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Ambika Ananth

Ambika Ananth


I push myself headlong down to the point of my nadir
To hide in that deep chasm, in that dark suffocating crevice
Fearing the world, fearing the stigma
Fearing my very existence ….as a rape victim
The feral perpetrator is free out there
Ready for his next act of baser ignoble hunger
But why am I caught in this vortex of muddled emotions?
Why am I hiding from light when the darkness is not me?
I will rise up
I will be reborn
As a stone flower
With tough splendour
With spear like sharp petals
to sever without any qualms
those wanton despicable fingers
that touch my bare nakedness
None can defile me
Or violate my honour
No manifestation of any kind will come near
That can unleash shrapnels of sin into my body
I can brave the eerie cold of my being
As a stone flower
But cannot bear the tragedy
Of being in the warm innocent beautiful flesh
to be ravaged again
None can configure
The voltage of my raging wrath
The unendurable spate of my gushing defiance
filled with the heat of furnace flames
aching with an unhealing bleeding wound
In my very core, but ready with a raised hood to strike
uncoiling with a force unimaginable
A stone flower I am
No man can touch me wrongly and get away...




Day and night
Filled with mishmash moments of
Authority, abuse and sex
It's all about him
A libidinous lustful beast
Who spewed rabid love
Bruising black and blue statements, more on her soul
She tried to spit those nights out of her mind
But they lodged themselves excruciatingly deep
Eons and eons of loathed nights
of repetitive act of helpless surrender
A thousand screams slit her throat
Yet no sound came out,
But one moment of strong epiphany
A firm voice of resolute
"All is not lost, you still have yourself"
Learn to shun
Learn to rebel
Learn to live..."
As though she caught a lively ray
From the moonlit bay
Hope entered her mind's eye
Awakened all her senses
Cluster of stars in the sky
Looked like silver chandeliers
Mud brown ground of pristine earth
Smiled at her with fecundity
The happy ripples of the river
Quivered a song of joy
The fine lines etched in her palms
Showed a path of effulgence ahead
She found herself firm in that aura
That radiated courage and hope
The years of arid desert have gone by
The time of rich soil began
She seeded and germinated within
As wholesome as ever
She walked out on him
She walked into life again




O woman,
prove O woman,
even when caught in a great vortex,
that life is not a tragedy.
Gather your soul strength to become a new entity,
take a leap into infinity...!!
Chart your evolutionary path,
cross the fiery thresholds,
reach higher dimensions,
ascend to a new dawn in the skies.
Choose to evolve
with a steadfast resolve...!!
A seed breaks itself,
to grow into a tree
and breathe easy in the open.
You unshackle yourself
of fear and relish the freedom,
a happy realm, a spirited kingdom...!!
See your future in the Future,
and not be caught in mishaps of past,
Go beyond the reach of time
and dare to fly to the Sun,
in self-transcendence,
Your life may seem an inert mass,
but in one passionate renovation,
of your spirit and soul,
a holistic synergy
of wholesome feminine energy,
a yagna-like fire will burst forth...!!
The 'Durga' in you will emerge
in full glory..
taking you to where you really belong,
overcoming all limitations,
subduing all opposition,
into the realm of freedom and bliss..!!





Charanjeet Kaur

Lucha Corpi: In Conversation with Ketaki Datta
Mamang Dai: In Conversation with D Ramakrishna

Literary Essay
Sharad Chandra: ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

Literary Articles
Devika Karnad: ‘Lakshmi Kannan’s Going Home
Kaushik Acharya & Kiriti Sengupta: ‘Commentaries on The Gita
Shailja Chandra: ‘The Mona Lisa Phenomenon in Gulzar’s Writings’
Subhra Roy: ‘Re-reading Easterine Kire’s Bitter Wormwood
Tuhin Mukhopadhyay: ‘Anita Desai’s Voices in the City
Yogesh Kumar Negi: ‘Himachali Folk Music’

Book Reviews
Chandan Das – ‘A Certain Way
Manjinder Kaur Wratch – ‘Murder In Mahim
Nirojita Guha – ‘The Ocean of Churn
Rittvika Singh – ‘Baaz
Subashish Bhattacharjee – ‘And Gazelles Leaping’ & ‘Cradle of the Clouds
Tuhin Sanyal – ‘Dreams of the Sacred and Ephemeral
Wani Nazir – ‘Where are the Lilacs?’

Ambika Ananth: Editorial Comment
Ambika Ananth
Amrita Bhattacharyya
Anil Bairwal
Nilamadhab Kar
Parag Mallik
Rahul Jayaram
Shelton Pinheiro
Sunil Sharma
Swati Srivastava

Smitha Sehgal – ‘Editorial Musings’
Chandra Mohan Bhandari – ‘Himalayan Splendour’
Debasis Tripathy – ‘Convenient Friendship’
K Srinivasan Subramanian – ‘Tulasi has flowered’
Mohammad Shamsur Rabb Khan – ‘Old Man’s Fare’
Palak Sharma – ‘The Strange Journey’
Pragya Bhagat – ‘Portrait of an Old Man’
Shweta Tiwari – ‘His Love’
Sunaina Jain – ‘Lost and found’

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