General Reading

Five Questions to Poet Dinesh Gupta ‘Din’

Dinesh Gupta ‘Din’ is a software engineer by profession and a poet by Passion. His poetry, articles, book reviews, and interviews have been featured in several online and print magazines and leading national newspapers including Dainik Jagran, Dainik Dakshin Mumbai, After Break, Delhi Aur Delhi, Purnviram, Delhi Replika, Mathrubhumi, Janpath Samachar, Janmbhumi, Forever News, APN News. His poetry has been published in three poetry collections: 1) Kadam Dhundti Raahen, 2) Shabdon Ki Chahalkadmi, and 3) Bikhri Aus Ki bunden. He is also performing Poet and participated in several Poetry events. Dinesh started writing by interest early, but now a days Poetry is passion for him. When People ask Combination of Engineer and Hindi Poet is rare, how it’s happen with you, he just says: “Engineering is my profession by Poetry is my passion. Poetry floods in by Body in form of blood. You can read few of his creations here: https://www.facebook.com/dineshguptaofficial http://dineshguptadin.in Literature Studio (LS): When did you first start writing poetry? What was your first inspiration? Dinesh Gupta (DG): What can I say but this… भीतर की गहराई और बाहर की तन्हाई ने शायर बना दिया On a serious note, I started writing when I was in 8th standard. I took inspiration from life back then, but, with time, it got lost somewhere. Later, when I was studying engineering I heard about Dr Kumar Vishvas and since then I have been following him. I am highly inspired by him and he is the one whose Poetry and Poetic Journey helps me bring the Poet inside me to the surface again. This was actually rebirth of my poetry. Since then I have been writing continuously and I got tremendous response on social media from my readers. शब्द नए चुनकर गीत वही हर बार लिखूं मैं उन दो आँखों में अपना सारा संसार लिखूं मैं विरह की वेदना लिखूं या मिलन की झंकार लिखूं मैं कैसे चंद लफ़्ज़ों में सारा प्यार लिखूं  मैं ! These days engineering is my profession but poetry is my passion. LS: What are the themes you delve in? DG: I write in free format without any limitation of Ras or Flavor of Poetry. To be able to write, I hardly ever need to think too much or depend on a pen and paper. Whenever anything around or inside me affects me deeply it results in an instantaneous flow of poetry. Mostly I write on romance, patriotism, and on social issues. If there’s anything that touches my heart and If I am able to find the right words to express it, it will flow out in form of poetry. I write all forms of poetry, such as Shayari, Kavita, Geet, and Ghazal. जब भी तेरी याद का एक लम्हा मेरी आँखों में उतर आता है मेरे दिल का सारा दर्द शब्दों में उतर आता है  !  LS: How easy or difficult is life as a poet? What makes you stick to poetry? DG: Life as a poet is very satisfying provided it is just your hobby and trust me it is a great feeling to know that you have the ability to express yourself in words that can move others. However, as soon as it becomes your profession it becomes tough until you get big success at commercial level. And that is very rare. Although now it is getting very tough for me to balance all the Ps (Personal life, Profession, and Poetry), I am still very attached to poetry because I do not see myself separate from Poetry. LS: Do you have a favorite time of the day when you prefer to write? DG: No, this is not how it works for me.  According to me अपने अंतर की चेतना और अनुभूति की...

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Three poems by Subhashis Bhaduri || Translated by Amrita Bera

