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Arunima Paul


Arunima Paul



Sunset. Image credit: Wendylee03 at RGBStock.com




Alleys

In the aftermath,
medleys
of raw-throated horror
hourly ferret
the city's navels.
We fall
through loops
of an endless unfolding.
Conjure, once again
the After-Dark City
where she waits
(it arrives)
she boards.
the just-before
the almost-didn't
We say, if she lives
then it's not Kaliyuga.

I too imagine
you.
your lovely hidden life
belligerent
is mine too.

then, another image.
swirls
through the tedious sieve
of newsfeeds.

this one was hanged
with a red noose
'sunkissed' red
the head dips low
perhaps the neck snapped
a bare hip
taut skin
'wheatish'
a folded leg
slumped

a black hole
of other
dispensabilities.
pupils dart
an unsettling
hovers
uncoagulated
into emotion
surmise
or
tale.

Furniture

What remains
after departures
to worlds beyond?
Do chairs, doors
hinges, bolts
unsag
and return to their moulds?
To a pristine indifference.
Or do they mourn
the heat of the body that had lain
restfully, expectantly, vacantly?
Does the dust that falls now
learn what had been there before?
In the knotty depressions of
misshapen cushions
is there a tensile memory?
Of skin, warmth, repose or tears.
Or instead
does the shellac
over frames, lamps, tiles
tended furiously, pridefully, hastily
over a lifetime
now speckle and flake
and liberated, disappear
in infinite eddies
of dust and storms.

Middle Class Machismos
There is the kind
that inverts deprivations –
the jeering aloofness
the unseeing purposefulness
of their six-lanes
buzzing around their shimmering silos.
Inverts these
into rising paeans
to the trans-material.
Yet life
sometimes lilts
shoulders loosen
at lunchtime rummy
on landscaped lawns
under buttery suns,
at soirées that rise
with bitter cheer
in swaying train compartments,
amidst the rest of humanity.

And there are survival-machismos
for dog-eats-dog is
the nature of things
and one must wrestle on
delicately kneeing up
the steel-stalks
sprouting to the sky
while the globe spins.
Here
above the turrets of yore
above the squat geometries
of erstwhile futurism
above caution
or remonstrance
above the coughing city,
the light that floods in
through glass curtains
and the chrome-finish echoes
have a stolid purity
like a shard.

Then, there are
the perpendicular
Haussmannian exasperations
of the returned
planner-aesthete.
Beneath the dusty sun,
eyeing
the defoliaged streets
the lane-violators
a million gaping urinals.
Where are any
assemblages of dignity?
He longs for the epoch
that will never come,
and so he will never love
or love will never come.

Finally,
the ascetic visionary
who repels
the hearth
the silo
the rhythms, the platitudes.
the utopias.
Orphaned and bald
he breathes in
the jagged breadths
the deafening Zero.
various masochismos
 


 

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Articles/Discussions


Conversations
Adil Jussawala: In Discussion with Nabina Das
Easterine Kire: In Conversation with Babli Mallick

Articles
Kiran Kalra: Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha
Manjinder Kaur Wratch: The ‘Draupadian’ Agony
Raj Gaurav Verma: Children’s Fiction in India
Sachin Ketkar: Between ‘Swakiya’ and ‘Parkiya’
SK Sagir Ali: Select Stories of Saleem
Sukla Singha: Kokborok Poetry

Book Reviews
Chepuru Subbarao: ‘Turquoise Tulips
Debasish Lahiri: ‘Tagore, Gora: A Critical Companion
GSP Rao: ‘Being Hindu
Mirosh Thomas & Pramod K Das: ‘Sensitivity and Cultural Multiplexity
Purabi Bhattacharya: ‘Come Sit with Me by the River
Revathi Raj Iyer: ‘New Songs of the Survivors
Sagarika Dash: ‘Runaway Writers
Subashish Bhattacharjee: ‘East of Suez: Stories of Love… from the Raj’
Sunaina Jain: ‘What will You Give for this Beauty?

Poetry
Arunima Paul
Bibhu Padhi
Darius Cooper
Md. Ziaul Haque
Prakash Ram Bhat
Samreen Sajeda
Sutapa Chaudhuri
Syamantakshobhan Basu

Fiction
U Atreya Srama: Editorial Musings
Chandrashekhar Sastry: Auto-da-fe
Jim Wungramyao Kasom: The Search
Lahari Mahalanabish: The Museum
Smita Sahay: The Promise
Sridhar Venkatasubramanian: Déjà Vu
Tulsi Charan Bisht: Flowers
V P Gangadharan: Horrid-scope
Vrinda Baliga: Siege

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