Remembering K.K

K.K is no more. Words most of us thought we would never get to hear since we hold on to the silly and unproven belief that death follows the ritual of visiting the old before the young. But as I type this and as you read this, we are in a world which does not have that man in flesh and blood, where his sudden departure and absence has been felt more sharply than the implosion of a star.

I first SAW K.K. on T.V on a show called the Bhaskar Ghosh Show on Star Movies in the year 1999. I put “SAW” in all caps because those were the days where one only heard playback singers- the social media bandwagon was still a decade away. The playback scenario in Hindi Films was ruled by Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan and Abhijeet—Sonu Nigam still had not achieved the stardom that came to him post Kal Ho Na Ho and was more of a familiar face as a host of a Musical Talent Hunt show.

 K.K. came like a breath of fresh air. In those days, the Indie Pop scene was not as tedious, monotonous and lacking in depth as we have now. Alisha Chinai, Euphoria, Daler Mehndi, Colonial Cousins were churning out one hit after another. Add to it, the charm of the music videos, introducing certain faces (Vidya Balan, Shahid Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, John Abraham, to name a few) which would later go on to launch a thousand ships. K. K’s Pal was released that year, along with the Nagesh Kukunoor’s growing up/boarding school drama Rockford and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. So in a space of months, three songs, speaking of three different stages of adulting and teenage evolution, slowly crept into our lives with the calm assurance of a ghost who refuses to be exorcised. Tadap Tadap from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was a wail of a lover- railing against a God for making him fall in love and against the fickle nature of love itself. Pal, the song was more soothing and comforting, a song meant for the people residing on the opposite axis of heartbreak. And Yaaron Dosti would become a staple at school and college farewells.

With time, the legend of K.K. kept on growing. If you believed in the maxim, “Our Sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts…” then you knew why K.K was in everybody’s playlist. I mean, who would not like a man who sung Sach Keh Raha Hain Deewana and Awaarapan, Banjarapan (A song so poignant that we forgot to criticise John Abraham’s emotiveness or the lack of it on screen). MTV and Channel V gave him the kind of airtime that was required for his voice to grow on us. And he straddled different lands- those of despair in the songs mentioned above and of elation and celebration and just plain masti in Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe and Dus Bahaane.

His musical collaboration with Pritam helped the latter find feet for himself in the Hindi film industry. The other two important cogs in the wheel were the Bhatt production house and Emraan Hashmi. Emraan had this amazing knack of making any song on screen sound and look better. Not that K.K needed any help. But their collaboration worked, be it in Tum Mile, The Train, Gangster and Jannat. In between all this, was the soul stirring Alvida from Life in a Metro, a song which had two versions, the other sung by Bangladeshi rock stalwart James and where, with all due respect to James, K. K’s version was a couple of miles ahead. His voice had the wonderful playback quality to it, it was not merely of a singer’s but that of a voice that was meant to be heard on screen.

But things change. And not always for the better. In the last few years, we heard less and less of him. The old timers have either stepped away from the limelight or are seen as judges in various reality shows. Not K.K. He was active in the live concert scene and had been selective about collaborating with music directors. Various factors may be responsible for this— there has been a flurry of old songs being remade and recreated, the auto-tune phenomenon which has taken away the skill element from playback singing and finally the tendency of music directors to have more than one version of a single song in a film’s soundtrack but which gets to feature in the film proper and which meant for unplugged version and only for the album being at the mercy of the producer. The landscape of the music industry had changed. For the ones in their early youth now, he was just another name. But not for us.

It has been just over a week since his demise. I have stayed away from the FM and Spotify, lest I chance upon the various tribute shows and playlists that have been curated for him. But I have hummed his songs continuously. Without being conscious of it. Without taking much of an effort. There is no discrepancy or duality or hypocrisy there. The fact remains that there has been a void which will not be filled up. Very similar to the void created with the absence of another genius, Irrfaan. I have sat in the evenings and nights and wondered why does it hurt? Where does it hurt?

