A pleasurable new get-up and diverse fare
Such a pleasure browsing through the latest Muse India with its new get-up! Congratulations once again to Surya and his technical team for the visuals, the format and the reading pleasure they've brought about.
I read Atreya’s editorial with much interest, especially the lines about collecting books by book addicts like us. I think I'll quote his line 'Reading and writing is like inhalation and exhalation' to my small family that frowns upon me and my young grandson (another avid reader!) for collecting books endlessly. At times, both of us wonder if we'll be thrown out of the house for lack of space! As for unread books that hang heavy on our conscience, now we'll remember Atreya’s quote from the ghost story by Algernon Blackwood.
It's such a good idea to include an interview with Ganga, Dr C Narayana Reddy's daughter. It gives a glimpse of his personal life, and is warm and intimate.
I also read Atreya’s interesting article on Cinare titled "The Bard and his Birds" about a little-known aspect of this great writer (maybe little-known for non-Telugu readers like me). Like plants and flowers, birds also have a habitat, a regional context. Wish someone would do a Cyclopedia on this.
I look forward to reading the rest of the articles, poems and stories in this issue.
Lakshmi Kannan, Delhi firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 13,2017
Greetings from members as MI comes up with Issue 75
Varanasi Ramabrahmam, Bhimavaram:
I am very proud of and tankful to Muse India. It has nurtured me as a writer and poet. The platform it has provided is unique, has been so useful and unparalleled. It has also provided co-authors who are both erudite scholars and friendly critics. It has been like a family. I wish Muse India a hundred years of longevity.
I am grateful to Surya, Managing Editor and the past and present editorial teams. MI covers almost all the languages and cultural diversity of India; and literary works of all hues are welcome here. The only important wing missing is drama. If small one act plays are also permitted it would further enrich MI. (This welcome suggestion is already under active consideration, as part of Fiction… Atreya Sarma, Chief Editor).
All the best and thanks to Surya and the entire editorial team. ‘Your Space’ section is so sweet and dear to me for posting and go through. I am particularly thankful to the present youthful editorial team of Your Space. The liveliness has been infectious.
Shernaz Wadia, Pune:
Great new look of the journal! Liked it immensely. Congratulations! Surya’s love for literature and writing has taken it so far with exemplary team work! Kudos to all associated with MI. Best for the future.
Rajaram Ramachandran, Mumbai:
My hearty congratulation to Muse India. And I thank Surya for his tireless efforts in giving MI a good and timely facelift to create more interest among its members.
Maria Zafar, New Delhi:
Heartiest congratulations on this marvellous achievement. Kudos. The new look is absolutely wonderful. Can't wait to read the issue. Wishing continued success in the years to come.
Poumita Paul, Agartala:
Congratulations. Trust me, the worth of MI carries it a thousand years ahead with unparalleled success. I'm really proud to be associated with a part of this literary domain.
Gomathi Mohan, Delhi:
Congratulations on achieving this milestone! Looking forward to reading this issue. Great work done purely on honorary basis with good writing at heart. Kudos to such commendable service to Indian Literature.
GSP Rao, Hyderabad email@example.com Oct 13,2017
Greetings from Contributing Editors/Editors as Muse India brings out its landmark 75th Issue
Wishing us all many more milestones for Muse India.
Sukrita Paul Kumar:
What a long and wonderful journey thanks to Surya’s persuasive and warm efforts towards putting it all together! Congrats to his and the team.
Excellent! Hope to see Muse India cross many more milestones ahead.
I sincerely thank Surya sir and all the contributing editors here for this wonderful opportunity to be alongside all of you. A very special acknowledgment needs to be made in respect of the encouragement, learning & motivation from Atreya Sir constantly. He is that gentle, stern in discipline, loving parent who steers his ward towards the right path & motivates to do better with every step.
Congratulations for this outstanding performance. It is heartening indeed to see Muse India in its new format. Its gradual evolution has always been a source of inspiration. I wish this journal keeps on achieving many milestones in its journey ahead. Best wishes and regards to every member of MI team.
Huge Congratulations and Best Wishes.
Absolutely lovely to hear this. 75 issues! Unimaginable. Wishing Surya and MI the very best.
Great achievement, Congratulations. The site is looking nice and finely balanced.
Tejwant Singh Gill:
So heartening to receive the 75th issue of Muse India. It seems to have improved in several respects. Now, being UGC sponsored, it will be welcome to a wider readership. My heartiest congratulations.
U Atreya Sarma:
A heartening landmark indeed. If a literary e-journal has survived this long and made many a stride, the credit goes to the vision and esprit de corps with which the founders, including Surya, conceived and set up Muse India, to the hard work put in by successive teams, to the valuable contributions by numerous writers, to the enthusiastic participation of members, and to the gestures of many a well-wisher. For me Muse India has served as a unique literary workshop, and thanks to that I am enjoying the best phase of my life in terms of spiritual satisfaction. Long live Muse India.
