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Editorial Musings
Annapurna Sharma


Not in the clamour of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Triumph and defeat are two faces of the same coin i.e. us, human beings. We search for victory elsewhere and lament loss as if it were an unwanted gift presented by someone, known or unknown. What our sagacious minds fail to comprehend is that victory or loss is within us and not without us. My thoughts sync with that of HW Longfellow for it is we who make or break ourselves. No kith or kin, friends or foes, or anybody else can construct or constrict our lives unless and until we give them the authority to do so. At the same time, I also believe in man being a ‘weak’ social animal who builds his castle on the foundations of emotions. Not that I am against such associations, but I am wary of such links as it brings along with it incomprehensible distress. This eventually leads us into a dark tunnel where a flicker of light can be construed as hope or a bright light can be read as a triumph or no light at all be understood as defeat. But that tunnel is just a journey where we pass through meadows of hope, blossoms of victory and periods of dry spells. Not that I am above all such aberrations, I too travel in times high and low.

The fiction section of this issue of Muse India ideates on the ability of people to stay helpful or helpless; devoted or depressed; ascend or descend… triumph or defeat. ‘ In the Name of God is a tale of finding succour by latching on to the probability of religious passion. The actions therein are purely subjective and merely prove a point of survival strategy. On the other hand, ‘ Solace radiates the extreme highs of joy and sorrow, that of reaching the highest peak to touch the sky and falling deep down in the gorge of losing loved ones. ‘ The Crack' illustrates relationships—two brothers can be playful and mischievous but at the same time vying for the same thing, namely a mobile phone, that can create rifts in their relations which may last forever or be healed without an ouch. ‘ A Leper’s Wife is a distressing tale of a spouse who atones for mistakes which she has not committed and in the end, she finds a way to deal with her misery by touching the lives of the miserable. ‘ The Bald-Headed Doll exhibits a fear factor deeply embedded in the psyche of mankind, especially when it comes to handling certain accessories. This may be a case of beliefs based on personal experiences or deep-rooted superstitions. Nothing could be further from the truth. ‘ Frolic is a game of like and dislike which when depicted on the larger screen of life and relationships can be a source of mellifluous pain. ‘ Realities contemplates on the fact of how better or best can one adapt to unprecedented conditions just like the one we had in the recent past—COVID. Can we erase that phase? We can only make amends for a fruitful future…

The seven stories in this issue of MI display the highs and lows in the lives of the protagonists in a way that they resonate with events, places or people in our own lives. Keep reading and pondering on the How and the 5 W’s!



Issue 115 (May-Jun 2024)

    • Annapurna Sharma: Editorial Musings
    • Ashvani Sachdev: In the Name of God
    • Dipayan Chakrabarti: Solace
    • Ishfaq Hussain Bhat: The Crack
    • Manik Bandopadhyay: A Leper's Wife
    • Rathin Bhattacharjee: The Bald-Headed Doll!
    • Sharmila Maitra: Frolic
    • Venkat Raman V: Realities