The truth is this loss is a very selfish loss. Very few of us are railing at the unfairness of life, or the unpredictability of death. That is something we have been accepted. With K.K, a particular generation has lost a part of themselves. This grief is a very private grief, something that people of this generation might not able to grasp fully. K.K voiced the longing, grief, love and hope and hopelessness and friendly banter of millions. He was a sign where things were not made available too easily. One had to go to music websites filled with trackers and questionable links, the most popular being one from the other side of the border, and see if the songs had been uploaded. Very few of us could afford the CDs and since cassettes were slowly setting with the western sun, the only available option was to download songs from the internet. He is the symbol of the times when, since these songs were not available at the press of a button, the wait for them to be played on TV, on countdown shows or even on the FM was a agonising one but it was all worth it.

We are all holding on. It is funny how most times on social media and Whatsapp, we are only looking backward to the times gone by. We are active members of groups and subscribe to pages which deal with the forgotten taste of childhood and adolescence. K.K was a guardian of a treasure, the keys to whose doors we have willingly given away. And that is why this death hurts. When K.K sang Zaara si dil mein de jagah tu, it was a request that he didn’t have to make.

Poems by Oindri Sengupta

Two faces

My city has a history of nothingness.

Like many other cities that are born

out of someone’s despair and dreams,

my city too erupted from a lost sigh,

kept behind by a broken promise at the night’s end.

We are all dust-gatherers here,

cleaning our rusted memories before fading into light.

You came in during a dark hour

when the city found eloquence in its salty waters,

around the sound of its graves,

under the silence of the sky.

Drifting from one thread of light to the other.

Your call was like the madness of the soul

that once tasted the flavour of flight.

My feet followed you,

looking for answers,

While the city discovered its being scattered

on the road we left behind in sleep,

you discovered the elemental colours of life

on the path that you carved inside me.

Oindri Sengupta teaches English at a Govt School in Kolkata. Her poetry has been previously published in journals like The Lake (UK), Istanbul Literary Review, Chiron Review, Life and Legends, Outlook India, Muse India, and is upcoming in Poetica Review (UK) among others. Her poetry has also been used and adapted into a play, ‘Another Rainbow’. Her debut collection of poems ‘After the Fall of a Cloud’ has recently been published by Hawakal Publishers (New Delhi) in 2022.

Interview with Lisa Schantl by Susmita Paul

 

Please follow the link below to listen to the conversation between Susmita Paul and Lisa Schantl who is the founder and editor of the Tint Journal.

Lisa_SchantlLisa Schantl is also a project assistant at the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria. She holds a Master’s degree in English and American Studies with a focus on (North American) literature and the environment, as well as Bachelor degrees in that same field and Philosophy. In addition to her research in literature written in English, she is very interested in international relations and literary translation. Her journalistic and critical work has appeared in Versopolis, Anzeiger, PARADOX, The Montclarion and more, her creative work in Asymptote, UniVerse, Artists & Climate Change, The Hopper, The Normal Review, PubLab and more.

 

Susmita is a creative writer and independent scholar with bipolar mood disorder with schizophrenic potential. She writes in English and Bengali and is published in “Headline Poetry and Press”, “Montauk” and “Learning and Creativity”. Her published books are Poetry in Pieces (2018) and Himabaho Kotha Bole (When Glaciers Speak) (2019). She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Pine Cone Review. Her personal website is www.susmitapaul.org 

Two Poems by Jagari Mukherjee

THEATRE

He says,
your poetry reminds me of the Russians.

I search for the color and taste
of the Volga on my tongue.
Instead, I find a hole
where once a charred theatre stood.
My mouth turns a veritable Kiev:
Lev tries to scream out from my throat
while Fyodor jabs Rogozhin’s knife
to scoop out my vocal chords.

(Ice cream.)

He says,
your poetry reminds me of the Russians.
I reply,
I’ve got a sore throat.

