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Posts from the ‘Issues’ Category

Issue 19: Spring 2022


Proper Perspective by Paromita Goswami

Below us the water from the main canal flows into the branch that feeds the paddy – first in a trickle and then in a flow. Water snakes its way through crevices and furrows. Pradeep and his team smash the operator and the screw; they throw the chain and lock in the canal. It will take a long time for the irrigation officials to repair the sluice gate.

The Missing Syllable by Veena Narayan

…So that month, when I paid my usual visit to Divakara Panikkar, I didn’t show him Sreedevi’s horoscope. Oh, Divakara Panikkar is such a soothing person. And his predictions are so accurate. Even Muktedathi goes to him I know that for a fact. She might be a red, but Lathae, when it comes to one’s own children, everyone is anxious, red or not. Whenever I get too worried, I just pick up the horoscopes and go to consult Divakara Panikkar. He’s a gem.

Dirgha Ayushman Bhava by Sumitra Shankar

 I don’t know how to tell her – when I eat her delicious cooking, all I taste is its absence in my adopted faraway land.

Another Night by Utkarsh Sharma

Roshan turned and looked outside the window again. His body seemed to be shuddering with an urgency, like at the sound of approaching footsteps that never really materialize. He thought about the time left to fill with sleep. He still had to wake up at 8 for his shift.


My lungs recall unfondly by Shilpa Kamat

the teacher misreads my polite, Oh
really? and gloats, Absolutely.

A Glossary of Artillery Terms by Nnadi Samuel

In the next, I want to have more crime in my name.
Pakistan’s temper veining through my wrist.

Stories of Durga: Rain by Ayesha Chatterjee

Memory, like poetry, can’t be trusted.

What Is Love In Your Language? by Suchita Senthil Kumar

and now I’m breathing in a language
I don’t know to speak a word in. 

Essays & Interviews

Navigating the Labyrinth of Privilege by Arpita Gaidhane

Parts of me are powerful in society, and other parts are marginalised. All parts are scared of being unloved. The healing started from seeing this.

Chai time by Archana Ramesh

The white kids in North Carolinian suburbia, who already looked at me like I was out of place, weren’t going home to the smells of cardamom and ginger. They went home to the clean smells of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – the smell of freedom and fitting in. And at a time when belonging seemed more important than comfort, my parent’s unswaying and painfully ethnic routines felt more like a bear trap than a lily pad.

‘Where do we belong?’: Exploring the absurdity of partition through selected short stories of Sadaat Manto Hasan by Junaid Shah Shabir

While history can only convey superficial events, art dwells deep into the human psyche to bring out truths which cannot be factualized. Manto blends facts with realistic fiction to document the depth of human suffering caused by the partition of the subcontinent in a way that historians have failed to do. 


Two Commas and That Voice by Richik Banerjee

Raw and Innovative!

Time Regime by Jhani Randhawa

Reviewed by Sushumna Kannan 

Innovative and fresh! 

Mamaji by Elisheba Haqq

Powerful and Inspiring!

Bombay Hangovers by Rochelle Potkar

Topographic plots!

A Moveable East by Siddharth Dasgupta

A lyrical memoir of nostalgia! 

Visual Artists

Issue 18: Fall 2021


J Is for Joker by Gargi Mehra

From the living room in Gurgaon, I leapt to the gambling dens of Pamposh Enclave and Tilak Nagar. There, in the seedy bellies of crumbling brick buildings, soaking in the stink of sweat and smoke and homegrown local beer, I played, I won, and I lost.

The Descent by Varadharajan Ramesh

For first timers, the descent into the looming valley beneath Suicide Point is a daunting task. Climbing down into the yawning void with its multiple rows of jagged rock teeth and crevasses that are not easy to spot has made many arpirants give up after half an hour.


Khair by Kartikay

The Urdu word that means “good”
and often used to say “well-being”,
is also used as an act of letting go

Kitchens Through Which I Have Traveled by Mehnaz Sahibzada

the haunted one in a crumbling haveli,
where I mistook my Dadi for a ghost,

the cube one in Taif where I fried peas
with cumin & ghee, listening to Arabic television,

the humid one in Tampa where we baked
a birthday cake for my toy donkey,

The last announcement in the metro before it was closed down by Harsh Anand

Owing to the pandemic,
we will be suspending our services
We urge all of you
to look outside the windows
for the rest of your journey
before you forget what your
city looks like.

