The Wait is and is Not - Nitasha Kaul

You Don't Mess with Viru - Jayant Kripalani

The Last Journey Home - Siddhartha Gigoo

Family Trip - Mihir Vatsa

For the Longest Time - Mridula Koshy

The Tree's Passport - Sumana Roy

I Try to be so Buddhist - Robert Sugg

Oh God, My God - GB Prabhat

Stroke at Noon - KL Chowdhury
(personal narrative)

Unbroken Awareness - Tendair Mwanaka

Island of a Thousand Mirrors - Nayomi Munaweera

My Hungry Workers - Sourabh Gupta
(personal narrative)

The Stone - Anupam Choudhary

The Return - Shirani Rajapakse

The Unsent Email - Shyama Laxman

Poetry: Naseer Ahmed Nasir
(Translated by Bina Biswas)

Dr Bhikbab Changes His World - Sheela Jaywant

The Pillar of Society - Manju Kak

Book Reviews

Distant Traveller - Attia Hosain
(Mita Bose)

London Company - Farrukh Dhondy
(Rakhshanda Jalil)

The Cripple and His Talismans - Anosh Irani
(Mariam Karim)

Their Language of Love - Bapsi Sidhwa
(Arjun Raj Gaind)

Silk Fish Opium - Jaina Sanga
(Suneetha Balakrishnan)

The Blind Man's Garden - Nadeem Aslam
(Mariam Karim)

The Almond Tree - Michelle Corasanti
(Bina Biswas)

Nobody Can Love You More - Mayank Austen Soofi
(KG Sreenivas)

Along the Red River - Sabita Goswami
(Abdullah Khan)

Tales of a Journalist, Bureaucrat, Spy - Som Nath Dhar
(KG Sreenivas)

Che in Paona Bazaar - Kishalay Bhattacharjee
(S Ramesh)

Best from the Bookery


Tan Twan Eng
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


Paintings: Donovan Roebert
Poetry: Priya Sarukkai Chabria


Dilip Bobb


Family Trip
- Mihir Vatsa

Because Hazaribagh during autumn is lovely, in 2007, we–
my father, mother and I – rented a Maruti Omni for a day,
to see the reservoirs, listen to the sound of water flowing through
the forests and, maybe, catch sunset from Kanhari Hill.

At least, that was the plan my mother and I had made.

For my father, it was merely a photocopy of yesterday.
His mouth opened when we shut the car-gates
and never closed–

The Vice-chancellor is a dog. Knows nothing.
The previous one, he was kind. Yes, he was kind.
How can I take classes every day? I just had
an operation. I almost die–

and so on, adding similar layers to the stories

already written
already narrated
already realised.

My mother, who believed in the romance of the plateau,
kept nodding, but looking out of the window as we passed through the Wildlife Sanctuary, creating a space with flowers, rabbits and birds in her mind,

because all she could do was dream, create a Hazaribagh
without Vice-Chancellors and surgeries. Without college–
gossip and him.

Throughout the trip, we didn't see anything; rather, he didn't let us.
Even waterfalls dried up in front of us, let alone the sighting of deer or rabbits.
So, instead of taking photographs, we learnt

how bad his university was
how bad his university was
how bad his university was

Upon returning, he complained he didn't see a single deer,
butterfly or stream and, chuckling, opened one of his books–
his spectacles resting on his nose.

My mother nodded,

Mihir Vatsa grew up in the plateau-town of Hazaribagh and currently lives in New Delhi. His poems and writings have been previously published in and are forthcoming from Pyrta Journal, The Four Quarters Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Downer Magazine, The Legendary, Red River Review, Boston Literary Magazine and UCity Review among others. He studies English Literature at University of Delhi.