*NOTES:

Lev: Tolstoy
Fyodor: Dostoevsky
Rogozhin: Character from ‘The Idiot’

THE THIRD DAY
(After Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights)

I am the artist’s God
bent over my art–
till today, I have used
my grisaille palette of grey-green.
I must make a radiant sun
and a soft-toned moon
as lanterns to add some sheen
to my masterpiece, this crystal globe.
Three days down, four to go.
I intend to consult the Testament
and splatter colors on my artist’s robe.

Being God, could I not foretell
The Fall which must come
in my Eden?
Open the panels of Bosch’s triptych
and you will see
a Paradise and a wasteland
fill my garden.

Hieronymus has painted it well.
I mould artists out of matter
and they paint me on panels
and ceilings of chapels,
(with gorgeousness flatter).
A fair effort at gratitude, too, I recall.

Some call me jealous,
others call me kind.
Nobody knows my mind.
But they love my son
who saved the world.
I am an artist’s God
about to create Life…
the greatest satire of all.

Jagari Mukherjee is a poet, editor, and reviewer based in Kolkata, India. She has two
full-length books of poetry and two chapbooks. Her latest full-length collection, The
Elegant Nobody, was published by Hawakal Publishers in January 2020. Jagari is the
Founder and Chief Executive Editor of the literary journal, EKL Review.

Poems by Sneha Bhura

 

Bother

 A blank wall is a canvas

On a sore head Sunday

The sitar sings self-care

Fingering oil into hair

 

Bristle brush, watercolour

Camel black, burnt umber

On plastic kitchen palette

They slather and slubber

 

 

Long, quivering iron logs

Go up and down the wall

They stop in their tracks

An arc their rise forestalls

 

 

It still looks like a prison

So I paint quiet creepers

Which fall like ribbons

The bars sing Vermeer

 

 

Is it a floating headboard

Or a secret garden door?

A question not as vexed as

If or not he cares anymore 

 

History, it rhymes

 

 

When you fixed your tie

And cleared your throat

To ask, “Do you like boys?”

I pursed my lips and ran away

You were nine, I was eight

 

 

Now, as I wait

For a flicker of a text

You are that tie-trendy ghost

With wounded eyes

And a bloated nose

 

 

A schoolboy image of a pop star

With hair parted like Jesus

In his biochemistry class

Except you now chase kites

Where the wild things are

 

 

A moonstruck missive

With several dotted postscripts

Was an era of unrequited love

Now I can swallow a toad

Pretend I am above, and far.

 

 

Combat Yogini

 

High up in the mountains,

She is learning the Ras Lila.

 

 

Often, on her way there,

She cries alone in a forest. 

 

 

A lost love laid down the path,

She knows no double-back.

 

 

Along came a guy de diplomat,

She later learnt was also trash.

 

 

Food, internet and a room, 

She asked for nothing more.

 

 

To mummy, papa and sister

She is a bad mother, a whore. 

 

Sneha Bhura is a Delhi-based journalist with The Week magazine. She has worked for publications like Open magazine, Mint Lounge and Fortune. Her first chapbook, Velvet Grapes: Drunk Midnight Poetry (Hawakal Publishers), was out in January 2021. Her most recent poems have been published in the Madras Courier, The Punch Magazine and The Chakkar.

Poems by Tapati Gupta

Indifference

Dewdrops on the branches

Bemoan the loss of lives.

We look at the statistics of casualties

Over our steaming tea

The grocery list demands attention

The imbroglio of war in a far country

 Leads to a webinar on international relations.

The seagull flies away in fear

Of human indifference

The vultures crave for more food 

But shiver at the thought of missile fire

The little sister cries for her mother

Her brother lifts her with his weak hands

Mortar shells hit their house.

I must go and do my grocery

Before prices spiral

Suddenly I hear a sound of soft sobbing

As the dew dissolves in the heat of hatred

Crows start a colloquium in the trees

On the topic of human cruelty

My crumpled grocery list escapes my fingers

Is my sky still blue?

