Categories
Index

Pandemic Pandemonium

As we glide in and out of different phases of the pandemic, recalling when it started to make news takes one to a different world, a world where human interactions, travel, life — all of it seemed more predictable. I remember, I heard of it while in Yogyakarta in December 2019. At that time, we just knew of some new outbreak that had taken toll of a few human lives.

In three months, it became larger and larger and lockdowns became a reality. At some point, the outbreak was named a pandemic. Now, it seems to loom over us like a Sisyphean burden which rolls back to a fresh threat from a new variant just as we start to feel we have finally overcome the virus and made it to the peak, where we can resume our old ways. Is this a hint that we need to redefine our lives and change the tenor of our existence?

With eternal optimism for a weapon, mankind has overcome more deadly situations, when there were neither labs nor technologies to overcome diseases. Writers on our pages have reacted to the multiple outbreaks in varied ways. Here we present a selection of poems, stories and non-fiction from Mid-2021 that feature the onset of the new waves of the virus, which eventually will hopefully evolve to become an endemic. What is heartening to see is some writing has started to move towards a direction to define new ways to overcome the fear and darkness that seem to have been generated by the inability to bounce back to our ‘normal’ ways of living within a given timeframe. Perhaps, one should tend to agree with Keith Lyons, when he says in his essay: “I’ve learned to better cope with the challenges of life. As Jedi Master Yoda once said: ‘Named must be your fear before banish it you can’.”

Poetry

One Last Time by Heena Chauhan. Click here to read.

A Lament, A Prayer by Bibek Adhikari. Click here to read.

O Mother, O Father! by Ruchi Acharya. Click here to read.

Hope in Pandemic by Geetha Ravichandran. Click here to read.

Non-Fiction

Here, There, Nowhere, Everywhere

‘Did life change or did I change’ ponders New Zealander Keith Lyons. Click here to read.

Corona & the Police

Subhankar Dutta reflects on the role the police has taken in a pandemic torn world. Click here to read.

Fiction

If at all

Shobha Nandavar, a physician in Bangalore, depicts the trauma of Covid 19 in India with compassion. Click here to read.

The Arangetram or The Debut

Sheefa V. Mathews weaves lockdown and parenting into a story of a debuting dancer. Click here to read.

Categories
Independence Day Index

Fourth of July Special, 2021

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you...

(Excerpted from Song of Myself, Walt Whitman, 1881)

Fourth of July, was the date that Walt Whitman’s anthology, Leaves of Grass , was published for the first time. The year was 1855. This was a book with poetry that embraced all humanity. The writing did not look for philosophical labels but reached out to all mankind touching the hearts of millions beyond the poet’s own lifetime, rising above races, rituals, politics, economics and hatred.

On that same date, in the century preceding the publication of this book — on 4th July, 1776 — thirteen colonies that had been established by immigrants in the continent of North America signed Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, freeing themselves from the British yoke after they populated the landmass that had been occupied by American Indians for many thousands of years. The date continues to be celebrated as the American Independence Day with much fanfare. Borderless Journal presents to you writing that celebrates the occasion. Perhaps when at leisure, some of us will pause to wonder if independence and democracy bring freedom to all concerned.

Poetry

Colours of Life

We move on to the exquisite poetry of Jared Carter on the colours of life we can experience in America. Click here to read.

American Dreams

Michael R Burch with his powerful poetry not just reaffirms the history of the country but also brings in the legendary Mohammed Ali to seek the voice of sanity and humanism. Click here to read.

Prose

Summer Studio

Jared Carter writes of a childhood in the mid-twentieth century America. Click here to read.

The Story of a Bald Eagle & a Turkey

A photo-essay by Penny and Michael B Wilkes explores the history of how the bald eagle soared to be the emblematic bird of America, instead of the turkey. Click here to read

An Immigrant’s Story

Candice Louisa Daquin’s ruminations tells us what it means to be an American immigrant in today’s world and in the land that prospered under immigrants. Click here to read.

