Categories
Index

Borderless, January 2021

Interviews

A conversation with Devaki Jain, a Padma Bhushan recipient, an author at eighty eight, an economist who found inclusion for women and a strong human who lives her life on her own terms. Click here to read

A conversation with Dr Mossarrap Hossain Khan, the founding editor of Cafe Dissensus. Click here to read.

Stories

The Literary Fictionist

Near the River Chenab and Under The trees

Sunil Sharma in a poignant telling takes us on a journey to the banks of a river where life, love and death sheathed in terrorism cumulate to a peak. Click here to read.

Magic Afloat in the Air

A short story by Gauri Mishra that takes us into the crowded lanes of Paharganj, New Delhi, on an adventure with surprise tilt. Click here to read.

Ghumi Stories: The New Year’s Gift

Nabanita Sengupta explores how rumours can be quietened with an unusual plot. Click here to read

Flash fiction: Déjà vu

Aminath Neena from Maldives explores rebirth despite religious prejudices. Click here to read.

Translations

Tagore Stories in Translation: Bolai: A story about Man and Nature written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore in 1928, translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

Flash Fiction: Tears of a Revered Mother A poignant mood driven piece from Balochistan. Written in Balochi by Mereen Nizar, translated by  Ali Jan Maqsood. Click here to read.

A Request To A Son is a Nepali poem by Swapnil Smriti, translated by Pranika Koyu. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read the poems

Tom Merrill, Gauri Mishra, Soma Debray, Sanket Mhatre, Aditya Shankar, Michael Burch, Maithreyi Karnoor, Sabreen Ahmed, Ihlwha Choi

Humour: Vatslala Radhakeesoon, Rhys Hughes, Tom Merrill

Musings

Musings of a Copywriter

In Private Lessons, Devraj Singh Kalsi takes us through a hilarious episode of elopement with surprising conclusions. Click here to read.

Hope comes in strange shapes

Keith Lyons from New Zealand looks back at challenges of 2020, and expectation that lessons learned will translate into action in 2021. Click here to read.

In the Winter Sun

Written specially by Nishi Pulugurtha keeping the Indian Republic Day in mind, what can we anticipate for a year with pandemic protocols? Click here to read.

From the Pages of a Soldier’s Diary…

Mike Smith takes you on a journey through the pages of a colonial diary and muses on choices he has made. Click here to read

No Longer Smug in South Australia

Meredith Stephens gives a first person account of how the pandemic free South Australia is faring balancing fears. Click here to read.

Pandemic Tales: The Diary of a Hypochondriac

 Mayuresh V. Belsare takes us on a hilarious journey through his battle with the pandemic with thanks to divine intervention. Click here to read.

Essays

Type, Stereo, Stereotype

Devraj Singh Kalsi gives a unique perspective on the Farmer’s Protests. Click here to read.

The Worshipper of Mother Earth: A Nostalgic journey

Ratnottama Sengupta journeys to show how past and present are interlinked in art and pays tribute to a polyglot, Maniklal Chatterjee. Click here to read.

The Syncretic Lore of Guru Nanak’s Legacy

While skirmishes continue to line the borders of India, Sameer Arshad Khatlani, author of The Other Side of the Divide, explores the deeply embedded syncretic elements in the heritage left behind by the founder of Sikhism. Part of his legacy still lives on in Pakistan. Click here to read.

Neither Tranquil Mandarins, Nor Yellow Devils

While the impasse over the McMahon Line continues and the outgoing POTUS rages over not only the election results but also the Yellow Peril, John Drew gives us an interesting perspective on the perception of both these giants, US & China. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

The Brass Notebook by Devaki Jain, an autobiography. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Gone Away by Dom Moraes, reviewed by Bhaskar Parichha. Click here to read.

No Strings Attached: Writings on Odisha by Bhaskar Parichha, reviewed by Bijaya Kumar Mohanty. Click here to read.

Waiting for the Dust to Settle by Veio Pou, a novel dealing with the conflict in Northeastern India, reviewed by Rakhi dalal. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selections

January 2021

A potpourri of hope for the new year by young writers from Bookosmia. Click here to read.

Editorial

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité — Has democracy failed? Click here to read

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selection, January 2021

Hello folks!