The Old Canyon

The old canyon

What does it hide

Love, peace or strife

Let me collect the love and peace

Even though it may break me apart.

Bare branches pierce the blue

The leafy ones nod happily

Am I bare, I wonder.

I descend the slope

Treading on green grass

Sometimes on prickly thorns

Blood oozes

But I discover newness

A breath emanates from the depths

The blood is now the purple of peace.

A tree trunk softens itself for me

it assures the security of centuries of love.

Let it last, let it last

Somewhere a coyote sings to its mate.

Tapati Gupta is a retired Professor of the Department of English, University of Calcutta and former Head of the Department. An erudite scholar, a theatre, arts and music aficionado and an enthusiastic photographer, she continues to pursue new interests with indefatigable zeal.

Ruud Van Weerdenburg in Conversation with Susmita Paul

 

Multifaceted artist Ruud Van Weerdenburg converses with Susmita Paul for Plato’s Caves:

Please find below some of the paintings and Poems by Ruud Van Weerdenburg

 

Caravaggio and Me

 

Among men I wandered who reigned over the kingdom

below the half-moon and how I enjoyed these manoeuvres

in the dark but didn’t really love the trades of the pirates

the pickpockets, the evangelistimmitators and the

opiumdevotees

 

But I learned from them like Caravaggio got in touch with

holiness by fighting in the streets until the whole scene

was  “van de aardbodem geveegd”.

Caravaggio and me we found out how to react with beauty

on our half-moon-property no one can steal but

imitate

 

It was only because our city possessed the knowledge

how to satisfy the religion and the customers as well

that Amsterdam remained a playground for grown-ups

and the Italian cities a battlefield for the youth

 

Listening I did very carefully to their lively explanations

how the prisoners followed their protectsaint Holy

Leonhard and the merchants in spite of all Hermes –

But I, whatever happened on earth, couldn’t imagine

how the earth was flat but my girl for my eye and hand

so round

 

“The dark is dead and the light is alive”

I won’t protest – but every human being has to find

his way between these extremes

 

Seventeen years old was my neighbour who wandered

through all the jewish wisdom as intensive as he did

fly with his family from Portugal to Amsterdam

“To simplify our concentration in this complicated life,

you should count on the one and only God,” unveiled the rabbi “

the tree of life in me and I explain you a secret for

glory and success: one should not fear anything or something

because the world actually is round…”

 

From the dark I learned that the rich lady is the hidden card

in the pokergame. And from a famous healer I got to know

how one person is able to hunt out a disease by visualizing

how Jesus succeeded to make all the merchants in the temple

flee

Abracadabra in spite – for the half-moon I ended up as a

Lost and quilty merchant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Amsterdam 17

Amsterdam, this city of merchants and sailors

was once only a flowing river from the seven seas

straight into Europe inside,

but even sailors need to take rest

and merchants have to sleep

 

Who takes care in the meantime

when the mice throw a party because

the people of the sea find their pleasant ways

ashore: the undercurrent streams, lower than land,

lower than the sea

 

Once we threw a dam into the Amstel we’d got

A city for beauty and a town of fun

For everybody who likes to have some rest

in the middle of the flow.

For everybody who loves to make money out of

beauty and beauty out of money –

 

When the circle of houses, compagnies and

cafés is complete and full, we make another circle

where both ends meet.

A bigger one, but we do take care to leave a canal

of water in between.

Ready to come and take off in ships like our

second skins –

 

We will never leave the water , how far we ever may

go into the land, we still stay in contact with the Big Water,

like the painting with its creator.

 

To tell the truth: circle after circle our city turned out

to be Amstelrodam, elastic and always different round

and round to catch you while arriving as a rich man

or a drowning person –

to pull your string when you leave, like and arrow and just

like never before…!  