Essays & Interviews

Chasing Crimson by Biaas Sanyal

The swoosh of crimson returned only for a moment when a young traffic policewoman, in a crisp blue uniform, slowed cars with deft waves of her hand. Pursed around her matching blue whistle, were a pair of crimson lips.

All That Remains by Revathi Suresh

Long buried memories hit me in waves everyday—at times I frolic in them, at others I go under. Sometimes it’s not even moments and scenes that I recall, but emotions and feelings that linger like a bad aftertaste.


Final Cut by Saleem Peeradina

Telling the stories of household objects!

Collegiality & Other Ballads, edited by Shamayita Sen

Reviewed by Ghada Ibrahim

Seeking solidarity for women.

After I Was Raped by Urmi Bhattacherrya

A corrective to media portrayals of rape!

Out of Print, edited by Indira Chandrashekhar

Able exploration of identities!

Selected Poems by Jayant Parmar

Dalit poetry at its best!

There’s No Good Time for Bad News by Aruni Kashyap

Reviewed by Sushumna Kannan

A sustained reflection upon violence in conflict-prone zones.

Issue 17: Spring 2021


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.


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.


A Birdsong

someone stole her voice

on a moving bus.

suddenly the city

stops churning, and stares.


pungent with the smell of alcohol that

you, we, couldn’t afford to have,

and I wish that your love

was different.


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


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


One Man Two Executions by Arjun Rajendran

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.

Issue 16: Fall 2020


Cotton, Grass and Rain

She smells of fresh laundry, of rain in strange lands. He knows now that her perfume is Cotton, Grass and Rain by Marc Jacobs. He likes the softness of her, because she makes him forget the hard edges of his mother, the dark corners of his loneliness, the dry scratch of his own thoughts.

Double X

Nishu wanted a Double X for his birthday. He confided this daily to his grandmother, Bernie, who, at eighty-three, had lived through a war, and endured displacement, and knew a weapon when she saw one.

Mustafa’s Wife

At times, she can’t remember his name. The nameplate outside the house says ‘Mustafa Muhammad’. The house belongs to Mustafa Muhammad, yet he is the visitor who comes and goes. She has come to understand these walls and they know her well, too. She sometimes reads to them, especially things that move her. The walls listen.

The Price of Goat

Dadu brings the thick, bright red curry in a bowl that Mummy uses to keep cut fruit. There is a shiny layer of oil along the edges; little pieces of meat float in the middle. “What do you think?” he asks. I am eager to try it. It’s only because I am hungry!


Small feelings

The New Word We Learned by Babitha Marina Justin

Essays & Interviews

The Untaken Frame by Ricky Toledano

What really stopped me from pulling the trigger, placing my camera back in its holster, was a sensation similar to that which occurs just before picking a flower, when doubt shades the choice to possess beauty by destroying it.

Interview with Wanphrang Diengdoh by Sneha Krishnan 


99 Nights in Logar by Jamil Jan Kochai

A literary feast.

Purple Lotus by Veena Rao

A polished narrative of survival and empowerment!

When Lovers Leave and Poetry Stays by Jhilam Chattaraj

Reads like an embalmed memory!

Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

To the Sitas of the world, with love!

Rituals by Kiriti Sengupta

Throws riddles at the reader!

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

Raw brilliance!

Issue 15: Spring 2020



The music rushed back. I felt her bare arms slide over my skin as she rose and sat before a mridangam. Drum and sitar, we played the tone she directed. The sound mixed notes of nostalgia with the clanging present, the rhythm of the future. 

Broken Dolls

From the wardrobe she shared with Santanu, she pulled out her maimed dolls and spread them out on the bedroom floor. None of them was as broken as her brother. She kicked her dolls and stomped on them and pulled out their hair. Yet, nothing could assuage her anger.

Insignificant Man

I resolved to spend my days tailing him around the house, to win over his friendshipWho knows? Perhaps one day he would bend his head over, hook pinkies with me and show me his secret diary, just like Anjali, my best friend back in school, had! 

Maachér Jhol (Fish Stew)

You center your ethnic cravings around tandoor, samosa, naan, aloo gobi — never kitchüri or dal. Those meals still remind you of the childhood shame of being Indian.