Categories
Index

Carnival of Animals

Carnival of animals other than being reminiscent of a circus, brings to the mind a humorous piece of music composed in 1886 by  Camille Saint-Saëns. In the short composition of less than half-an-hour, the range of animals start with lions and capers on to kangaroos, elephants, donkeys, fishes, swans and even fossils! Peeking into our treasure trove, we found gems frolicking with animal-based humour from creatures addressed in the composition of Saint Saëns to frogs, pandas and even cockroaches. So, we decided to do a special dedicated to Carnival of Animals on the Animal’s Rights Awareness Week, June 20-25. May we live in harmony with all animals and see ourselves as part of the same kingdom!

Let us begin with poetry in the lighter vein.

Poetry

Carnival of Animals by Rhys Hughes. Click here to read.

Katsridaphobia by Aditya Shankar. Click here to read.

Kissing Frogs by Rhys Hughes. Click here to read.

Avian Stories , photo-poems by Penny Wilkes. Click here to read.

We conclude our poetry ensemble by dedicating a few lines to the most learned and privileged of animals — the human — and his other friends.

PhD thesis
By Mitali Chakravarty

The elephant with its pink nose, 
Flung up his trunk and with outstretched toes,
Danced a little  stutitu
In a violet pink tutu.

The lion stood on its tail
And did a jig on the rail.

The giraffe twirled its forked tongue
And sang a song with a guitar strummed
By an Orangutan in purple pyjamas
With a gold tooth from Bahamas.

The music pranced. 
The animals danced.

The future PhD stood entranced
And did a thesis on the hippo's glance.
The lissome 'potamus batted its lid
And solved problems by Euclid.
The future PhD stood entranced
And did a thesis on the hippo's glance.

Prose

Our next movement is prose. We have much starting with humorous retellings of cats — I wonder why these felines were left out of the musical composition of Saint Saëns! Our stories make up for it with multiple humorous telling of cats.

A Day at Katabon Pet Shop , a short story set amidst the crowded streets of Dhaka, by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

Peregrine, a flash fiction about a cat who is named after a bird by Brindley Hallam Dennis. Click here to read.

Of Cats, Classes, Work and Rest, a musing by Nishi Pulugurtha. Click here to read.

Bugs of Life, a slice of life by Sohana Manzoor, highlighting her ‘affection’ or the lack of it for bugs. Click here to read.

As we come to the end of our ensemble, listen to the grand finale of the Carnival of Animals and tell us if you could trace resonances of the frolicsome spirit of the composition of Saint Saëns in this selection.

Courtesy: Shourjo

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Index

Nature & Us

Environment and man — are they separate or is man a part of nature? Different writers have interpreted nature and its forces in different ways over a period of time, in glory, in storm and at battle. Explore some of our selections on nature on World Environment Day… Enjoy our oeuvre.

Translations

One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click hereto read.

Bolai

Rabindranath Tagore’s Bolai translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

Songs of Seasons: Translated by Fakrul Alam

Bangla Academy literary award winning translator, Dr Fakrul Alam, translates seven seasonal songs of Tagore. Click here to read.

Poetry

Bodhi Tree by Sumana Roy

Click here to read

Seasonal Whispers by Jared Carter

Click here to read

This Island of Mine by Rhys Hughes

Click here to read

Observances by Michael Burch

Click here to read

Playlet

A playlet by Sunil Sharma set in Badaun, The Dryad and I: A Confession and a Forecast, is a short fiction about trees and humans. Click here to read.

Essays/Musings

Unbowed, She Stayed

Bhaskar Parichha gives us a glimpse of the life of Wangari Muta Maathai founder of the Green Belt Movement, which has  — through networks of rural women — has planted over 30 million trees. Click here to read.

Photo Essay: Birds & Us

Penny and Michael B Wilkes take us on a photographic journey with a narrative in San Diego. Click here to read.

Cyclone & Amphan Lockdown

As cyclone Amphan fireballed and ripped through Kolkata, Nishi Pulugurtha gives a first hand account of how she survived the fear and the terror of the situation. Click here to read.

Stories

This Land of Ours

Shevlin Sebastian captures man’s relentless struggle against unsympathetic forces of nature. Click here to read

Maya & the Dolphins

Mohin Uddin Mizan writes about Dolphin Sighting in Cox Bazaar, Dhaka. Click here to read.

A Fight

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner shows the struggle between man and nature. Click here to read.

