“A Unique Sattriya Workshop at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi”

“A Unique Sattriya Workshop at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi”

In all likelihood, the year was 1948. A noontide natter was warming up in the front yard of some nondescript hamlet hut in Majuli, one of world’s biggest river islands. Niru, dainty and probably nineteen, is discussing with her circle of intimates how Jyoti Prasad (Agarwala) and Bishnu Rabha have already introduced women in Assamese…

Of Malnourished Buffalos, Caged Birds and the Calligraphy of Concertina Wires: Sophia Naz’s Pointillism

Of Malnourished Buffalos, Caged Birds and the Calligraphy of Concertina Wires: Sophia Naz’s Pointillism

    Sophia Naz is the author of three books, Pointillism, Peripheries and Date Palms. Nocturnes for Laila, a collaborative project, will soon be coming out. Naz is a 2016 Pushcart nominee and has been published in Poetry International, Adirondack Review, and several print anthologies. She is a South Asian-American living in Glen Ellen, USA. Pointillism…

रक्त

रक्त

    रक्त रक्त रक्त! हर वक्त वक्त वक्त!   खेतों में रक्त, सड़कों में रक्त वोटों में रक्त, कोर्टों में रक्त वर्णों का रक्त, वर्गों का रक्त इस देश का आधार है यह रक्त रक्त रक्त!   दुर्गा का रक्त, दरगाह का रक्त काली का रक्त, या अली का रक्त कलबुर्गी का रक्त, पनसारे…

Am I free? A Musician Questions

Am I free? A Musician Questions

  In its fifth year, the Prof. Ram Bapat Memorial Lecture Series saw the iconic and the iconoclastic Carnatic musician, T M Krishna deliver a lecture on the topic, "Am I Free? A Musician Questions". The lecture delivered in July 2017, was chaired by the eminent cultural critic, Sadanand Menon. The Lecture Series inaugurated by Sadanand…

The Image and the Individual: Hunger and Pain in the Making of the “Conscientious” Bengali Artist

The Image and the Individual: Hunger and Pain in the Making of the “Conscientious” Bengali Artist

Bergman, in his evocative essay titled “Film making”, gives a cinematic account of his childhood in his grandmother’s apartment in Uppsala, where he would sit under the large dining-room table, “listening” to the sunshine that filtered in through the gigantic windows. On the wall hung a large picture of Venice, and “as the sunlight moved…

Fragments of Desire in Delhi

Fragments of Desire in Delhi

1. Delhi sets like embers Falling into the cracks Of dismembered flesh Of everyday exhaustion And dying desires 2 Why do you come to me like the Delhi rain Breezy and scattered When I pant for a memory whole Of bruised bodies Coloured and caked Like the softness Of a noisy hometown Scurrying past the…

Dental Hygiene is Very Important

Dental Hygiene is Very Important

      Baba once told me about a man  who he was friends with in the 80s. He lost all his teeth, Baba said, in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.  They just fell,  the minute gas entered his room  through a half open window. Just like that, all his teeth, anywhere between 28 and 32,…

For Eunice and Vijay

For Eunice and Vijay

    I. All this whining after the passing is like cigarette smoke. Coiling up. Eunice would puff away at it, askance; her questions tightly grabbing at shirt corners, a little determined to be sly. The neighbors are frying jalebi to eat with curdled cream. Bloody brown sahibs. Don't you know, we're good at pretense…

Two Poems

Two Poems

A Journey, Backward Writing on the bark of a tree, sometimes, seems to be tricky Than writing a propos to a tree. We stretched one of our legs each And, with other two creased, Tried to form a cave; A cave where light embezzles its siesta After a tedious journey from Love-me to love-me-not. It…

Assumption: A Non-Veg Verse

Assumption: A Non-Veg Verse

Image Credit: Shoili Kanungo   Punch – I I am the Promethean rebel-lion! Truly, my stomach pains and derails When I eat vegetables Even for a little green-week. My hunger is more red and blue. More holiness craving passion. More core to me than your imposing Dark-kindness and darker-laws. Oh, Cow-vigilantes, You are a communal-volcano…

