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Contents

Borderless, March 2022

Painting by Sohana Manzoor

Editorial

Where Have All the Sunflowers Gone?… Click here to read.

Ukranian Refrains

In When will we ever learn? Oh, will we ever learn?, Ratnottama Sengupta, comments on the current situation in Ukraine while dwelling on her memorable meeting with folk legend Pete Seeger, a pacifist, who wrote ‘Where have all the Flowers gone’, based on a folk song from Ukraine. Click here to read.

In Can Peace come Dropping by,Candice Louisa Daquin explores war and peace pausing over the attack on Ukraine. Click here to read.

Three Poems from Ukraine by Leslya Bakun. Click here to read.

Translations

Manush: Nazrul’s Lines for Humankind: Translated from Bengali by Professor Fakrul Alam. Click here to read.

Jibananda Das’s Where have all these Birds Gone & On the Pathways for Longtranslated from Bengali by Professor Fakrul Alam. Click here to read.

Munir Momin’s You & I translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Down the stairs by Nabendu Ghosh, a gripping story exploring the greyer areas of ethical dilemmas, has been translated by Sarmishta Mukhopadhyay with editorial input from Ratnottama Sengupta. Click here to read.

Autumn is Long, a poem written in Korean and translated to English by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.

Tagore’s Anondodhara Bohichche Bhubone (The Universe reverberates with celestial ecstasy)…translated from Bengali by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Pandies’ Corner

These narratives are written by youngsters from the Nithari village who transcended childhood trauma and deprivation. A letter to God by Tanveer Hussain  uses the epistolary technique to asks questions that would be relevant for all humankind. It has been translated from Hindustani by Vritika Thareja. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Kirpal Singh, Rhys Hughes, Sutputra Radheye, Jay Nicholls, Uma Gowrishankar, Mike Smith, Anasuya Bhar, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Supatra Sen, George Freek, Pramod Rastogi, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Ananta Kumar Singh, Michael R Burch, Shaza Khan

Nature’s Musings

In Storms & Seas, Penny Wilkes explores birds and the ocean during rough weather. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry or Rhys Hughes

In Tall or Short Tales, Rhys Hughes explores the absurd. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Eva Zu Beck & Marco Polo

San Lin Tun writes of how, in Yangon, he spends the lockdown watching a travel blog by Eva Zu Beck. Click here to read.

Messages through Space and Time

Meredith Stephens explores how the art of letter writing creates links across borders of time and place. Click here to read.

It’s Amazing the Things We can Do

Erwin Coombs takes us through his life in Egypt and has a relook at Nazi occupied Europe with a dollop of humour to come to an amazing conclusion. Click here to read.

An Existential Dilemma

G Venkatesh uses the laws of thermodynamics to try to interpret the laws that define life. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

Devraj Singh Kalsi ponders on his Visit to a Book Fair. Click here to read.

Notes from Japan

In Imagining a Possible Future: Filmmaker Felicity Tillack, Suzanne Kamata introduces us to an Australian film maker who is making films in Japan now and some are in Japanese. Click here to read.

Mission Earth

Kenny Peavy starts his column with Mama Calling, a cry to go back to living with nature. Click here to read.

Interviews

From the Himalayas to the Banks of Thames: In Conversation with Sangita Swechcha, a writer shuttles between England and Nepal and writes of her homeland. Click here to read.

At Home Across Continents : In Conversation with Neeman Sobhan, a Bangladeshi-born writer who writes of her experiences as an expat in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Italy and America. Click here to read.

Stories

The Man Who got Eaten

 Kieran Martin tells a tall tale or is it short? Click here to read.

Death Will Come

Munaj Gul Muhammed captures the wafting sadness of grieving in this short poetic narrative. Click here to read.

SofieMol

Sharika Nair paints a vignette of the past merging with the present in her narrative. Click here to read.

Faith & Fortune

Devraj Singh Kalsi shows how the twists of faith are aligned to wealth and fame. Click here to read.

