Sea of Strangers

by Lang Leav

Sometimes I am caught between poetry and prose, like two lovers I can’t decide between. Prose says to me, let’s build something long and lasting. Poetry takes me by the hand, and whispers, come with me, let’s get lost for awhile. Lang Leav came into my life with Love and Misadventure when a dear and now distant friend gifted me a copy of the book as a parting gift. She was someone I had great... continue reading→

cover: Sea of Strangers

It is what it is

Yrsa Daley-Ward

I stumbled upon ‘It is what it is’ by chance while I was reading the poetry collection called ‘Bone’ by the author. Bone is a hard hitting collection of prose and poetry by the author. It is what is it finds a place in the collection almost as if it was written for Bone. The story is about two siblings who have a fall out from the family. The dad leaves the mom. The mother... continue reading→


Linda Sexson

This is a peculiar story. It is Robert’s birthday. The birthday boy is waiting for his mother’s best friends’ arrival. They arrive, oh yes! They arrive looking like a swans in the plane of the earth. They enter the house and present the cake and presents to the boy. Then it is time for a story. Louis Dear begins with a story of an emperor who had no skin. The emperor is very upset. He... continue reading→

Indian Cultures as Heritage

by Romila Thapar

It was a few months back at CSMVS that I had heard Romila Thapar speak, and she was mesmerising! Thapar sets a benchmark when it comes to historical narrative. Her idea of presentation of history is very much evident in the book. Romila Thapar has often argued that history should not be treated as reproduction of facts given in textbooks. History should give a scope of further thinking. In this book, the author has tried... continue reading→

cover: Indian Cultures as Heritage

Do you suppose it’s the east wind?

Altaf Fatima

This particular story again belongs to the collection ‘The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told’ by Muhammad Umar Memon. This story of an aged woman reminiscing her childhood. She is old now. She is also absent minded. The absent mindedness that comes with age. She searches for her pen everywhere when it is clipped on to her collar all along. She forgets faces. She also forgets important chores. But as the east wind blew today it... continue reading→


Jamila Hashmi, translated from Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon

Banished is again a story of Partition. Like Laajwanti, this too is a story of a woman who suffered during the partition. She has seen her Baaba’s beard grazing in blood, hands held up as if in prayer. She has seen all her family members being slaughtered while she was dragged out of the house by her hair. Gurpal, now her husband, threw her in front of his mother and said ‘Look, MA, I’ve brought... continue reading→

cover: Banished