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Shelly Bhoil

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Shelly Bhoil Sood

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Truth of a Common Uncle
(dedicated to the victims of pedophiles) 

A hostel room
girls' night
vodka and lime

one dared striptease
others teased,
another told the truth of
her finger's first mischief

shhhhh! boys not allowed!
spare the moon
that jumped in through
its gate of cloud

the bottle reached half
and we opened our heart
on things that mattered
on truths that embarrassed

like that of a common uncle

with a green-monster in his eyes
when he looked at her
little mangoes
to their bowels went dry

black clouds hidden
in big moustaches
his one thundering-laughter-bolt
on her lips, words were ashes
this uncle bore a pin in his thumb
and when he caressed
lipped her skin-silk 
to slake his appetite
her little body-moth lost life

this uncle walked chin up
in crowded streets and shrines
the irony was how and why 
were we guilty for his crime!

but this pajama party
we played by the rule-
from childhood's closet
we dared the truth

tnk tnk tnk—
the empty bottle
rolled ringing on the floor
lightened by years' burden
this night we snored

and the moon
that felt sorry and shy
quietly took away
our secrets to the sky...


Feature–Young Adult Literature

    Deepa Agarwal : Young Adult Literature in India

    Panchanan Dalai : Don’t Tell My Mother
    Devika Rangachari : Gender as an Issue in YAL
    Jojo Joy N & Merin Simi Raj : IE Fiction in new YA Age
    Manisha Chaudhry : Multilingual Publishing
    Dhriti Ray Dalai : Bhibhutibhushan’s Chander Pahar
    Nandini Nayar : Ranjit Lal’s Survival Fiction
    Neerja Sharma : Narayan’s Swami and Friends
    Stuti Goswami : ‘The Quiet, the Robust and Very, Very Naughty’

In Conversation
    Siddhartha Sarma : In discussion with Sunita Baveja

    Keki Daruwalla
    Sampurna Chattarji
    Shelly Bhoil Sood
    Shruti Sareen

Short Fiction
    Anil Menon : ‘Shrieknath’
    Rajni Gupta : ‘Indian Railways’
    Sanjay Khati : ‘Pinty’s Soap’
    Swapna Dutta : ‘Yesterday’

    M Venkatesh – The Fang of Summoning

Children’s Section
    Aritro Bose
    Gunjas Singh
    Tanvi Banerjee : Tagore’s ‘Dhrishti’

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