Sharad Ritu - Autumn, Issue No. 111 (Sep-Oct 2023)

Kerala Writing in English

Kerala Writing in English has transformed into a distinct space of cultural hybridity, assimilating diverse voices with Kerala roots in a second language. It is high time to read, identify and appreciate such a tradition of regional English writing that has evolved out of dynamic socio-cultural upheavals. This Special Feature curated by Dr Syam Sudhakar comprises a collection of English creative writing of various genres from a wide array of both English and bilingual contemporary writers from Kerala. It also incorporates the reasons as testified by these writers for choosing English as a means of their creative expression. It features several established writers and emerging voices in English. Starting with an article that explores the trajectory of Kerala Writing in English, the feature offers a gist of contemporary writings, an extension of the lineage set by Western education-based modernity in the state.
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“I have often felt, as a writer, that I am giving expression to something beyond myself - something that emerges from a different realm that I, perhaps unconsciously, tap into in the act of writing. To that degree the text is both mine and beyond me, an artefact that emerges like a stream from the ocean of stories that I have been privileged to channel to my readers.” (Shashi Tharoor in “The Anxiety of Audience”, FEATURE)


“He suddenly remembered where he had met the manager, or rather why he had looked so intensely familiar. He looked like the Mexican footballer with a difficult-to-pronounce name, whom he had seen on the neighbour’s TV, who, to judge from the yellow and red cards he kept earning, was not a nice person to know.” (Anees Salim, Excerpt from The Bellboy, FEATURE)


“For we will never be again / Who we were this morning. / Chunky bittersweet orange hours /Oozing out of a jam jar / A viscous will of its own. / Wisdom is knowing /
Nothing ever stops / Neither time nor marmalade. /Rock or butterfly, / Or the beating of the brave heart.” (Anita Nair, ‘Daring and Doing’, FEATURE


The growing unrest in accepting India as a multicultural, plural, or diverse nation can be attributed to the complexity of the term "culture". Cultural studies scholars have consistently highlighted that all cultures are infused with a sense of identity. (H Kalpana in FEATURE Section) (LITERARY SECTION)


Psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and in fact, all caregivers are human after all. At times, in their hectic schedules without their knowledge, they might reach the nadir. Living Dead by Chandana Pathak, translated from Assamese by Anannya Nath, portrays the true world of therapists. (FICTION)


Theories and principles of life presented in textbooks are far away from the reality on the ground, in day-to-day life. This is clearly evident in Kumarika Roy’s simple and lucid narration Unfortunately Fortunate wherein the protagonist shifts roles from being an aspiring Psychoanalyst to a call girl. (FICTION)


Vishal Prabhu plays with words through his poems. The slicing of words into halves, where they create a new meaning for a sentence is a feat that creates a powerful rendering by the poet. (POETRY)


Chayanika Saikia’s poems are an ode to autumn. Through a series of short poems, she heralds the birth of autumn and its effects on one’s surroundings. (POETRY)


Sudha Rai finds What Will People Say? by Mitra Phukan, a beautifully worked out, compelling narrative, that upholds through the lens of Indian widowhood, the feminist demand for women’s equality, and normalisation and legitimisation of their need for romance and companionship. (BOOK REVIEWS)


D Sreejith in his review emphasises that Shunting the Nation by Aniruddha Bose deserves a special mention in the annals of historiography since the narrative survives, apart from archival shreds of evidence, predominantly on the difficult-to-be-extracted information from the memoirs of people who worked in the Railway, including the author’s family members.  (BOOK REVIEWS)


This Issue of Muse India is sponsored by Sri Satish Verma, the Patron of Muse India.

Past Issues

Issue:110:Indian Graphic Novels

Issue:109:Literature of the Northeast

Issue:108:Muse India Haikai Special 2023

Issue:107:Feature: Poetry Fervour

Issue:106:FEATURE: Regional Folktales of India

Issue:105:Relationships Unbound: Works of Jayanta Mahapatra

Issue:104:These Claustrophobic Spaces

Issue:103:Ethics & Politics of Cultural Memory