GRISHMA RITU – SUMMER, Issue No. 103 (May-Jun 2022)

Ethics & Politics of Cultural Memory

Image: A page from 18th Century Bhagvat Puran in Gurmukhi Script
Source:Panjab Digital Library

Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future” – Elie Wiesel. The different facets, dimensions, and illustrations of cultural memory crystallized the theme ‘Ethics & Politics of Cultural Memory’ for the special feature of the May-June Issue as conceived by Guest Editor Dr Sunaina Jain. As our lives are anchored in our immediate as well as deep-seated memories, the current topic is an umbrella concept which captures the essence of our existence to a great extent. The Feature encompasses a wide array of 14 eclectic and representative writings including an illustrated book excerpt, a book review, poetry, critical articles and research papers.

Highlights
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“In the early 1980s, Salman Rushdie appropriated and self-fashioned the 26 alphabets of the West Germanic tongue of linguistic imperialism as the inspired language of the hitherto colonized, the empire wrote back with uninhibited zest. In fact, it was a great moment of liberation for young Indian English writers, both residents and non-resident Indians, in terms of the handling of both content and technique, the experimentations in magic realism, historiographic metafiction, postcolonial re-definition of the colonial stereotypes, all of which started a creative freedom movement for Indian writers who chose to write in English.” – Sanjukta Dasgupta: Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Phenomenal Offspring (LITERARY SECTION)


“Bengali plays have long influenced the stage in Assam. The practice was justified by the borrowers as the producers were able to produce commercially successful plays. Selection of plays was an essential part of the process of spectacle-making. Melodramatic elements along with gimmicks created an attractive spectacle on stage. However, there has always been a debate around the concept of ideal drama in Bhraamyamaan theatre.” – Dr. Sanjib Kumar Baishya - A Critical Analysis of the Process of Spectacle-Making in Bhraamyamaan Theatre (LITERARY SECTION)


‘Silhouettes of Passing Homes’ by Chaitanya Cheke is an interesting account on shifting houses and cities constantly. A relatively thought-provoking prose on Home vs House, with feelings of abandonment and betrayal dominating the rather autobiographical story. (FICTION)


Sumana Roy Chowdhury’s ‘Sands of Time’ exudes the relevance of time and treatment accorded. It is a clear and perilous play of Newton’s third law of motion – every action has an equal and opposite reaction. (FICTION)


Dr. Sanjukta Dasgupta’s poems are a powerful tribute to women and brings forth the various facets that add to the defining of what it means to be a woman in the contemporary times. (POETRY)


Arun Sadasivan’s poems captures the sense of loss through his simplistic style of writing and is set in the times of Covid where the poet gives his readers a glimpse of his inner world. (POETRY)


The short story collection Over the Edge by well-known writer Vandana Kumari Jena (reviewed by Dilip K Das) projects the uncanny in everyday life at its best… | And, Annapurna Sharma’s short story collection When Jaya Met Jaggu and other stories (reviewed by Sakoon Singh) describes the commonplace experiences with an element of surprise in a fairly diverse Indian context… | And you 11 more books of variety reviewed in this issue – 5 of fiction and 6 of non-fiction. (BOOK REVIEWS)


The novel Struggling to Survive by Sahitya Akademi awardee Saleem originally in Telugu (reviewed by Sutanuka Ghosh Roy) sensitively portrays the eternal conflict between man and nature in a plot woven around a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra… | And Boys Don't Cry by Meghna Pant (reviewed by Sapna Dogra) is a novel about the increasing marital discord and how the woman protagonist refuses to be bulldozed by patriarchy… | These 2 books are among the 13 works reviewed – 4 novels and 3 shot story collections, and 6 non-fiction works. (BOOK REVIEWS)


The novel Struggling to Survive by Sahitya Akademi awardee Saleem originally in Telugu (reviewed by Sutanuka Ghosh Roy) sensitively portrays the eternal conflict between man and nature in a plot woven around a nomadic tribe in Maharashtra… | And Boys Don't Cry by Meghna Pant (reviewed by Sapna Dogra) is a novel about the increasing marital discord and how the woman protagonist refuses to be bulldozed by patriarchy… | These 2 books are among the 13 works reviewed – 4 novels and 3 shot story collections, and 6 non-fiction works. (BOOK REVIEWS)


Among the 6 books of non-fiction, SCENOGRAPHY: An Indian Perspective by Satyabrata Rout (reviewed by Sukanya Saha) is an interesting & illuming journey through the creative by-lanes of theatre art… | The other 5 books of non-fiction deal with temple architecture, sculpture, travel through Chambal valleys (translated from Bengali), an anthropological peep into the folk tales of a tiny Indian tribe, and an analytical literary anthology. And you have reviews of 4 novels and 3 short story collections as well. (BOOK REVIEWS)


If memory is the pivot around our entire existence, it is imperative that it underscores and subsumes many factors like ethics, politics, culture etc. that shape it. Priyanka Verma’s interesting article explores food and foodways as markers of cultural memory through the analysis of children's book Tomatoes for Neela. Noduli Pulu’s thought-provoking paper examines Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost through the lens of politicization of memory and examines the polarization between documented history and individual memory. (FEATURE)


Noduli Pulu’s thought-provoking paper examines Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost through the lens of politicization of memory and examines the polarization between documented history and individual memory. (FEATURE)


Praveen Kumar’s poignant poems deal with the centrality of memories in human life and the way they inform our emotional make-up. Praveen Kumar retired as Principal from Govt. College, Sarahan, Dist. Sirmaur. He occasionally writes poetry and short pieces on literature and topics of general interest. His wide literary compass includes running a podcast named “The Joy of Ideas.” (FEATURE)


Heirlooms and cherished family possessions often embody exciting and captivating memories and the tales behind them capture the social and cultural ethos of the times to which they belonged. Mr. Saeed Ibrahim’s excerpt from his book Twin Tales from Kutcch (a family saga set in Colonial India) coupled with his write-up on Memory and Memorabilia give us an enriching insight into the story of author’s transgenerational legacy. Apart from authoring books, travel writing, several book reviews, his short stories have been published in “The Deccan Herald,” “The Beacon Webzine,” “Bengaluru Review,” “The Blue Lotus Magazine” “Borderless Journal” “Muse India” and “Outlook India.” (FEATURE)

SPONSORSHIP

This Issue of Muse India is sponsored by Annapurna Sharma, Editor (Fiction) of Muse India.

Past Issues

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

Issue:95:Culture and Identity production in literary paradigms