GSP Rao, Hyderabad firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 13,2017
MI 75: Sleek & modern; Poetry beautiful
I have loved the new design. It is sleek and modern.
The poetry section is beautiful. I have loved the poems by Faiz Ahmed; poetry by Betty Oldmeadow ("The Crab" is exquisite); "Why long for a change?" by Divya John is simple and thought provoking. "Paralysis" (by Debasis Tripathy) made me laugh out loud.
Kudos to the editors and all the poets :)
Sahar, Bengaluru email@example.com Oct 13,2017
Review of my Aliens in Delhi (MI 75)
This is such a lovely, thorough, and well-crafted review by U Atreya Sarma.
Sami Ahmad Khan, New Delhi firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 13,2017
MI 75 in its new design – A bunch of appreciations received
I reproduce hereunder a bunch of greetings received from the members/writers.
Congratulations for the 75th issue. At first glance, Muse India looks colourful and attractive. A painstaking effort, indeed. Thanks a lot for the meticulous care you are taking! Muse India is one of the best and most valued e-journals now, in future as well.
– K Damodar Rao, Warangal email@example.com Oct 10, 2017
The innovative design of Muse India is attractive. I am sure it must have been a great deal of work. Wishing it great success.
– H Kalpana, Puducherry firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 10, 2017
Exhilarated to view the much awaited issue of Muse India. I wholeheartedly congratulate the Muse India team for their painstaking effort in bringing it out.
– Elanaaga, Hyderabad email@example.com Oct 10, 2017
A wonderful issue – a feast both to the eyes and the brain.
– VVB Rama Rao, Solapur firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 11, 2017
What a stunning 75th Issue! It was really so much worth the wait! I wish Muse many more lovely issues.
– Revathi Raj Iyer, Ahmedabad email@example.com Oct 12, 2017
U Atreya Sarma, Bengaluru firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 13,2017
Irina Talashi on Kashmiri Proverbs (Issue 74, Jul-Aug 2017)
Irina Talashi’s article about Kashmiri Proverbs in Issue 74, was very inspirational. It lead me to thinking about the wisdom attached to them. So I took a deeper look into English Proverbs which has been very interesting, if time consuming! This quote outlines the value of them perfectly: ‘Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its proverbs.’ I thank Irina Talashi for sending me on a pleasant journey!
Betty Oldmeadow, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England email@example.com Oct 13,2017
Muse India – Issue 74 (Jul-Aug 2017) A kaleidoscopic array of diverse and stimulating thought patterns
What a pleasure it is to delve into the kaleidoscopic array of diverse thought patterns that make up the latest edition of Muse India, Jul-Aug 2017. From my personal ‘viewing platform’ in the south east of England, I am treated to a bird’s-eye-view of the prodigious skill of the writers who contributed to this issue. If time allows – and it is at a premium for most of us these days – I plan to take a second look into this collection in order to repeat my initial enjoyment. Congratulations must be extended to Atreya Sarma Uppaluri and the team on an excellent production.
If my simple reflections and ramblings are of any interest I would like to record a few, if only as a reminder to myself. To record praise to all the contributors would result in a novel, so unfortunately, I can merely touch the surface. As with all literature, certain phrases/writings are instantly ingrained on the memory and often trigger related memories that are personal to the reader.
In the mix of stories, ‘The Ghost of Shantaram’ by Remesh R reminded me of one of the many legends that have been handed down on the island where I live; the story of ‘The Ghost of the Old House Pond.’ A lady was said to appear just before Halloween every year and linger over the pond. The spectre of a sorrowful woman was said to emerge from the water and after alarming a few nervy locals, would evaporate into nothing. It is said she was driven to despair by a feckless and drunken husband, a coarse and rowdy seaman. The stress of trying to support herself and her children drove her to suicide. In the church’s burial register an entry reads that on the 22nd October, 1769, Grace, wife of Isaac Davis, drowned herself in the village pond. The legend lived on for two and a half centuries until the pond was filled in. Houses now stand on the site. Most of us enjoy a ghost story, no matter what we believe, and Remesh R’s story was very good, with an interesting twist at the end.
I was very taken by Nikesh Murali’s story, ‘Mama.’ It is a human tragedy played out all too often.
‘An Improbable Tale’ by Suraj Rajan is very imaginative and keeps the reader enthralled.
‘The Confessions of a Quiescent Lover’ by Vartika Srivastava touched a chord; my own dear mother developed what was thought to be a TB hip as a child. The medical knowledge of the day was not very advanced and she was placed in leg irons until she left school. This resulted in one leg being shorter than the other, so all her life she had to wear heavy lace-up shoes, one with a built up heel. She had a very pretty face, but was saddened by the fact that she could not dance or wear the same lovely shoes that other girls wore. In her dotage, Specialists claimed that the diagnosis she received as a child was completely incorrect and had she been born later, the damage incurred most certainly would have been avoided. Sad for her, but my mother grew into a determined, strong and talented lady. I was proud of her and she taught me many valuable lessons.
