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Liked Sudha Rai’s review of Wooden Cow (Issue 99: Sep-Oct 2021)

I have liked Sudha Rai’s review of Wooden Cow, a translation by Lakshmi Kannan of the original Tamil novel Marappasu by T Janakiraman (Thija). To my relief, Sudha Rai’s understanding of the novel’s ending is fresh. At least it doesn’t see the ending as a return to a conventional monogamous family life. It shows Ammani as a lover of freedom living her life on her own terms, as capable of “choosing and willing to redesign afresh her own life.” Thija had received a lot of flak for this novel.  The traditionalists accused him of elevating prostitution as a noble thing; the feminists accused him of making the woman return to a conventional monogamous family life. But in all his works he talked about the woman's freedom to choose and make her own decisions, in whatever situation she is in – whether she is young or old, poor or rich, educated or not, single or married, widowed or with a husband, etc. 

 

Uma Shankari Naren, Hyderabad   umanarendranath@gmail.com    Nov 18,2021

The poem 'A lonely man'  by Sambhu Nath Banerjee (Issue 99: Relations - The void within)
 
The poem, 'A lonely man' throws light to the plight of a modern-day person who is seemingly surrounded by gadgets and technology yet who is terribly alone within himself. A man who is bereft of a caring family is indeed an unfortunate fellow who might have to lead a miserably solitary life as the modern-day society cares little about the next door neighbour living in solitude. The poem also subtly hints at the fact that even a much sought-after leisure in a busy life may become overwhelmingily agonizing at some point of time by some curious twist of fate! The poem is not loaded with too much lyrical fervour and flamboyance but it unmistakably unfurls a stark reality of life by its simple, unassuming style. Therein lies the strength of this poem by Mr Banerjee.

 

Amlan Mukherjee, Uttarpara,Hooghly, W.Bengal   amlandoc@rediffmail.com    Nov 15,2021

"Relations: The void within" -- a wonderful collection (Issue 99)

The more we are getting digitally connected, the more we are going to be physically isolated. Social mixing has got a new dimension nowadays, thanks to the ready availability of digital platforms; but that also creates distancing and an averseness to mingle in close quarters. Whatever amount of time in a day one may spend in gossiping through WhatsApp or FB, that may lead to some boredom vis-a-vis loneliness, not to speak of its evil effects on health. Loneliness may also arise from the actual dearth of company due to various reasons.

The feature Relations - A Void Within, edited by the noted Telegu author Sai Brahmanandam Gorti for the Muse India, brilliantly captures the mood of this void in myriad colours. The contributors have touched upon such aspects of human relations which we tend to give lesser attention at times, but have got enormous importance in the life concerned. Personally, I am enriched in several ways from this wonderful collection and hope to get more of such special features in future.

 

Sambhu Nath Banerjee, Bally, Howrah. WB   sambhunb@rediffmail.com    Nov 15,2021

"Relations: The void within" - An intriguing Feature (Issue 99: Sep-Oct 2021)
 
The Feature "Relations: The void within"  (Issue 99: Sep-Oct 2021) is quite intriguing. The stories, poems, and reviews therein emote a plethora of emotions of human relationships. Sambhu Nath Banerjee's poem "A lonely man" evokes a sense of empathy among the readers for the lonely man's helplessness. The poet aptly articulates the agony of loneliness and the vast emptiness of humans in this crowded world. Somewhere deep inside, we feel for the man, abandoned and desolate.

 

Roma Banerjee, Kolkata   roma.bhattacharjee@hotmail.com    Nov 14,2021

Autumn Issue (99: Sep-Oct 2021) is simply superb!

Congratulations to the Feature editor Sai Brahmanandam Gorti and the rest of the Editorial board on bringing out such a wonderful edition. Enjoyed reading the whole issue. Especially the selection of short fiction is remarkable.

 

Rachita Reddy, Virginia   rrachita@gmail.com    Nov 14,2021

A suggestion for comments

A nice mag. However, there is a small suggestion. It would be nice if a comment section appears right beneath the article, story, poem, editorial, or any other content rather than hunt the site to leave a feedback. 

