Shishir Ritu, Issue No. 83 (Jan-Feb 2019)

FEATURE – Indian English Writing

Dr Charanjeet Kaur, the section editor, concludes: “2018 obviously has been a good year for Indian English Writing with Amitav Ghosh being honoured with the Bharatiya Jnanpith and Jayant Kaikini winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Publication of Complete works of Jayanta Mahapatra, Vijay Nambisan, Menka Shivdasani and Saleem Peeradina showcase their life-time oeuvre and set the benchmarks for new writers. Fiction and translations from Indian languages too flourished. 

The world of IWE is poorer with the loss of two of its major poets last year: Vijay Nambisan and Meena Alexander. May they RIP.” 

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Eminent poet Keki Daruwalla on poetry: “A poet can’t keep ploughing in a solitary furrow. Poetry you write as it comes to you; you know I don't want to make a big song and dance about the mysterious coming of a poem to a poet. But word and cadence come to you and the poem is the end-product, though to call poetry a product may sound like insulting it.”

Read his full interview in the Feature on ‘Indian English Writing’

Columbia University Professor, Gauri Viswanathan on poetry tradition in India: “India has rich poetic traditions. My poet friends often say that while poetry is devalued in the US, in India poets are energized by the love that people have for poetry, which is far from devalued in the Indian context.

Read full conversation with her in the Feature on ‘Indian English Writing’

Rachana Pandey interviews noted poet Gautam Chatterjee in a comprehensive discussion on his poetry and poetics. The poet reveals his musings and inspirations, as well as the direction of poetics and poetry in the present state of literature in a candid and erudite interview which should serve as a roadmap for future poets and critics. (Literary Section)

Auritra Munshi pens an interesting study of Jhumpa Lahiri’s A Temporary Matter, exploring the theme of confrontation between Utopia and reality. Laden with a theoretical acuity, the article lends a keen insight into Lahiri’s work as well as the ideas that scaffold the concepts as they build up within the author’s text, adding a considerable amount of leverage into the postcolonial reading of Lahiri’s texts. (Literary Section)

Munipalle Raju (1925-2018) won the Sahitya Akademi Award in Telugu (2006) for his collection of short stories. Here is a special section on his life and work... marking the first anniversary of his demise. His stories are noted for magic realism, depth of psychological insights, empathy in characterization and multi-layered messages. (Literary Section: Special)

I see tears of rain
run down the window pane
A handkerchief of sky.

Reviewing When Seeing Is Believing, Ambika Ananth writes: ‘Bina Sarkar’s commitment to poetry and Art is definitive – her book records beautifully her own verses alongside paintings and photographs in an aesthetic confluence, resonating with affirmation by Henry David Thoreau, that “it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”’ (Book Reviews)

Reviewer of The Forest of Enchantments, Bhanumati Mishra writes: ‘[Sita] seems to be setting the ultimate limits of womanhood within which myriad forms of the feminine need to fit in.  … If Divakaruni’s Sita is any guide to contemporary sensibilities, then womanhood in India is not only accepting its fate but also questioning it; it is not only traditional but also avant-garde. [The book] could have the alternative title – Sitayana.(Book Reviews)

Richard Rose in his brilliant narration “The Elephant Brooch” takes us back to the partition era of Indian subcontinent. Paati reminiscences the memories she left behind at Sadar Bazar of Old Delhi in September, 1947. Saadia and Sarojini, two little girls had just bid tearful adieu to each other. “When I am old enough I will come and find you and we will be together again” promised Sarojini. But Saadia simply shook her head and turned to leave, and as she did so she pushed a small cloth bound package into Sarojini’s hand. (Fiction)

Aparna Amte’s fiction “The Baloon Seller’s Game” is a wonderfully written story with an endearing plot. Kishore bhaiyya had been selling balloons on Chowpatty beach for more than fifteen years. What started out as a small conversation to help decide on which balloons to buy, became a weekly game and slowly a precious living memory. (Fiction)

Nida Sahar’s poems are modern vignettes presenting many coordinates of new meanings and fresh expressions in an unbridled fashion. The springiness in her poetic conjectures is impressive and intense.  (Poetry)

The poems of Kalyani Bindu chronicle the inevitable by-lanes that 'love' creates into one’s mind-space, its marked departures from strange (and sweet?) flower-and-twig conspiracies to life-impinging conflicts. The poems are internal monologues on the conundrum of a beautiful, complicated relationships. (Poetry)


This issue sponsored by: Dr Shri Harsha Uppaluri to celebrate his wedding.

Past Issues

Issue:82:AROMA OF THE HEART - Poetry by Youth < The Age of 30


Issue:80:Sanskrit Literature


Issue:78:Indian Feminism

Issue:77:Indian College Fiction


Issue:75:Jnanpith Laureate C Narayana Reddy