A Textbook Afternoon

The end of the road


Bardo Thödol for a Woman from Kumik

Essays & Interviews

A Dinner Party at the Home Counties by Reshma Ruia

Intelligent and powerful! 

Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow by Rashi Rohatgi

Fearless and Breath-taking!  

Sunshine Blooms and Haiku by Sneha Sundaram 

Beautiful ode to the haiku form.

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie

Lacking impact!

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exploiting the power of ambiguity with a clear authorial voice!

Gariahat Junction by Rituparna Roy

Lyrical debut by a promising writer!

Issue 14: Spring 2019


Road to Gede

Don’t you know a stranger can’t cremate her? Her soul would keep wandering and won’t find peace, if a relative does not cremate her. I’m sure you must know this. If you don’t claim her body, you’ll regret that for the rest of your life. Trust me, I know it.

Lunch to Tea

“Don’t you remember?” He doesn’t understand why people are always asking him that.?He rattles his memory. He scolds himself for drawing a blank just when it is most critical. He pictures the old woman at the dining table, smiling to herself, enjoying a hearty lunch of kadhi and rice all by herself.

Snow Day

Kabir had listened as a group of men argued over who was really behind the terror their neighborhoods were facing. It was widely believed that vigilante groups supported by the Administration were carrying out the raids.

Dear Bhagya Lakshmi

As I begin to piece my guess together, I hear the familiar hoot – Bhagya’s horn and the curve of white that is nosing into our compound. I can’t say how glad I am to see our genteel, age-old Ambassador car right where it belongs.


Hum Kisise Kum Nahin

Letter from a Daughter by Shaleena Koruth

The Wolf who cried Boy by Tript Kaur

Tired in a Book Fair by Vishnu Bagdawala

Essays & Interviews

The Dignity of an Unheralded Artist on the Streets of Bangalore by Richard Rose

Only the narrowest of minds would deny that the act of creation should not be only the preserve of those who receive formal recognition for their work.

Eight Months in Andhra Pradesh by Emma S. Marcos

I imagine an appearance of the goddess Durga, astride a collared lion, her many arms wielding a trident, thunderbolt, lotus, sword, and cellphone.

But the truth is, my memories of those ninety-degree noons, the peach and cherry-colored clouds casting jagged shadows over the hills, are already beginning to fade.

Interview with Tishani Doshi by Mariyam Haider  


A Bombay in my Beat by Mrinalini Harchandrai

A stimulating read

A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

Innovative and fresh!

A Roll of the Dice by Mona Dash

A bold memoir full of hope

The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto

Creates a breathable world

The Last Vicereine: Love in the Time of Partition by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang 

Slightly disappointing

Utopia Revisited 2050: We Journey into a Brighter Future by Bhaskar Sompalli and Prem Menon 

Telling us how technology could solve problems

Wayfaring by Tikuli 

Refreshing and unpretentious


Madhubani Paintings by Nupur Nishith

Issue 13: Spring 2019



Italy Second-Hand

The Boy Who Will Cure Everything


An Evening in Hazrat Nizamuddin

A marigold rolls
on marble
like a hundred girls crossing their arms
over the closing eye of the sun.

Walking on Marine Drive at Midnight

The sea cuts its mouth open
and gurgles a lullaby for the
sleepless. The cities we love
grow in different dialects and

forget old dreams.


When the crumbling reaches your face,
you’ll have to keep calm,
because even your tongue
will fracture into fault lines.

ode to mehendi

i keep my hand pressed against foiled lace so not

to wrinkle a design so not to ball up in remission
at my mother’s feet with nothing but a child’s

dream in hand what if i wasn’t an only daughter

Essays & Interviews

Adventures in Nose Piercing by Lakshmi Jagad

I just want to look pretty, and that seems like a reasonable aim for a diamond to fulfill. I like the tiny invisibility of this diamond. It feels more girl, less woman. It feels naive, hopeful in the best way possible. It makes me think I can write my own roles, play them the way I think fit, discard at will, and move on.

On Summers with Totto-chan by Priscilla Jolly

When I had a moment to myself, I placed both my palms on a tree trunk, laid my forehead against the creased bark, closed my eyes and wished it would say something, anything to me. To see if landscape would speak to me, to see if it would give me a world, just as it did all those years ago.


Green is the Colour of Memory by Huzaifa Pandit

We are what our homes make us.

