Categories
Contents

Borderless, October 2021

An Ode to Autumn: Painting by Sohana Manzoor.

Editorial

Making a Grecian Urn… Click here to read.

Interviews

Unveiling Afghanistan: In Conversation with Nazes Afroz, former editor of BBC and translator of a book on Afghanistan which reflects on the present day crisis. Click here to read.

The Traveller in Time: An interview with Sybil Pretious who has lived through history in six countries and travelled to forty — she has participated in the first democratic elections in an apartheid-worn South Africa and is from a time when Rhodesia was the name for Zimbabwe. Click here to read.

Translations

Travels & Holidays: Humour from Rabindranath

Translated from the original Bengali by Somdatta Mandal, these are Tagore’s essays and letters laced with humour. Click here to read.

The Quest for Home

Nazrul’s Kon Kule Aaj Bhirlo Tori translated from Bengali by Professor Fakrul Alam. Click here to read.

Mysteries of the Universe

Akbar Barakzai’s poetry in Balochi, translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Gandhi & Robot

A poem reflecting the state of Gandhi’s ideology written in Manipuri by Thangjam Ibopishak and translated from the Manipuri by Robin S Ngangom. Click here to read.

Sorrows Left Alone

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

The Song of Advent by Tagore

Written by Tagore in 1908, Amaar Nayano Bhulano Ele describes early autumn when the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated. It has been translated from Bengali by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read

Michael R Burch, A Jessie Michael, John Grey, Rupali Gupta Mukherjee, Mike Smith, Saranyan BV, Tony Brewer, Baisali Chatterjee Dutt, Jay Nicholls, Beni S Yanthan, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Pramod Rastogi, Jason Ryberg, Michael Lee Johnson, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad, Rhys Hughes

Animal Limericks by Michael R Burch. Click here to read.

Nature’s Musings

In The Lords of Lights, with photographs and a story, Penny Wilkes makes an interesting new legend. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Pessoa and Cavafy: What’s in a Name?, Rhys Hughes comically plays with the identity of these two poets. Click here to read.

Musings/ Slices From Life

At the Doctor’s

In this lighthearted narration, Farouk Gulsara uses humour to comment on darker themes. Click here to read.

Taking an unexpected turn

Nitya Pandey talks of a virtual friendship that bloomed across borders of countries during the pandemic. Click here to read.

Travel in the Time of Pandemics: Select Diary Entries of an Urban Nomad

Sunil Sharma gives us a slice from his travels with vibrant photographs, changing continents and homes during the pandemic. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Surviving to Tell a Pony-taleDevraj Singh Kalsi journeys up a hill on a pony and gives a sedately hilarious account. Click here to read.

Essays

A Season of Magical Mellow Wistfulness

Meenakshi Malhotra through folk songs that are associated with Durga Puja explores the theme of homecoming. Click here to read.

What Gandhi Teaches Me

Candice Louisa Daquin applies Gandhiism to her own lived experiences. Click here to read.

How Women’s Education Flourished in Aligarh Muslim University

Sameer Arshad Khatlani dwells on the tradition of education among Muslim women from early twentieth century, naming notables like Ismat Chughtai and Rashid Jahan. Click here to read.

Once Upon a Time in Burma: Of Friendships & Farewells

John Herlihy takes us through more of Myanmar with his companion, Peter, in the third part of his travelogue through this land of mystic pagodas. Click here to read.

When Needles Became Canons…

Ratnottama Sengupta, who has edited an encyclopaedia on culture and is a renowned arts journalist, gives us the role ‘kanthas’ (hand-embroidered mats, made of old rags) played in India’s freedom struggle. Click here to read.

Stories

Lunch with Baba Rinpoche in Kathmandu

Steve Davidson takes us for a fictitious interview with a Tibetan guru in Nepal. Click here to read.

The Tree of Life

An unusual flash fiction by Parnil Yodha about a Tibetan monk. Click here to read.

Odysseus & Me: A Quest for Home

A short fiction from Bangladesh by Marzia Rahman on immigrants. Click here to read.

Dawn in Calicut

Krishna Sruthi Srivalsan writes of a past that created the present. Click here to read.

