Categories
Index

Borderless, November, 2021

Autumn: Painting in Acrylic by Sybil Pretious

Editorial

Colours of the Sky…Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Akbar Barakzai, a Balochi poet in exile who rejected an award from Pakistan Academy of Letters for his principles. Click here to read.

In Conversation with Somdatta Mandal, a translator, scholar and writer who has much to say on the state of Santiniketan, Tagore, women’s writing on travel and more. Click here to read.

Translations

Rebel or ‘Bidrohi’

Nazrul’s signature poem,Bidrohi, translated by Professor Fakrul Alam. Click here to read.

Motorcar

Jibonananda Das‘s poetry translated from Bengali by Rakibul Hasan Khan. Click here to read.

The Beloved City

Poetry of Munir Momin, translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Rebranding

A poem in Korean, written & translated by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.

Perhaps the Last Kiss

A short story by Bhupeen giving a vignette of life in Nepal, translated from Nepali by Ishwor Kandel. Click here to read.

Morichika or Mirage by Tagore

Tagore’s poetry translated by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Rhys Hughes, Sutputra Radheye, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Sheshu Babu, Michael Lee Johnson, Prithvijeet Sinha, George Freek, Sujash Purna,  Ashok Manikoth, Jay Nicholls, Pramod Rastogi, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Vijayalakshmi Harish, Mike Smith, Neetu Ralhan, Michael R Burch

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

A story poem about The Clock Tower of Sir Ticktock Bongg. Click here to read.

Nature’s Musings

Penny Wilkes takes us for a stroll into the avian lives with photographs and poetry in Of Moonshine & Birds. Click here to read.

Stories

Waking Up

Christina Yin takes us on a strange journey in Sarawak, Malaysia. Click here to read.

Rains

A pensive journey mingling rain and childhood memories by Garima Mishra. Click here to read.

Khatme Yunus

Jackie Kabir brings us a strange story from Bangladesh. Click here to read.

First International Conference on Conflict Continuation

Steve Davidson explores an imaginary conference. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Fragments of a Strange Journey, Sunil Sharma sets out with Odysseus on a tour of the modern day world. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Yesterday Once More?

Ratnottama Sengupta recalls her experiences of the Egyptian unrest while covering the 35th Cairo International Film Festival in 2012. Click here to read.

Embroidering Hunger

An account of life of dochgirs (embroiderers) in Balochistan by Tilyan Aslam. Click here to read.

To Daddy — with Love

Gita Viswanath takes us into her father’s world of art and wonder. Click here to read.

Simon Says

Ishita Shukla, a young girl, explores patriarchal mindset. Click here to read.

Welcoming in the dark half of the year

Candice Louisa Daquin takes a relook at the evolution of Halloween historically. Click here to read.

Musings of the Copywriter

In Crematoriums for the Rich, Devraj Singh Kalsi regales his readers with a dark twist of the macabre. Click here to read.

Essays

Renewal

Jayat Joshi, a student of development studies, takes a dig at unplanned urban development. Click here to read.

Once Upon A Time in Burma: Leaving on a Jet Plane

John Herlihy’s last episode in his travels through Burma. Click here to read.

A Legacy of Prejudice, Persecution and Plight

Suvrat Arora muses on the impact of a classic that has been coloured with biases. Click here to read.

The Observant Migrant

In Is Sensitivity a Strength or a Weakness?, Candice Louisa Daquin explores our value systems. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

Arundhathi Subramaniam’s Women Who Wear Only Themselves. Click here to read.

CJ Fentiman’s award winning book, The Cat with Three Passports. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Himadri Lahiri reviews Somdatta Mandal’s ‘Kobi’ and ‘Rani’: Memoirs and Correspondences of Nirmalkumari Mahalanobis and Rabindranath Tagore. Click here to read.

Suzanne Kamata reviews Iain Maloney’s Life is Elsewhere/ Burn Your Flags. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Anita Agnihotri’s Mahanadi –The Tale of a River, translated from Bengali by Nivedita Sen. Click here to read.

Meenakshi Malhotra reviews Turmeric Nation: A Passage Through India’s Tastes, authored by Shylashri Shankar. Click here to read.

Categories
Stories

Waking Up

A flash fiction by Christina Yin

The gears shifted and the spacecraft rose, then hovered. It was well-known that the most dangerous parts of space travel were the take-offs and landings. Eva adjusted her seat belt and stared at the window opposite, ignoring the rest of the crew strapped in all around her. She could still see the green of the secondary forests and the long winding brown of the Sarawak River. The settlements were tiny but linked by the roads and the zig zag of the aerial highways, human activity stretched out for as far as she could see. This was the reason after all, for the journey.

When she woke in the morning, Eva’s eyes were crusty with tears that had seeped down her cheeks. She didn’t have to look in the mirror to know that her eyes were puffy; her head was pounding as if she were suffering from space travel sickness. Her nose was blocked, and she breathed in deeply through her mouth. She felt like she had just emerged from a swim in the sludge of the Sarawak River with a crocodile on her heels.  

The news screen by her bed was still on and she saw that the newscasters in their speech bubbles were continuing to wax eloquently over the return of the latest Space Shuttle to the landing station near Mount Santubong.

“Good morning, Sarawak! And how is everyone this fine day in the Land of the Hornbills?” called out the one-time state athlete turned newscaster.

“Wishing you fresh air and a healthy morning, this wonderful Malaysia Day!” chimed in his partner with her long black tresses and chirpy, lilting voice and endless smile.

Eva closed her eyes. She could see the crew, feel the wobble as the spacecraft hovered. But that was in the simulation. The training had gone well, until just before they were to board and take off for the future, for the New World. Every one of the crew had been given the antigen test. The tickle in her throat that morning and not being able to taste her breakfast – the warning signs had been clear, but she had tried to ignore them. But now, she could not ignore the two lines that had formed on her test kit.

“Sorry, Eva,” the team’s doctor had told her as he signed the form that grounded her to the Earth. The dimpled Ai-Lyn with her buffed up physique and genius IQ had taken her place.

Who would have known that fate was to deal her – simple, hard-working Eva – such a hand?

That wobble, that slight hesitation, the look on the faces of the crew. All these were etched in her mind. Eva had trained with the crew, been on multiple simulations preparing for the real take-off and for the real life on the Spacecraft Endeavour and for the real life that awaited on the newly discovered Planet with Two Moons.

In her dreams, she replayed the scenes, but always, always she woke before the moment when the spacecraft disappeared from the plotted flight path and when there was just silence instead of cheerful voices on the communication channels.

Like the mysterious MH370, the Spacecraft Endeavour had disappeared like a brilliant comet flaring and then blanking out in the night sky.

Eva got out of bed.

She wasn’t sure, but in her dreams, she had known that something had changed.

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Christina Yin is a lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus. Her fiction and nonfiction writing have appeared in Anak Sastra, e-Tropic, New Writing and TEXT Journal, among others.

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