Before the deluge Unrelenting rains are like relentless heartaches. Just like our drizzly love and affections. In dimly lit tea shops, in the camouflage of evening, noon arrives. Rarely can Kolkata be seen like this. Under the belly of the flyover, two extremely busy men, like the crows are brushing water off their shirts. Wiping off the scene with their handkerchiefs, they want to make their vision more clear. At the traffic signal, songs of nature can be heard. Stray dogs and beggars are sitting nuzzled against the pavement. Some are swearing, someone else is absolutely quiet. Utterly still, just like a damp cloud.   প্লাবনের আগে একটানা মনখারাপের মতো একটা টানা বৃষ্টি। আমাদের ভালবাসাবাসিগুলো। যেমন ঝিরঝিরে, ঠিক তেমনটি।নিভু-নিভু চায়ের দোকান, সন্ধ্যের ছদ্মবেশে এসে হাজির দুপুর। এমন কলকাতা কচ্চিৎ-কদাচিৎ পাওয়া যায়। ফ্লাইওভারের তলপেটে কাকের ঢঙে দুটো ব্যস্ত মানুষ, শার্টের জল ঝাড়ছে। রুমালে দৃশ্য মুছে একটু স্পষ্ট করতে চাইছে চোখ। ট্রাফিক সিগনালে বাজছে প্রকৃতি পর্যায়ের গান।   কুকুর আর ভিকিরিগুলো ফুটপাতে আরো ছাঁজা ঘেঁসে বসেছে। কেউ-কেউ খিস্তি করছে, কেউ আবার একদম চুপ। এক্কেবারে ভেজা মেঘের মতো, থম মেরে আছে।   *****   The Developing Third World Somewhere on a clumsy road The lone man remains awake   After the last bus leaves, Slowly shutting the rickety bamboo door He loosens up his soul-less body   Before that He had just said chuckling – ‘You know brother, This tea stall at this crossing Is there since before time.’   হাইওয়ে প্রগতি লোকটা একা জেগে থাকে কোথায় আনাড়ি কোন পথে   শেষ বাস চলে গেলে, শরীর এলায়, ধীরে ফেলে দরমার ঝাঁপ   তার আগে শুধু, ক্লান্ত হেসে বলেছিল- কি জানেন দাদা সেই স্বদেশি অমল থেকে আছে, অনেক পুরানো এই তেমাথার চায়ের দোকান   *****   On A Quiet Day Through the fringe of the day birds are coming Flying back in the evening Colors are falling over the water of the rivers   In the great tranquil A few men are walking back As if there is no haste this year   Everything is calm There is no infiltration anywhere around   The day of voting is still very far.   শান্ত একটি দিন দিনের পরিধি থেকে পাখি উড়ে আসছে বিকেলে নদীজলে ঝরে পড়ছে রং   দু একজন হেঁটে ফিরছে খুব শান্ত যেন কোনও তাড়া নেই এ বছর   সব ঠাণ্ডা দোলাচল নেই   আবার ভোটের দিন অনেকটা দূর ***** About the Poet: Born on 17th of May, 1970 in Kolkata, a post- graduate from Jadavpur University, Subhashis Bhaduri had been keenly interested in literature and arts from his childhood and no later he started leaving mark of his own, in the arena of Bengali literature by contributing in all genres of writing, which appeared in the various leading Bengali dailies, literary magazines, and little magazines etc. By his late twenties, he became a noted writer in the contemporary Bengali literature, especially poetry, for his unmatched style of expressing the journey of the inner self – the soul and the sacred eternal life with all its wisdom and amazements, in a sublime manner, yet in a low-key voice. His poems, conveyed through the socio-political perspectives, in their abstractness have fine poetic nuances, whereas some of his poems carry metaphors from Indian mythology and are metaphysical in nature, with lofty abstractness as their inherent components. Till date the poet has 7 poetry collections to his credit. The collections are: Subhashis Bhadurir Lekha (1996), Ishwar Aamar (2001), Aschorjo Bhugoley (2007), Bhitor Moner Darbesh (2010), Ratripurusher Mukh (2012), Janganman (2013), and Nirambu Sakare Mile (2013). He is recipient of West Bengal’s prestigious Birendra Chattopadhyay poetry award. He is also actively involved in writing children’s literature, short stories, articles and essays. He is the editor...

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Tuitions – Short Fiction by Nivedita N