I am a Coward with Priorities

Tejaswinee Roychowdhury tells a story from a soldier’s perspective. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Bapu, Denied, Sunil Sharma explores the fate of Gandhiism in a world where his values have been forgotten. Click here to read.

Book Excerpts

An excerpt of In a Land Far From Home: A Bengali in Afghanistan by Syed Mujtaba Ali, translated by Nazes Afroz. Click here to read.

An excerpt from letters written by Tagore from Kobi & Rani, translated by Somdatta Mandal. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Aruna Chakravarti reviews Golden Bangladesh at 50: Contemporary Stories & Poems edited by Shazia Omar. Click here to read.

Somdatta Mandal reviews Wooden Cow by T. Janakiraman, translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Kannan. Click here to read.

Gracy Samjetsabam reviews Suzanne Kamata’s The Baseball Widow. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Mohona Kanjilal’s A Taste of Time: A Food History of Calcutta. Click here to read.


Categories
Poetry

Drunken Cockroach in my Wine Glass

By Saranyan Bv

Drunken cockroach in my wine glass

Dear Panchami,
Today I woke with a new angle to look at the way
The world revolves.
Panchami, don’t get hassled about my drinking,
Things could have been worse like for the cockroach
I met this morning
After I got off the bed.
By the way Panchami, how are you?
How sound was your sleep? Let me know.
The lone cockroach, Americana Periplaneta,
Suffering loneliness like I do
Had fallen last night
In my empty cup of wine.
Oh Panchami, my soul,
As you always complain
I had forgotten to clear the table.
There was this residue of that purple vintage
That stayed in the cup through the warm night,
Upon which, the roach floated
On its dorsal, looking up,
Beating its six legs, two antennas
Like old women in old days
When someone old died.
Dear Panchami,
I didn’t want to play God,
Didn’t upturn the fellow, I let him remain
In that unfussy state of combat with air.
Panchami, my soul which stands apart,
I didn’t want to play the devil either,
Didn’t want to reclaim him
From his stuporous state of inebriation
Where the universe seems faultless.
Dear Panchami,
After all he chose to drink,
Partake a sip of the Bacchus without encroaching into mine.
What if I didn’t clear the table
Put away the empty glass, wash, dry
And stack it where you always did.
Dear Panchami,
We are not here in this infinitesimal life
To play God or Devil, judge and judge not.
I am sure you are angry, but please.….
I don’t even ask your forgiveness
Dear Panchami.
For I don’t want to let you suffer the burden of
Judging and being entangled 
In matters of judgement knots.
Roaches are survivors Panchami! So am I.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves the works of Raymond Carver.

Categories
Contents

Borderless, September 2021

Editorial

The Caged Birds Sing…Click here to read.

Interviews

Professor Anvita Abbi, a Padma Shri, discusses her experience among the indigenous Andamanese and her new book on them, Voices from the Lost Horizon. Click here to read.

Keith Lyons talks to Jessica Mudditt about her memoir, Our Home in Myanmar, and the current events. Click here to read.

Translations

Be and It All Came into Being

Balochi poetry by Akbar Barakzai, translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Adivasi Poetry

A poem by Jitendra Vasava translated from the Dehwali Bhili via Gujarati by Gopika Jadeja. Click here to read.

A Poem for The Ol Chiki

 Poetry by Sokhen Tudu, translated from the Santhali by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar. Click here to read.

About Time

Korean poetry on time written and translated by Ilwha Choi. Click here to read.

Of Days and Seasons

A parable by the eminent Dutch writer, Louis Couperus (1863-1923), translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

Road to Nowhere

An unusual story about a man who heads for suicide, translated from Odiya by the author, Satya Misra. Click here to read.

Abhisar by Tagore

A story poem about a Buddhist monk by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali has been translated by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.

Poetry

Click on the names to read the poems

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Michael R Burch, Sekhar Banerjee, Jeff Shakes, Ashok Suri, Tim Heerdink, Srinivas S, Rhys Hughes, A Jessie Michael, George Freek, Saranayan BV, Gigi Baldovino Gosnell, Pramod Rastogi, Tohm Bakelas, Nikita Desai, Jay Nicholls, Smitha Vishwanathan, Jared Carter

Nature’s Musings

In Sun, Seas and Flowers, Penny Wilkes takes us for a tour of brilliant photographs of autumnal landscapes with verses. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

In Memory Gongs, Rhys Hughes creates a profound myth tinged with a tongue in cheek outlook … Click here to read.

