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Rafiul Alom Rahman


Rafiul Rahman



Photo by Lucan Husac. http://freeartisticphotos.com




My Lover Wears a Pink sari

As she strips off,
I see her tattooed thighs
like those of an ancient goddess -
lusty, ungodly and devil-like.
I crawl into her bed.
I suck her breasts like a baby,
unable to grasp the theatricality of words.
I look for meaning between her thighs,
but see a vast pool of darkness instead.
In the folds of her pink Sari,
my lover holds a curse.

I Wanted To Steal Fire

That day, when the evening sun faded into the horizon,
I tried to read the faces of my people in dark, and translate madness into words.

They had warned me against writing madness,
So, I hid gunshots and blood in a crumpled piece of paper and went to look out for spring.

But the old lady told me that winter had just set in, and I would need fire.

I walked along broken streets, where wives spilled half-kept secrets into their husbands' ears,
And children learnt the art of silence.

I wanted to steal fire, but stole silence instead -
Silence that spoke of pain, pleasure and poverty.

In the distance, a mother gave birth to a child, and a wolf howled.

An old man breathed his last when a forbidden history Found refuge in pen, paper and ink.

SPLIT

My bitter enemy is the mirror
hanging on the wall.

I despise it.
I keep abstinence.

Nevertheless, I face it again.
With much deterrence.
Not once or twice. Everyday.

It speaks to me of a truth, that shadows
the impotence of my manly existence.

But why do I fear?
I am not a coward.

I crush the mirror in sheer contempt.
Only to see the broken parts -
tipping off at something.

I realise the war has begun.
Not outside, but within me.

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Articles/Discussions


Conversations
Jayanta Mahapatra: In Conversation with Sachidananda Mohanty
Sarojini Sahoo: In Discussion with Kavita Arya

Article(s)
Deepali Yadav: Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl
Disha Khanna: Mahesh Dattani’s On a Muggy Night in Mumbai
Hampi Chakrabarti: Punctured Conscience
Koushiki Dasgupta: The Poetry of Mallika Sengupta

Book Reviews
Atreya Sarma: ‘Mystic Warrior’
GSP Rao: ‘Tapestry Poetry’
Jaydeep Sarangi: ‘Exchanges with the Thinker’
Priyanka Kakoti: ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’

Poetry
Ambika Ananth: Editorial Note
Abin Chakraborty
Amreen B Shaikh
Ankush Banerjee
Charles Thielman
Jhuma Sen
Lora Tomas
Neelam Dadhwal
Rafiul Rahman
Rittvika Singh
Rob Harle
Rohan Dominic Mathews
Shanta Acharya
Simon Perchik
Sunita Raina Pandit

Fiction
Shernaz Wadia: Editorial Comment
Anirudh Kala: ‘Mr Haq’
KL Chowdhury: ‘Tenderer than a Petal…’
Madhuliika Ghose: ‘Inspiration’
Prashila Naik: ‘The B.A. Pass Groom’
Sunil Sharma: ‘Dream’
Vempalle Shariff: ‘A Point of Nails’

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