‘Sami Ahmed Khan: In discussion with Atreya Sarma’ – this article also stirred a memory for me. I had a passing interest in Alien life and made a feeble attempt to write a book via Amazon called ‘An Alien Experience’ in order to share the joy of writing with my grandson. It was written with ‘tongue in cheek’ but at the time we enjoyed researching the subject on a basic level. It became apparent that an extensive knowledge of the subject is needed to write about this matter, which obviously Sami Ahmed possesses. It caused me much amusement to attempt it, but made me aware of the chaos that could be caused if highly confidential information was released on the general public. It could be said that a great many revelations have now come to light on the internet, conspiracies or otherwise, but it hasn’t seemed to stir up a huge amount of panic so far! ‘What If’ is a very good question and we have to ask ourselves if mobile phones are already leading to a degree of genetic mutation!
As for Archana Gupta’s ‘The Revenue Stamp,’ an impressive article. I totally agree that ‘Woman must write herself’ – I have often secretly challenged the word ‘History’ (His story) – why not indeed ‘Herstory!’ (Her story) but I generally find it is wiser to keep my thoughts to myself! Interesting that Amrita Pritam explored ‘women’s inner experiences.’ My daughter left some books behind by Simone de Beauvoir, who gets a mention along with Sigmund Freud; this literature helped me to understand in part, why my daughter has turned into a very independent young woman!
In the Poetry section, to name but a few, I enjoyed PEACE by Arunima Takiar; THOUGHTS by Zinia Mitra; THE MOON by Maere Damisr; EATING MANGOES ON A RAINY DAY by Parvinder Mehta; I CHOOSE by Shernaz Wadia; SILENCED WORDS by Shweta Mishra, and REFUGEES by Venkata Chandeeswar. I regret that I could name only a few, but all the poetry deserves praise.
The art work was also very impressive; all praise to the artists.
Apart from the enjoyment of reading this magazine, to my mind it establishes beyond doubt as always, the fact that reading the varied words and thoughts of others stimulates the mind and memory of the reader in a multitude of different ways; words are one of life’s greatest gifts in my book.
All in all, MUSE INDIA, is an excellent and very enjoyable publication which has led to a very pleasant journey down memory lane and around your beautiful country from the comfort of my armchair. I applaud you all!
Betty Oldmeadow | Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England | firstname.lastname@example.org | 30 Jul 2017
An excellent interview in Sufi literature section
In MI’s special edition on Sufi literature and Sufism, the interview of Mukunda Rama Rao by Atreya Sarma was very interesting and illuminating. My thanks and congratulations to both the interviewer and the interviewee. I was absolutely impressed with Mukunda Rama Rao’s depth of knowledge and by the remarkable fact that he translated 51 Sufi poets from so many different languages into Telugu, albeit through a circuitous route of English translations.
I feel compelled to add a comment to Mukunda’s answer to one of the questions asked. Near the end of the interview, Atreya asked a very pertinent question: How come, despite the universal nobility and peace-loving nature of Sufism, the present day world is torn with frightening conflicts, more so in the lands where it originated and flourished? Mukunda gave a diplomatic and non-controversial answer. If you need a blunt and truthful answer, it can be found in two other articles within the same special edition. One article is titled “Who are the Sufis? Who are the Faqeers?” by SL Peeran. The other article is titled “Nothing is Safe Anymore” by Syed I Husain. In essence, the answer is this: Sufism has been under intense attack in the past few decades by a very rigid, puritanical, even twisted form of Islam commonly known as Wahhabism/Salafism. This extreme ideology, well-funded by oil money, considers anyone who does not adhere to their rigid interpretations of Islam to be a kafir (heretic). If you are a kafir, you should either be converted to their “pure” religion, or be exterminated. People of goodwill everywhere must constantly be on guard against extremism, the polar opposite of Sufism, if we hope to cultivate peace on earth.
Mir Murtuza Ali, Mississauga, Canada email@example.com
June 28, 2017
Usha Akella's article on Rumi very well written
I wish to thank and congratulate MI on your special edition on Sufi literature. I was particularly pleased with Usha Akella’s article on the grand master of Sufi poetry – Jalaluddin Rumi. Not only is the article very well written, I could relate to it in my own personal way having read some of Rumi’s poetry and having visited Rumi’s mausoleum and museum in the town of Konya during recent travels in Turkey. Interestingly, Rumi is considered a national treasure in not just Turkey but in two other countries – Iran which claims him because he lived there for some years and wrote mostly in the Persian language, and by Afghanistan because he was born there. Remarkably, as Usha Akella states, Rumi is now “the most popular poet in America” even though English translations of his poetry cannot truly capture the fascinating eloquence of the original language.
Mir Murtuza Ali, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada firstname.lastname@example.org Jun 27, 2017