Uncertainty in the Gunj

Uncertainty in the Gunj

    In July, the rain gods of Kolkata ease up. Their office hours display significant remarkable flexibility. The mortal, however, holds on dearly to Rousseau’s chains. Here certainty comes at a premium. For much like the future, in the subcontinent even history is uncertain. With this double whammy, the IT soldiers of Gen Y…

Macho Nation: A Poem

Macho Nation: A Poem

Jose Clemente Orozco, "On the Road (or 'Rear Guard'): women carrying children and guns", 1929/ Image Courtesy: metmuseum.org   We are a nation of men   Ass warming the seats who need their women to fetch them a glass of water, to cook them what they wish to eat, wash their underwear, and all that it…

Not in Those Names!

Not in Those Names!

  William Baziotes, 'The Flesh Eaters' 1952, Oil and charcoal on canvas / Image Courtesy: The Met Museum. The murder of 16-year-old Junaid was out of sheer spite against a boy whom the criminals realised was not of their religious moorings. Isn’t North India used to Eid celebrations and the muezzin's call at a mosque?…

In the Name of Junaid?

In the Name of Junaid?

    “Why are you mourning Junaid’s death?” the boy next door was asking me.  Was he asking for an explanation of my act of mourning or a narration of Junaid’s death? I was perplexed.  Assuming it was the latter I directed his eyes to a headline in the newspaper. “Oh that recent train killing?”…

The Visuality of Lynching

The Visuality of Lynching

    Rarely do we see the optics of the periphery take over the centre or the mainstream. However, in the last two years, this is exactly what has been happening and it is mortifying. I am talking about the cases of lynching that are happening across the country on an everyday basis. What bothers…

Not On My Train

Not On My Train

  From the digital collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art   Let's go ride a train let's go ride a train today there'll be people we can kill  none on board will have a say let's go ride a train and watch the wheels go round and round those menschen we sent to Auschwitz…

Newsworthy

Newsworthy

Image Courtesy: Tumblr A good bit of thought goes into framing the front page of a daily. One is confident that this, of all the scenarios imaginable in a media house, must be the case. Faith is of the essence. And with such faith can Her Bovinity be far behind? With the front page of…

Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word

    message me if more are killed or blasted by a mine or attacked by a cowherd I'm 24/ 7 on the mobile or some App simply message me I’ll review all recent deaths and order an inquisition as to: were they due to cow slaughter or a terrorist attack or farmers' suicides or…

The Nation Hangs its Head at Salik and Pahlu’s Murders – Rihai Manch Lucknow

The Nation Hangs its Head at Salik and Pahlu’s Murders – Rihai Manch Lucknow

सालिक और पहलू की हत्या पर शर्मिंदा है मुल्क – रिहाई मंच मोदी-योगी बताएं देश मनुस्मृति से चलेगा या फिर बाबा साहेब के संविधान से भाजपा शासित राज्यों में हिंदुत्ववादी संगठन चला रहे हैं समानांतर सरकार गौ हत्या के नाम पर देश की संसद को गुमराह कर रही है मोदी सरकार लखनऊ 7 अप्रैल. रिहाई…

The Kite Flying

The Kite Flying

Kashmir the mountains  stagger under your  breath, heaviness  pounds, and the heart  barren, enemies infiltrate  scattering ashes. The number of deaths  lose count among  schools burnt — what will they learn? Mannequins in  closed rooms discuss  the future, a wild catcall in the dark. Come, be the beautiful valley  you are, interspersed with ravines and mountains scaling almighty …

A Season Named Fall

A Season Named Fall

  Saba Hasan, Untitled, 2014           a season named Fall                                   fall blown umber Summer burnt out fall the sky’s razorblades tin in winter bolt of leaves rot bitter dying sharpen                                         true December steel—   fall entrails of summer’s Beast scattered wound of summer’s Dog                                          …