 

Anila Shastri, San Jose, California   fa7efd80@opayq.com    Nov 14,2021

Shernaz Wadia’s poems a sumptuous and scrumptious fare! (Issue 99)

The three poems by Shernaz Wadia in Issue No. 99 (Sep-Oct 2021), are indeed a sumptuous and scrumptious fare! Her first poem – Dismantle yourself – reflects her abiding belief in afterlife and describes death in an evening metaphor.  Expressions like ‘Atoms of life have still have their Karma to fulfill’; ‘motes of truth’; and ‘you see a stranger in the shards of they hold up’ amply reflect her conviction. She ends it with hopeful note that there are many sunrises to bask in. The second one ‘It is not the Same’ looks inwards, at ‘the less fulfilling conversations’; ‘slumbering bottled emotions’; the ‘mundane fare that leaves one un-satiated’; ‘the silences each of us sit with to engage with’ our private pastimes but fail to do, because things are not the same, particularly after the pandemic. While the first two are a kind of looking within, the third poem ‘I wonder’ attempts to look without, through the ‘lights trickling through the chinks under the doors and curtained windows,’ concerned and contemplating about ‘the paradoxical enigmas of human condition lying behind them.’ What lies ‘secreted under the penumbra of oil lamps in huts’; ‘silence of sorrow in the abyss of a widow’s hollow eyes’; ‘flailing fantasies of a repressed child’; and ‘mournful echoes of a heart bookended by emptiness’ ... walk us through her wonderful expressions. They are so picturesque. Thanks to the poetry editor. And congrats to Shernaz.

 

NS Murty, Bengaluru   nsmurty4350@gmail.com    Nov 11,2021

Muse India, an unadulterated literary magazine

This is my first encounter with Muse India. Absolutely delighted to connect with this unadulterated literary magazine. Poetry, Fiction, Art Gallery – ample variety, in Issue 97 (May-Jun 2021).

Book Reviews are really a worthy source of information. An expert opinion guides one to pick the right book. Painting in the Kangra Valley by Vijay Sharma reviewed by GSP Rao caught my attention, an insightful read.

The Feature of Indian English Writing with its theme ‘Memory, Ancestry, Legend’ curated by Dr Charanjeet Kaur is a feast. In the Feature – ‘Taseer Gujral in conversation with Sakoon Singh’; Annapurna Sharma’s article ‘My Powerhouse’; Gurudarshan Singh’s article ‘Of books within books’; Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca’s ‘Jewish Legends’ were the main course – while the dessert undoubtedly is Atreya Sarma’s memoir ‘Oh, Grandpa! Bless us from the Heavens!’ This heart-warming biography took me to my Grandpa’s home in Mangalore. Some relations are universal. Touched my heart. Thank you, Atreya ji. Thank you, team Muse.

 

Geeta Shetty, Vashi, Navi Mumbai   shettygeeta137@gmail.com    Jul 14,2021

Memory, Ancestry, Legend – A delectable theme (Issue 97: May-Jun 2021)

Congratulations on the release of issue 97 of Muse India. In this edition of Muse India, the spread with the theme Memory, Ancestry, Legend curated so well by Dr Charanjeet Kaur in her Feature Indian English Writing is worth mentioning. Her Editorial Reflection is a pithy note on the Subject of Memory that is to be experienced across various genres of Fiction, Poetry, and Book Reviews. The choice of the theme Memory itself shows the empathetic response to the grim realities we are undergoing in these Pandemic times. The quotes capturing the rather difficult concept of Memory in the Editorial Reflection, resonate so very well as we relish the delectable genres of work published in the Magazine. Thank you for such a good issue.

 

Sujata Tandel, Goregaon East, Mumbai   sujatadtandel@gmail.com    Jul 14,2021

A good account of a deserving character (Issue 97: Feature)

Congratulations on the release of Issue 97. The article “Oh, Grandpa! Bless us from the Heavens!” by Atreya Sarma in the Feature is full of nostalgia about his grandfather. It is a very good account of a deserving character who changed the world for the better. Atreya Sarma can be proud of being his grandson.

 

Elizabeth Kurian ‘Mona’, Hyderabad   monaliza.hyd@gmail.com    Jul 09,2021

A fabulous painting, well-articulated (Issue 97: Feature)

Atreya Sarma’s memories of his grandparents (“Oh, Grandpa! Bless us from the Heavens!”) coupled with the homey places of the village, his childhood plays etc are a fabulous painting, in articulated prose. I am thrilled by the descriptive delight and visualizing expressions, and would preserve the piece forever for learning of apt vocabulary.