In The Sanctuary Of A Poem by Salil Chaturvedi

Opens our eyes to beauty in the seemingly mundane.

Eating Wasps by Anita Nair

Every choice requires courage.

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Stands on its own.

Issue 12: Fall 2018


Lose Yourself

Every time, he’d apologize. Every time, he’d place a hand on her back, and rub counterclockwise. No one knows me like you do, he’d say, which was true to an extent. After all, Sita and he were friends since elementary school and after what happened to Sita at UConn and when she returned, he was there, ready to welcome her.

A Different Music

Yes, she admitted to her shell-shocked parents’ friends one evening: she liked John Denver more than Iqbal Bano. She understood him; the lyrics made sense. But more importantly, his songs made her happy. She had heard them call it “hippie music” but she didn’t care. She wanted it, she needed it, she craved it.


“It was during those days that Zahida became certain there were some things she knew better than others, and this was definitely one of them: the shelf-life of death was shorter than any other item in this world, and would not last, even a single day, on her Chai trolley. It expired immediately, and Zahida knew that if it was not thrown out, it would quickly begin to stink up the place.”



To meet you and feel cut open
like fruit, like a suitcase that bursts open while you
collect your boarding pass

the truth is
hindi is a warzone with thunder and blunt
edges, and my feet slipping always

Essays & Interviews

Cowboys and Indians by Nathaniel Wander

It’s often said that anthropologists study a people. In fact, what we do is to learn from and with them.

Homecoming by Shruti Mungi

“It’s a thought that haunts me everyday, making me feel as young and naive as the day I left home in their eyes, as the day I had last fully known my parents. Perpetually ten.”

On Friendship and Writing by Varsha Tiwary

“If writing is an act of self-acceptance then no technique helped me tap my inner writer, than the quiet, reassuring knowledge that just a phone call away, another beautiful, intelligent, completely sane and poised woman felt just as insane and messy inside as I did.’


Ghost in the Tamarind by Subramanian Shankar

The narrative is memorable with every character forming budding attachments with the reader.

Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar

The Prematurely guilt-ridden, and perpetually seeking pardon for leaving home.

When I Hit You Or, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

Critiquing the selective interpretation of an ideology.

Table Manners by Susmita Bhattacharya

Evocation of geographical space and the character’s place in it.

Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan

Humorous, absurd and imaginative.

Issue 20: Fall 2022


In the Pursuit of Candy by Mrunalini Wani

This kid was so world-wise, he did not even look at other candies; he knew what he wanted. As Ayush watched that kid walk away, he had a rising sense of hope in his chest. Maybe, just maybe, he could do that too.

Roach, India by Sai Shriram

In that moment when the walls of the kitchen turned a dirty insectile brown, when an army of hostility headed towards him, Abbax realized that he could no longer continue to exist in this world. This world where his love had no place.


Isn’t that how it is? by Hilesh Patel

Until we become water by Fathima Roshni

Hollower by Ayesha Jafar

You & I by Shannan Mann

Essays & Interviews

The Hand-painted Signs of Jaffna by Kayo Chang Black

After spending more time in Jaffna, we realized that the signboards were not just beautiful objects— they also told stories of the city. Therefore, we needed to enlist help from someone from the culture who also understood our intention for the book: to learn about Jaffna through the hand-painted signs. Our aim is to capture and preserve them on camera, analyze them visually, and write about them.

An Intimate History of loneliness by Shatakshi Whorra

My grandmother was not merely suffering from pangs of loneliness. Her deterioration over the years was as personal as it was overwhelmingly systemic. I see this onset of loneliness in her life not as a personal failing, but as something that stemmed from the unequal relationships that had been slowly consuming her.

Four Thousand Miles Away, a Book and a French Girl Banished My Daughter’s Loneliness by Anita Vijayakumar

At an age when friendships mattered more than almost anything, the girls were desperately lonely. And I could only watch, torn and helpless. But I had forgotten the courage we muster when we’re young and lonely.


The Adivasis Will not Dance by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar

Journaling systematic suppression.

The Country without a Post-Office by Agha Shahid Ali

Reviewed by Shreyashi Sharma

Recording the echoes of a home!

That Year at Manikoil by Aditi Krishnakumar

Exemplary writing!

Speak, Women by Smita Bahuguna-Agarwal

Flipping the male gaze!

