Issue No. 79 (May-Jun 2018)


In his annual survey of Indian Writings in English, – unusually large and diverse in its coverage this time - GJV Prasad presents works of 31 contemporary poets, 6 writers of short fiction, excerpts from a long fiction and a graphic novel, besides 3 essays touching upon the genres of graphic fiction, science fiction and historical fiction. On the whole, a sumptuous fare of delightful creative harvest. Avers Prasad, “This seems like an issue that tries to cover all bases. Yet, I am afraid that there is so much else that I could have done!” To savour, proceed >>>

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Arundhathi Subramaniam about ‘The Monk’

… He spends each day
cleaning his shrine.
‘It’s worth it,’ he laughs.
‘I clean the shrine,
it cleans me’
He was a spare parts dealer
in a time he barely remembers …

(Feature on IWE)

Read Keki Daruwalla in the feature on IWE:

… there is no bird
but a birdcall lost in the morning
hangs on the cable-wire like a paper kite
in spring, but this is not spring
it’s early evening, moist with no sun,
tucked nowhere between a nowhere autumn
and the dying rains.

(Feature on IWE)

Tabish Khair on ‘The University Post-poem’

Slowly the old and wizened Arts return
To the city they were exiled from, pause
Outside its walls to ascertain the cause
Of its devastation. They watch it burn.
What’s left of those stanzas, the noble lines
Of hearth from which they were banished by Science?

(Feature on IWE)

Temsula Ao on ‘Heaven and Earth’

Heaven for me is
where my heart throbs
and earth that clime
where it ought to thrive.

But heaven, you say
is where earth is not
because you insist,
they do not belong.

(Feature on IWE)

Madhulika Ghose showcases her versatility and her knowledge-base by presenting her poems in Villanelle style, Petrarchan Sonnet style, Rondeau style, and also a Petrarchan Sonnet, She is a science researcher, with a deep passion for structured poetry - a great combination. (Poetry)

Hegemony of gender roles and people’s behavioral modes, resistance of oppressed and deceived women - Sushumna Kannan’s poems voice these concerns powerfully in bold statements and highlight the need to do away with labels. (Poetry)

Suryanshu Guha writes about Rupi Kaur—the “instapoet”, as she is dubbed, giving insight into ways of un-reading her, a popular culture phenomenon as opposed to a high arts figure; and continued relevance of the resistance that her poetry creates in literature. (Literary Articles)

Garima Rai explores origins of a specific Gorkha or Nepali literature, ‘indigenous’ to Darjeeling, and pursues a genealogy and evolutionary trajectory of the “Darjeeling-ey” literature, idiomatic to the very region. One can also glimpse a history of resistance to the mainstream literature. (Literary Articles)

“Fiercely critical of the favoured ideology of the ruling party, Why I am A Hindu may seem a strongly political book, which it undoubtedly is …. However, the book seems to have a broader objective than just to score some political points. Its strength lies in … robust explication of the innumerable dimensions of Hinduism,” writes Jindagi Kumari. (Book Reviews)

In a compelling review, D S Rao writes, “When ‘The Gita – A Critique’ by the reputed Principal and Philosophy Professor, P Narasimham appeared (during) Second World War, it became instantly controversial … provoking both devotees and detractors. He points out irrelevancies, needless elaborations, and contradictory doctrines; he thinks they may not have existed in the original text.” (Book Reviews)

“The Gulf Malayali is almost a mythical being who makes frequent cameos in Mollywood movies, sitcoms, reality shows and other forms of fictional and non-fictional platforms. He is hailed to be from an exotic land of treasury and resources unfathomable to the average mind,” writes Tasnima Yasmin about Deepak Unnikrishnan’s ‘Temporary People’. “Impeccably written, the book is a challenging, innovative and electrifying read.” (Book Reviews)

Muse India features an excerpt from a graphic novel for the very first time. Devapriya Roy and Priya Kuriyan’s “Indira” is based on the life of former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The excerpt gives an insight into the well-narrated story with attractive illustrations. (Feature on IWE)

Ashley Barboza’s ‘The Tea Shop of Enlightenment’ is a mysteriously beautiful story that pays tribute to the late poetess, Nanditha whose poems were published posthumously. Rachel walks into a tea shop and grows fond of poetry and Sulaimani tea. (Fiction)

Jisha Rajesh’s “The Stranger,” unpretentiously narrated and peppered with humour, is about a girl stranded in a railway station. It throws back a question at our presumptions and unfounded fears of the unknown. (Fiction)


This Issue of Muse India is sponsored by Dileep Jhaveri, in fond memory of Maya.

Past Issues

Issue:78:Indian Feminism

Issue:77:Indian College Fiction


Issue:75:Jnanpith Laureate C Narayana Reddy

Issue:74:Fiction Bonus

Issue:73:Derek Walcott Sufism & Sufi Literature

Issue:72:Tamil Writing

Issue:71:Indian English Poetry