A Special Tribute

The Many Faces of ‘Freedom’

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?


Then Came the King’s Men by Himadri Lahiri, tracing dreams of freedom through the ages. Click here to read.

Poetry in Bosnian from Bosnia & Herzegovina, written and translated by Maid Corbic, explores the freedom of speech. Click here to read.

The Storm that Rages from the conflict ridden state of Kashmir, Ahmed Rayees writes of hope, freedom and peace. Click here to read.


The Protests Outside

Steve Ogah talks of trauma faced by riot victims in Nigeria while exploring the bondage of tyranny. Click here to read.

A Prison of Our Own Making

Keith Lyons gives us a brief essay on how we can find freedom. Click here to read.

A Life Well-Lived

Candice Louisa Daquin discusses the concepts of the role of responsibility that goes with the freedom of choices. Click here to read.

The Parrot’s Tale by Tagore

Exploring the freedom from bondages of education social norms and more, this story has been translated by Radha Chakravarty from Bengali. Click here to read.


Borderless, May 2021


And this too shall pass… Click here to read


Songs of Seasons: Translated by Fakrul Alam

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

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.

Waiting for Godot by Akbar Barakzai

Akbar Barakzai’s poem translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.


Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Sujith Kumar. Click here to read.

The Last Boat

Tagore’s Diner Sheshe Ghoomer Deshe translated by Mitali Chakravarty with an interpretation in pastels by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.


Anasuya Bhar, Scott Thomas Outlar, Saranyan BV, Matthew James Friday, Nitya Mariam John, RJ Kaimal, Jay Nicholls, Tasneem Hossain, Rhys Hughes, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Himadri Lahiri, Sunil Sharma, Mike Smith, Jared Carter

Nature’s Musings

Photo-Poetry by Penny & Michael Wilkes. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

Lear and Far

As a tribute to the 209th anniversary of Edward Lear, Rhys Hughes writes of his famous poem, ‘Owl and the Pussycat’, and writes a funny ending for it rooted in the modern day. Click here to read.


If at all

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

First Lady

Rituparna Khan gives us a brief vignette from the life of one of the first women doctors in India, Dr Kadambari Ganguly. Click here to read.

Mr Dutta’s Dream

Atreyo Chowdhury takes us into the world of unquenchable wanderlust. Click here to read.

Neemboo Ka Achaar or Maa’s Lemon Pickle

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.

Musings/Slices from Life

Serve the People

Danielle Legault Kurihara, a Quebecker in Japan, writes of differences in rituals. Click here to read.

Why I write?
Basudhara Roy tells us how writing lingers longer than oral communications. Click here to read more.

The Quiet Governance of Instinct

Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist, talks of the importance of trusting our instincts. Click here to read more.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Nations without NobelDevraj Singh Kalsi takes a fresh look at national pride with a soupçon of sarcasm and humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of the Backpacking Granny

In Visit to Rural BaoyingSybil Pretious travels to spend a night with a local family in rural China in a ‘hundred-year-old home’.Click here to read.


Four Seasons and an Indian Summer

Keith Lyons talks of his experiences of seasons in different places, including Antarctica. Click here to read.

Rabindranath and the Etchings of His Mind

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.

My Experiments with Identity

Tejas Yadav explores identity from the context Heraclitus, Rumi down to his own. Click here to read.

Can Songs be the Musical Conscience of a Film?

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.

Bhaskar’s Corner

In Manoj Das – The Master Storyteller, Bhaskar Parichha pays a tribute to one of the greatest storytellers from the state of Odisha, India, Manoj Das( 1934-2021). Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from A Bengali Lady in England (1885): Annotated Translation with Critical Introduction to Krishnabhabini Das’ Englandey Bangamahila by Nabanita Sengupta. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

A review of Feisal Alkazi‘s memoir, Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi Padamsee Family Memoir by Rakhi Dalal. Click here to read.

A review of Shakti Ghosal‘s The Chronicler of the Hooghly and Other Stories by Gracy Samjetsabam. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Raising a Humanist by Manisha Pathak-Shelat‘s and Kiran Vinod Bhatia. Click here to read.


Communication scholars and authors, Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, discuss how to bring up children in these troubled times, based on their book, Raising a Humanist, which has just been released. Click here to read.

Sonya J Nair of Samyukta Poetry talks about the Samyukta Research Foundation and its affiliates and its festival, Anantha. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selections, May 2021

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


Then Came the King’s Men

By Himadri Lahiri

Rabindranath Tagore by Sudhir Khastgir.
Courtesy: Creative Commons
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,
“Mission accomplished, 
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.



By Himadri Lahiri


In the worst of times my specs too have betrayed.

Only the day before yesterday

it fell from my hand, lost its shape and swayed.

Though the lenses remained intact    

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.