Henrik’s Journey

Farah Ghuznavi follows a conglomerate of people on board a flight to address issues ranging from Rohingyas to race bias. Click here to read.

Essays

The Kaleidoscopic World of Satyajit Ray

Anasuya Bhar takes us into the literary world of Satyajit Ray, the world famous film director. Click here to read.

Are Some of Us More Human than Others ?

Meenakshi Malhotra ponders at the exclusivity that reinforces divisions, margins and borders that continue to plague humankind, against the backdrop of the Women’s Month, March. Click here to read.

The Observant Immigrant

In The Paradox of Modern Communication, Candice Louisa Daquin takes us through the absurdities that haunt modern verbal communication. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

An excerpt from Friends in Wild Places: Birds, Beasts and Other Companions by Ruskin Bond. Click here to read.

An excerpt of a short story by Yang Ming from Asian Anthology, edited by Ivy Ngeow. Click here to read an excerpt.

Book Reviews

Meenakshi Malhotra reviews Mahasweta Devi, Our Santiniketan translated by Radha Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Indrashish Banerjee reviews The Tombstone in My Garden: Stories From Nagaland by Temsula  Ao. Click here to read.

Keith Lyons reviews Asian Anthology: New Writing Vol. 1: Stories by Writers from Around the World, edited by Ivy Ngeow. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Why They Killed Gandhi; Unmasking the Ideology and the Conspiracy by Ashok Kumar Pandey. Click here to read.

Special Issues

Imagine… Click here to read our World Poetry Day Special.

Categories
Poetry

If My Life were Only a Dream

By Pramod Rastogi

Courtesy: Creative Commons
IF MY LIFE WERE ONLY A DREAM

How much would I feel unburdened
If my life were only a napping dream?
I would simply be a handful of water 
That springs from the melting glaciers
And flows down to embrace the ocean. 
 
But life as real as the sun and the moon
Is more like a candle flame
That a man carries within him
Always. Storms and typhoons rage.
If the flame blows away, life goes away.
 
The plot of life is as simple as it is tender.
Smiling joy and deepest despair are so visible
When we view life as a sheet of glass;
Yet, life is also as brittle. 
It could fall and shatter. 
 
The Creator has made man a part of His dream, 
And the dream on His part to accompany him.
Dreams are neither on sale, nor on barter.
They must be built, nurtured, and lived.
Dreams are of infinite shades, vivid and coloured,
And can silently fall asleep but never die.
 
Is dream an illusion, delusion, or reality?
It is all that and more, tethered in its veiled silence.

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is currently a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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

Categories
Contents

Borderless January, 2022

Painting by Sohana Manzoor

Editorial

Elephants & Laughter… Click here to read.

Interviews

Keith Lyons introduces us to Kenny Peavy, an author, adventurer, educator and wilderness first-aider who has travelled far and wide and wishes everyone could connect with the natural world right outside their door. Click here to read.

In Rhys Hughes Unbounded, Hughes, an author and adventurer, tells us about his inclination for comedies. Click here to read

Translations

Professor Fakrul Alam translates If Life were Eternal by Jibananada Das from Bengali. Click here to read.

Ratnottama Sengupta translates Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Bijoya Doushami. Click here to read.

Korean poet Ihlwha Choi translates his own poem, Sometimes Losing is Winning, from Korean. Click here to read.

Give Me A Rag, Please:A short story by Nabendu Ghosh, translated by Ratnottama Sengupta, set in the 1943 Bengal Famine, which reflects on man’s basic needs. Click here to read.