A Brain for Chetan Bhagat

A Brain for Chetan Bhagat

Soon after the ABVP's recent attack on students and teachers at the Delhi University's Ramjas College, Chetan Bhagat waded thickly into the mix as is his wont. One of our readers, a former member of the ICF collective responds: And here is the most distasteful article, written by someone who never made it to DU,…

A Strange Kind of Atavism

A Strange Kind of Atavism

This is the first time in the history of a chequered world, fraught with wars, cold wars and open animosity that a country has debarred people from seven countries to enter their nation, based exclusively on religion. This is rabid racism, and can only open more wounds. While the Mexican expression is' refugees' a term not uncommon in India, the…

A Fan’s Open Letter to Sehwag

A Fan’s Open Letter to Sehwag

When I think of my growing up years, one memory that flashes in my mind is that of watching you rule the cricket ground. My generation did not get to see Bradman. Neither did we see Sobers or Gavaskar. We missed out on witnessing India become the world champion in ‘83. But we’ve seen Sachin….

How Many Wars

How Many Wars

How many wars were fought  Between India and Pakistan?  Except the red bloody tears Nothing else was floated in the war  Did Nehru taste the death?  Or did his relatives die? How many days did soldiers  Fight in the flagship of Kargil war?  Except the coffin boxes  Nothing else was found in the war The…

Demonetisation – A Poem

Demonetisation – A Poem

Cycle rickshaw-walas support demonetisation. Their earnings have halved. Some days they don't have any work. They think it will be over, soon. In a month or two, hopefully, they say. They are doing it for the country, right? Maybe they are. Mandi waalas support demonetisation. Their supplies are short. And what they have, is rotting….

Demonetisation Is Another Dangerous Move

Demonetisation Is Another Dangerous Move

  'This is what subdivisional magistrates are ordering across rural India. It's the police that is maintaining order as the situation is riot-like at times.'   Last month we shared this interview with advocate and researcher Usha Ramanathan, published in Catch News, on our Facebook feed. In the interview Ramanathan comes out strongly against demonetisation…

Remembering Om Puri

Remembering Om Puri

Indian Cinema has witnessed a great loss with the death of one of its finest actors. Om Puri was known for his versatility, and the acute dedication with which he invested himself in preparation for every role. His innate talent was demonstrated in his early days, at the National School of Drama (NSD). Veteran actor…

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord comes to my house. Delivers the message from the bank, “My account is short of minimum balance.” Late in the afternoon, I get a call from the Seven Angels: I have sinned for not submitting my income tax on time. Ashamed of peer pressure, I drink, dance, and sing Merry Christmas from my rooftop….

Manipur Burns, Again

Manipur Burns, Again

    Manipur burns, again. If I take a walk  up the Kangla fort, what will I see? Will I still see women  selling vegetables in softly dressed attire? Will the market still make its humming bird sound? Or will I hear only  of buses burnt, the whiff of curfew, of human bondage? The skies once again…

New MacDonald’s Has A Factory

New MacDonald’s Has A Factory

  New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh And on his farm, he has some beef Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh With no space to move here, and no space to move there Here a cut tail, there a hurt calf Everywhere a blood bath New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh. New MacDonald’s has a factory Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi-oh And in his…

An Insistent Music

An Insistent Music

The music was always in our ears goose-stepping softly to a distant military tune but the madman who perches by the signal he could never hear it then another beat rose to reverberate in our guts drums and synthesizers in riotous processions from dusk to dawn, emptying the streets into the sea. the air thick…

Two Poems

Two Poems

                Stories We'll Tell our Grandchildren   We know now for certain that the world is coming to an end and that we are the bricks falling apart. Eighty years on when we sit with our grandchildren under a smoke-stung sky for a heavy medicated drink to keep…

The Shadow Warriors

The Shadow Warriors

  On television studios they scream and shout. The crisscrossing visage grows long and short defacing the ugly patterns beneath a 1959 TIME cover that hangs on my 2016 minimalist wall A young Dalai Lama looks on in wonder, is he thinking of the mule he rode to India? The men, yes it's always the…

