contents

The Wait is and is Not - Nitasha Kaul
(poetry)

You Don't Mess with Viru - Jayant Kripalani
(fiction)

The Last Journey Home - Siddhartha Gigoo
(memoir)

Family Trip - Mihir Vatsa
(poetry)

For the Longest Time - Mridula Koshy
(fiction)

The Tree's Passport - Sumana Roy
(memoir)

I Try to be so Buddhist - Robert Sugg
(poetry)

Oh God, My God - GB Prabhat
(fiction)

Stroke at Noon - KL Chowdhury
(personal narrative)

Unbroken Awareness - Tendair Mwanaka
(poetry)

Island of a Thousand Mirrors - Nayomi Munaweera
(excerpt)

My Hungry Workers - Sourabh Gupta
(personal narrative)

The Stone - Anupam Choudhary
(fiction)

The Return - Shirani Rajapakse
(poetry)

The Unsent Email - Shyama Laxman
(fiction)

Poetry: Naseer Ahmed Nasir
(Translated by Bina Biswas)

Dr Bhikbab Changes His World - Sheela Jaywant
(fiction)

The Pillar of Society - Manju Kak
(fiction)


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

Interviews

Tan Twan Eng
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Studio

Paintings: Donovan Roebert
Poetry: Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Voice

Dilip Bobb


poetry

The Wait is, and is Not
- Nitasha Kaul

In this poem, Kashmir is the conflicted space of a perpetually deferred yearning. The homeland is an absent presence; confronting it is always-already impossible. The nauseating viscosity of blood and memory have thickened the nostalgia for an imaginary past. Yet, with every sigh of belonging, the iron stranglehold of the present rusts a little, someday it may wear away and lead to a future of hope.

The words 'noon' and 'zoon' in the poem are from the Kashmiri language; noon means salt, and zoon means the moon.

I.

You stand at the imaginary gate
Of future time, eyes pegged on stillness
As that of wind-abandoned trees, or the desert of a blue sky.

The journey to a homeland must come
Yet you defer it, defer it again.

Staring at the clockhands of daily endeavour
Slippery, your glance touches the mountains
Brown-blue, green-gray, cloud-embroidered.

This is the noon of your day
Salt of that place, a bloody home.

Far from sea, far from peace, far from me.

II.

Roots grow out from your feet
And the road is not in sight.

III.

You stand at the imaginary gate
Of future time, hands holding the head
As if it were a rounded stone, or a grenade about to burst

The journey to a homeland must come
Yet you defer it, defer it again

Grasping at the frames of locked desires
Keyless, your fingers fumble across maps
Orange-green, red-yellow, overlapping lines

This is the zoon of your night
Moon of that place, a bloody home.

Far from sea, far from peace, far from me.

IV.

Still and heavy,
The iron gate of future time
Will rust one day
With your breath alone.

Nitasha Kaul is a well-known novelist, writer, poet, economist, independent scholar, traveller, and artist from Kashmir, who 'inhabits many lives in the UK, Bhutan, and India'. Her debut novel, Residue, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2009. She is an authority on Himalayan history, politics, and the culture of Bhutan. Her writings have also been included in several anthologies and journals.