A very Happy New Year to all of you, and especially to Ms Sara. We always hope for a better future — let it be filled with magic, stars and rainbows! And may we all be able to interact with all our families and friends… This time Ms Sara has a cheerful collection giving hope in the New Year — 2021! Presenting Ms Sara in 2021–

Thank you! Ms Sara is back again. Hey there everyone, wish you a fabulous New Year on this page, both on behalf of Bookosmia and Borderless.

Poetry

We start with poetry welcoming the New Year. Here is a jolly poem talking of a jolly time, by 9 year old Noah Batolar from Gurgaon.

A Jolly Time of the Year

By Noah Batolar

Christmas is a jolly time of the year

Where everyone opens up to good times and cheer.

Nothing can stop this holiday

Almost everyone celebrates this day.

All negative thoughts are thrown into a pit —

Christmassssssssssssss, what a jolly time.

Put up the decorations,

Light up the fireplace,

Sing the carols and

All of that is just the beginning for a cheerful new year!

7 year old Anvi Sankhyan from Gurgaon now gives us a fun poem about Aliens!

Green Blue No Clue

By Avni Sankhayan

In the black space

Two Aliens in their UFO’s

were having a race.

They stopped

As their view was blocked

By a ball which was blue

But they had no clue

It was green which nobody had seen.

What is this beautiful place

Which has stopped their race?

Mountains, rivers, beautiful humans, desert, snow —

They wanted to know.

They went into a little girl’s dream

So that she would not scream.

The little girl said this:

 My mother Earth full of trees, life which makes it green 

Which you haven’t seen.

The water makes it blue. 

Now you got the clue!!

Next, we have a little mischievous take by 10 year old Shreyash Bajaj from Singapore. Warning: Please do not try it out!

How To Bunk School– A Poetic Recipe

By Shreyash Bajaj

Ingredients:

A cup of sleeping
A jar of excuses
A tablespoon of lateness
A teaspoon of secrecy
A bowl of willingness
2 cups of plans
A pinch of cleverness
A spoon of hiding.

Directions:
Wake up late,
You’re doing great!

Go over the plan again,
How and when.

Don’t brush your teeth
Don’t make your bed.
Go over the excuses in your head.

Go and make a fuss.
Try to miss the bus.

When you arrive at school,
Keep your cool.

Find a place,
To hide your face.

And lastly,
Have secrecy.

So now don’t be a fool,
Start bunking school!

Stories

We move on to stories now. Here is 9 year old Prakalya Krishnamurthi from Erode, Tamil Nadu taking us on an exciting marine adventure.

Julia and Dolphi

By Prakalya Krishnamurti

One pleasant day,  I, Dolphi , the dolphin and my friend, Walrus were playing at the seashore. We met a girl, her name was Sarah. She used to come walking with her dad. Sarah loved to play with me and Walrus so we became best-friends and buddies. A week later, Sarah came walking, her face down and smile missing. Walrus and I asked her, “Why are you sad? Come let’s play.”

Sarah said, “Hmmm….There’s a pet contest at my school, Oakland Elementary and I have no pets at home. I don’t know what I’m going to do on that day in school.”

We got an idea!

“Aren’t we your lovable pets and your best-friends and buddies too?”

Sarah was so happy and said, “You guys are so kind! Ok, now let’s get on with the contest. The contest is in a couple of months. So you both prepare the   tricks. I will prepare the props and costumes, sounds good?”

“Yay! Wonderful, I am so happy to be with you Sarah,” I said.

We practiced for the contest everyday at the sea shore.

“Ok, you both are performing very well and I am sure we’ll win the prize tomorrow,” said Sarah. “I will come tomorrow at 8 o’clock to pick you up for the contest.”

“Ok, Sarah, we will wait by the sea shore,” I said.

We were playing happily at the shore without knowing that we were about to be captured. Suddenly, two hunters saw us playing. They came quietly and captured us and sold us to a ‘Sea School’.

