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Index

Borderless, April, 2021

Greetings from Borderless Journal for all Asian New Years! Click here to read our message along with the video and a translation of a Tagore song written to greet the new year, with lyrics that not only inspire but ask the fledgling to heal mankind from deadly diseases.

Editorial

New Beginnings

A walk through our content and our plans for the future. Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Arundhathi Subramaniam: An online interview with this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner, Arundhathi Subramaniam. Click here to read.

Sumana Roy & Trees: An online interview with Sumana Roy, a writer and academic. Click here to read.

Poetry

(Click on the names to read)

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jared Carter, Matthew James Friday, Michael R Burch, Aparna Ajith, Jenny Middleton, Rhys Hughes, Jay Nicholls, Achingliu Kamei, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Smitha Vishwanath, Sekhar Banerjee, Sumana Roy

Photo-poetry by Penny Wilkes

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

With an introduction to Blood and Water by Rebecca Lowe, Rhys Hughes debuts with his column on poets and poetry. Click here to read.

Translations

The Word by Akbar Barakzai

Fazal Baloch translates the eminent Balochi poet, Akbar Barakzai. Click here to read.

Malayalam poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Shylan from Malayalam to English. Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation

To commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary, we translated five of his songs from Bengali to English. Click here to read, listen and savour.

Tagore Translations: One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

Musings/Slice of Life

Pohela Boisakh: A Cultural Fiesta

Sohana Manzoor shares the Bengali New Year celebrations in Bangladesh with colourful photographs and interesting history and traditions that mingle beyond the borders. Click here to read.

Gliding along the Silk Route

Ratnottama Sengupta, a well-known senior journalist and film critic lives through her past to make an interesting discovery at the end of recapping about the silk route. Click here to read and find out more.

The Source

Mike Smith drifts into nostalgia about mid-twentieth century while exploring a box of old postcards. What are the stories they tell? Click here to read.

Lost in the Forest

John Drew, a retired professor, cogitates over a tapestry of the Ras lila. Click here to read.

Tied to Technology

Naomi Nair reflects on life infiltrated by technology, by Siri and Alexa with a tinge of humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of a Backpacking Granny

In Inspiriting SiberiaSybil Pretious takes us with her to Lake Baikal and further. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Tributes & AttributesDevraj Singh Kalsi pays tribute to his late mother. Click here to read.

Essays

Reflecting the Madness and Chaos Within

Over 150 Authors and Artists from five continents have written on mental illness in an anthology called Through the Looking Glass. Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist and writer and editor, tells us why this is important for healing. Click here to read.

At Home in the World: Tagore, Gandhi and the Quest for Alternative Masculinities

Meenakshi Malhotra explores the role of masculinity in Nationalism prescribed by Tagore, his niece Sarala Debi, Gandhi and Colonials. Click here to read.

A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

Sohana Manzoor explores the social relevance of a dance drama by Tagore, Natir puja. We carry this to commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary. Click here to read

Photo Essay: In the Midst of Colours

Nishi Pulugurtha explores the campus of a famed university with her camera and words and shares with us her experiences. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

Oh, That lovely Title: Politics

A short piece by Bhaskar Parichha that makes for a witty comment on the forthcoming Indian elections. Click here to read.

Stories

Pothos

Rakhi Pande gives us a story about a woman and her inner journey embroiled in the vines of money plant. Click here to read.

Elusive

A sensitive short story by Sohana Manzoor that makes one wonder if neglect and lack of love can be termed as an abuse? Click here to read

Ghumi Stories: Grandfather & the Rickshaw

Nabanita Sengupta takes us on an adventure on the rickshaw with Raya’s grandfather. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

Carl Scharwath gives us a story with a strange twist. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: Flight of the Falcon

Livneet Shergill gives us a story in empathy with man and nature. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

A playlet by Sunil Sharma set in Badaun, The Dryad and I: A Confession and a Forecast, is a short fiction about trees and humans. Click here to read.

Book reviews

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Reconciling Differences by Rudolf C Heredia, a book that explores hate and violence. Click here to read.

Nivedita Sen reviews Nomad’s Land by Paro Anand, a fiction set among migrant children of a culture borne of displaced Rohingyas, Syrian refugees, Tibetans and more. Click here to read

Candice Louisa Daquin reviews The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the last by Azra Raza. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, the focus is on media and its impact. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selection, April 2021

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

Categories
Musings

Tied To Technology

By Naomi Nair

For a woman whose dad used to run an IT firm for the longest time of her life, I’m terribly wary of technology. I crave for those simple days of the past when phones were just a tool attached to a wire, helping people keep in touch, rather than these modern day devices that keep track of where I go, what I do, how I spend my time, and use my personal data only to tell me later in the form of “suggestions” and “recommendations” what I should be doing next. Smart phones they are called; a phone so smart that it makes me feel dumb. Our lives are governed by Siris and Alexas who are so adept at everything, it renders us incompetent and useless. Our thumbs are so used to tapping away on our phones, scheduling, texting, uploading, playing, recording, Googling and navigating a gazillion apps that it twitches and shivers like an addict waiting for his next high when the phones are away from its reach.

Gone are those days when families shared snippets of their day and chatted animatedly over dinner time conversations. Big arguments and seemingly minor disagreements were sorted out by engaging in an open dialogue. But all that has changed now thanks to the technology enabled cold war. Twitter has become the battleground for the ‘war of the words’. No more talking things out person to person. Feelings, thoughts, emotions and personal opinions are communicated openly for the whole world to savour via Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram posts that gets circulated for the thirsty minds waiting to catch the latest episode of ‘he said and she said!’. This practice is not just restricted to the rich and famous anymore.

Our generation is so dependent on technology that it relies on Whatsapp stories to communicate our feelings to the person we have an issue with. Powerfully moving quotes set on colourful backgrounds are used for this purpose. Nine times out of ten, the stories are pulled out as soon as the person for whom it was intended has seen and responded.

Can this not be done over a simple phone call? I guess not! It looks like we can’t thrive without the technology driven drama. On a personal note, I’m both amused and annoyed at the same time when I’m asked to like or comment on someone else’s (family and otherwise) post so that it gets maximum visibility, as if I was the one who was desperate for that post to be uploaded in the first place! When did likes and reach become a measure of personal success and a derivative of happiness? No doubt, more followers is an indication of rising popularity but does it bring greater fulfilment to one’s life?

I love my technology, when it delivers my favourite meals or the latest merchandise or captures beautiful moments through photos and videos in the flash of a second and it should stop there, but I see myself becoming a slave to my device too, voluntarily and involuntarily.

Just the other day, wanting to rescue myself from the general gloom and doom of a pandemic induced life, I happily entered a café that hung at its entrance, a large board with a quote advising us mortals against the use of smart phones and related devices. My happiness was short lived as I had to pull out my phone to use the QR code to access the menu and send my order across via an app to the kitchen. Oh, the irony!

Now once again on a self-imposed quarantine where my only source of consolation and relaxation is my phone, as I lay on my couch, venting out these thoughts in my head to no one in particular, not wanting to share them out loud in case it offends either or both Siri and Alexa waiting to pry in on my every word, (or worse, start sending me advertisements on how to protect my thoughts) I wonder, what will be the next shackle binding me further to the chains of technology! 


Naomi Nair is a bibliophile who finds salvation in writing and looks to words to help her make sense of the world. Her book reviews and poetry can be read at simplybookalicious.blog.

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