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Index

Borderless, April, 2021

Greetings from Borderless Journal for all Asian New Years! Click here to read our message along with the video and a translation of a Tagore song written to greet the new year, with lyrics that not only inspire but ask the fledgling to heal mankind from deadly diseases.

Editorial

New Beginnings

A walk through our content and our plans for the future. Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Arundhathi Subramaniam: An online interview with this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner, Arundhathi Subramaniam. Click here to read.

Sumana Roy & Trees: An online interview with Sumana Roy, a writer and academic. Click here to read.

Poetry

(Click on the names to read)

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jared Carter, Matthew James Friday, Michael R Burch, Aparna Ajith, Jenny Middleton, Rhys Hughes, Jay Nicholls, Achingliu Kamei, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Smitha Vishwanath, Sekhar Banerjee, Sumana Roy

Photo-poetry by Penny Wilkes

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

With an introduction to Blood and Water by Rebecca Lowe, Rhys Hughes debuts with his column on poets and poetry. Click here to read.

Translations

The Word by Akbar Barakzai

Fazal Baloch translates the eminent Balochi poet, Akbar Barakzai. Click here to read.

Malayalam poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Shylan from Malayalam to English. Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation

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

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.

Musings/Slice of Life

Pohela Boisakh: A Cultural Fiesta

Sohana Manzoor shares the Bengali New Year celebrations in Bangladesh with colourful photographs and interesting history and traditions that mingle beyond the borders. Click here to read.

Gliding along the Silk Route

Ratnottama Sengupta, a well-known senior journalist and film critic lives through her past to make an interesting discovery at the end of recapping about the silk route. Click here to read and find out more.

The Source

Mike Smith drifts into nostalgia about mid-twentieth century while exploring a box of old postcards. What are the stories they tell? Click here to read.

Lost in the Forest

John Drew, a retired professor, cogitates over a tapestry of the Ras lila. Click here to read.

Tied to Technology

Naomi Nair reflects on life infiltrated by technology, by Siri and Alexa with a tinge of humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of a Backpacking Granny

In Inspiriting SiberiaSybil Pretious takes us with her to Lake Baikal and further. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Tributes & AttributesDevraj Singh Kalsi pays tribute to his late mother. Click here to read.

Essays

Reflecting the Madness and Chaos Within

Over 150 Authors and Artists from five continents have written on mental illness in an anthology called Through the Looking Glass. Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist and writer and editor, tells us why this is important for healing. Click here to read.

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 here to read

Photo Essay: In the Midst of Colours

Nishi Pulugurtha explores the campus of a famed university with her camera and words and shares with us her experiences. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

Oh, That lovely Title: Politics

A short piece by Bhaskar Parichha that makes for a witty comment on the forthcoming Indian elections. Click here to read.

Stories

Pothos

Rakhi Pande gives us a story about a woman and her inner journey embroiled in the vines of money plant. Click here to read.

Elusive

A sensitive short story by Sohana Manzoor that makes one wonder if neglect and lack of love can be termed as an abuse? Click here to read

Ghumi Stories: Grandfather & the Rickshaw

Nabanita Sengupta takes us on an adventure on the rickshaw with Raya’s grandfather. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

Carl Scharwath gives us a story with a strange twist. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: Flight of the Falcon

Livneet Shergill gives us a story in empathy with man and nature. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

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.

Book reviews

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Reconciling Differences by Rudolf C Heredia, a book that explores hate and violence. Click here to read.

Nivedita Sen reviews Nomad’s Land by Paro Anand, a fiction set among migrant children of a culture borne of displaced Rohingyas, Syrian refugees, Tibetans and more. Click here to read

Candice Louisa Daquin reviews The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the last by Azra Raza. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, the focus is on media and its impact. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selection, April 2021

A selection of young person’s writings from Bookosmia. Click here to read.

Categories
Stories

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

By Carl Scharwath                      

The black star-filled evening seemed ready to flow into the horizon, down a gaping hole.

There was a time I was a loving husband. I know that was years ago but sometimes my memory is not capable of verifying this.

The escape I desired was in front of me all the time, or should I say above me? The oasis of being alone at home could only be accomplished by taking to the roof.  The journey was transparent, open the window of my 3rd floor bedroom and the small, shingled cover would accept me with all my faults like the summer grass of my youth. This would be a new sanctuary: I could read, have my coffee, wave to the neighbors or simply close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.  The roof shingles would be the canvas in my memory garden. Why would I spend mindless time watching television, surfing the internet, or worse having an affair or drinking? My view was like a virtual reality movie unfolding in front of my eyes. You might by now ask how the hell I got here: an old married man, alone and searching for any hope or happiness in what could be the last days?

My marriage after 35 years was falling apart, like my body, cars, house, and life. I know it is my fault that she is no longer happy and constantly, from morning to night, complains and blames me for everything and every choice I make. I always believed in the cliché only you can make yourself happy and I pray my wife will find peace. I feel I need to take to the roof and speak directly to heaven for God to hear me and that is another reason I sit here.

The neighbors I am sure would have another opinion of me. Why is the man sitting on the roof for hours on end?  My neighbors as they were out walking would not make eye contact for fear of being brought into a higher decibel conversation. Most just waved and nervously smiled while walking into their perfect lives and marriages. I silently meditated on what their thoughts might be and if their own lives were absolutely perfect or just a façade?

Out in the distance, gray clouds were growing, and hot flashes could be seen and were complimented with a far-off roar. This brought to me a thought: to sit through the storm, right here in my safe place and if the lightening killed me, then I would have eternal relief.  The start of winds awoke me to an epiphany, a sadness that this was the first time I ever thought of wanting to die.

At that moment, I became totally immersed with thoughts of the past. I was happy, each day a miracle of life for which I was grateful. I remembered my first date with the woman I would marry. The way we held hands, with the music like a background soundtrack to our jazz-infused love. The late-night conversations ending with hugs and whispers of I love you. I saw us both young and in our first year of marriage, I heard my wife tell me she was pregnant and remembered the joy we shared for the future as a family. The realization of the horrible husband I had become awakened me as the rain softly filled my face with cloud tears.

Down the street, a familiar car was finishing its journey home, holding my wife in its closed interior with her unknown emotions. The rain was increasing its intensity along with my apprehension.

The sound of her car excited me, closer and closer she would come to our new happiness. I hoped to welcome my wife home to the change she would see. I worried I was not too late, and our marriage could be saved. She looked up at me with wide eyes of amazement seeing me still on the roof with the impending storm whirling around in its uncertainty. I timidly ambled to the edge of the roof as she was walking swiftly to the front door now ignoring me, the way I did our marriage the last few years. Looking down at her my new love filling my eyes as my feet slipped over the edge and carried me home to her.

I felt free in my fear, my destiny awaited as she screamed below me. The scream grew louder and louder and I as drifted closer and closer, I closed my eyes before the impact knowing we would become one again.

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Carl Scharwath has appeared globally with 170+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art. He has published three poetry books.

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