The next morning, Sarah went to pick us up but we were not there. She searched the whole seashore. Sarah started to worry and went to the contest  alone. The contest started at the open auditorium, which had a big pool in the center. Everybody performed. At last Sarah’s name was called out.  She went next to the pool with a sad face. Suddenly, she heard voices calling her, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah! ”

It was us! She was astonished to see us but without another word we started  our performance. We gave a mind blowing performance and won the first  prize. Sarah was really happy but she wanted to know what had  happened. We understood her and answered her question, “Ok, we will tell you,” I said. “That day, when were practicing the tricks, suddenly we were  captured in a net by hunters. They left us at a Sea School. There, two caretakers came to see if we were valuable animals for the school. Luckily,  they were very kind. After we told them our story, they immediately said we will help  you get to your contest.”

Sarah hugged us tightly and said, “You both are the best friends in the world!” Suddenly a big wave of snow fell over us.

I opened my eyes and was looked around. I realized that it was only my dream and I was a dolphin in the dream. Slowly, I, Julia realized that after I went to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago with my family to see a dolphin show, I hadn’t stopped thinking about it. In my dreams, I had imagined my adventure as a Dolphin.  

My whole family laughed and my little brother rolled on the floor when he heard my story.

Here is an adventurous story by 8 year old Kiyan Jal Bulsara from Kolkata that will spur you into action. Aliens, monsters and a young hero….get ready!

Run for your life

By Kiyan Jal Bulsara

One day Mike got up and quickly readied himself for school because he was late. When he reached school, it started to rain very heavily. It just wasn’t his day. Somehow he was able to dash into school in the nick of time.

Mike saw something form in the sky, he was curious. It was a massive portal. After five minutes, thousands of monsters started to fall out of the portal and everyone started to panic except for Mike.

He went out of school and asked one of the monsters why they had come to planet Earth? The monster, whose name was Gigi, told Mike that the most  powerful villain Choba had escaped and was on a killing spree. Choba had  killed the king of all monsters, Nachi, so he could take over the throne and be the next king.

Therefore, they had come to ask for help. Mike called the Monster Busters and told them what had happened. They formed teams and were ready for the  battle. The Monster Busters used special weapons like a lightsaber to battle  Choba. The battle started the next day and finished after ten days and the  humans won but thousands of innocent busters died.

The monsters went back to their planet and promised to live in peace and harmony.

Watch out! 7 year old Aadya G from Chennai has her own Frozen sequel written out and this one is in India!

Anna and Elsa’s Visit to Taj Mahal

By Aadya G

Once upon a time there lived two sisters Anna and Elsa. They lived in Arendale. Christoph, Olaf and Sven were their friends.

One day they were gazing at Arendale’s palace and wondering if there could be a more amazing building. They wondered if there were more such beautiful monuments  across the world.

Christoph said, “I know a beautiful palace in India called  Taj Mahal. It is located in Agra and is one of the seven wonders of the world.”

Everyone got excited and said they wanted to visit the Taj Mahal. They started their trip to Taj Mahal by flying to India.They looked for a taxi ride and finally got one to drive to Taj Mahal. On their  way,  they saw a big giant monster. Anna quickly put a fireball on the monster.

The monster ran away. Finally, they reached Taj Mahal. They were surprised to see the Taj Mahal. They saw that it was very large and   made of white marble. They were excited to see the beautiful  carvings on Taj Mahal. They sang and danced and had lots of fun at the Taj Mahal.

Essays

If you were a bird in a zoo, how would you feel? Would you love it? Or, would you  rather be free?

9 year old Atreyo Bhattacharyya from Kolkata shares his perspective, in this epistolary (letter writing) piece.

Exciting Egret

By Atreyo Bhattacharya

Dear Grandpa,
I am very sad as I have been locked up in this cage. I am in an enclosure named ‘The Egrets’. But people still admire me for my beautiful snow white plumage.

We have cages that restrain a bird from flying away. I was brought to this zoo by a man named Kalan. He first dug a big hole and then covered it with leaves. Without seeing properly, I stepped on that and fell into it. I miss my freedom and how I used to roam around and jump from one tree to the other.

But the advantages of this zoo are that I regularly get good food to eat and big bowls of water everyday. My life in this zoo is comfortable because the people give me food and water at the right time and take care of me properly.

But I feel lonely here because I can’t talk to my friends. Slowly, I am forgetting  how to fly as this is a small cage, nor do they allow us to fly much. My flight feathers are becoming of no use. I miss my freedom and abhor this life of a prisoner.

