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Smitha Sehgal

Smitha Sehgal: Editorial Musings

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Kostoglotov and I viewed each other with mistrust and frown during our first encounter in the Cancer Ward. It had rained all evening. His worn out boots and trench coat had brought in their fair share of muck and rain inside the disinfected hospital corridor. I put out a finger and touched his cheek. He ran a temperature and wouldn’t relent from getting up.

Gradually his conversations grew into my thoughts precipitated by sunny afternoons. I learnt to call him Oleg. What name did they call you in school, he asked, holding back his laughter. I said Vega. That's a star, said he. Towards the end of our sojourn, as the train to Ush-Terek pulled out of station with a long whistle, he lay stretched out on the upper berth. Turning inward, the anguish and immense sadness that seized Oleg's heart became my own.

Such was the indelible impression left in me by the protagonist of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's semi-autobiographical master piece “Cancer Ward", a great literary creation symbolic of Soviet Russia and the malaise eating into her.

Isn’t it a most gifted human ability to be able to have a spark of thought entrench, breathe, sleep and dream in one’s consciousness, develop its limbs into a most beautiful fiction, turn in the author’s womb, give him / her a heart burn or a kick before flowing out to the world ? Somewhere a reader wandering through the narrow lanes spilling over book shelves would spot the impossible luminesce of this story and decide to take it home.

We read each submission with care but only those with impressive content and form make it to the final shortlist.

This monsoon we bring you delightful fiction from the following six authors:

1. Jayaram Vengayil: Such a Short Journey

2. Mondit Mayur Mohanta: Frangipani

3. Nabanita Sengupta: The Game

4. Narayani Das: The Little Girl

5. Nilutpal Gohain: The Sacrifice

6. Sangeeth Simon: Platform

May the symphony of rain and reading enthrall us this monsoon.

Smitha Sehgal

PS: Attention contributors!

  • We look for your best fiction, irrespective of genre.
  • It should an unpublished piece, not even blogged.
  • Please ensure that the submission has a well sketched story line, form and content. It should not read like an essay.
  • While we welcome established as well as upcoming writers, we are quite uncompromising in respect of quality.
  • We do not consider submissions rife with objectionable content and grammatical errors.
  • Send us your best.
  • Muse India keeps a gap of at least two issues before repeating the same writer in order to cope with the very large demand for the Fiction section and to encourage more and more new voices.



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Literary Essay
Aditya Kumar Panda: Meaning and Limits
Ananya Dutta Gupta: Tagore – a Muse or Guardian?

Literary Articles
Animesh Bag & Gobinda Banik: Restless Hollow in The Circle of Reason
Anushree Thareja: The Agony of Being Adivasi
Archana Gupta: Love and Desire in Amrita Pritam’s The Revenue Stamp
I Watitula Longkumer & Nirmala Menon: Mamang Dai’s The Black Hill
Irina Talashi: Kashmiri Proverbs
Juri Dutta: Ideological Conflicts in Birendra Bhattacharya’s fiction
S K Sagir Ali: Short Stories of Afsar Ahmed
Soumana Biswas: Impact of Testimonies in Partition Fiction
Sumallya Mukhopadhyay: Of Forgotten Histories

Book Reviews
Ananya Sarkar: The Liberation of Sita (Volga)
Anubhav Pradhan: Personal and National Destinies in Independent India: A Study of Selected Indian English Novels
Atreya Sarma U: Not Just Another Story (Subhash Chandra)
Gopal Lahiri: Kautik on Embers (Uddhav J Shelke’s Marathi novel trans. by Shanta Gokhale)
Mala Pandurang: Home Between Crossings (Sultan Somjee)
Mona Dash: Spark of Light (Short fiction by women writers from Odisha)
Sobia Abdin: Four Degrees of Separation (Rochelle Potkar)

Ambika Ananth: Editorial Comment
Arunima Takiar
Debatri Das
Maere Damisr
Parvinder Mehta
Sheel Galada
Shernaz Wadia
Shweta Mishra
Venkata Chandeeswar
Zinia Mitra

Smitha Sehgal: Editorial Musings
Jayaram Vengayil: Such a Short Journey
Mondit M Mahanta: Frangipani
Nabanita Sengupta: The Game
Narayani Das: The Little Girl
Nilutpal Gohain: The Sacrifice
Sangeeth Simon: Platform

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