Visual Artists

Issue 11: Spring 2018


Mountains In Her Eyes

The automatic doors suddenly jump open and a batch of Indian passengers come through, bedraggled from their journey. Their eyes scan the crowds on either side of the aisle, in search of loved ones. A few minutes later, a new batch appears, and amongst them is Annapurna.

In Exile

Soon it would be Bohag Bihu then! The letter had most certainly brought on these thoughts. His mother had probably woven twenty gamusas on the loom by now. He imagined her sitting by the kitchen shed, sliding the shuttle and pulling in the reed. Ratul watched the kite dip and sway and reach out till it was little more than a speck.

Chaawri Bazaar

“You make me late every morning,” Azhar said, shaking his head in exasperation, as he saw Seema skipping over the front steps, shouldering her school bag, her braids bouncing with her walk.
“What can I do,” she said, “I need to wait for my turn to bathe.”
Azhar looked her up and down, pretending to be surprised, “This is after bathing?”
She made a mocking face, “Don’t worry, you look like no prince either.”


“This is how my life is clearly marked – pre and post-eight – an age that defined the rest of my life; when the only window which I had into Abbu’s world closed on me.”


On the Last Night in Dhaka, Bangladesh

After a morning highway ride
to Savar, passing roadside piles
of white bags stuffed
with broadcloth pockets,
gingham shirt fronts,
denim lapels—tons
of cotton remains
from factories—

Curfewed Friday

Things were different once
The cleft sky wouldn’t burden
my leaking skull.
During the famine of addresses
I inhabited some square feet.


After the last bell sang release
we poured out of school
onto open street like an undisciplined army
Girls in rust
convent school uniforms
(skirts: knee-length socks: knee-length
nail polish: you’re going straight to hell)

Essays & Interviews

An Interview with Amulya Malladi

Roots, Music

Mumbai Noir – Bombay and Its Underworld As Seen Through Literature


Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey by Lopa Banerjee

There is a sense of happiness in forgetting. But the acts of forgetting and remembering are inseparable. There can be no remembering without forgetting, and vice versa. The distance between the two is a language – the language of memory.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

The fresh, outlandish opening of the novel that shatters the usual expectations associated with this sub-genre and foregrounds its narrative design, is definitely one of its highlights.

Polymorphism by Indira Chandrashekhar

Casts a net of stories in which her narratives slip through like eels among the reeds of reality, keeping her readers in swift pursuit.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

It is an epitaph in the form of a novel written by Paul Kalanithi for his own burial – an epitaph negotiating death, ensuring his memory lives on in time, creating a profound impact on anyone who visits it.


1_KrishnaSreedevi Gummuluri

Despite a rough start and a secretive past, Krishna chooses to live in the moment and inspires everyone through his strong will and wisdom.

4_ElephantKamolika Roy Chowdhury

On a quiet afternoon, when a lull prevailed all over and most birds and animals had withdrawn to shady hideouts to escape from the hot afternoon sun, a mother elephant carefully guarding its calf, escorted it to this waterhole for a drink.
Location: Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Date: October, 2014

1_afternoon-nap-with-jeannieShruthi Chandrasekaran

…an affirmation of the joy that already exists in my life; and I am excited and happy to find that other people share these joys…So here it is, and I hope it reminds you to carry with you the bursts of happiness and colour that occur alongside the burden of functioning.

Issue 10: Summer 2017


The Fragrance of Freedom

In the midst of the dust and darkness and distant sound of gunfire, Arul sat like a God, his limbs extended effortlessly, his face open and neutral; he looked breezy as if he was fragrant with freedom.

The Second Honeymoon

They were meant to leave next week, very early, Subbu had said, and Lalitha was already dreading it. She couldn’t imagine surviving even a minute with Subbu without the blanket of everyday routine wrapped around her tired body. And to think she would be alone with him for one whole week!

The Housewife

For the few times that Ruplekha and Rion dated, during the three months of their official engagement, the time allotted to them by their parents for “getting to know each other”, she found him to be handsome, well-mannered, and with a good sense of humour – all of the attributes she liked.




the caked muddy houses
the ponds
and the fish.
You cannot be from there
and still be here.

Mulberry Tree

the tree cast an afternoon shadow
that made my mother think
of the black eyes of crows, the running
water in the dark.

A Touch of Darkness

There is a beauty in piercing the darkness of judgment
by making love, finding freedom
in luminous iron chests – fragrant dahlias.