On This Auspicious Day is a translation of a Tagore’s song, Aaji Shubhodine Pitaar Bhabone, from Bengali by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Rhys Hughes, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Anasuya Bhar, Jay Nicholls, Anuradha Vijayakrishnan, Vernon Daim, Mathangi Sunderrajan, William Miller, Syam Sudhakar, Mike Smith, Pramod Rastogi, Ivan Peledov, Subzar Ahmed, Michael R Burch

Nature’s Musings

In Best Friends, Penny Wilkes takes us for a photographic treat. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Making Something of Nothing…, Rhys Hughes explores sources of inspirations with a dollop of humour. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Wooing Children to School

Munaj Gul writes of how volunteers are engaged in wooing children from poverty stricken backgrounds to school in Turbat, Balochistan. Click here to read.

Historical Accuracy

Ravibala Shenoy ponders over various interpretations of the past in media and through social media. Click here to read.

The Ocean & Me

Meredith Stephens writes of her sailing adventures in South Australia. Click here to read.

Crotons

Kavya RK finds her fascination for plants flourish in the pandemic. Click here to read.

The Great Freeze

P Ravi Shankar trots through winters in different parts of the globe. Click here to read.

Two Birds

Ratnottama Sengupta muses as she translates a Tagore’s song. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In The New Year’s Boon, Devraj Singh gives a glimpse into the projection of a new normal created by God. Click here to read.

Essays

Dramatising an Evolving Consciousness: Theatre with Nithari’s Children

Sanjay Kumar gives us a glimpse of how theatre has been used to transcend trauma and create bridges. Click here to read.

Potable Water Crisis & the Sunderbans

Camellia Biswas, a visitor to Sunderbans during the cyclone Alia, turns environmentalist and writes about the potable water issue faced by locals. Click here to read.

The Malodorous Mountain: A Contemporary Folklore

Sayantan Sur looks into environmental hazards due to shoddy garbage disposal. Click here to read.

Where Sands Drift Back in Time…

Shernaz Wadia explores Western Australia. Click here to read.

The Observant Immigrant

In The Changing Faces of the Family, Candice Louisa Daquin explores the trends in what is seen as a family now. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

In Fakir Mohan: A Tribute, Bhaskar Parichha introduces us to Fakir Mohan Senapati, the writer he considers the greatest in Odia literature. Click here to read.

Stories

Folklore from Balochistan: The Pearl

Balochi folktales woven into a story and reinvented by Fazal Baloch highlighting the wisdom of a woman. Click here to read.

The American Wonder

Steve Ogah takes us to a village in Nigeria. Click here to read.

The Boy

Neilay Khasnabish shares a story on migrant labours with a twist. Click here to read.

Stranger than Fiction

Sushant Thapa writes of real life in Nepal, which at times is stranger than fiction. Click here to read.

The Solace

Candice Louisa Daquin takes us on a poignant story of longing. Click here to read.

The Doll

Sohana Manzoor tells a story around the awakening of a young woman. Click here to read.

Among Our PeopleDevraj Singh Kalsi gives a fictitious account of a common man’s quest for security in a country that is one of the world’s largest democracy. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

An excerpt from Shazi Zaman’s Akbar: A Novel of History detailing his interactions with Surdas and Braj. Click here to read.

Excerpts from A Glimpse Into My Country, An Anthology of International Short Stories edited by Andrée Roby & Dr Sangita Swechcha. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Meenakshi Malhotra reviews Somdatta Mandal’s translation of A Bengali Lady in England by Krishnabhabini Das (1885). Click here to read.

Gracy Samjetsabam reviews Anuradha Kumar’s The Hottest Summer in Years. Click here to read.

Rakhi Dalal reviews Selma Carvalho’s Sisterhood of Swans. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Amit Ranjan’s John Lang; Wanderer of Hindoostan; Slanderer in Hindoostanee; Lawyer for the Ranee. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

Last Peace

By Pramod Rastogi

Painting by Sir Anthony Van Dyke (1599-1641). Courtesy: Creative Commons
LAST PEACE
 
You are the glimmer that resides in me.
I am spellbound by your aura.
I take my every breath at your bedside,
Waiting for your inner warmth
To light the breath of life in you.
 