Pinky wiped the sweat off her forehead with the sleeve of her blue t-shirt and looked at her elder brother, Sunny. He had been batting with her cricket bat since the last eight overs of the 30-over match in their apartment’s garage that doubled as their cricket pitch.  She listened as others complained to the captain of the team, their neighbour, Naresh, ‘When will we get a chance to bat, Anna? Every day Sunny Anna only bats first and keeps batting till end. I will go to Godha Nilayam from tomorrow!’ ‘You will play with our enemy team?’ Naresh, looked at them, his eyebrows furrowed. ‘No, Anna, we did not mean that. But every time, he only bats first.’ ‘Arey, we must win, no? And, inter-building matches are also approaching for Independence Day. Ok..Ok..Tomorrow you bat first, ok?’ ‘SIX!’ one of their team members shouted, removing his t-shirt and hurling it in the air. ‘Pinky, go and get the ball,’ the bowler scorned at Pinky. ‘Why me, always?’ ‘That’s the rule. The last batsman in opposite team should go. Plus, you are so small you can easily squeeze between the plants and the bushes and brought.’ ‘It’s bring. State Syllabus fellow! And I am a batsgirl. Ok I am going,’ she mocked and walked swiftly to the neighbour’s house. It was Saturday noon and the neighbours would all be sleeping. She ran towards the plants where the ball would usually be lying. There it was! The red ball among the green plants. She picked the ball and was walking out of the gate when she heard her mother call her name aloud from their balcony. Throwing the ball at the bowler, she ran towards the staircase that led to their flat. ‘I will come soon. Anna, get my bat, don’t forget.’ She ran up the flight of stairs and knocked at her door. Her mother opened it quickly. She walked in and saw her father, still in his formals, holding her mathematics paper. ‘So you hid it from us? Mummy met your Maths teacher and she told that the paper was sent long ago. We searched your school bag and found it.’ Her father held his head in his hand and sank into the brown sofa. ‘Why did you do this?’ he asked, looking at her with disbelief. Pinky hung her head. She did not know how to react. ‘I am asking you!’ her father shouted. ‘Answer me.’ ‘I forgot I got the paper,’ she said, her voice barely a whisper. ‘Lies. Lies. Lies. Who teaches you all this?’ her father hurled the mathematics paper on the floor, and continued ‘Stop playing with those rowdy friends. Why don’t you play badminton instead with Shilpa? She is such a good girl and she will teach you some manners also. Those boys are bad. Only because of your brother I allowed you to play with them, but from today everything is cut. No TV. No playing. Did you see the paper? You got 55 out of 100. And your brother? He got 90. I am not one of those fathers who will compare but this is so less, Pinky.’ Her father said, looking at her. Her mother, seated at the dining table peeling potatoes, nodded in agreement. ‘Sorr..y,’ she mumbled, tears flowing down her cheeks. ‘Sorry for what? The time for sorry is over. From tomorrow, you will do as we say.’ ‘Now, you and Mummy will go to Ramani aunty and book a slot. She is the best tuition teacher. Everyone who goes there always gets good marks.’ ‘TUITIONs aaah!...

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Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s “My Glass of Wine” – About Ashmi Ahluwalia, the Moderator

Delhi Launch of Kiriti Sengupta’s My Glass of Wine was very different from a traditional book launch. Unlike a book launch, it had several sections that opened the stage up for writers who had won the My Glass of Wine creative writing contest and to poets who had been specially invited to read their poetry at the event. When Kiriti-da shared his plans of the book launch with Vibha, she felt that the event will need mindful moderation and the first name that came to her mind was Ashmi Ahluwalia, the poetry editor or Literature Studio. And she was convinced that Ashmi could do justice to the job. And Ashmi did all that and much more. Ashmi Ahluwalia, our moderator for the launch, not only managed to weave the event and all its sections together seamlessly, she, being a poet herself, also lifted it to another level. Her apt observations and spontaneous literary interjections were received rather well and we have heard nothing but praises for her. Here is a bit about Ashmi: Ashmi Ahluwalia is the Poetry Editor at Literature Studio’s Readers’ Corner. She is a poet and enjoys indulging in the world of rhyme when not doing business development in her day job. After completing her graduate education in English Literature at St. Stephen’s College, she did her Masters’ degree in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Passionate about her cocker spaniel, dessert, writing and soft rock; she has edited a compilation of Indian-English poetry called Writing Love (Published by Rupa, August 2010). Here are some Ashmi moments from the event: Thank you Ashmi for your expert moderation. It made a whole lot of difference to the event....

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Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s “Time’s Barter” || Review by Ananya S Guha

