Romanticised by writers and artists over time, freedom has been variously interpreted. There is the freedom of birds that fly, of the clouds that float across the connecting blue skies, of the grass that grows across manmade borders, of the blood that flows to protect the liberty of confines or constructs drawn by man, the river that gurgles into the ocean, of the breeze that blows.
The many-splendored interpretations of freedom and its antitheses in Borderless journal are presented here for you to ponder … tell us what you think. Can freedom come without responsibility or a tryst with circumstances?
A compelling flash fiction by Suyasha Singh hovering around food and a mother’s love. Click here to read.
The Literary Fictionist
In A Lunch Hour Crisis, Sunil Sharma raises humanitarian concerns that though raised in a pandemic-free world, have become more relevant and concerning given our current predicament. Click here to read.
Anasuya Bhar explores the various lives given to a publication through the different edited versions, translations and films, using Tagore as a case study and the work done to provide these online. Click here to read.
Prithvijeet Sinha uses Gaman (Departure), a Hindi movie around the pain of migrant workers, as a case study to highlight his contention that lyrics and songs convey much in Indian films. Click here to read.
Then Came the King’s Men
There he sat, a hermit under a chhatim tree
deep in meditation under the sun
that scorched the face of the earth with burning sores.
Brigands roamed about the territory at night
when it came alive with sounds of thousand crickets and glow worms.
There, there were born young saplings that grew up into dense foliage –
refuge of birds, insects and hundreds of other species.
There, there he founded a casteless ashram community
that reposed faith in God and man.
The bearded bard took the baton forward
turned the place into a nest where wise birds from distant places flocked.
They hummed different tunes in perfect unison –
songs of diverse languages, cultures and knowledge.
With the end of the season many did not go back.
The village grew into a warm world.
The trees kept company when the young learnt
the way chicks pick up small pieces of knowledge.
Fear was banished, freedom whispered to the innocents,
asked them of their playmates, pet dogs or birdlore
while the bard sang on.
As time moved on, the other freedom came.
With it slowly came sloth, self and salary.
The green faded into the walled universe
the size of a wooden ball.
Then came the king’s men
manacles tied to their girdles, glistening.
Wrapped in vanity and arrogance
with claws sharper than the wolf’s
threw a net around the greying green,
fragmented the universe into narrow walls.
Devices with strange names sprouted
with eyes on all things mortal,
turned men against men.
Wild messages ran riot
rotting the fabric of the place.
Closeted in a cold room in front of a bright screen,
the boss boasted,
let us raise a toast to our great, newly bearded guru.”
Himadri Lahiri taught English at the University of Burdwan. He is now associated with Netaji Subhas Open University. His poems were earlier published in Borderless Journal, Rupkatha, Café Dissensus and in many more forums.
the frame lost its right angles, to tell you the fact.
It being the worst of times, you cannot visit an optician
and get it mended – or go for a new acquisition.
So I continue wearing my specs bent.
And lo! Visions become unbelievably indecent.
White becomes black, blackness receives a jolt.
One who has been a friend so long seems a foe –
he appears with a false show.
Stranger still, how can one elected in a fair poll
inevitably turn into a mole?
Philanthropes, I believe, are god’s messengers.
How then are they trapped in messy affairs?
They appear as crooked as my neighbour
who for me holds nothing but a sabre.
Hilariously, men and women with sure stigma
are wonderful people – how it happens is an enigma –
who run errands for the aged
and reach out to the caged
during the pandemic, the worst of times!
These visions reversed
must have something to do with the specs perverse –
since its fall it behaves strange.
Hope, you’ll excuse me for the change,
for I have nothing to do with the detriment.
Blame it all on the instrument.
Bio-noteHimadri Lahiri is former Professor, Department of English and Culture Studies, University of Burdwan, West Bengal. Currently, he is Professor of English at the School of Humanities, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata. He has written extensively on Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Indian English Literature. His latest publication is Diaspora Theory and Transnationalism (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2019). Contemporary Indian English Poetry and Drama (Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2019), co-edited by him, has also been published recently. He writes book reviews for newspapers and academic journals. He writes poems at his leisure hours.
PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.