And I have sat back listening
To your dreamy whispering voice
Flow like a stream of serenity,
Sharing with me your zest for life,
Yet ready to draw curtains over it.
 
You look at me with imploring eyes
As if seeking my permission
To leave me to explore the other side.
These calls have slowly become louder.
The oxygen is often in short supply.
 
The flame flickers while you lie there.
The last few months have passed like this.
They have taken a heavy toll on me,
As we look at each other helplessly,
Embracing the love that flowed
 
Between our tear-filled eyes,
We wait for the dreaded separation.
The one that beckons us in its arms
Is the one that torments me no end.
One day, you chose silence over agony...  
 
I know that our love will linger long
In hope of our next meeting.
You have left me on your journey to heal.
And with me fixated on you, I will sleep deep
To awaken in your arms, never to leave again.

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is currently a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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

Categories
Contents

Borderless, November, 2021

Autumn: Painting in Acrylic by Sybil Pretious

Editorial

Colours of the Sky…Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Akbar Barakzai, a Balochi poet in exile who rejected an award from Pakistan Academy of Letters for his principles. Click here to read.

In Conversation with Somdatta Mandal, a translator, scholar and writer who has much to say on the state of Santiniketan, Tagore, women’s writing on travel and more. Click here to read.

Translations

Rebel or ‘Bidrohi’

Nazrul’s signature poem,Bidrohi, translated by Professor Fakrul Alam. Click here to read.

Motorcar

Jibonananda Das‘s poetry translated from Bengali by Rakibul Hasan Khan. Click here to read.

The Beloved City

Poetry of Munir Momin, translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Rebranding

A poem in Korean, written & translated by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.

Perhaps the Last Kiss

A short story by Bhupeen giving a vignette of life in Nepal, translated from Nepali by Ishwor Kandel. Click here to read.

Morichika or Mirage by Tagore

Tagore’s poetry translated by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Rhys Hughes, Sutputra Radheye, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Sheshu Babu, Michael Lee Johnson, Prithvijeet Sinha, George Freek, Sujash Purna,  Ashok Manikoth, Jay Nicholls, Pramod Rastogi, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Vijayalakshmi Harish, Mike Smith, Neetu Ralhan, Michael R Burch

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

A story poem about The Clock Tower of Sir Ticktock Bongg. Click here to read.

Nature’s Musings

Penny Wilkes takes us for a stroll into the avian lives with photographs and poetry in Of Moonshine & Birds. Click here to read.

Stories

Waking Up

Christina Yin takes us on a strange journey in Sarawak, Malaysia. Click here to read.

Rains

A pensive journey mingling rain and childhood memories by Garima Mishra. Click here to read.

Khatme Yunus

Jackie Kabir brings us a strange story from Bangladesh. Click here to read.

First International Conference on Conflict Continuation

Steve Davidson explores an imaginary conference. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Fragments of a Strange Journey, Sunil Sharma sets out with Odysseus on a tour of the modern day world. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Yesterday Once More?

Ratnottama Sengupta recalls her experiences of the Egyptian unrest while covering the 35th Cairo International Film Festival in 2012. Click here to read.

Embroidering Hunger

An account of life of dochgirs (embroiderers) in Balochistan by Tilyan Aslam. Click here to read.

To Daddy — with Love

Gita Viswanath takes us into her father’s world of art and wonder. Click here to read.

Simon Says

Ishita Shukla, a young girl, explores patriarchal mindset. Click here to read.

Welcoming in the dark half of the year

Candice Louisa Daquin takes a relook at the evolution of Halloween historically. Click here to read.

Musings of the Copywriter

In Crematoriums for the Rich, Devraj Singh Kalsi regales his readers with a dark twist of the macabre. Click here to read.

Essays

Renewal

Jayat Joshi, a student of development studies, takes a dig at unplanned urban development. Click here to read.

Once Upon A Time in Burma: Leaving on a Jet Plane

John Herlihy’s last episode in his travels through Burma. Click here to read.