Ruud van Weerdenburg was born in Alkmaar, Netherlands in 1956, reborn in Tashi Jong, South of Kashmir. He Doesn’t know the difference between writing, travelling and painting. He has had exhibitions in Guwahati, Vienna Amsterdam. He has written for Hindustan Times and Assam Tribune. Global Player-Reporter. Radioorangevienna presenter. Flute player.

Poems by Ila Railkar and Rachit Sharma

All It Took Was A Sunbird by Rachit Sharma

As a child, I was surrounded by my father’s cartons of colours, 

there were bright crayons, like tiny boulders of odd shapes

discarded sketch pens, with lost caps, 

ones that lost all their light and turned into silent moons. 

The orange crayon that came in slightly different shades based on its brand, was my most favourite

red was too deep, yellow too bright. orange was enough – ruminative yet stood out, 

we filled a hundred splendid suns together

supplied it to corners where there wasn’t enough colour 

on edges, and outside the lines… 

over the years, the orange crayon kept visiting me – as an elusive joy 

sometimes as the hue of sunset settled on a lover’s lower lip, 

sometimes as a stranger’s touch that felt warm and safe

every time I trusted a friend, every time I was trusted..

it appeared in my ears as music, and trickled down my eyes,

it peaked at the beginning of every affair, and remained in some,

it appeared  every night, right before crossing the threshold of sleep 

the other morning a sunbird paid us a visit, marched around like a Queen’s guard,

and screamed at a puddle of water in joy.

It was all that took to remind me that I never lost it,

Misplaced it perhaps.

Unlearning by Ila Railkar

The day I realized 

That my revered, infallible father

Made blunders for which he never apologized,

The illusion of innocence

Shattered forever

And 

Though terrified of this strange wisdom

I knew there was no

Unlearning.

Rachit Sharma designs and facilitates immersive leadership programs for young people in India. He has been engaged with a number of social causes. Currently, he resides in Meerut.

Ila Railkar is an Indian poet. She has been published or is forthcoming in Indian Periodical, Indian Review, The Alipore Post, Blue River Review, One Sentence Poems, Madras Courier, and Moss Puppy Magazine. 

In Conversation with Bhaswati Ghosh…

Bhaswati Ghosh, author of Victory Colony 1950 talks about her debut novel and other facets of writing and craft with Sayan Aich Bhowmik.

 How did you conceive Victory Colony, 1950?

Sometime in the first decade of this century, an editor from a then-nascent publishing house asked me if I wanted to pitch her a fiction book. Not a lot of my writing had been published yet, and while the idea of a novel seemed daunting, I wanted to give it a go. ‘Victory Colony, 1950’ came to me through a familial and literary inheritance. My maternal grandmother, Amiya Sen, who wrote in Bengali, had penned a number of short stories that centred around the aftermath of India’s partition, particularly in the way it affected refugees from East Pakistan. One such story, which resulted in the kind of horrific tragedy that is often associated with Partition, didn’t leave me. I wanted to re-imagine the fate the of the young refugee woman at the centre of the story. That’s how Victory Colony, 1950 took seed in my mind.

Generally, in most households/ families in North and Eastern India, there are stories and memories related to the Partition of India. These stories have been passed on from one generation to the other almost like a family heirloom. Has there been any such influence or stories that were there in your immediate family?

You know, I feel this theme — of the stories of displacement brought on by the Partition — has not just been passed on to subsequent generations by those directly impacted by it, but it has in fact entered our bloodstream; so constant is its presence. Speaking personally, my grandparents lost their home and belongings in Barisal, which went to East Pakistan in 1947. In that sense, I was a third-generation refugee myself. I grew up listening to stories my grandmother related on her life in Barisal – about its riverine beauty and village camaraderie, the freshness of its abundant fish, fruits and vegetables, about the strength of grandma’s mother’s personality, the quirkiness of her siblings, her soft-spoken, affectionate father, a kobiraj or ayurvedic practitioner. Simply by absorbing these stories I became a cohabitant of a place and culture I had never seen firsthand, yet knew intimately.

