VARSHA RITU – MONSOON, Issue No. 104 (Jul-Aug 2022)

These Claustrophobic Spaces

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The yearn for freedom in humans manifests itself creatively regardless of the nature of confinement - real or imaginary. The existence of claustrophobia in mind’s spaces eventually gives way to the finest creations. If mental space is a dark alley, this darkness engulfs the disturbing external realities giving way to beautiful literature. The desire to produce an artwork shaped in suffocating places receives an outlet once the correct incline is realized and thus Dr. Sukanya Saha, while curating the feature finds varied creative outpours in response to the theme “These Claustrophobic Spaces”. The issue brings in a selection of fourteen poems, four short stories, a research paper about claustrophobic domestic space, a thought-provoking article on claustrophobic spaces, and a reflection inspired from renowned authors and their creative expressions which nurtured the author’s consciousness over the years.

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The anomalies of collocated spaces make the city an unreliable expanse, discriminated against and operative with disjunctive inequalities. The city is dependent on the one who makes it and varies radically with each new ‘home’ traversing its pavements.” Pritha Banerjee: Citizens of Seclusion: Inspecting the politics of Return, Representation and Reconciliation in Vivek Shanbhag’s Ghachar Ghochar and Uday Prakash’s Walls of Delhi. (LITERARY SECTION)

Women empowerment is of several types: economic, cultural, or political. Economic empowerment is the most important among all these, through which an attempt is made to make women economically independent.” Joydev Maity - Women Empowerment through Literature: An Analysis of Select Indian Graphic Novels. (LITERARY SECTION)

Here, there, everywhere’ by Roopa S is a relative narrative about space, linking not just the space needed for existence but the ever-widening gap in the social patterns. If one looks deeper it’s a chronicle of the past and the present. (FICTION)

Sri Rohith Rajam’s ‘Poets in Love’ celebrates two versifiers in fusion. Their souls are stringed by the one thread of love for the verse and not the visible corporeal. (FICTION)

Pramod Rastogi’s poems are filled with nostalgia of a past long gone and the recalling of a love has been done in a very poignant manner. The beauty and the graceful evocation of a long-lost love brings to his poetry a haunting sense of loss with it. (POETRY)


Jimmy Sharma’s poems defy articulation of images and the reader is left with scores of images surrounding them to pick and interpret from. The ephemeral quality of her works brings a refreshing dimension to the art of poetry writing. (POETRY)

Dr Srilakshmi Adhyapak is a doctor by profession and composes poems during leisure. She pursues poetry as a hobby and derives inspiration from nature and events around her. Many of her poems are a celebration of life and nature. In her three poems, contributed to the current feature, she talks about a wisp standing resolute braving the torturous gale. She also expresses a tangible pain which is imperceptible to numbed senses and underlines a moment that makes a difference. (FEATURE)


Passionate for travelling, photography and writing, Dr. Sambhu Nath Banerjee has a great liking for teaching and research. Dr. Nath has contributed a gripping flash fiction which would hook attention till the end. His contributions for poetry section inspire prolonged cogitations: “Life is like a prison and the almighty always keeping an eye on us. /We are all convicts in the prison of God.” (When I were a convict) “Now I have to go to the rooftop to get a glimpse of the blue sky bare. May Nature save us all from the Her unpleasant glare.” (The Lost Treasure). (FEATURE)

Testimonies to Smita Das Jain’s passion for writing are many. In her short story for the feature, “Leave the Door Open”, the protagonist, Rakshita’s despondency is conspicuous. Confined to a small hostel room she longs for company. Her identity and confidence is at loss. She wants that metaphorical door to remain open so that the suffocating space which was consuming her is replaced with a renewed thrust for a life in which her persona would blossom: “The room didn’t appear as confined with its door and window open.” (FEATURE)

Deepa Agarwal reviews “Till Death Do Us Reunite” by G Venkatesh, a deeply touching memoir and an ode to his beloved wife Varshita, who passed away after a prolonged and painful battle with cancer. It tenderly delineates the beautiful relationship they shared and is an anguished tale of their ordeal.

The other two books of Non-Fiction reviewed are Harisimran Singh’s “Deep Singh Shaheed – The Man in the Legend” by Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry; and Pradip Ranjan Sengupta’s (Editor) “Reassessing Bankim Chandra Chatterjee: The Novelist” by Jaydeep Rishi.

These are among the ten books reviewed in the section. (BOOK REVIEWS)

Slices of a Moon Swept by the Wind” is a novella in Kannada written by Surendranath S and translated by Prathibha Nandakumar. Purabi Bhattacharya reviews it and says it is an intense and painful narration of a special child, who, due to his ill health, watches the world perched at a window of a house he is confined in.

The other two novels reviewed are Suryanand’sPurana” reviewed by Madhulika Ghose and Saikat Majumdar’s “The Middle Finger reviewed by Nidhi Angurala.

A mythological fiction, Shubira Prasad’s “The Angels of Kailash,” an offtake from the epic Ramayana, is reviewed by Sunaina Jain. (BOOK REVIEWS)

Sapna Dogra reviews Ashok Patwari’s “The Poster Boy & Other Stories and calls them “compelling stories of infallibly distilled emotions and characters facing conundrums.” The 19 stories deal with a plethora of themes like jihad, friendship, old age, superstition, guilt, remorse, and identity.

The other two collections of short stories reviewed are Anshu Choudhry’s “Two Minutes to an Eclipse and Other Moments reviewed by Pushpa Subramaniam, and Shehan Karunatilaka’s “The Bill Lottery and Other Surprises” reviewed by Sukanya Saha. (BOOK REVIEWS)


This Issue of Muse India is sponsored by Dr Sakoon N Singh.

Past Issues

Issue:103:Ethics & Politics of Cultural Memory

Issue:102:Fiction Bonus

Issue:101:Bhakti Literature in Telugu FOLKSY LYRICS

Issue:100:Indian Literatures – The Abiding Values

Issue:99:Relations – The Void Within

Issue:98:Shakespeare in Indian Cinema Main Editorial

Issue:97:Indian English Writing – Memory, Ancestry, Legend

Issue:96:Kannada Literature – Experienced through Translation