Categories
Contents

Borderless, September 2022

Art by Sohana Manzoor

Editorial

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall Click here to read.

Conversations

Meet Barun Chanda, an actor who started his career as the lead protagonist of a Satyajit Ray film and now is a bi-lingual writer of fiction and more recently, a non-fiction published by Om Books International, Satyajit Ray: The Man Who Knew Too Much in conversation Click here to read.

Jim Goodman, an American traveler, author, ethnologist and photographer who has spent the last half-century in Asia, converses with Keith Lyons. Click here to read.

Translations

Professor Fakrul Alam has translated three Tagore songs around autumn from Bengali. Click here to read.

Nagmati by Prafulla Roy has been translated from Bengali as Snake Maiden by Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

A Balochi Folksong that is rather flirtatious has been translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

A Letter Adrift in the Breeze by Haneef Sharif has been translated from Balochi by Mashreen Hameed. Click here to read.

Jajangmyeon Love, a poem has been written in Korean and translated by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.

Eshechhe Sarat (Autumn) by Tagore has been translated from Bengali by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Michael R Burch, Sunil Sharma, George Freek, Sutputra Radheye, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Arshi Mortuza, Ron Pickett, Prasant Kumar B K, David Francis, Shivani Srivastav, Marianne Tefft, Saranyan BV, Jim Bellamy, Shareefa BeegamPP, Irma Kurti, Gayatri Majumdar, Rhys Hughes

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In The Chopsy Moggy, Rhys Hughes gives us a feline adventure. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

A Tale of Two Flags in the South Pacific

Meredith Stephens visits an island that opted to adopt the ways of foreign settlers with her camera and narrates her experiences. Click here to read.

A Taste of Bibimbap & More…

G Venkatesh revisits his Korean experience in a pre-pandemic world. Click here to read.

September Nights

Mike Smith in a short poetic monologue evokes what the season means for him. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In El Condor Pasa or I’d Rather be a Sparrow…, Devraj Singh Kalsi explores his interactions with birds with a splatter of humour. Click here to read.

Notes from Japan

In Rabbit Island, Suzanne Kamata visits the island of Okunoshima, where among innocence of rabbits lurk historic horrors. Click here to read.

Essays

A Turkish Adventure with Sait Faik

Paul Mirabile takes us on a journey to Burgaz with his late Turkish friend to explore the writings of Sait Faik Abasiyanik. Click here to read.

A Salute to Ashutosh Bodhe

Ravi Shankar pays a tribute to a fellow trekker and gives a recap of their trekking adventures together near Mt Everest base camp. Click here to read.

The Observant Immigrant

In Sometimes Less is More, Candice Louisa Daquin explores whether smaller communities can be assimilated into the mainstream. Click here to read.

Stories

Where Eagles Dare…

Munaj Gul Muhammad takes on the persona of a woman to voice about their rights in Balochistan. Click here to read.

My Eyes Don’t Speak

Chaturvedi Divi explores blindness and its outcome. Click here to read.

The Royal Retreat

Sangeetha G gives a brief view of intrigue at court. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

Ruskin Bond, excerpted from Between Heaven and Earth: Writings on the Indian Hills, edited by Ruskin Bond and Bulbul Sharma. Click here to read.

Excerpts from Rhys Hughes’ Comfy Rascals: Short Fictions. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Rakhi Dalal reviews Rhys Hughes’ Comfy Rascals: Short Fictions. Click here to read.

Hema Ravi reviews Mrutyunjay Sarangi’s A Train to Kolkata and Other Stories. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Krishna Bose’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Life, Struggle and Politics, translated and edited by Sumantra Bose. Click here to read.

Categories
Stories

Where Eagles Dare…

By Munaj Gul Muhammad

I, a young girl, yearn to study. I have dreamt of being an inspirational figure all my life, but literally, society wishes me a different fate. I always dream for a better future with full freedom. But most go against it. They believe girls deserve no freedom.

In reality, women are eagles born to fly very high, but society has broken their wings and made them susceptible. It always tries to cage them by taking their dreams away. Society makes them helpless. They speak in silence.

They want to chain women. For them, gender matters the most. They say women are born to be married off and should be only regarded as progenitors. But women are born to live free, to live by their own dreams. The world today recognises the right of every girl to have a say, to have an education and a better life. But in my society, most women stop studying when they are married off or when they pass their matriculation for many societal pressures. I spoke to some friends.

“As a female in Balochistan, I was compelled to relinquish my education when my parents married me off at a very young age. Very soon after our marriage, my husband started taking drugs. As a result of having drugs, he always beats me to give him money to buy more drugs. Being a woman (mainly his wife), I say nothing and bear it all. I embroider to earn a small sum of money to feed ourselves. It was too tough for me to say goodbye to my education, but I did. It ended my future dream of becoming a doctor,” bewails a 14-year-old friend who requested I leave her anonymous.

Society has already destroyed her dream. Another married friend, Sara, told me: “To become a lawyer was the foremost dream that I had all my life. The members of my family tried to stop me from getting an education and learning about my rights, including other women. They still want to annihilate my dream. They create difficulties in my path. I still wish to be a lawyer.”

It has been an uphill battle for married women to get an education. Their dream to get admission in a college or university to study like men remains unfulfilled. How will it be if they continue uneducated and unaware of their rights?

“With each passing night, I sit in a corner of my room and think about my existence. Sometimes, I laugh at myself, sometimes, I curse myself for being a girl. But sometimes, I feel proud as a peacock for being a very decisive young lady. I, too, laugh at the people around me.”  says Sara. 

Everyone has the right to freedom to choose their course in life. Balochistan possesses many creative women, but they are all in chains. Like me too. I would like to be free, to soar like an eagle and find my footing.

Then it happened.

An angel beamed into my dreams and gave me an idea to materialise my longings. Perhaps writing this will slowly be a move towards it – my voice will be heard somewhere, and the silence will be broken. Women and men will walk together in harmony, with equal rights to education.

.

Munaj Gul Muhammad writes for different national newspapers and has won Agahi Award (Pakistan’s biggest Journalism Awards) in the category of Human Rights in 2018. He can be reached at munaj1baloch@gmail.com.

*This story is based on a report published by Munaj Gul Muhammad in Balochistan Voices.

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