With time, this sense of displacement — forced and permanent — seems to have seeped into me. Now that I live in the West, I feel this even more acutely, even though my migration is largely voluntary.

Calcutta, for a very long time has been looked up to and considered as a bastion or guardian of all things cultural. And yet, there is this dark underbelly of casteism and a distrust of the minorities or the refugees amidst all the positives that the city displays, something that you have touched upon in the novel. How do you reconcile or come to terms with this Janus-faced nature of the city?

This distrust of the outsider isn’t limited to Calcutta, unfortunately. We see this across geographies affected by displacement, albeit in varying degrees. What makes Calcutta’s situation curious is the contradiction of its genteel, bhadralok sensibilities — mainly an upper-caste domain — on the one hand and its suspicion of the outsider, the bohiragoto on the other. The bhadralok community routinely prides itself for its intellectual “superiority” even as it exploits those belonging to lower castes. There is even denial of the existence of caste in Bengal’s social life by many, but one only has to look at the canons of the power structures — be they political, cultural, educational or the service sectors — to see the relentless dominance of upper castes. As Dalit Bengali literature becomes more accessible through the powerful narratives of writers like Manoranjan Byapari, Manohar Mouli Biswas and Adhir Biswas, the hypocrisies of upper caste Bengalis stand exposed. I tried to be conscious of this while writing Victory Colony, 1950 and feel the first step to reconciliation is the acknowledgement of casteist practices and mindsets perpetuated by the upper castes. Only once we consciously step out of the bubble of denial can there be any constructive engagement with this duality.

Food has an important and ubiquitous presence in your novel. In fact, in Bengal, more than anywhere else in the country, food and football have been considered as identity markers in the larger social fabric. How deliberate was choosing the culinary and the gastronomical as a trope and who/ what were the motivations behind it?

It was more spontaneous than deliberate, I think. Growing up as a refugee heir, I saw food surfacing over and over again as one of the remaining vestiges of a lost past in our family. My grandmother tried, as best as she could, to preserve the foods she grew up on, going so far as to plant fruits and vegetables like the guava, custard apple, papaya, bananas, Malabar spinach — whatever the little patch of backyard in her modest Delhi house allowed her. She would cook with coconut often and make traditional desserts like pithhas (crepes and pastries filled with goodies) and moa (puffed rice balls with sticky jaggery), pickles with chalta, amraa, koromcha and other delicacies from her mother’s kitchen.

While writing Victory Colony, 1950, food naturally found its way into the scenes. I also feel that in settings where women hold the centre stage, culinary references instinctively flow in. The hearth has been a woman’s most intimate dwelling place across cultures, but in a refugee environment, food becomes more than itself — it stands as a symbol of deprivation and memory as also of survival and hope.

Your debut novel has found acceptance in the institutionalized academic sphere. Your poems have been published in journals in India and abroad and you have also carved a niche for yourself as a translator. Which of these roles do you find the most challenging and rewarding and why?

I don’t see myself as anything or anybody in particular. I enjoy writing like someone else might paragliding or snorkeling. As a student of the craft, I’m keen to learn — by reading more, listening more, paying more attention to the everyday and the mysteries it holds. This quest is what makes me explore different genres; the idea is to play and have fun along the way while cheering for and learning from fellow travellers.

Writing a novel has been by far been the most challenging for me. I have no formal training in creative writing and didn’t have any inkling of what I’d taken on when I began writing the book. All writing is rewarding, though — whether it’s a four-line poem, a work of translation or writing a short story or an essay. At the same time, writing personal essays feels the most comfortable for me.

You have spent your growing up years outside Calcutta and now live in Canada. Your writings are characterised by this rootedness in the Bengali culture. There is a possibility that critics might label you as a diasporic writer. How would you react to that? And does the prospect of being labelled or boxed in a particular rubric bother you?