Categories
Index

Celebrating Nazrul’s Anniversary

Born in united Bengal, long before the Partition, Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was known as the  Bidrohi Kobi, or “rebel poet”. Nazrul is now regarded as the national poet of Bangladesh though he continues a revered name in the Indian subcontinent. His birth anniversary is observed on 25th May in Bangladesh and on 25th or 26th May in Tripura, India. In addition to his prose and poetry, Nazrul wrote about 4000 songs. He was charged with sedition by the British for his fiery writing and jailed repeatedly.

We celebrate his anniversary with powerful translations of his prose and poetry. May his works help us move towards a better and more enlightened, borderless world as envisioned by him.

Temples and Mosques

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s fiery essay translated by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

Purify My Life

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem, Purify my Life, translated by Shahriyer Hossain Shetu. Click here to read.

Categories
Index

A Tribute to Edward Lear: Humour, Limericks & More…

The Owl & the Pussycat. Courtesy: Creative Commons

Edward Lear, born 209 years ago on 12th May, not only popularised limericks, but wrote fabulous humorous verses to laugh away our fears. Rhys Hughes, on our editorial board, has written an essay to contextualise the poem to our modern day needs and even offered a hilarious conclusion to the poem. Click here to read his tribute to the great humorist, Edward Lear (1812-1888) in Poetry, Poets and Rhys Hughes.

As a tribute to the wonderful world created by Edward Lear, we are also publishing two limericks here, contextualising the humour to our needs and times.

1
Amidst the new wave of coronal graves, 
A secret  was withheld, even waived. 
People who vote 
Will turn into goats
And thus, be from the pandemic saved.

2
It came to pass in the distant land of Tierds, 
Wisdom was measured by the length of beards. 
They let it grow in undeterred ways
Till it became quite the craze
To participate tripping in a hirsute race unsteered.

Humour is the best weapon to battle fear. Click here to read some more limericks we brought out to battle our pandemic fears in Limericks: Of Donkeys & Corona.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Index

Tagore Anniversary, 2021

Celebrating the 160th birth anniversary of the polymath, Kobiguru Rabindranath, we offer our readers a selection of translations of his songs and stories and some essays on and around him. For more exhaustive translations and coverage on Tagore, do visit our new section — Tagore & Us.

We launched this section with the translation of seven of his songs by the gifted Sahitya Akademi winning translator and author, Aruna Chakravarti.

Songs of Tagore: Translations by Aruna Chakravarti

This selection of seven songs has been excerpted from Songs of Tagore translated by Aruna Chakravarti and brought out by Niyogi books. Click here to read.

Tagore Translations: One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation

To commemorate Tagore’s 160th birth anniversary, we translated five of his songs from Bengali to English. Click here to read, listen and savour.

At Home in the World: Tagore, Gandhi and the Quest for Alternative Masculinities

Meenakshi Malhotra explores the role of masculinity in Nationalism prescribed by Tagore, his niece Sarala Debi, Gandhi and Colonials. Click here to read.

A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

Sohana Manzoor explores the social relevance of a dance drama by Tagore, Natir puja. We carry this to commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary. Click hereto read

Categories
Index

Remembering Gandhi …

A man lives as long as does his ideology

Poetry

Click on the names of the poets to read

Dr Piku Chowdhury, Milan MondalNavneet K MaunDr Laksmisree BanerjeeSoumik DeAminath Neena

Musings

Bapu Walked Here

A thoughtful walk down the memory lane with the shades of Bapu influencing the author, Lina Krishnan. Click here to read.

Travels with Gandhi

Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha meanders through the passages of Aga Khan Palace in Pune, where Gandhi had been imprisoned, and wonders… Click here to read.

Story

When Bapu met MLK Jr…

Santosh Bakaya takes us on a journey among clouds and chirruping birds. Click here to read.

Essays

Gandhi — an enduring vision — and those spectacles

 Keith Lyons applauds the Mahatma from New Zealand. Click here to read.

‘If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable’

Rakhi Dalal says it all through this quotation of Martin Luther King Jr. Click here to read.

Interview

Santosh Bakaya, an academic and writer who has written a book on Gandhi in verse, speaks of Gandhi and Gandhian beliefs. Click here to read.

Review

Gandhi & Aesthetics : Edited by Tridip Suhrud, the nine essays are a fitting tribute to the inventive beauty of Gandhiji and its wide-ranging applicability in present-day society… says reviewer Bhaskar Parichha. Click here to read.