Hope I could fly back to you whenever I wish as I used to do….

Miss you Grandpa
Yours lovingly,
Jack

This thoughtful essay by 9 year old Sia Patel from Ranchi is one that unites the whole Earth under a single rainbow.

The Seven Colours of the Rainbow

By Sia Patel

When I was small, my dad always told me how important it was to love and  respect every individual, be it our own family members or strangers.

He always gave me the example of a rainbow.

How people looked forward to see the rainbow after the rains. The colours, when united look, so beautiful and have a unique identity, just like our  country. Unity in diversity.

The seven colours of rainbow always lived happily together.

One day the colours started to fight among themselves on how important and powerful they are individually.  They forgot how beautiful they looked united.  Each colour wanted to show off their own importance. Because of their differences, they started living separately.

Children were disappointed as they could no longer spot the rainbow when the sun shone after it rained.

Rainbows were only in stories and pictures now. Soon people stopped looking for a rainbow in the sky. The colours were so busy fighting that they never realised that slowly they were losing their significance.

The colours, who had started living separately, felt sad and lonely.

They lost their charm.

One day a little girl heard stories about rainbow from her grandmother. She  was upset to hear about their fights and decided to help the seven colours become friends again.

Slowly the colours realised how powerful and beautiful they looked when  united. Together they brought smiles and happiness into so many people’s life. They  never fought again and promised to stay together.

If every individual realises their role and importance in staying together, there will be no hatred in the world.

Hey friends, Sara here. 10-year-old Khushyati Sachwani from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh shares her heartfelt experience on how her dad and her family faced the Corona virus.

My Father is a Corona Warrior

By Khushyati Sachwani

I was disturbed from the moment I heard that my father has tested positive for coronavirus. I immediately Googled and tried to find out the ways to help him get rid of it but it was not as easy. 

For a few days, we had to separate from him. He had to be admitted to a hospital. Initially his condition was not too good. It was difficult to stay with other patients who were also suffering from the same but he did not lose courage. He was deprived of love, family and home food but he kept our spirits up by assuring us that this would last only a few days then he would meet us soon, hale and hearty. 

His optimism felt heroic to me and I realised that my father is certainly a warrior who, with his positive bent of mind, defeated this disease and came back home safely. 

Here is the last essay, hoping 2021 will a year full of hope, hope embodied by the young writers who write here. We hope for a future which can only get better. Sia Patel from Ranchi gives as another lovely piece — a wonderful welcome to the new year, even after a very tough 2020.

It’s Time to Leave 2020 Behind

By Sia Patel

2020 wasn’t as exciting as I thought. It was more like a prison but it was good spending quality time with my parents, my sister and my pet dog. In this pandemic I hardly bothered about day, date, and month because everyday seemed the same to me.

Soon online classes started. Initially, it was boring as no one understood the instructions given by the teachers. They did not mute themselves and time was wasted. We could not talk to our friends which was the worst part. If it  would have been school I could have played with them at lunch break but there was no school so no playing and mostly no talking.

Soon we made a friends group on mobile and we started doing zoom meetings but that also did not happen often as our parents restricted our screen time. Because of this pandemic, I wasn’t able to meet my new class teacher or my  new friends in the class.

I did get to learn many new things while staying at home like  doodling from a  book by Liz Pichon known as Tom Gates. I read lots of books, yes, a total of 31 books! Few things were really fun doing while staying at home.

What I missed most was celebrating festivals like we did earlier and vacations to a new place. Everything was restricted with a limited number of friends and relatives. I even lost my grandfather in September this year due to his illness. I miss him so much. He loved and pampered my sister and me a lot.

The only thing that was good this year was I got my first pet dog, Bingo.  He is very cute and mostly a good friend of mine. I had so many plans for 2020 with my friends. We had already discussed our ideas for celebrating our birthday parties with different themes but nothing could be executed because of  coronavirus. We did most of the celebrations virtually this year.

Now that it’s time for the year end of 2020 so let’s welcome 2021 and say goodbye to 2020. Let’s  stay strong for facing all the problems in future and  hope that 2021 brings lots of good time and positivity to everyone.

And now this is Sara wishing you hope for the new year and a fantastic future.

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

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