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Prem Kumar

Prem Kumar

Prem Kumar


India is crowded and filthy,
Streets often lacking sidewalks and light,
Hardly is there a decent park or library,
Said nineteen- year old Monica.

Indians eat with hands,
Licking, gulping and burping aloud,
A sight I can’t stand,
Said twenty- year old Mahindera.

Half in jest, half justly they also said,
Indian English is queer, so is the accent.
Indians freely maul the Queen’s tongue,
That was Malhotra clan’s final comment.

Divorced from a white female, Malhotra,
A chemist in a Boston paint factory,
A loving father of Monica and Mahindera,
Concluded: Never again will we visit India.

But the American economy now sagged,
And the varnish/paint factory tanked,
Sinking Malhotra’s pension and gratuity.
Overnight he plunged from plenty to poverty!

For long inhaling varnish and paint,
Malhotra’s one lung was shot;
To survive, he needed a nurse;
An expense surely beyond his purse.

In panic Malhotra reached bucolic Kangra,
Where simple fare and tender loving care,
Slowly restored him to health and cheer.
He was now happy to live in India.

‘I eat my food with hands,
Rice, chutney, dhal and chappati,
And speak mostly Punjabi;
India is my home, my beloved land,’

So he wrote to Monica and Mahindera.
The temple bells nearby pealing,
And farmers in the field sowing,
Thus ended Malhotra’s scary saga!


In Toronto Edmonton and Vancouver,
At dawn by bus they go out for work:
Cook, sweep, launder and push a senior’s chair,
Or simply sit at a desk as a night-clerk.

Until now they couldn’t enter Canada,
For Punjabis know no French or English.  
Now in droves they enter Canada,
Still they know no French or English!

The Kraal door is flung open suddenly:
Is it amnesty, an act of mercy?
Will Immigration Canada explain quickly?
And relieve the new arrivals’ curiosity!

In time they will trade the apartment
For a house in a Punjabi community,
Where their kids go to a public school,
And Mamas live in native congeniality.

When holidaying in India, these folk
Splurge money on gold, food and silk.
On return they pontificate profusely:
Oh, that country is crowded and dirty!



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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