I have no use for labels of any kind and therefore don’t mind any that is or could be used for me. I was born and raised in New Delhi but went to a school where I studied Bengali until Class ten. I also participated in a lot of inter-school contests organized by the Bengal Association and other Bengali organizations in the national capital. At home, I had a grandmother who wrote in Bengali and a mother who dealt with Bengali language books at the Arts Library in Delhi University. On top of this, from the age of ten, I lived in Chittaranjan Park, which was established to house those who had been displaced from East Pakistan and found themselves in Delhi for work or other reasons. So essentially, I grew up in an atmosphere soaked in the Bengali spirit — be it the language, foods, festivals or other cultural markers.

I’ve now lived outside India for more than a decade, yet most of what I write is still set in India or South Asia. Even as I remain cognizant of what goes on around me in Canada, my current home, I find that my writing sensibilities are still more attuned to the stories hidden in an emerging from India.

How do you think the role and the responsibility of the author has changed? In a world driven by bigotry and religious divisiveness, do you think that there is an added onus upon a writer to transcend beyond being just a storyteller or a chronicler?

Sadly enough, this isn’t a new conundrum. Writers through different periods in history have had to contend with this question. I think writers can and do play a crucial role when it comes to examining social complexities. Even when they’re chronicling the trends and ruptures occurring around them, they are doing something bigger than mere record keeping. The greatest storytellers have always captivated readers with their riveting storytelling that doesn’t shy away from questioning norms or seeking succor amidst despondency and darkness.

What advice would you be giving to young aspiring authors?

The biggest advice, as a fellow traveler on the path, would be to keep walking, (or writing, to explain the metaphor). Writing a novel taught me many things, but I would count patience and perseverance to be the biggest lessons. It’s a painstakingly slow process, and there are many times during the journey when you would question the point of it all. To fight against that, you need to persevere and finish writing what you started. These two attributes also help when you’re ready to embark on the actual publishing trail – as you walk through the forest of rejections, you learn to fine-tune your manuscript and continue on the hike.

What surprised me the most was how much you can accomplish with even the smallest of daily writing goals.

It’s also important to pay attention to your growth arc as a writer. This is best done by reading widely – most importantly, by reading content other than the type of thing you’re writing. I remember how my grandmother, an excellent writer herself, would read everything from paper bags made out of old newspapers to the latest poetry book making waves in international circles to folk tales, philosophy, history, religion and everything else in between.

See what other writers are doing with the craft and what stands out to you.

Could you tell us a bit more about your future projects?

I’m currently working on a nonfiction book on Delhi, the city of my birth. It deals with the different communities who came to the capital for various reasons and made it their home. I also need to complete the translation of Aranyalipi, my grandmother’s nonfiction book on East Pakistani refugees who were sent to Dandakaranya under a government of India rehabilitation project. The seeds of my next novel are starting to germinate in my mind too, but it will be a while before I can get to that story.

Bhaswati Ghosh writes and translates fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her first book of fiction is ‘Victory Colony, 1950′. Her first work of translation from Bengali into English is ‘My Days with Ramkinkar Baij’. Bhaswati’s writing has appeared in several literary journals, including Indian Express, Scroll, The Wire, Literary Shanghai, Cargo Literary, Pithead Chapel, Warscapes, and The Maynard. Bhaswati lives in Ontario, Canada and is an editor with The Woman Inc. She is currently working on a nonfiction book on New Delhi, India. To learn more about her publications click here .

Sayan Aich Bhowmik is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Shirakole College, West Bengal. He is the co-editor of Plato’s Caves Online, a semi- academic space on literature, politics and art. He has recently published his debut collection of poems, I Will Come With A Lighthouse. 

Special Anti-War Issue

In the wake of the traumatic carnage and destruction unfolding in Europe, with apprehensions of greater devastation in the days and weeks to come, we present this anti-war issue of Plato’s Caves in honour of those killed, uprooted, traumatised and mutilated by this horrible invasion.

 

Plato’s Caves Anti War Issue April 2022

Cover Page

 

You can also read the issue as a flipbook here: