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Zinia Mitra

Zinia Mitra

Celebrating monsoon. Image credit- New HD Wallpapers Free Download

The tree ripped itself
and oozed out a thousand blood –red palash flowers.
The unsteady gyrating wind picked up
an intimate red-dust-road scent. A solo baul
ambled along the road with his ektara.
The days that are gone are too many!
Girls in yellow saris with flowers around their buns
giggled and lingered amongst the trees
looking for more colours.
It was then that he took his leave
like a poem ending too abruptly,
like a spectator anticipating
a too too familiar ending
walks out of the opera house
muttering under breath:
conventional, all too conventional!
Thus, he took his leave.
Madal-beats darted across the orchestra pit
followed him down the staircase.
Kangira jhum–jhumed and rambled the streets
baul tunes hovered in the spring air.
The yellow-saried girls tapped their feet
swayed and danced amongst the trees in a frenzy
until they slumped with laughter,
their dishevelled hair spread out against
the dusty ground, scattering flowers.
The tree stood still
oozing out a thousand blood –red palash flowers.
The traffic light switches to red
and stops all movement, briefly easing
the anguish of the souls playing at life.
It is a moment of release-
also of captivity,
a confinement in time.
The towering apartments around
cast their gloomy,
jagged shadows on the street-
construct a shadow prison.
Men and women of this city
disparate karmic strings and footsteps
chance to be here this moment
their orbits crossing abruptly.
We are all trapped here in this laconic prison.
Shadow prisoners wait for movement
it grows hot and sultry,
only the umbra of low flying crows
glide across the square noiselessly
sombre floating clouds. A paper kite
trapped in a cable wire imitate their wings.
Two pigeons in grey coats
pace up and down a parapet wall
studying the inmates grimly.
Prison walls grow taller as the sun
takes a step west. They will altogether disappear
with sunset. Anxiety mounts as the impatient shadows
yearn to break away from this shadow prison house
that confines them now. Motionless
breathing short, we wait for the light to go green.
We wait to escape.
An unpainted multi-storeyed building
stands unaided leaning against time
an unrealised colossal dream.
Its inmates have left for another country.
Their thoughts have remained back
trapped within this unrealized dream.
They reside in the rooms,
in kitchen, in washrooms,
around writing desks,
as thought forms without words, expressions,
like souls without bodies.
They look down through the glass window
into the streets where people whizz past each other
thoughts bottled inside them.
An orphanage stands across the road where
an open -armed Christ hangs with a drooping head.
The garden is open for orphan children to play.
Orphan thoughts reside unseen
in the house across the street leaning against time.
Its inmates have left for another country.



Charanjeet Kaur: Editorial

Nicholas Grene: In Conversation with Pawan Kumar
Sami Ahmad Khan: In Discussion with Atreya Sarma

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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