The haikus in Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s collection Time’s Barter are elegant, delectable, witty, and humorous. They are imbued with colour, imagery of the natural world, the world of change, and a frenetic  rush for what is ‘new’. The verse is splashed with nature, rains, the wind, and burgeoning fruits. The technical virtuosity and the craft is apparent, but the overriding consideration is content. They are contemporary in tone and intent, marked also with wry and sardonic humour. Talking about the region’s backwardness the poet quotes a road sign which reads: “Slow men at work” Such irony is present, but what is also noted in these haikus is the metamorphosis of change. What is change? What impact does technology have on present times? What happens to the innate beauty of nature, the cascading waterfalls of Sohra, for example? The pivotal points are the poet’s home towns Sohra and Shillong. The poems turn around these two places to ask searing questions about life, its mechanization and whether the city of Shillong is actually a town, desperadoes may call it a city, all because of this frenetic search for new found expressions, and changing with the times! Technically, these haikus adhere to the traditional mould — 5-7-5 syllabic utterances — but their poetry lies in their suggestibility as the last section amply demonstrates. They have an apparent directness, simplicity but the last section is a take off into a new spinning world. It is as if after the flotsam and jetsam of life, characters take a new shape and meaning. They become more shadowy and less flesh and blood: “man telling a tale- a loud tune, friend turns away, left hand holding his ear.” The ambiguity and paradox of these haikus are poignantly underlined: “juicy-looking plums, watery taste- shouldn’t have plucked on a rainy day”. Or, “wind- whipping the rain- on the soggy earth, blood-red, the plums.” Though technically perfect, the haikus are concerned more with content than form. The themes have a wide range: love, relationship, a changing consciousness, and nostalgia. The poet remembers suddenly  his home town in the midst of a busy life in the metropolis. Nostalgia has to do with the hills, pines, and the rivulets. The dialectics of change and modernity imbue these haikus with a mood of sad resignation. In fact, moods dominate them, the poet is variously sad, angry, and happy. In his beautiful  introduction, the late Nigel Jenkins, Welsh poet and scholar puts the haiku in the main tradition of Japanese Haiku verse and examines Nongkynrih’s verse in this literary context.  He avers that haiku in India is still incipient, and Nongkynrih’s verse is a new found voice and seminal in this respect. One cannot but agree with him, with the rider that Nongynrih has once again penned delightful verse with all universal concerns of a life that is, with implications of dynamism and  change. This is a must read book and a watershed in Indian poetry in English. Title: Time’s Barter Publisher: Harper Collins, India Price: Rs 325/- Pages:140 Ananya S Guha has been born and brought up in Shillong, North East India. He has seven collections of poetry and his poems have been published worldwide. They have also been featured in several anthologies. He is also a columnist, critic and editor. He now is a Regional Director at the Indira Gandhi National Open University. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding....

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Kosi, me, and the Kairos || Story by Ninad Parikh

The stage was set, characters were defined and audience awaited. I was the audience. Show was to commence. The curtains of twilight were raised to give way to the uncanny fraternization of subtle darkness and silken moonlight. Homecoming of the birds was suggestive of the fact that it was time to return to the place where I belonged. The place, the state of life where ecstasy thrives. The place where one loses oneself and in the process reclaims the divinity of the moment… Everything in the vicinity appeared interwoven. The water conversing with the stones underneath, the wind whispering in the ears of the sky-scraping trees, the mountains shaking hands with the horizon, the misting of moonlight on the earth and the aura of that moment. I was contemplating the phenomenal swiftness with which the birds were dramatizing their acrobatics in the animated sky. The freedom they luxuriate bequeaths them with the ardor to speed up, the ebullience to live on and to fly away to the resplendent glory. A bird parked itself on a hulking stone. He gaped candidly into my eyes. I was surprised not at the fearlessness but at the calmness he flaunted. He seemed to be sure of enduring till I uttered something. But I felt as if I had been talking to him for eternity. There was no obligation to be prim and ask him about his identity on this earth and sky… I eventually asked him, “How does it feel to harmonize with this timeless aura of creativity?” He looked at me with unaltered tranquility as if he had expected such a question from me. He panned his sight towards the horizon and after a few prolonged moments, replied, “Mate, One always belongs to his own creation.” I was astonished not because of the unfathomable answer but at the ease with which he addressed me as “Mate”. “One always belongs to his own creation,” I said to myself and kept saying it for a while. “What do you mean? Is it you who has fashioned this aura?” I asked. “Partially.” “So you are suggesting that you have been instrumental in creating a quantum of this aura….” “Absolutely. Even you are a part of the same.” That didn’t exactly give me the sense of belonging I was craving for, but it did raise a flutter of hope within my mind that I am still there. I asked him, “Can you elaborate on your and specifically my role in this unimaginable creation?” “Well, there is no single entity that has scripted this aura and painted this panoramic picture. We all make it happen. We all are doing what we are best at and incidentally everything converges in a distinguished moment. A moment that lives for a life time. A moment that paints you in happiness and fills you with a perpetual sense of belonging. I am an avian. I live because I fly. And when I fly I fly with such pride and zest that this world falls in love with my flight. That’s the partial aura I am referring to.” “But how do I become a part of this…what have I accomplished?” I asked. “Some minutes back you would have felt that the mountains are shaking hands with the horizon…the winds are whispering something in the ears of those tall trees….That was a surreal feeling you created. Mate, the mountains don’t shake hands with horizon. It’s the perception you sculpture in your heart that transposes it into a prodigious entourage. You were the creator of that moment when you heard the whispers of wind. Now you will write about the...

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