Essays

Crime and the Colonial Capital: Detective Reid in Calcutta

Abhishek Sarkar explores the colonial setting up of the Calcutta detective department in 1887. Click here to read.

The Myth of Happiness

Candice Louisa Daquin ponders over the impositions on people to declare themselves happy. Click here to read.

Once Upon a Time in Burma: Of Babies and Buddhas

John Herlihy takes us through more of Myanmar with his companion, Peter, in the second part of his travelogue. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

Bhaskar Parichha explores links between Politics & the Media. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Cyclists

Mike Smith muses about a black and white photograph from his childhood. Click here to read.

Leo Messi’s Magic Realism

Sports fan Saurabh Nagpal explores the magic realism in famous footballer Messi’s play with a soupçon of humour. Click here to read.

Infinite Possibilities & Mysterious Riddles

Keith Lyons gives a lively account of traveling across borders despite the pandemic. Click here to read.

Word Play

Geetha Ravichnadran explores additions to our vocabulary in a tongue-in-cheek article. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In When I Almost Became a Professor, Devraj Singh Kalsi gives humour tinged reasons on why he detached himself from being an academician. Click here to read.

Stories

Flash Fiction: Turret

Niles M Reddick relates a haunting tale of ghosts and more. Click here to read.

Silver Lining

Dipayn Chakrabarti travels through moods of the day and night. Click here to read.

Captain Andi is in love

Dr. P Ravi Shankar explores a future beyond climate change in Malaysia. Click here to read.

The Cockatoo

Revathi Ganeshsundaram captures the stardust in ripening years. Click here to read.

The Missing Tile

Saeed Ibrahim’s story reflects on the ties between an old teacher and a student. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In Return of the Ghost, Sunil Sharma explores the borders between life, ideas and death. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Kobi’ and ‘Rani’: Memoirs and Correspondences of Nirmalkumari Mahalanobis and Rabindranath Tagore, translated by Somdatta Mandal, showcasing Tagore’s introduction and letters. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

Rakhi Dalal reviews Anvita Abbi’s Voices from the Lost Horizon. Click here to read.

Basudhara Roy reviews Bina Sarkar Ellias’ Song of a Rebel and Other Selected Poems. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Wendy Doniger’s Winged Stallion and Wicked Mares. Click here to read.

Categories
Poetry

The A to Z Man

By Saranyan BV

The A to Z man

Kalai claims he is A to Z man.
In my language Kalai means art.
I hear him explain his services are from A to Z,
Covers all that needs to be done, 
He’d come in at the appropriate moment in my life -
I didn’t know such services been on offer until I died,
I look at him through closed eye-lids --
Except for few warts around his nose
And a shiny scar on the forehead,
His bona-fide is not in doubt.
The scar does not trouble me
Anymore, although it starts
From near the tip of the left eyebrow
And travels up till the hairline
Where the left separates from right --
Life is a salad of incongruences,
Now the process of incongruences stopping starts.  
He names the price, Kalai, and lists what A to Z meant,
Though a few things I could do without --
I am un-ritualistic - really. Truly.

Peace comes over my son’s dithered face,
He is left now to grieve
Not bother about the things to do;
He looks at my face for my nod
Grieving is easier done than doing --
Like all dead men, I wish my son to grieve --
Arranging my last trek on the pall
Is left to Kalai, in which I have no say,
The A to Z things.  

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves the works of Raymond Carver.

.

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

Categories
Contents

Borderless, May 2021

Editorial

And this too shall pass… Click here to read

Translations

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.

Solus

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.

Poetry

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.

Stories

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.

Essays

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.

Interviews

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.

Categories
Poetry

The Resting Place

By Saranyan BV


Summer peaked early

Beginning of April, it had sprung,

Too warm for comfort or sweat.


The flower arrangements came

And after sometime, overflowed,

The priest spoke about the celebration of life.


No cry, no sobs, no one wept,

They waited for a call from the undertaker,

The pit takes long in the seething heat, he’d said.


The choir boys look out of windows.

Mourners chide ceiling fans for being slow,

Bouquets would take a while before dropping dead.



