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Nuggehalli Pankaja

Nuggehalli Pankaja

Nuggehalli Pankaja

“Son, build tanks when you grow up,
So that cattle and tiger
Can drink to their fill when parched,
And passers-by slaking their thirst,
Depart, blessing you and your progeny.”
Whispered thus, the mothers of yester moons
While feeding infants with nectar of their breast…
Later on, Mama’s mind engrossed with computer.
“Sow seeds to bear trees mighty
Inviting birds to roost
And provide shade from Sun and rain,
To animals and humans alike”.
Sang   the mothers of yester nights,
While dragging ‘mouse’
But now?
Mama’s hands busy with steering wheels.
People   lining by bore wells jostling
To fetch a pail of water for cooking-drinking,
While   ‘cars-lined up’ streets bare of trees,
Stare stonily, gloomily,
At skyscrapers bereft of sparrows.
What a change!  What a change!

Golden smiling Sun of dawn,
Through clouds and petals,
Unfolding thoughts
Of sages searching in silence.
Silvery shiny moon,
Came down a-sailing,
In my dreams -
In   my dreams restless.
Soothing, unraveling,
Visions various, wondrous-
Of sages one with SILENCE!


Each day
When I go out,
And return
Through our gate,
This thought… this thought…
Aye, this simple stray thought
Crosses my mind-
That one day… one day…
Aye, on that fated one day
When I go out
Through this very same gate-
There will be… there will be…
There will be no return
The gate closed forever… forever!

Much have I envied
The children of the slum
Viewing them playing with their siblings,
Hearing their laughter, echo of which
Would haunt me in my mansion drab,
With no brothers or sisters to play.
Much would I give
To have at least one
I can call my own, share thoughts innermost,
Quarrel    over trifles,
Side each other when outsiders
Barge in hopeful of taking advantage.
Much have I envied
You! Yes mama, you- with your siblings TEN!
How they hover around you
When ill! If I had one at least?
Can cousins take the place of
Sisters-brothers, one’s own?
The   day is not far off, when,
The future generation will question
“Brother? Sister? What are they?”
What answer do I give them- then,
Mama dear?”

Meet we will on the
Destined day,
At the destined hour,
As before-not before.
This time
We will not speak of
With star-shine
In our eyes…
This time
We will speak of
Rising prices,
Water shortage,
And of course electricity shut-down.
We will remember
Not the melodies or poetry,
But of the void
When each of us go our way
In search of end of lane.

Enthralled by the rich color
Of the flowers
Adorning the wall,
The bee
It drew near, but backed away
“They have no nectar!”
exclaimed confused,
To the queen bee,
“The petals… they are dry!”
“Plastic flowerets,
The whole lot!”
Laughed the queen,
“Like those T.V smiles
On most lips nowadays.



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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