Essays & Interviews

An Interview with Hoshang Merchant

I wanted to write the secrets of an Indian gay world, the knowledge that I picked up in the gay terrain of 1960s Bombay. I wanted to shape the literary world of the gay writings of India through this anthology.

The Efficacy of Modern Democracies at and beyond Home

With the normalization of Trumpism’s exclusionary rhetoric, neoliberal capital exacts an alarming sway on democratic pluralism in the hardline Hindutva societies of Modi’s India.


The Cosmopolitans by Anjum Hasan

Qayenaat is a refreshingly different protagonist. She is not the typical Indian woman. She is fifty-three years old, single, keeps in touch with her ex-boyfriend, is not afraid to take on lovers and doesn’t have a religion. She does not have a steady job but has an intense love for the arts.

Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

…The change in the family’s circumstances as equal parts disaster and miracle, unpredictable in its causes as well as its effects.

Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion edited by Piyali Bhattacharya

The book provides a window into the complex world of the South Asian female experience which is as diverse and as multifaceted as the South Asian cultures themselves.

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words deserves to be read and re-read, for it is an incredibly sincere account of the journey of a writer who, while at the peak of her creative abilities of expression in a particular language, courageously chose and attempted to learn to read and write in another one.


01_2011_dots_green_redKrittika Arvind

I just like to ‘dot’ my thoughts down rather than jot them down. The grappling in my mind for the right word, in the language I want to express myself in kills the spontaneity and easy flow of the thoughts and feelings. The visual languages I use help me record thoughts in the form of wandering dots, dashes or lines to create patterns.

Issue 9: Winter 2017



Any dreams of a special night had dissipated in his clumsy embrace, his evident unease. She’d promised herself that she would contain her tears, but how could she, when the person she held closest in the world felt so foreign?


“Go home!” Viraf was told. Not to his South Bombay stomping grounds… Not to Seth Building and his loved ones… No. Go home to Iran. To a place he’d never seen.

The Road to Shillong

“Manas died an hour ago, in an accident on the road to Shillong. Yet, by an incomprehensible error, he was sitting in my room, by the window, with a sad air of regret about him.”


“Back on the streets, his misery is only enhanced by how the world around him seems still the way it was, while he has just earned himself an experience that is supposed to be one for a lifetime.”



always unable to pass
checkpoints, traverse your canyons. Punished or blessed,
I can’t tell through the ache, my body

A Litany (for the native informant)

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of the only brown person in the room.

The Lake (Haibun)

These trees understand PTSD; their branches are hacked everyday. Purging in autumn, reborn every spring. They share in bounty, they share in pain.

Marrow (Nariman Point, Bombay)

We don’t speak the same
language at home, can I teach you
the word for peanuts staining newspaper

Essays & Interviews

On Being Left Behind

This picking up, caressing and eventually letting go of third languages becomes a habit — they’re transitory, like you. And because you never stay in your home state, your mother tongue is never on the syllabus. But English stays. You don’t even notice when it becomes your first language.

To Complicate a Love Song: An Interview with Vivek Shraya

For me, queering gender suggests a kind of deliberate subversion of gender. I am not trying to subvert gender — I am trying to be myself in a world where I am seen as a boy who is subverting gender.


Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab by Shani Mootoo

The novel… highlights Trinidadian Indian culture which has been severely underrepresented in Caribbean literature.

Native Believer by Ali Eteraz

M was a man who ate the West, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” Religion was something as foreign to him as Bollywood, but not for long.

South Haven by Hirsh Sawhney

The book is ambitious in trying to cover not just the immediate issues of the Indian immigrant family, but broader issues like bullying, the lure of sex, drugs, and the problems with education.

Tell: Poems for a Girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye

Soraya Peerbaye is a Canadian poet currently living in Toronto. Tell: Poems for Girlhood, her second collection of poems, received the Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Poetry, awarded to Canadian poets.


01_AmmiBeena Azeem

I explore the push and pull of race and sexuality, ritual and religion, the human condition, submission and domination, and positioning of females culturally and traditionally….

01_BecausePallavi Singh

I am exploring the grooming culture amongst Indian men, that is showing a change from the traditional alpha male. I have approached this phenomenon from the lens of commercialization and corporates. Armed with creative marketing, they have made way for a male centric society to open up to personal beautification, traditionally considered to be a feminine affair.