Everyone imagined with shudder,

The day they would lie, with poignance

Hands crossed in front.


Out of the icebox, laid in bed of flowers

Mom saw all this, no longer cool, her soul

Impatient -- is it done? The resting place.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves the works of Raymond Carver.

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

Categories
Poetry

A Moth as My Mantelpiece

By Saranyan BV

A moth came home last night. I must have been asleep when she did

She was not there when I retired to sleep.

She’d found a place on the mantel where some curios are kept

To tell the people the kind of person I am, the visitors who come home.

.

The mantel holds up a teacup with a picture of my under-grad days,

Long sideburns and disheveled hair and care-a-damn appearance.

Also, there a mascot from the University of Duke.

My son had brought and left so we could remember he was there.

.

I am thankful the moth found a vacant space

To spread her wings and in that order chose to die,

I think she is dead for she hasn’t moved since —

The moth not as colorful on her wings as butterflies,

.

The wings spread like eagle in flight, above in the sky

The wings have all the sheen, all the curve on the verges

The wings look like cape extending from kingly shoulders,

.

The motif on her back hard not to see in the morning sun

The body structure the same, ugly cylindrical, rolling pin with rings,

Her proboscis now immobile, coiled, were once ceaseless foragers.

It would be foolish to remove and cast her

.

As dead carcass in litter of the world,

Let her be, be my guest in that departed condition

Till it’s time for my going —

The house has all the air and all the oxygen.

.

That it chose to die in my home as mantelpiece is a benediction,

I watch her, the piece of advice sent from heaven,

Something like Gita or Guru Granth Sahib

Passing out in an unaffected stance of corporeality.

.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves works of Raymond Carver.

.

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

Categories
Humour Poetry

Two Boons and one Bender

By Saranyan BV

Two boons and one bender

Although in a situation where most people living on earth die en-masse
Blown by pandemic or by bacterial catastrophe,
Or by freak accidents like trail of large meteoric rocks crashing,
Or the ocean fed by melting of snow in North pole come bashing
(Like when Arctic begins to look like Sahara and my continent like archipelago,
I happen to be in foothills of Mont Blanc that eventful day 
(For logic’s sake I say this to explain why I don’t die)
Bargaining with the Italian store owner there with cutting edge aquiline nose
Trying to rent low-cost ski-board and other skiing tackles),
Or by evolution of new species more intelligent than mankind,
More robust and more disciplined and more tech savvy
(the funny type which doesn’t tell lies and looks for rationality in all the things they do),
Either by mutation or by unfortunate leak of synthetic embryo 
From some secret lab in Basel or in Rio-de-Janeiro.   
Or the landing of aliens using satellites which look like Harley Davidson
Whose lethal weapons kill in unison, 
Alien species which have eyes located on their bums and can’t see when seated,
(Any incubator company want to design chairs for seating arrangements 
In movie theatre or chaise lounge or bistro, or for suntan under orange-colored parasol?)

Although most people living on earth die like this
(After natural life gets over that is - How boring! How disastrous!)
And earth has enough 6/3 space left to bury
I wouldn’t like to be interned, for who would want to be unearthed,
Discovered long after dead by some disparate archaeologist of random genus
And be smeared with some new chemical which doesn’t let me disintegrate
Either by sound-bite or by light or toxic smell of some obnoxious substance.
I ask God for two boons, one - give me two minutes of life after death; 
To narrate and record events that lead to my death and the causes thereof,
So that no one spreads rumors how I died, that my wife doesn’t say I was reckless 
(God, kill me two minutes before my time and lend me those two minutes for post-mortem!)
I like my remains to feed leg-less organisms in sea, (this the second boon request)
My ankles tied to three-inch nylon rope saddled with fifty kg Hematite rock-horse
Slid where the depth is more than four thousand eight hundred and ten meters
Which is the altitude of Mont Blanc. (we need planned coincidences, right?)
If I can complete the narration in less than two minutes,
I have time to dangle and watch the fishes tugging at me, 
Carrying bits of me to crevices where turtles live and twaddle, 
I like to comb the oceanic floor with my hair, 
Watch fishes mating like there’s no tomorrow
And not fear bad breath because down under the sea bad smell doesn’t carry.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves works of Raymond Carver.

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