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Pranshu Prakash

Pranshu Prakash

The nation avenged

[On 5th March 2015 following rumours that a local girl had been allegedly raped by a Bangladeshi immigrant, a wave of xenophobia swept through Dimapur, Nagaland; a frenzied mob of about 10,000 stormed the jail and lynched the accused publicly.]

A girl has been raped!
Our woman! Whose modesty was ravaged
By an outsider...
Respond! Avenge this wrong
Remember your forefathers from the yore
March! Honor of our martyrs beckons
Onward great warriors and brave sons
Down the shutters, lock the doors
All head to the jail, wherein lies our foe
Police back down! Lecture not about the law
For its the nation that marches, let the trumpets blow
Break the walls! Smash the gates!
Drag him out, justice awaits
How dare you outsider!
Defile our innocent flower!
Strip him! Whip him! Drag him! Beat him!
Oh! the pleasure
Here in this moment of glory
We are all together
He begins to bleed
The nation cheers
He begs for mercy
And we jeer
His dead body is dragged around
Our martyrs in heaven leer
O' our dear nation strong
Glory to you for avenging this wrong
Mercy my Lord for sending this outsider
For in his death he has
Once again brought us together.

A farmer in debt

Do you stand on the edge of that cliff as well?
Pondering over what might happen if you too fell
Do you peer down there from time to time?
And wonder what happened of those
Who were tossed over to the other side
With a sigh you try to recall
How many are gone and some would eventually fall
But do you also realize?
That standing on the edge in the shadow of suspense and fear
Isn't much different from being hurled down there
Why who thrust upon you this living hell
Gita in their hands didn't they swear that they wished you well
And now they take the floor and claim
That 'certain unforeseeable- uncontrollable circumstances' are to blame
GDP, Stock prices, Sensex, derivatives, debentures...
Circumstances man made or forces of nature?
Look how they hide behind their charts and numbers
And hatch their dirty plots and games
Can those who have fallen be brought back by evoking their Gods' names


Animals are never inhuman
Its the fate of humans alone to be inhuman
Kill for the truth, kill for the cause, kill for the nation
Kill for your people, kill for the morals and kill for religion
Animals know not of any of the above
And yet they are animals
And we are humans

The Special Boy

Some people knock at midnight
"Who knocks? Come this side
Show me your faces in the light!"
"The dream merchants are here child!,
Open the door!
Hesitate not, aspire for more
There's nothing in our shop that a special boy does not deserve
Asceticism is no virtue for a special boy to preserve
Brook no limits to what you need
Take all you can, succumb to your greed"
He resists, they insist
He retreats, they persist
"No, I am no special boy! Let me be
An ordinary boy like any other, can't you see?"
Gradually with their golden hammers
They take down his walls
Before realizing what's happened
Our little boy's already in their thrall
"Give it to me, Give to me all!
A special boy as I am,
There's nothing in your shop
That I do not deserve
My wants are zillions, I hope you have dreams millions"
Dream merchants' lips curl and they say
"Buy zillions for sure you may
Depending upon how many coins your daddy can pay"



Sunil Uniyal and Ranu Uniyal: In Conversation with Charanjeet Kaur

Literary Articles
A S Mohamed Rafee: Naipaul’s India
Anindita Ghosh: U R Ananthamurthy
Indrani Das Gupta: Bama’s Sangati
Rudra Kinshuk: Agha Shahid Ali
Swati Srivastava & Avneesh Kumar Singh: Rohinton Mistry & Vikram Seth

Book Reviews
Alka Dutt: God I Am
Ambika Ananth: Ink and Line
Glenis M Mendonça: Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa
Gopal Lahiri: The Reverse Tree
K K Srivastava: Rotations of Unending Time
Pramod K Das & Narayan Jena: The Whispering Grove
U Atreya Sarma: One Year for Mourning
VVB Rama Rao: Emotionoceans
Payal Das: ‘De-Coding The Silence!’

Amibka Ananth: Editorial Note
Arnapurna Rath
B R Nagpal
Bem Le Hunte
Bidyut Bhusan Jena
Javed Latoo
K N Shivshankar
Murali Sivaramakrishnan
Nar Deo Sharma
Pranshu Prakash
R K Biswas
Shobha Narayan
Vijay Kumar Roy

U Atreya Sarma: Editorial Musings
Ajay Patri: God's Own Taxi
Bem Le Hunte: Divine Confluence
Indu Parvathi: Two
Narayan: A Mother’s Grief
Neera Kashyap: A woodpecker hammers at my throat
Sunil Sharma: A story told by a maid-servant’s preteen daughter
Sushrut Bhatia: At School

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