Categories
Index

Borderless, June 2021

Editorial

Restless Stirrings… Click here to read.

Interviews

In conversation with Fakrul Alam, an eminent translator, critic and academic from Bangladesh who has lived through the inception of Bangladesh from East Bengal, translated not just the three greats of Bengal (Tagore, Nazrul, Jibanananda) but also multiple political leaders. Click here to read.

In conversation with Arindam Roy, the Founder and Editor-in-cheif of Different Truths, an online portal for social journalism with forty years of experience in media and major Indian newspapers. Click here to read

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Jared Carter, Geetha Ravichandran, Heena Chauhan, Michael R. Burch, Ruchi Acharya, Jim Bellamy, Bibek Adhikari, Rhys Hughes, Ihlwha Choi, Sutputra Radheye, Jay Nicholls, Geethu V Nandakumar, John Grey, Ana Marija Meshkova

Limericks by Michael R. Burch

Nature’s Musings

Changing Seasons, a photo-poem by Penny Wilkes.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Never Knowingly Understood : The Sublime Daftness of Ivor Cutler, Rhys Hughes takes us to the world of a poet who wrote much about our times with a sense of humour. Click here to read.

Translations

Akbar Barakzai’s poem, The Law of Nature, translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem, Shammobadi (The Equaliser) translated by Shahriyer Hossain Shetu. Click here to read.

Tagore’s Amar Shonar Horin Chai (I want the Golden Deer) translated by Mitali Chakravarty, edited and interpreted in pastel by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

To mark the birth centenary of Satyajit Ray, Ratnottama Sengupta translates from Nabendu Ghosh’s autobiography experience of Pather Panchali ( Song of the Road) — between covers and on screen. Click here to read.

Musings

An Immigrant’s Story

Candice Louisa Daquin tells us what it means to be an American immigrant in today’s world. Click here to read.

Navigating Borders

Wendy Jones Nakanishi, an academic who started her life in a small town called Rolling Prairie in midwestern US, talks of her journey as a globe trotter — through Europe and Asia — and her response to Covid while living in UK. Click here to read.

I am a Jalebi

Arjan Batth tells us why he identifies with an Indian sweetmeat. Click here to read why.

The Significance of the Roll Number

Shahriyer Hossain Shetu writes of ironing out identity at the altar of modern mass education. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Creative on Campus, Devraj Singh Kalsi with a soupcon of humour, explores young romances and their impact. Click here to read.

Adventures of a Backpacking Granny

Sybil Pretious visits volcanoes and lakes in Frenetic Philippines. Click here to read.

Essays

Here, There, Nowhere, Everywhere

‘Did life change or did I change from the events of the last year,’ ponders New Zealander Keith Lyons who was in the southern state of Kerala when the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in India last January. Click here to read.

The Story of a Bald Eagle & a Turkey

A photo essay by Penny and Michael B Wilkes on the American bald eagle to commemorate their Independence Day. Click here to read.

The Day Michael Jackson Died

A tribute  by Julian Matthews to the great talented star who died amidst ignominy and controversy. Click here to read.

Remembering Shiv Kumar Batalvi

Amrita Sharma has written a memorablia on the Punjabi poet, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, who wrote in the 1960s. Click here to read.

Tagore and Guru Nanak’s Vision

Parneet Jaggi talks of the influence Guru Nanak on Tagore, his ideology and poetry. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

In Amrita Sher-Gil: An Avant-Garde Blender of the East & West, Bhaskar Parichha shows how Amrita Sher-Gil’s art absorbed the best of the East and the West. Click here to read.

Stories

Flash Fiction: Peregrine

Brindley Hallam Dennis tells us the story of a cat and a human. Click here to read.

The Crystal Ball

Saeed Ibrahim gives us a lighthearted story of a young man in quest of a good future. 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.

Ghumi Stories: The Other Side of the Curtain

Nabanita Sengupta explores childhood and its experiences. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

Sunil Sharma explores facets of terrorism and its deadly impact on mankind in Truth Cannot Die. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Neelima Dalmia Adhar’s The Secret Diary Of Kasturba reviewed by Meenakshi Malhotra. Click here to read.