 

MS Rao, Hyderabad   raomocherla@gmail.com    Jul 09,2021

A well-crafted tale by Atreya Sarma (Issue 97: Feature)

Even as Atreya Sarma’s well-crafted grandpa's tale turns the old-timers village-nostalgic, it enables the younger generations to have their ancestral picture perfect.

 

Bulusu S Murthy, Hyderabad   bsmurthy@hotmail.com    Jul 09,2021

An idyllic narration (Issue 97: Feature)

The nostalgic piece by Atreya Sarma is such a touching tribute to his Grandpa and Grandma. I loved reading it because I'm also very fond of my grandfather. The way Atreya describes the place in which he grew up, with a rivulet beside his grandparents’ house is idyllic!

 

Lakshmi Kannan , New Delhi   lakshmi.kaaveri.kannan@gmail.com    Jul 09,2021

A very moving biography (Issue 97: Feature)

That is a very moving biography by Atreya Sarma. What a rich, generous, kind, giving, caring wonderful legacy Atreya’s Grandpa left behind! Wanting no accolades makes his kindness increase a thousandfold. It is no wonder his family have become worthy citizens not only by their academic achievements but by the very way in which they respect and follow the teachings of a very wise Grandpa. The images in this biography touch the heart; such a blessing to have a wonderful man like that at the centre of a family. He deserves a statue in his honour but it would fade into obscurity compared to the memories and guidance and worthy lessons he handed down to his loved ones. Nevertheless, this is a story that needs to be told; I will carry it in my heart for a very long time. God bless Atreya for writing it.

 

Betty Oldmeadow, Isle of Sheppey, UK   onthehill54@outlook.com    Jul 09,2021

An enjoyable read – Issue 96: Mar-Apr 2021

I have enjoyed reading the latest issue of Muse India.

 

Sudeshna Kar Barua, Kolkata   sudeshna.karbarua@rediffmail.com    May 17,2021

Delightful Poetry section (Mar-Apr 2021), but Membership issue...

The poetry section of your Mar-April 2021 issue is delightful.

Anyway, the membership feature of your website is not working; error 500 (internal server error) is being shown by the server. Please get your membership feature well so that people like me can take the membership.

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Response by Muse India: Thank you, Parnil. Yes, sometimes there are some technical glitches. In such cases, our Managing Editor GSP Rao may be contacted at: gsprao2003@gmail.com

Atreya Sarma U, Chief Editor

 

Parnil, Delhi   parnildh4@gmail.com    May 17,2021

Marvellous Kannada Feature (Issue 96: Mar-Apr 2021)


I've been reading with much pleasure the special feature on Kannada Literature curated by Dr Mamta Sagar. She has done a marvellous job and I congratulate her. Vanamala Vishwanatha’s article, in the Feature grabbed my eyeballs. Her article is just brilliant!  My congratulations to her as well. There are many gems in this issue and I greatly look forward to reading the contributions at leisure. Altogether, it’s an exciting issue. I see the hard and diligent work on the part of the editorial team behind every detail.

 

Lakshmi Kannan, New Delhi   lakshmi.kaaveri.kannan@gmail.com    May 01,2021

An incredible job by Mamta Sagar (Issue 96: Mar-Apr 2021)

I have now finished reading the entire curation of “Kannada Literature – Experienced through Translation,” edited by Mamta Sagar, listened to all the music and watched all the films. What an incredible job she has done! This must have been so much work, and I can only say that it has all been worthwhile! And she must be so well-connected to have embraced and arranged so many excellent writers and poets. I love how translation itself becomes foregrounded in an issue of translations and I am very curious if she has any plans to publish the issue as a hard copy. I think it would make a really wonderful book. Congratulations.

 

Aryan Kaganof, Cape Town, South Africa   kaganof@mweb.co.za    Apr 30,2021

The Art of Livia Stein (Art Gallery, Issue 96: Mar-Apr 2021)

 

My thanks to Priyadarshi and Pinaki for the outstanding interview and Gallery of my Paintings featured in the Mar-Apr 2021 issue of Muse India. It was a thorough pleasure to do this interview, and I enjoyed it immensely.  As usual with these interactions, I discover a great deal more about myself and my work. 

