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Malavika S Udayan

Malavika S Udayan


Kiss a man who smokes
Bite his lips and
Sip the stench of that saliva,
When people ask you
"Do you smoke?"
Tell them a sly "No"
And clarify- "I tasted it".

Sleep with a man who smokes
Make love under his
Addicting breaths
Count them and cuddle in his arms.
When you are done
Steal his pack of Cigars
And laugh each out,
Nagging in his lap.

Hold on to him,
Get lost in him,
He is the smelling-him
He holds on you to taste
He provokes you to smoke
And he allows you to steal
One fine early morning
Whisper in his ears
"Da, you smell of love"
He’ll reply for sure
"Ha-ha! And you smell of cigars."


I get my hair messy enough for this wordy foreplay
And later the lip cracks those
Fade away as I tilt the slant of my letters
Again my nails filled of dirt
And the pop-ups of their commas, colons and full stops
The spaces, succumbs so as to arouse my breast-notes.
I am in love with you dear
No, don't insult calling me a lover
You are my trademark visitor of mood swings,
I am the whore of poetry


Before, after and meanwhile
There were number of kids born
With me, with you and
Every one of us
Where have they gone?
May be roaming in the backyard of a crowded house
Or crying in the premise of a famous school

They are no more hag flies
No crows, no frogs and no nymphets
The kids have fled,
They eloped with those naive travelers,
Loners, eccentrics and lovers

Do ask
"How did the kids leave?"

"Adulthood is the victim of mainstreams
and every child, a celebration of the escapes.

An act of escape does not belong to the front door."


If you give me a chance
I would maintain and call you a kite
A kite of changing colours,
and broken strings.
A kite of endless tail
And wide less flaps
All my rooftops, seashores and grasslands
Are so sure of your skydives
My clouds unchain their precipitation
To damp your paper skin

All this while,

I stand on mud
And help my fingers
Trace your directionless journey.
You hide, appear and reappear
With sheer curiosity
I remain the unfaithful aunt
Of your broken strings



Charanjeet Kaur: Editorial

Bill Ashcroft: In Coversation with Sayan Dey
Shanta Gokhale: In Discussion with Sayan Dey
Shashi Deshpande: In a Chat with Ananya Sarkar

Shikoh Mohsin Mirza: Svetlana Alxievich

Literary Articles
Debabrata Sardar: Tracing the Transition
Manjinder Kaur Wratch: 1984 and Amandeep Sandhu’s Roll of Honour
Manzoor Ahmad Najar: Heemal Nagrai
Pharmenash Ch Marak & Dwijen Sharma: Pastoral Modes in Ruskin Bond
Subhra Roy: Naga Identity through Myth and Magic Realism

Book Reviews
Ananya Sarkar – ‘Before We Visit the Goddess’
Kalyanee Rajan – ‘The Glass Bead Curtain’
Smitha Madanan – ‘The Vegetarian’
Sruti Md – ‘A Symphony of Chance Encounters’
U Atreya Sarma – ‘Syamala Dandakam’

Ambika Ananth – Editorial Note
Anoop Sharma
Debasis Tripathy
Dev Dutt
Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry
Jibrael Jos
Malavika S Udayan
Malsawmi Jacob
Pooja Agarwal
Sagar Mal Gupta
Sanam Sharma
Tejasvi Saxena
Vihang Naik
Vivek Sharma

U Atreya Sarma – Editorial Musings
Bhanumati Mishra – ‘A Raging Goddess’
Bosco Propócio Afonso: ‘Memories of Margarida’
Enakshi Biswas – ‘The Slap’
Muhammad Faizan Fuzail – ‘The Girl in Hijab’
Shweta Tiwari – ‘An indelible journey’
Shyamasri Maji – ‘The Nettle Leaves’
Sushant Dhar – ‘The Lost Home’
Suyash S – ‘The Crazy Stalker’
Tuhin Harit – ‘The Time Machine’

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