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B R Nagpal

BR Nagpal


Across the twists and intersections,
through the slums
and paved, motorable roads,
a lone apartment opens up
where a lamp and a table are held together
by a sheaf of papers, calligraphic pen.
The computer, internet
CCTV and the tightly bolted door,
adorn the select points.
Trees unseen do not hiss,
Honest author, like a patient
regales himself with reportage
pining for league with Dostoevsky, Sartre, Camus,
Venus and Apollo
whose portraits hang awkwardly.
Alas! The void,
The void that pervades, persists.
It is the chaos that reigns.
Sensations, contingency, accidents
Riots, rapes, atrocities, suicides
are not ominous.
They are everyday occurrences.
The sombre outside-inside,
pursues the writer’s ghost.
Gods and devils take their positions,
holding to ransom his nerves.
The muddle headed gentleman jolted,
folds his hands beseechingly.
The artist stumbles for words,
The Word flees.
The deftness in strokes is gone.
The veil strikes,
between the stinginess of demented psyche
and the colours of Imagination.
Images, ideas do not crystallize
in visible, subtle forms.
The art student on probation
shrugged off his assignment
sat on the stairs
boiling over walls, bricks
The drawing was nowhere in sight
Between the real and the unreal,
His discomfiture shook him
His body, legs, inner vitals
were drooping towards paralysis
The painting did not come off.
Raman, the delinquent
returns to his room
The portraits of his masters, fellow-artists
fills him with awe
He bows, prostrates before them all
Praying, he gathers his energies
holds his brush tight
The next day opens up
in resurgence, enviable brightness
clouds, earth, heavens
present intersections
between the concrete and the abstract
this world, the other world
Raman, like a disciplined disciple
applies his skill
to colour, oil
generates geometrical shapes, sketches
His craftsmanship turns tangible
drawing out
the mystery of invisible

Lalit, they derisively accented
Lalit, making mock signs
an illegitimate child
by neighbours, relatives
after the death of his father
killed in an accident
Mournings, memorials
heavings, chest-thumping
did not enchain him
The forest of his existence
opened up before his mind’s eye
upon streams, lakes
distant hills, the starlit sky
Ill-clad in an olive-green pyjama
He was fumbling, faltering
but a doughty lad was he
He sought
to leap upon edges
he would indulge in kicking, jumping
like a warrior in the game of football
Somehow, he was hooked in silences
Disowned as a vagabond
hounded as a villain
He sat wonderstruck
near the ripples of a river
that resonated
The waves spoke to his arteries
Lalit made a resolve
He would mitigate his circles
to climb, climb
to reach the peak.

Clutching straws, petals
toiling to hold the rock,
Frail, forsaken child
vessel of limbs, bones
withdrew, reversed
began running like a sightless bird.
Knocked down by fates,
He was abandoned by parents
in the devastating earthquake.
He was oblivious of his surroundings,
the book of illustrations, his comb.
He did not tumble down
in the rubble of a hut.
In the sepulchral arc
where graves were rotting,
crowds were palpitating,
The senate and the assembly
were only fuming, roaring with spleen.
The child ran
unaware of the viewer’s gaze,
The media’s lens,
Heat and dazzle of the sun,
The tides of water.
He stifled with the dust,
nailing down his feet.
When the winds did not howl,
The sunset arrived,
darkness descended.
Lord’s presence, raised his hand
saluted the guard of an inn,
marched towards harmony, quiet and hope.



Charanjeet Kaur

Nirendranath Chakraborty - In Discussion with Aju Mukhopadhayay
Rajni Tilak - In Conversation with Anjali Singh

Charanjeet Kaur – “The Partitioning of the Sub-Continental Mind”
Dilip Jhaveri – ‘Voices from Persia and Ireland’
Kamla Bhasin – ‘Roots of Patriarchy’

Aditya Kumar Panda – ‘Determinants of Translation’
Kamayani Kumar – ‘Mediating Partition narratives through Visual Culture’
Madhvi Lata – ‘Girish Karnad’s “Naga-Mandala’
Rachana Pandey – ‘Men in Theatrical Performance’

Book Reviews
Ananya Sarkar – ‘Halfway Up A Hill’
Jaydeep Sarangi – ‘At the Crossroads of Culture and Literature’
KV Raghupathi – ‘My Friendship with Yoga
Lakshmi Kannan – ‘Encounters with People and the Angels of Hope’
Pratibha Kumari Singh – ‘A Gift of Goddess Lakshmi’
Revathi Raj Iyer – ‘In Other Words’
Srinivas Reddy – ‘Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling’
Sunaina Jain – ‘The Tree with a Thousand Apples’
Usha Kishore – ‘The Ending of Arrogance: Ksemendra’s Darpa Dalana’

Ambika Ananth – ‘Editorial Note’
Ashfaqh Hasan
BR Nagpal
Jim Wungramyao Kasom
Leena Sharma
Malcolm Carvalho
Md Ziaul Haque
Nitya Swaruba
Nuggehalli Pankaja
Prem Kumar
Madhabi Das (Trans. Subhasree Chatterjee)
Sunaina Jain
Ubaidullah Pandit

U Atreya Sarma – ‘Editorial Musings’
Ashok Patwari – ‘Padma’
Bodhisatwa Ray – ‘Kway Teow’
Chaganti Nagaraja Rao – ‘The Donor of Books’
Jindagi Kumari – ‘On the path of duty’
Lopa Mukherjee – ‘Through the lens of a camera’
Niyantha Shekar – ‘Shiva Park’
Rajarshi Banerjee – ‘The Mannequin’
Revathi Raj Iyer – ‘Tempest’
Sharath Suryan – ‘1800 Seconds’
Sridhar V – ‘Simply Baffling’

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