Thank you for the wonderful online magazine against very difficult circumstances lately.  I wish you and your colleagues all the best during this most devastating period of our history.

 

Livia Stein, Oakland, California (USA)   liviastein@mac.com    Apr 28,2021

Editorial by Atreya Sarma (Issue 96: Mar-Apr 2021)

The concerns raised by Atreya Sarma, Chief Editor, in his Editorial on issues like farmers’ agitation, the crowded election campaigns during the pandemic times, the cancellation/ postponement of the CBSE final exams, and the demands by the union leaders of the banking sector are pertinent. And I endorse his views.

 

Dr S Pratap Reddy, Hyderabad   drspratapreddy@gmail.com    Apr 28,2021

Love in the Pandemic —  A thought provoking episode (Issue 94: Nov-Dec 2020)
 
"Love in the Pandemic" is a thought provoking episode.... A time to reinvent oneself, for introspection. Annapurna Sharma, the Editor, has brought out the ideas through her introductory write up. I have read a few articles in the issue and it gives so many colours to the essence of love. Indeed, the Feature has various shades and moods. And I thank her for the opportunity of contributing to it.

 

Lipsa Mohapatra, Cuttack, Odisha    lipsamtex@gmail.com    Apr 24,2021

Issue 95 (Jan-Feb 2021) is superb

Though a bit delayed, the Jan-Feb 2021 issue of Muse India is superb in quality. It’s a sumptuous stock of food for a month. Very good poems, good stories. Annapurna’s article “I’ll start over again tomorrow” in her ‘Life & Literature’ column; the Editorial by Atreya Sarma, Chief Editor, et al are all nice. The poem “Paradoxica epidemica" by Ananya Dutta Gupta is a gem.

 

R R Gandikota, Kakinada   rrgandikota@gmail.com    Feb 18,2021

A refreshing Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Issue 94: Nov-Dec 2020)

Firstly, a big congratulations on the launch of this special feature! And heartfelt gratitude for allowing me this privilege and opportunity to be a part of this special issue, and I couldn't have asked for a more befitting image for my poems than the cat that was allotted for me.

I have always felt so deeply about the ability of words to move our inmost being, and their ability to connect souls in the vast expanse of life. Editor Annapurna Sharma’s “Yellow frogs and bulging doors” in her ‘Life & Literature’ column stirred a knowing feeling that had fallen asleep as I had become busy with the hassles of living; the knowledge of the existence of a larger universe than the ones we limit ourselves to daily. It is this very joy of being able to return to the familiar, that of emotions and memories which give Literature so much depth and meaning. Love, in so many ways, has become so overrated and underrated at the same time, and I am grateful to Annapurna Sharma for picking up this particular theme as a reminder that no troubles are big enough for humanity to overcome as long as we remember to love and forgive beyond the trials and tribulations that we face.

I am still reading through some of the articles and creative writings (Feature: Love in the Pandemic) (as on 17 Dec 2020), but most of what I have read has given me the feeling of comfort that we are not alone and we are all in this together. While quality should always be the priority, it is so soothing to know that Muse India deeply cares about upholding and uplifting the values of humanity. And in these difficult times, it has come as such a remedy to the aches we are collectively facing, and this going beyond all divides and differences.

My thanks once again to Annapurna Sharma for such a refreshing issue. Looking forward to completing all the write-ups that have been published, and earnestly looking forward to her impactful contributions to Muse India. Wishing her more success and wisdom for her grand years ahead.

 

Cherime Sangma, Williamnagar   cherimesangma@gmail.com    Feb 18,2021

Love in the Pandemic — A delightful Feature (MI 94: Nov-Dec 2020)

What a delightful collection (Feature — Love in the Pandemic)! I spent a whole day with the poetry section and enjoyed every one of the poems. I am so appreciative of the offering, the nuanced take on the subject of love, and the carefully curated issue overall. I am honored to be featured with the work in the issue. Thank you dear Annapurna, the Editor. . 