Our Dead Uncle

Our Dead Uncle

  On this Diwali my Didi sat to write a letter to our uncle who got killed in the  second war between  India and Pakistan. I was looking at Didi. And as I was looking at her the white cat,  the one which came to our home  only yesterday, now  all his body in fierce black,  came…

Missing Student

Missing Student

Missing Student A student missing  in the university  doesn't matter; the classes will continue,  and the student  missing  will rue many  a time that  the classes  were not missing, the university  grounded in dust   in New Delhi. There is campus  rumpus, a student is missing,  students protest –  where is he?  And the Vice Chancellor …

Couplets by Basoo

Couplets by Basoo

  ಗಾಯಗೊಳ್ಳದೆ ಇರುವ ಜಾಗ ಇನ್ನೂ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಉಳಿದಿತ್ತು  ಇರಿದು ಹೋದವರ  ಜಾಗವನ್ನೇ ಹೊಸ ಚೂರಿ ಬಯಸಿತು  दिल में बची थी जगह थोड़ी और नए ज़ख्मो के लिए  फिर भी हर एक खंजर पुराने ज़ख्मो पे उतरता रहा ॥   ನನ್ನ ಬದುಕಿಸುವುದು ರೊಟ್ಟಿಯೇ ಎನಿಸಿತ್ತು  ನಿನ್ನ ಸಂಧಿಸುವ ತನಕ  दो वक़्त कि रोटी मिल जाए तो ज़िंदा रह सकूंगा  अपनी मुलाक़ात से पहले…

In Solidarity With Irom Sharmila

In Solidarity With Irom Sharmila

Irom Sharmila recently spoke at her first public event outside Manipur since the end of her remarkable sixteen-year long fast. The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) organised a seminar on “AFSPA and the People’s Movement” at the Delhi School of Social Work on 30th September. The event took place to commemorate the iconic social…

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

To Abir Bazaz, Javaid Iqbal Bhat, Hamzah, and all my Kashmiri brothers How do I see, think, dream, or speak about Kashmir? One more ghazal shall I tweak about Kashmir? Another bloody summer looms over the Dal, Wani’s died and been deified this week, about Kashmir. Vani is also "voice" in Hindi and Sanskrit, There’s…

Two Delhi Poems

Two Delhi Poems

Delhi I There are "To let" signs but they don't let you in. This city of dreams is made of atoms of nightmares and shattered stars of the young. Admitting to none of this, cities hacked and stood watching. I had come here once gazing into a beloved’s eyes. Yes, the usual story: as outcasts,…

Poem by Saumya Baijal

Poem by Saumya Baijal

Henri Matisse, 'The Reader, Marguerite Matisse', 1906 / Hugbear   अख़बार   रोज़ सुबह अख़बार  आपसे मिलने से पहले खुद से मिलता है । रोज़ सुबह ख़ुद में कई बदलाव पाता  है ।   ख़बरें नहीं, शायद अब आंकड़े बताता है, आज ८०, कल ९० । इंसान के साथ न रह पाने की कमज़ोरियाँ, अलग…

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Tonight No Poetry Will Serve

Ilina Acharya Rabin Mondal, Untitled / via The Hindu Theodor Adorno’s statement that poetry is “barbaric” and impossible to write after Auschwitz, expresses a devastating sentiment. It signifies an end to the world as we know it. He seems to be asking, how can life move on, and how can one view the world the same way…

In Defence of the Writer

In Defence of the Writer

Pushkar Raj Image Courtesy Indian Express The recent Chennai High Court judgment concerning the writer Perumal Murugan is a requisite addition to the Indian jurisprudence as it underlines the relationship between the writer and society, which has lately suffered from grave confusion. Permual Murugan was hauled up in the court of law for describing a…