A Legacy of Prejudice, Persecution and Plight

Suvrat Arora muses on the impact of a classic that has been coloured with biases. Click here to read.

The Observant Migrant

In Is Sensitivity a Strength or a Weakness?, Candice Louisa Daquin explores our value systems. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

Arundhathi Subramaniam’s Women Who Wear Only Themselves. Click here to read.

CJ Fentiman’s award winning book, The Cat with Three Passports. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Himadri Lahiri reviews Somdatta Mandal’s ‘Kobi’ and ‘Rani’: Memoirs and Correspondences of Nirmalkumari Mahalanobis and Rabindranath Tagore. Click here to read.

Suzanne Kamata reviews Iain Maloney’s Life is Elsewhere/ Burn Your Flags. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Anita Agnihotri’s Mahanadi –The Tale of a River, translated from Bengali by Nivedita Sen. Click here to read.

Meenakshi Malhotra reviews Turmeric Nation: A Passage Through India’s Tastes, authored by Shylashri Shankar. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

My Father’s Last Smile

By Pramod Rastogi

Courtesy: Creative Commons
My Father’s Last Smile
 
The rain has returned to the city.
Puddles are forming on the road
And children are running in joy.
Kidding along, I play with them
 
Until I suffer from a coughing fit.
Unsteady, my heart starts flipping
As I sit there amid woeful eyes,
And in the blur could hear sounds afar
 
Of birds singing and me darting
With my father feigning to catch me.
I could see his blurred outlines
Coughing and sitting holding his heart.
 
I was laughing and he smiled at me.
He never talked about his failing health, 
As more and more often he got nailed
To his bed, but his smile was intact.
 
The street was getting busy,
Yet, living with this everlasting memory, 
I walked back to my home infused
With the last smile of my father’s love
Anchored to the silence of my heart.

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is currently a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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

Categories
Poetry

Longing

By Pramod Rastogi

Courtesy: Creative Commons
Longing

As flowers are to a plant, 
So is longing to my life.
While a flower offers fragrance, 
Melancholic is the poetry I offer.
While a bouquet offers exuberance,  
My poetry has only tears to offer. 

The spring brings a ray of hope
And the buds spring out in plants.
The spring pricks me like thorns, 
So scarred at present is my heart
By the burden of longings
That nest in its core.

Flowers sway in the breeze, 
Singing joyous songs of bliss,  
With each petal joining the choir.
My longings play the violin
And its eloquence stirs in me 
The quivering lips of my love.   

The clouds have covered the sky. 
The sunflowers long for the sun 
With their joy mellowed down a shade.
Dense clouds of loneliness have
Long since wandered over my life
As I long to kiss those lucid eyes. 

I have seen flowers wither,
Longing for rain to fall,
But who knows how much I long 
For the time to rewind to my youth,
To see me surrender to her embrace 
As I pin a flower on her braids? 

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is currently a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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

Categories
Poetry

A Grand Bouquet

By Pramod Rastogi

A Grand Bouquet 

Years have rained from the sky
Like flower petals falling leisurely 
On the face of a life in a trance.

Each year one flower more
I have added to my bouquet,
Kept in a fancy glass vase  
On the altar of my mystic past.

The bouquet has a sacred look 
With sleek flowers of all sizes,
Of myriad colours and hues. 

I look back at the titanic altar  
And perceive a feeling of joy
And nostalgia for the years
That I collected these flowers.

Alas, this imposing bouquet  
And the aroma it imparts
Are my only pieces of fortune.

The years have faded away
And so have many flowers.
Only a few robust ones are left
That perfume my heart.
		
The years will all melt away 
And the vase will soon be full.
On display will be vivid colours
And a delicate fragrance to recap
The undying spirit of my life.

A candle will then be lit 
In grief and in tribute  
To the grandiose bouquet 
That had adorned this vase.

Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is currently a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.

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