 

Kashiana Singh, Chicago, USA   kashiana.singh@gmail.com    Feb 18,2021

Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020)
 

I've been reading through the Feature — Love in the Pandemic, ever since its release. Its editor Annaurna Sharma has done a great job! The sheer variety of voices she has been able to put together in this issue is so commendable. It is also an honour to find my story among those of more established authors. Hearty congratulations, and best wishes for all her future endeavours.

 

Anuradha Mazumder, Calcutta   mazumder.anu@gmail.com    Dec 14,2020

Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020)
 

Associating my creative energy with Muse India has always been an extremely rewarding experience. During the Pandemic times while as a writer I got to introspect in a different way, the Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020) offered that opportunity to showcase what as a sensitive human being I was feeling. Thank you for incorporating my contribution in the issue and for your kind words of encouragement and appreciation.

I have gone through the feature and also read the editorial to it. The small anecdotes that have been clubbed together give the feel of the pandemic times and the times that were so complacently taken for granted by us.

I loved the way Annapurna Sharma has rendered the effect of the present times of pandemic on us. Congratulations for the success of the issue and I thank her for letting me be a part of this history of Muse India.

 

Dr. Shweta Mishra, Aashiyana, Lucknow   drshweta1578@gmail.com    Dec 14,2020

The 'Mea Culpa' story (Feature: Love in the Pandemic)
 

I browsed through the Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020) and was delighted to see the variety of authors and writings. Will be reading them individually soon. I enjoyed reading the story 'Mea Culpa' with my morning tea. The end was quite moving for me :) 

 

Chirantana Mathkari, University of Maryland, College Park   chirantanamathkari@yahoo.com    Dec 14,2020


Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020)
 

The feature: Love in the Pandemic -- I really loved it. I haven't read all the stories yet, but the variety of the stories really touched me. It feels like the editor, Annapurna Sharma, organised them really well, in terms of how the lockdown began, and then onwards and onwards. I think it was really good of her to pick so many - since the experience of love in the pandemic has varied so much across different people. 

 

Tanvi Chowdhary, Varanasi   chow.tanvi@gmail.com    Dec 14,2020

Life & Literature (Nov-Dec 2020): Yellow frogs and a Bulging door
 

The piece 'Yellow frogs and a Bulging door' in the column Life & Literature (Nov-Dec 2020) by Annapurna Sharma, Dy. Chief Editor, is really a prose poem. She uses anthropomorphism and personification with great facility. A good example of anthropomorphism can be read  in the following extract: "I am talking about doors, doors that are vulnerable to weather conditions, doors that are immature and naïve, doors that are not consistent, doors that lack compassion, the doors which humans use to enter and retreat…doors that expand and shrink, doors of the inside.” An how she humanizes them? By sentences such as this one: “I wasn’t aware of how smoothly he could cut through soft, damp flesh;” and “The carpenter arrived to saw a part of the soft heart.”

Annapurna's use of personification is equally deft. To give one example: “The sun rushed out of its closet.” Personification gives human characteristics with the object of creating imagery.
 

Just to mention how the human mind works, this sentence “I never knew that frogs could change color, all to attract attention, the louder their croaks the better their chances of mating” reminded of a poem by Ted Hughes. I think the title of the poem was “The Jaguar.”
 

I was impressed by the fact that Annapurna brought alive a personality with a few quick strokes: “a grizzly, unshaven jaw, few white strands and well-built legs.”
 

I like her metaphors too, such as this one: “cared for like a baby just out of the womb.”
 

Towards the end it becomes clear why Annapurna is using these literary devices: to suggest the Oneness of existence, “Nature's inimitable style,” where everything is subtly orchestrated, like  the sound of rain with the croaks of frogs.

 

Murli Melwani, Foster City, CA, USA   murli@unigain.net    Dec 14,2020

Editorial for the Feature: Love in the Pandemic (Nov-Dec 2020)
 

I have read Annapurna Sharma's editorial for the Feature: Love in the Pandemic. She is so right; at some deep level we've all been infected by the virus....even without manifesting it outwardly as symptoms of the illness. I liked her domestic help's insistence on not disrupting her work schedule! Probably it also kept her sane, the way our daily routines do.

 

Nighat Gandhi, Prayagraj   nighat.gandhi@gmail.com    Dec 14,2020

 

Nighat Gandhi, Prayagraj   nighat.gandhi@gmail.com    Dec 17,2020

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