Poems by Sanjeev Sethi

Poems by Sanjeev Sethi

© Syed Haider Raza / via pinterest.com​ Helter-Skelter (1) Hyphens of hate criss-cross with apostrophes of  animosity to create a pastiche of uncertainities  and sureties: the gone had rib cages like you and me. They lacked our luck — or ill luck. When scops are sidelined and couturiers grace  the glossies, when tonsure artists are billed …

What Time Will Tell

What Time Will Tell

Ananya S. Guha  ©  Mir Suhail Qadri / via hystericalfeminisms.com I have never felt so lacerated inside — torn, guilty, angry, and hurt all within. But I know life will, or must continue; writers will write poems or stories and rave and rant at governments and people. What does Kashmir mean to me? Just a…

Poems on Kashmir

Poems on Kashmir

Ajmal Khan A T © Rollie Mukherjee, 'Porous Walls' / via maryscullyreports.com My Name is Kashmir My name is Kashmir  My name is not India  My name is not Pakistan too My name is Kashmir  and my name is Maqbool Butt My name is Afzal Guru  My name is Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani My name is Burhan…

Poem: The Extremes

Poem: The Extremes

​Susmit Panda​ Igor Mudrov, 'Walking in the Rain' / ego-alterego.com Again and again The thousand lips of the rain​.​ I had not yet learnt the alphabet; The voice against the parapet Was the raindrops'; A's drenched the trees, B's wet the bees; I shuddered under the frightening Ampersands of lightning; Sudden commas of breeze Paused…

Transcendence, 7 blocks and an unfinished circle

Transcendence, 7 blocks and an unfinished circle

Sarover Zaidi Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled / via alchetron.com Walking seven blocks in the rain for Nasreen Mohamedi and soaking in New York, I understood why grids are important to deal with the precariousness of life. For Mohamedi, this precarity, albeit not hinged on wealth or family, came from the form of her work. Working in categorical…

Songs of the Open Road

Songs of the Open Road

Neha Kirpal Tranquebar, 2016 Neha Kirpal writes on Salil Tripathi’s new book and speaks to the author. “Not all heroes are perfect. When you stray too far from myths and histories, the questions that emerge are often uncomfortable. You have to tread carefully; there are landmines. And that’s why it is safer to follow the…

انسانیٓت کا کس نے قتل کر ڈالا ہے؟

انسانیٓت کا کس نے قتل کر ڈالا ہے؟

Photo courtesy the author, Heidelberg, Germany, 2015 یہ کتنا عجیب ہے یوں کہنا کہ ہم طرقّی یافتہ وقت سے تعلق رکہتے ہیں. لیکن اگر غور کریں تو حیرت ہوتی ہے. ایسا گمان ہوتا ہے کہ ہم نےٓ دور میں صرف سانس تو لے رہے ہیں پر ہماری سوچ اور غوروفکر کرنے کی صلاحِیَت قدیم سے…

From a Young Girl Who Believes in Humanity

From a Young Girl Who Believes in Humanity

Dina Abedrabo Abu Shtayyah, ‘Tomorrow Palestine Will be Free’ / Pinterest  Friends, I write to you as a 15 year old young Palestinian girl who is using her voice to speak for those who can’t– those living in sadistic, inhumane conditions, those who simply need attention, compassion and sympathy from you. I am writing this…

Death of My Newspaper Hawker

Death of My Newspaper Hawker

Monoranjan Thakur Amrita Sher-Gil, ‘Hungarian Village Church’ / Lifestalker My morning is faster than the seven horses of the chariot Sun, But only my newspaper hawker brings the day’s excitement and fun! Waiting for whom eagerly at the front door, As the country roads bend in the far. Do you know my fragile looking brother?…

As the Truth Unfolds

As the Truth Unfolds

Ananya S. Guha Pablo Picasso, ‘Barcelona Rooftops’ / Museu Picasso Everyone is talking about the results of the elections to four or five state assemblies. Some have gone into a rigorous analysis about the victory of the BJP and the AGP in Assam, the Congress loss and the decimation of the Left Front in West…

Poem for Manipur

Poem for Manipur

Ananya S. Guha dogged valley your ribs are a cage the sloping mountains riddle you with the heavy past their blues trace your body to the ancientness of myths and even as a new script is grafted onto your people you fast for justice and death those chains, those fetters binding you deep to the…

Where Fear Stalks the Land

Where Fear Stalks the Land

Jahar Kanungo ‘An All-Woman Boat’ / Photographs courtesy Shyam Banerji That night, across the river, shadowy figures huddled together. The small flickering flame of a tin kerosene lamp passed from hand to hand. Despite the dim light, some of the figures were, clearly, women. The sky was cloudy. The river was in high tide. The…

What A Shame!

