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 Return
- Shirani Rajapakse

Where did you come from, soldier,
what did you leave behind? Why are you

here standing in the shadows afraid to come out
into the sun shining bright on all who pass?

Do you see the dead rising, do you
count the number

of times you blinked as your gun
went off, do you remember the flash as the

beast hammered bullets into you?
The fire burnt in your

breast but the fire to cleanse you cannot
be made. There's no one there to build a pyre.

You lie rotting in the sun, open
to the skies where the wild beasts

feast on you. Why are you here soldier
looking lost in this piece of concrete jungle where

the masses walk by indifferent to you
standing there, a silhouette

in the shadows? They move to the beat of freedom
that you and your friends died to protect yet

no one cares anymore. They have moved
on with their lives. What party do they attend what

clothes do they buy, what's for dinner tonight or do they
eat out? They grumble to themselves while

you linger there wondering why.
Did you come back soldier to pray for the life

departed that once was yours? To build a fire here
in the city singlehanded and turn yourself

to flecks of dust that none chose to do? They
left you there

in the wilderness with the rest, fallen rotting waiting
for the animals to gorge on. Nothing more

than old bones lying beneath
the trees. Shading you for now, but tomorrow no

more. The dust will settle covering you in a soft blanket
hiding you forever. But why are you still here?

Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a MA in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University India. Her published short stories Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Her work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, Dove Tales, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, and The Occupy Poetry Project. Anthologies featuring her work include Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. Her poetry has also been featured on Verses in Motion radio.