Shrilal Shukla’s Fragments of Happiness translated by Niyati Bafna and reviewed by Rakhi Dalal. Click here to read

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Transformational Leadership in Banking edited by Anil K. Khandelwal. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Enter Stage Right by Feisal Alkazi with a visual of young Alkazi dancing in one of the earliest discos of New Delhi. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

Hope in Pandemic

By Geetha Ravichandran

A Prayer

What can you say
to a dear friend
who is fighting for life,
gasping for breath?

Open your eyes-
the tender
mango leaves,
have begun to sprout.
There’s a ruckus outside 
the window, the babblers
you watched over daily,
are scrambling for grain.
 
Let the love
your gurgling laughter
spread, the faith 
that kept you busy
on cold nights,
the beauty of your 
giving freely,
gather --
to weave a magic blanket
to protect and heal you.



Clouds

Every cloud holds a story,
in its nameless form
and its formless cape.
One edges out the sun,
jutting on its way
and dabs its cheeks
with pink splotches.
Another blazes a trail,
of gold dust and flushes
in borrowed beauty 
for half-a-second.
One stands like an anime,
poised for eternity. 
There’s an in-between god,
who rides a tiger
and pours rain callously
on a cold, feverish city.
The posthumous rain
will splash on, till
the burning fever wrath
evaporates like a dream,
when the folds of the cloud
unfurl and let 
the clear sky be.

Geetha Ravichandran lives in Mumbai. When she is not working, she watches the sky and the sea.  In the past year, her poems have been published in Borderless, Setumag and included in a couple of anthologies published by Hawakal.

Categories
Nostalgia Poetry

The house that let us go

                                           By Geetha Ravichandran

The house that let us go

The goat would sneak in through the fence

and chew up a bunch of honeysuckle flowers.

But we had to open the gate

to show it the way out,

as it would bleat on — clueless.

The rose, just didn’t want to grow there,

and had to be given doses of strong coffee

till it was coaxed to put out a single bloom.

.

The brood of banana trees

thrived, although neglected

and would anyway end up on the plate,

as a boring meal.

The mangoes appeared every summer

but were so sour,

that they had to be pickled and put away,

even the fruit thieves would have none of it.

.

There were seven coconut trees,

planted at an auspicious hour

their great fronds, grim and ghostly

in the sticky, brooding night air.

It was the jasmine that climbed up a trellis

blooming every evening,

its fragrance –lilting like a melody,

that made the house special.

.

But still the house was a trap,

in which we were buried by expectations

of well-meaning parents.

The sharp-tongued women next-door,

peered over walls and ticked us off

for playing cricket on the streets.

Escape we did – vaulted to freedom,

fuelled by our whims, aided by liberal market winds.

.

Now, the old squat house, built on a shoestring,

has been gobbled up by a sleek building

and a cosmetic patch of periwinkle flowers —

graveyard flowers — as father would say,

is the only product of the soil.

The beauty, that we had barely acknowledged

now appears in streaks of memories.

We are gentler, when we breathe free. 

.

Homecoming                                                                                                                                                                                                    

What have you done to the room?

A row of silver and another of golden lights

glittering through a wooden panel,

in manic eagerness to welcome me,

shelves filled with a display of a fleet of ships,

as if to jolt my memory to the spells of sea-sickness.

Where are my plants by the window,

my low chair and the filigree silver peacock?

.

So many things I love,

have been swept into a mound of dust

and with it go my carefully crafted thoughts

of putting aside, the quarrels of the past.

Nothing has really changed,

it has only disintegrated into a bigger mess.

.

And then suddenly, springs the fragrance of white lilies,

stuck hurriedly in a vase, looking thoroughly sheepish.

.

There is promise in the morning air,

as I sit down to drown my thoughts

in calming breaths, when you come up

attempting to mask your boss -of –the- house stride

and as your first compromise,

to the worthy goal of joint-decision-making

ask helplessly- ‘This bottle of medicine is empty,

shall I throw it out?’

.

Geetha Ravichandran is a bureaucrat, presently posted in Mumbai. It is writing, that she most enjoys doing. She has written contemplative articles for Direct Path and middles for Deccan Herald. Her recent poems have appeared in Reading Hour and Mountain Path. One of her poems has been included in the recent anthology, Hibiscus published by Hawakal publishers.

.

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