What A Shame!

Prof. Shreya Bhattacharji; (Sourced from CUJ page, Facebook) Ananya Guha Well now you can’t speak, you can’t even invite speakers to your university. You’ll be rewarded, or awarded, with a suspension letter. Suspending a teacher has procedures, doesn’t it? There is I think something called charge sheeting, though I’m very slow with the rules. But…

The Art of Living with a River

The Art of Living with a River

Salil Chaturvedi Image via India Water Portal Eight I was, when I met her first, And she? I imagined an eight thousand years! A summer dawn and my very first river Calm and deep—an eternal giver Around a fort and by a hill Flowed she, gently, almost still. The adults haggle and strike a price…

I Speak in Colour

I Speak in Colour

Shrenik Mutha Image: Jacob Lawrence, ‘Brownstones’ / Whitney Museum I study at a law college. Last term, I faced harassment and ragging by a classmate. The ragging was based on questions and issues around my body and sexuality. The issue was taken up after a formal complaint was filed.  However, due to ‘procedural’ and ‘technical’…

Three Poems by Chandramohan S

Three Poems by Chandramohan S

Killing  the Shambukas (Inspired by a famous poem on black lynching) Jim Crow segregated hostel rooms. Ceiling fans bear a strange fruit, Blood on books and blood on papers, A black body swinging in mute silence, Strange fruit hanging from tridents. Beef My harvest of poems will be winnowed. If done dexterously, the lighter shallow…

Poem by Ananya Guha

Poem by Ananya Guha

does it matter what the caste is does a junkie need it you or me, up goes the ladder down goes the spine, body and all. someone commits suicide and you say it’s a somersault, he’s playing little games you say. so if there was a mass suicide (no not just farmers, boys and girls…

Poem by Ananya Guha

Poem by Ananya Guha

History Four-walled history is a narrow path to names, action, fortunes. When ill treated, they take to rebellion turn the fates of others. When we twist and turn broken paths people rise in arms to besmirch hidden artefacts of truth and views that are not spoken. Write on the sands of time and history will…

Two Poems

Two Poems

Abhishek Jha Between Walls Women lost in veils Artists undone in ink And wells respond to armies of peace. Hoarding This was biting scarred. That is sneezing gooed. He was water cannon. She is globe hiccup. Fever was cold wet. Mercury is hairy steely. Eyes are on days. Farts are at night. Old cash is…

Solidarity

Solidarity

Shrenik Mutha Show me the strength of your love, show me the love of your heart. But also show me the gut of your heart, the colour of your gut. What colour is it? Is it black? Like the black of the blackboard which lets me pour my heart on it? Or is it like…

I want my country back

I want my country back

Here in the overseas Indian diaspora, the anti-Muslim attitude of the Government has also had repercussions. Until recently, a British citizen born of one Indian and one (former) Pakistani citizen was entitled to become an Overseas Citizen of India, and visit India at will. This was a mechanism for keeping families connected and together. However,…

From Gandhi’s prayer, July 1947

From Gandhi’s prayer, July 1947

A friend sent us the following excerpt from Gandhi’s prayer discourse of July 25, 1947, from the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 88, as published online by the Gandhi Heritage Portal (https://www.gandhiheritageportal.org/). Image courtesy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gandhi_smiling.jpg “Rajendra Babu tells me that he has received some 50,000 postcards, between 25,000 and 30,000 letters and many thousands of telegrams…