
on a moving bus.
suddenly the city
stops churning, and stares.

Cox Bazaar

That night at Cox Bazar             he ate them,
devouring mouthfuls.
His hunger wouldn’t end.

Bovine Intervention

My parents too pick me up without fail every time I land

at the Bhubaneswar airport. 17 times in the last 6 years. I count

because cumulation offers resilience that nostalgia

doesn’t.

Essays & Interviews

Foreigner by Rachael Bates

I am seasoned to India’s chaos, the caterwauling horns, the maddening smells that make me scrunch my face against a waft of sewage one moment and fill my lungs with tandoori chicken the next.

The Year that Was: Life, Art and Feminist Axioms by Simran Chadha

Aishwarya played by the rules; she believed the myth to be reality— the reality of a patriarchal world wherein patriarchy of determined not by gender alone but the conduct of those in authority.

Seth’s A Suitable Boy on the other hand is contextualized against a lesser known India— the India of the Brown Sahibs— a class of upper-class Indians reared as per Macaulay’s A Minute on Indian Education— a class, British in all matters except the color of their skin.

Interview with Fahim Irshad by Sneha Krishnan

Reviews

One Man Two Executions by Arjun Rajendran

Merging history and poetry!

Flowers on the Grave of Caste by Yogesh Maitreya

Storyteller with firm social convictions.

Morning Light by Manohar Shetty

Craft of Patience.

Name, Place, Animal, Thing by Lux Narayan

Emphasizing Action!

The Black-Marketer’s Daughter by Suman Mallick

Intertwining dreamy expressions and harsh realities!

Atlas of Lost Places by Yamini Pathak

Immigrant pasts and futures.

Big Bad Wolf by Suleikha Snyder

Much needed inter-racial pairing